This is written for your everyday gym-goer, a "weekend warrior", who does a competition for fun maybe once or twice a year.
CrossFit's biggest flaw is the constant idolization of high intensity.
It has it purpose, but let's break down how and when to use it...
First, the 3 different days/periods/times to think of:
1) having a "bad" or "off" day
2) normal "training" day
Some days just do not go your way...bad night of sleep, kids kept you up, project at work, got a cold, etc, etc. These days...you can still do something! It may not even be coming to the gym, but going for a walk or bike ride is still progress.
If you are still making it to the gym, pull back the intensity to something slow and controllable. In my mind, this is going through everything at about 50%. You are not setting any records, probably will not be sore from it, but it is still volume done and is still productive.
Cut yourself some slack and take the win of doing anything!
"Training Days" (most of your days)
If you push your intensity to the max every day: you WILL get burnt out, injured, or potentially overtrained.
Every day is not supposed to be done at 100% capacity. The body (even the best of the best athletes) can not sustain this.
Think of it this way, Option #1 = you do a really difficult workout, quantified at 100 units, but need 2 days to recover....over the course of the month your total output is 1000 (100 x 10). Option #2 at 80 units but only need one day to recover...your total output over the same month is 1200 (80 x 15). This means you actually make more progress with Option #2
Think back if you did almost any sport when you were younger. You went to "practice" in order to prepare for the Game/Meet/etc. Why would it be any different now?
You want to "Train to train another day"! Again, the constant 100%, all-out, leave it on the floor days will = injury, adrenal fatigue, getting sick more, and so on. You want to save those days for....
We know these are the events we sign up for:
-a weekend throwdown in a gym
-local competition in your area/state
-testing days (if you do that at your gym)
-benchmark "Girls" wods
-and the Open or Online Qualifiers.
These are the days that you go as hard as you can.
Everything still within reason, we are not advocating throwing all form and safety concerns out the window. We are saying this is when you should not listen to that little voice in your head saying "I don't wanna" and keeping the intensity high because you know you have prepared for it by training properly!
It's gameday...now go hard!
Another side note for our "weekend warriors" - you do not need extra volume for an event done once, maybe twice a year!
At best, you will get together with your team the week prior and practice an event or two. Get a feel for how you interact, have a bit of a plan, etc.
At the end of the day, you are competing for FUN and you are training, in class, for LIFE!
So....whats the point of all this: if you are not getting ready for an event or it's not a test day, then why in the world are you COMPETING every day???!!!
Slow it down in order to progress faster....it's kinda that simple!