The other day after a short burner met con I was talking with Aaron (pronounced A A Ron) about how effective some of the shorter workouts can be. We both agreed that you really do not need a ton of time to get in a very effective workout. If you understand the intent of the workout and attack it accordingly, this can really help you get the most out of your workout. Sometimes people have the misconception that you need to accumulate a certain amount of training time to really feel like you got a good workout in, but this is not necessarily the case. When it comes to the shorter workouts what you really need is intensity. Luckily these shorter met cons are an excellent source of intensity if you play your cards right.
Think of the workout Fran, 21-15-9 of thrusters and pull ups. Notorious in the CrossFit community for being a very hard workout and even gave birth to the term “fran lung.” Usually the workout takes 3-5 minutes with some of the top performers going below 3 minutes. Despite it being an incredibly short workout, it leaves people sprawled on the ground, unable to do anything for minutes, and sometimes hours after they’re done! This is because fran is designed to be a high intensity workout and when executed correctly it is extremely taxing. On the other hand you could easily over pace fran and be left with a feeling of not having got a great workout in.
Understanding the objective of the workout is a key component to achieving the desired stimulus. If the workout is in the shorter time domain, then the intensity will most likely be much higher than a longer workout, where the intensity tends to be lower to accomodate higher volume. If you are unsure of what the desired effect of a workout is, then ask a coach. We try to explain it at the whiteboard the best we can but if you are still unsure ask away so you can get the most out of your workout.