Gears for Gauging Intensity in WODs

You may have noticed that the gym's general CrossFit program now sometimes includes a Gear rating, and I wanted to take a moment to explain what this means and how to use it.

What does the Gear rating mean?

The Gear rating designates the target intensity of each workout on a scale of 1-3.

Having a target intensity allows you to have a more thorough understanding of the purpose of the workout. This also helps us coaches suggest weights and skills for each athlete, based on what the workout should "feel" like!

Gear Rating System - Jacob Tsypkin, Anarchos Training Methods

So why Gears?

In thinking of the best way to descriptively categorize workouts, the idea of the gears in a vehicle provides a clear visual of how you as the athlete should be moving during a workout.

A vehicle in low gear is moving slowly, grindingly, working against a challenging resistance of some type (whether internal or external.) You haul a trailer up a hill in low gear. An athlete in low gear is performing movements which are inherently challenging, rather than being challenging due to the energetic nature of their circumstances. Strict muscle-ups, heavy deadlifts, etc, are all low gear movements. A vehicle in high gear is moving fast, relatively unresisted – highway driving. Light weightlifting movements, kipping pullups, rowing, etc, are all high gear movements.

Where will most WODs fall on the Gear system?

The bulk of our WODs will be in the 2-2.5 range, with a smaller number at 3, and the smallest number between 1-1.5. The reason for this is that we already do a lot of work in Gear 1 – every time we lift heavy or practice challenging gymnastics movements!

I encourage you to look for the Gear rating for your workout of the day, and strategize your weights and skills accordingly. Of course your coach will be there to assist and make recommendations that are unique to your needs as an individual!

As always, I am hear to answer your questions on workouts, the gym program, or just to shoot the breeze! You can email me at I'd love to hear from you!

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Fargo, ND 58104
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