BoxLife Magazine

Is One Workout Per Day ‘Enough’? Well, Are You a Big Monkey or a Little Monkey?

By BoxLife Team

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May 19, 2014

Is one workout per day “enough” if you want to be a Regionals or Games competitor? (From our interview with Ben Bergeron)

A. It completely depends on the athlete. Some of the greatest athletes in the world thrive off of one hour in the gym per day. Others spend six to eight hours; training is there job.

It’s a matter of asking yourself: Are you a big monkey or little monkey?

The monkey theory is from John Welbourn of CrossFit Football about a science experiment that looked at two different types of monkeys—big ones and little ones.

The large monkeys were naturally active. They spent most of their waking hours moving around, eating, and playing. The smaller monkeys were naturally less active.

During the experiment, the researchers forced both types of monkeys to swap lifestyles. The big monkeys (the active ones) were put into cages and allowed only a small amount of time each day to eat and move around. The little monkeys (the less active ones) were given various activities and obstacles to get food each day to increase activity levels.The results showed that both types of monkeys experienced a significant decline in health, temperament, and performance.

Like the monkeys, some athletes may be predisposed to varied training volumes—and must determine what works best for them.

For example, even the best training isn’t good at high volume for a little monkey—less volume and quality training is key for them.

Athletes that are “big monkeys” can train and benefit from more volume—and they also need to practice more volume.

Ben Bergeron is the Head Coach of CrossFit New England and the creator of the popular blog CompetitorsWOD.com. 

BoxLife Team

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