I would like to share some info with you all today that I wish I would’ve listened to when I first started my fitness journey. For those of you that have been a part of CrossFit for a decent amount of time have probably heard the “mechanics, consistency, then intensity” phrase more than once.
Now what exactly does that mean and why should we follow this?
Mechanics- mechanics means the way we move. When we first start learning a new skill, whether it be gymnastics, weight lifting, or mono structural, it is a MUST that we learn to move properly.
Consistency- moving properly ALL THE TIME. Once we have developed the proper mechanics, next we must learn to maintain those mechanics. Maintaining mechanics means rep 1 should look the same as rep 100. A squat at 30 lbs should look the same as a squat at 200 lbs.
Intensity- Speed and Load. ONLY once we have developed proper mechanics and we are able to maintain those mechanics all the time, can we start to increase the speed of the reps, and the load at which we are moving.
Now why must we follow this sequence of events?
To prevent injury. We have seen this time and time again. A new athlete or client gets the crossfit bug or drinks that kool aid. They want to go faster and heavier to keep up with others and prove something or really just craves that adrenaline rush. Hell, I have made that same mistake far too many times. I want you all to remember something…..we are in this for the long haul! We want to continue kicking ass into our 90’s.
This is not a 2 year sprint, which is exactly where all that intensity without proper mechanics and consistency will lead you. With tons of aches and pains, burnt out from injuries and overuse and probably trying something other than CrossFit because you’re too beat up to continue. I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret, NOBODY cares how much weight you lift and how many reps you did. We all have our own $h!t to focus on. Focus on mechanics and consistency and leave the ego at the door.
To Speed Up Progress- Contrary to what you may believe, actually slowing things down, learning proper mechanics and consistency before adding all that weight and speed will actually speed up your progress. Maybe not within the first 6 months or even a year but down the line not having to unlearn bad habits is much faster than having to take multiple steps back to re-learn all the fundamentals.
So when we as coaches give our athletes cues, guidance, and advice on lowering the weight or slowing things down, it’s not a personal attack. Or that we are trying to bruise your ego. It’s actually the complete opposite. We care so much about you and we understand you have a life outside of these four walls that it is our responsibility to keep you healthy and injury free so you can function to the highest level in your daily activities.
It is also our responsibility to help you grow safely as an athlete. Sometimes this means taking a few steps back and making the proper adjustments. Sometimes to break through new barriers we must step back and make some changes.
If anyone ever has any questions about why we do certain things in class as coaches, please feel free to ask. We would be more than happy to explain.