Workout: 10 rounds of:
30 seconds of Burpees
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds Dumbbell Thrusters (35,20)
Rest 30 seconds
Technique vs. Intensity
CrossFit is the pursuit of athletic perfection—performing difficult workouts with technical mastery under conditions that can sometimes take our breath away. We’re looking for flawless form with a jackhammering heart-rate, bursting lungs and battery acid-filled veins.
When this is accomplished with unyielding intensity, the result is nothing short of beautiful. When we fall short of the mark, the result is horrifying at best.
Athletes often set up a false dichotomy between perfect form and intensity, assuming that as one increases the other must necessarily fall.
For the novice, maintaining form becomes a cruel joke as intensity increases, leading to the misguided conclusion that technique and intensity assuredly cannot coexist. More adept athletes are of the opposite opinion. These athletes recognize that continuous high-intensity work is nearly impossible without strict attention to form. The seasoned athlete knows that perfect form is perfect for a reason: it imparts structural advantages that poor form does not.
Take today’s thruster for example. Performed poorly, the movement relies on the small muscles on the front of the shoulder to support the weight at lockout (overhead). These muscles fatigue extremely quickly, leaving the athlete with reduced capacity in short order. When the thruster is performed well, the weight is supported by the larger muscles of the posterior chain (the larger support structure musculature on the backside of the body), allowing the more adept athlete to continue at peak power for more reps. Most of these mechanical advantages are based on the physics of power transmission, specifically the fact that it is easier to send power through a rigid structure than through a limp one.
The Squatting portion of today’s thruster also provides a wonderful illustration of this principle. The squat utilizes power from the hip to propel the torso to a standing position. If the spine is rounded and the torso is loose, power is lost and the torso becomes difficult to move. If the spine is kept in a neutral alignment and the torso is kept rigid, power flows freely and the load is easy to move.
So if you are aiming to do well in today’s workout… You’ll need to move well, even if it means slowing things down a bit; making form over finish-time the priority. So good luck… Your Fitness depends on it!