Workout: Power Snatch: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1
Accessory: 100 Banded Good Mornings
This Just In: Improving Technique Improves Fitness!
Athletes often form a false assumption between proper form and intensity, assuming that as one increases the other must necessarily decrease. This idea is a thinly disguised excuse for athletic complacency. Rather than revisit proper technique through lowering one’s intensity, low-excitement skill work, the athlete chooses to pursue personal records with diminished form. The reason: it’s easier on the ego to put up good workout times. Taking a hit to your “Fran” time in order to perform near-perfect thrusters is not going to move you up the records board — at least not right away — and the blow to the ego is usually too much to bear.
In reality, technique and intensity are not mutually exclusive. For the novice, maintaining proper form becomes a cruel joke as intensity increases, leading to the erroneous conclusion that the two cannot coexist. Advanced athletes believe the opposite. These athletes recognize that continuous high-intensity work is nearly impossible without strict attention to form. The advanced athlete knows that proper form is proper for a reason: it imparts structural advantages that poor form does not.
Squatting provides a wonderful illustration. The squat utilizes power from the hip to propel the torso through a complete range of motion. 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 or arched alignment and the torso is rigid, as proper form dictates, power flows freely and the load is easy to move. Nonetheless, we’ll often see new athletes blasting through limp, rounded-back squats, completely unaware of the power-draining effect of their substandard form.
Condoning bad form for the resulting intensity ignores the bigger picture. In doing so, we rob our athletes of their long-term potential, artificially capping their progress in the name of immediate gratification. An athlete with poor form and an ugly 3-minute “Fran” will always have an ugly 3-minute “Fran”, while a similar athlete with good form will soon find himself pushing the limits of possibility, thus improving their time(s)… over time.
Don’t believe us? Have you seen Pete C, lately!?! He’s strong as an ox (shown in the photo above). Pete has slowly and consistently continued to make gains each and every day, and it shows! His only rule: To lift only what proper technique will allow, regardless of his overall ‘strength’. In doing so, Pete has come further in one year than most athletes will in six years — and all without having overloaded his joints or by piling on tons of extra ‘work’.
Well done, Pete. Well done.
Photo credit: Lincoln Brigham
Read more here.