Think back to the first day you learned the press, deadlift, and clean. Think about how much more complex each movement was than the previous one. More joints, more cues, more things to remember. Each time you perform the lift it gets smoother and easier. In the beginning, you’re main priority is banking good movements towards good muscle memory.
CrossFit’s methodology emphasizes movements executed at high intensity but cautions athletes to first learn the mechanics of the lift. After becoming more proficient in the movement, the next step is to develop consistency. Then (and only then) the athlete may begin increasing the intensity. Understandably, it takes a heck of a lot of self control to have the discipline to adhere to that order when you here a coach bellow out 3-2-1-GO, especially with veterans working out next to you furiously throwing the barbell around like it’s a toothpick, but do your best to rein it in.
At Intrepid, we go a step further in defining this evolution. First comes position. Your body needs to know what position is optimal and safe to support the barbell through a movement. Maintaining a stable mid-line (held breath, strict crunch, ribs down), proper shoulder position (scaps back and down), and neutral spine are a part of proper posture and they all apply during a lift.
After proficiency in position, you can work towards achieving proper range of motion. For example, in a back squat, you first learn to keep your torso and hamstrings tight, with your weight on your heels as you pull yourself to the bottom of the squat. Once you can stay tight all the way down, you work towards getting your hips below your knees.
Once position and range of motion are solidified, you can work on building strength and power. This last step will come easily if you followed steps 1 and 2 first. If not, you’ll have to put twice as much time into unlearning bad muscle memory and retraining your body. Be patient and persistant. Before you know it, you’ll be that veteran throwing the barbell around and a newbie will be looking at you with awe.
5 Sets of the Following Complex
2 Power Cleans
2 Front Squats
2 Shoulder to Overhead
The bar must not touch the ground except between power cleans until the round is complete. Rest as needed and add weight between rounds. (Bear Complex rules)
20 Double Unders