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  • Writer's pictureCoach Rob

Do it Right. Do it Well.

Here is an excerpt from an article posted by CrossFit about the Crossfit Methodology. Take a minute to read and internalize the message.

We all seem to lose our long-term focus when we attack a workout without thinking about and adhering to the intended stimulus for the workout. A link to the full article is below:

"Racing the clock, pushing for extra reps, and struggling to beat our previous best have become hallmarks of the CrossFit workout. And this intensity in CrossFit workouts is a crucial component for optimizing work capacity. However, to put intensity above technique is a dangerous violation of CrossFit’s core message.

CrossFit preaches mechanics and consistency before intensity. We must develop a certain level of mastery in our movements before we add intensity and attempt to perform these movements faster or with greater load. And there is no timeline for how long we must practice developing our technique. Only after we can move well and consistently well (no matter how long this takes) should we then add intensity to a movement pattern.

Take two athletes performing Fran. Athlete A scales to a lighter weight so she can move through full range of motion. During the workout, when she feels her technique degrade and she can’t fix it on the fly, she puts the bar down or stops her pull-ups, resets, and then attacks the reps again with improved technique. At the end of the workout, she is spent, but she did not beat her personal best.

Athlete B performs the workout as prescribed. As he fatigues, his elbows drop in the thrusters and his upper back rounds, knees cave in, and he gets pulled forward onto the balls of his feet. His range of motion is short at the top and bottom of the thruster. He fights through these sketchy reps and attacks his pull-ups. He doesn’t quite fully extend his arms at the bottom of each rep and at the top he tilts his head back and cranes his neck to push his chin almost over the pull-up bar. He finishes the workout gassed and he knocks 12 seconds off his personal best.

Athlete A is performing CrossFit as intended. By adhering to the principle of mechanics and consistency first, then intensity, she is following CrossFit’s core methodology. And because she is performing the workout at her threshold, even though she did not improve her Fran time, she is doing exactly what she should be doing to improve her fitness and health over the long term.

Athlete B has strayed from the CrossFit methodology by prioritizing intensity over mechanics and consistency. This is a common mistake and is a gross deviation from the kernel. Athlete B is not only blunting his work capacity by not performing the movements with proper technique, he is putting himself at greater risk of injury and an even more devastating decrease in his fitness and health. Let’s break this down even more.

1. Athlete B has not achieved a true PR because he achieved the 12-second win by reducing range of motion and therefore actually just doing less work.

2. Abandoning technique/mechanics may result in a faster time on the whiteboard, but it is not a foundation for continued and incremental improvements in work capacity over time. What does he do next to go faster? Shorten his range of motion even more? It’s a dead-end strategy.

3. It is subjective/speculative whether Athlete B is actually exposed to greater injury risk (although it makes intuitive sense, it often doesn’t play out that way and one common argument for continuing to move badly is “But I didn’t get hurt!”). A deeper point is that what you practice is what you become, and that affects every aspect of your life. Done right, CrossFit is restorative of correct movement patterns and posture and is rehabilitative. Done incorrectly, you remain trapped within the limitations/restrictions that you start with. Violate mechanics and you are blunting the restorative powers of functional movements.

The CrossFit methodology achieves such amazing results because it insists not only on doing the right things to maximize work capacity, but also doing them well. To truly observe the CrossFit kernel, we have to follow both of these principles."

Check out the full article through the following link:

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