Apr
22
2013

Check your ego at the door

Have you ever attempted to PR a deadlift knowing that you round your back? Perhaps you’re adding 5 lbs. to your 1 1/4 front squats every week, but you can’t keep your chest up in the bottom, and your elbows are coming dangerously close to colliding with your knees. It’s not worth it. At best you PR with flawed mechanics; at worst you injure yourself.

Yes, an Rx looks great next to your name after a WOD, and PRs feed the ego, but taking shortcuts to achieve these feats cheapens the accomplishment. Technique trumps everything. The goal should be for the movements to become easier, more efficient and natural no matter how long it takes you to get there.

After months of grinding through cleans and snatches with horrible form, I recently decided to break my olympic lifting down to basics. Now, instead of stroking my ego by completing every workout as prescribed, or shooting for new PRs, I have adopted a crawl before you walk mind set. This means doing technique work with a PVC pipe and a technique bar before classes with Olympic lifting elements, and only using weights that allow me to maintain perfect form throughout a WOD. I’ve found that humble pie tastes pretty damn good with solid mechanics.

Are you trying to progress too quickly? Should you go back to basics and work on your fundamentals?

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    12 Comments

    1. On April 22, 2013 Andy Beckwith said

      Awesome post Kayser!

    2. On April 22, 2013 Alice Sherren said

      You were right, Kayser, I DO love this post!

    3. On April 22, 2013 Alice Sherren said

      You were right, Kayser, I DO love this post!

    4. On April 22, 2013 Alex Lau said

      Yes, yes, yes. This is great.

    5. On April 22, 2013 Caitlin Ann said

      I think we're all guilty of this from time to time. Awesome post Kayser.

    6. On April 22, 2013 Patrick Tsai said

      is this post about waffles? I heard they aren't paleo.

    7. On April 23, 2013 Lara Friedman-Shedlov said

      I'm down with this in general, but part of me is thinking, I've been doing CrossFit for 3.5 years now, and I *still* can't squat with my chest up, even with just my body weight. I have been working hard to improve over the years, I and know I have made progress, but I still am far from having the correct form (felt even more discouraged after I saw Teddy's recent post on duck feet). Should I just not do squats because I can't do them correctly? Am I stuck in PVC purgatory because I can't do them perfectly?

    8. On April 23, 2013 Craig Nelson said

      I'm with you, Lara. I was thinking – If not for bad form, I'd have no form at all.

    9. On April 24, 2013 Amanda Redepenning said

      Thanks for this :)

    10. On April 24, 2013 Leo Arms said

      I say you add a new thing to write on the board: RxT. As in prescribed technique.

    11. On April 24, 2013 Craig Nelson said

      Hmm…I'm thinking in the opposite direction. Add a new designation: Rx-ish. Kinda, sorta, pretty close but not quite Rx.

    12. On April 24, 2013 Dave Backstrom said

      I love this post, its exactly what I needed to read! Thank you

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