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Intensity vs. Form
Before every workout, our coaches go through the movement standards and technical steps on how you are suppose to perform the movements in the workout itself. We make corrections and sometimes may advise a recommended weight or a scale you should use in order to achieve the correct amount of intensity you are expected to experience during the workout. As coaches, our main priority is that you are moving safely and efficiently. We would rather see quality repetitions instead of how fast you can complete the workout.
When it comes to intensity, we are referring to how hard you can go through a workout and how much you can push yourself to another level, maybe even higher than you expected yourself to. Overall, your goal is to perform more work in a shorter amount of time. This includes cardio based workouts, as well as, lifting weights when they are programmed in a workout. The balancing act with intensity comes into play when deciding if you should stick with a lighter load that you can move at a faster pace, or a heavier weight that you can still move quickly, but will challenge you a bit more to allow you to get a completely different workout. There may come a time that you are not sure which weight or type of intensity we may be looking for in a workout, don’t hesitate to ask your coach on what they recommend.
If you look at the line graph above with intensity being on the left side and form being on the right, you’ll notice that as you move closer to intensity, you move away from form, but as you move closer to form, you move further away from intensity. We want to see you at the peak point of the graph, right in the middle of intensity and form. Here again comes the balancing act of being able to perform the highest intensity with the right amount of weight while still able to keep perfect form throughout the entire workout. For newer athlete and for those who may not be as experienced, we always recommend going lighter in weight until you are comfortable performing the more technical movements, such as snatch, clean and jerk, push jerk, etc. Everyone struggles with movements, but once you perfect your form and you are moving more comfortably with these movements, then you can start increasing your weight load, which in turn will increase your intensity.
Those who have more experience with weighted movements, we will recommend to push yourself a little further (find that dark place), but still holding on to form without completely throwing it out the window. You want to be able to push beyond your limits and see what you can really do. All of our workouts are score based; whether it’s for time, total reps, and even the amount of weight lifted. Sometimes the workouts that are programmed for time and total reps, there may be times where we want to see you move heavier weight rather than complete the WOD a minute faster or gain those extra reps. Those workouts are where your body will receive a different intensity as opposed to staying with lighter weights.
Moral of the story is, you know your body better than anyone else, and as coaches we can give recommendations on how the workout should be perceived. Always be aware of form and the cues coaches give you throughout the workout, we all want you moving SAFELY.