I can not stand the reinforcement of bad technique. It's like nails on a chalkboard to me. I cringe when I see other coaches cheering on athletes hitting rep after rep with terrible form.

Having every athlete hit a PR is awesome, it gets everyone fired up and validates my job as a coach. But it's not realistic. Most athletes are lucky to PR a lift once a cycle, not once a week. Allowing athletes to get away with terrible form to chase numbers is rent seeking behavior and isn't allowed at CrossFit Petram.

On the other hand we don't stop athletes from pushing their limits. It's a fact that form deteriorates under fatigue. The last rep won't be as good as the first. To point out every fault during a metcon is discouraging and obnoxious. We find a middle ground by giving our athletes daily technique goals.

The "Technical PR"

I believe the best way to motivate athletes to work their asses off, without allowing them to be sloppy, is the "Technical PR's". The idea is to reward athletes more for a lift with correct form than for a lift with heavier weight.

For instance we have a large group of new athletes that just joined our gym. When they hit a PR on a power clean I get excited and clap. But when they hit a heavy clean without bending their arms for the first time, I lose my mind. It doesn't how much is on the bar.

Each athlete has a different fault that they will be working on. For some it might be catching a clean in the correct front rack, for others it might be staying on their heels. Very rarely do we let our athletes chase numbers with bad technique.

For this to work properly athletes need to trust the process. It takes a lot of maturity to take some plate off the bar and to drill technique. It's the idea of taking a step backward so you can take two steps forward.

The Take Away

In our gym it is understood that a single correctly executed muscle up is more impressive than 5 unbroken ones with crappy form. Take the time to drill proper technique so that single muscle up can turn into 15 efficient one.

Never sacrifice a lifetime PR to chase a PR today.

 

 

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