In CrossFit we have a lot of progressions to help us breakdown and more easily learn movements. The most used of these is probably the Burgener Warmup for snatches and/or cleans, but we can apply progressions to just about any movement. It’s often that a lot of the breakdowns we use turn into a scaling option to use in a workout, to make us more consistent in a general movement pattern or range of motion, before we add in the rest and make it more complex. Following these progression concepts is an exact translation of how CrossFit looks to introduce new movements and add intensity to them.
The main critique of CrossFit is that it pushes intensity over anything else and compromises positions that lead to injury. The truth behind it though is that intensity needs to be earned both in a given movement and in general. This is the reason we go over progressions and movements at the beginning of every class, so we can see where, if at all, in a certain movement a person beings to breakdown. Reviewing these things allows us to see the consistency in a movement that we look for before we add intensity to it.
Another way of saying it is: Movement, Consistency, Intensity. I like to use 100 Air Squats as an example for this. If I struggle doing an air squat without rounding out my lower back in the bottom unless I’m moving slow then it’s gonna take me a long time to do all 100. As I get more consistent in my squatting ability I begin to speed up my reps, and I can continue to do my reps fast as long as I maintain that proper movement. Finding that line of moving fast while consistently keeping a high standard of movement quality is the intensity we’re looking for.
Keeping movement in check can become tedious in the middle of a workout at times when you just want to rip the barbell off the floor, but being conscious of movement gets us to a point where it’s second nature. At that point ripping a bar off the ground all of a sudden looks the same as taking your time. This goes a long way because if we rush learning a movement and consistently have one little flaw every time we do a rep, then that “little” flaw all of a sudden can lead to a big issue after hundreds of reps.