Another Technique Rant

By February 10, 2011CFMC Blog Archives

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One of the hardest parts about doing a CrossFit workout is maintaining good technique throughout. Some might even say it’s impossible, but don’t let that keep you from trying. Good technique makes whatever you’re doing safer, more efficient, and more effective, and should be more important to you as going as fast as you can. Let’s look at that statement for a moment.

Technique keeps you safe by putting your body into the best possible posture to perform that movement. When your technique is good then your body is locked into a good position: your weight (and the load you’re lifting) is perfectly balanced and there is a solid foundation underneath the barbell (or wallball, or whatever). When you start to get tired and you let your technique falter (in other words, you get lazy), your solid, balanced oak tree now more closely resembles a sapling swaying in the wind. Which one sounds like the safer alternative for your body?

Technique also gives you the most efficient way to accomplish the task. The movements we do in CrossFit are hard enough on their own without us going out of our way to make them harder. I frequently see people fighting against wallballs, for example, by letting their elbows fall all the way behind their bodies when they catch the ball (becoming unbalanced), leaning way forward to accommodate that (which sacrifices spinal stability), and now that they’ve been knocked way off balance they try to “granny” throw the ball back up to the target. Sometimes they even hit the target, but it’s ugly and took WAY more energy than a wallball has to.

Using that same wallball scenario, you can also see that allowing yourself to use poor technique simply doesn’t have the same effect as using good technique. You may fall into that horrible hunched over position when you catch the ball, and then stand up and throw the ball as hard as you possibly can using WAY more energy than you ever have on a single wallball, and it may only go halfway up the wall. Ever have that happen? Frustrating doesn’t begin to describe the experience, especially if you still have 100 left to do.

The moral of the story is that technique is one of the hardest things to maintain during a workout, yet arguably the most important. Good technique is hard to achieve, but it’s worth it in the end. Fight like hell to learn good technique. Then, fight like hell to teach your BODY good technique (through constant practice). Then, the easy part is done. Now comes the workout, and you test yourself to see if you can keep that good technique when you have no strength left. Don’t just let technique go down the toilet because you’re tired, because that’s when you need it the most.

Here we see Jeff about 100 reps into “Karen” the other day (using the new 25lb. ball). Good position? Yes. Is he going to have a good rep? Yes. Is it as easy to do all that when he’s this tired? No.

  • Emily

    My post today is a simple and obvious one. But ever since Jeff made our mayonnaise, I’ve been obsessed with tunafish. I love it. I mix it with some Mrs. Dash and half a fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a tablespoon of mayo per can of tuna. I buy Romaine hearts that are perfect for scooping up the tuna and has a nice crunch. When I have time, I’m going to make a tuna salad, with cilantro, red onion, and lemon juice. YUMM-O!

  • Lorena

    I made this last night and we had it on an omelette this morning. It tastes very good.
    Simple ketchup

    * Ketchup1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste organic no salt added;
    * 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice;
    * 1/4 tsp dry mustard;
    * 1/3 cup water;
    * 1/4 tsp cinnamon;
    * 1/4 tsp salt;
    * 1 pinch ground cloves;
    * 1 pinch ground allspice;
    * 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional;


    1. Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Refrigerate overnight.

  • LAuren

    Paleo Turkey Burgers

    2 lbs ground turkey
    1 egg
    1 small challot chopped
    1 clove garlic chopped
    dried oregano
    freshly ground pepper
    1 beefsteak tomato
    romaine lettuce

    1. mix turkey, egg, challot, and garlic together in bowl
    2. make into 6 burgers, season with oregano and pepper
    3. put burgers on broiler pan and broil on high…5 minutes each side

    Put tomato, onion on burger and wrap in lettuce.

  • Emily

    Are any of you paleo challengers missing hot dogs? Well now you can eat them! Introducing, the “Ham Dogger”

    is this for real?! gotta love the name though.

  • Michell

    Paleo Beef Stew

    I made this in the slow cooker overnight.
    6 pound roast, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar,
    2 small yellow onions (quartered then sliced)
    8 cloves garlic (smashed)
    1 bunch organic carrots
    1 bunch celery
    1 small can organic tomato paste
    put everything in the slow cooker and turn it on!
    I think we had the cooker on high about 4 hours then low about 6 hours.

    Had some for lunch after today’s workout. Yummy on a cold winter’s day!

  • Tony Giampapa

    Easy Costco Smoothie
    Naked Fruit Juice (found in a case by the vegy freezer at Costco; no sugar added, just blended fruits in bottle)
    1 large bag of frozen whole strawberries

    So the easy thing to do is take a cup that you want to use for your smoothie and fill it with as many frozen strawberries as possible. Let it sit out and thaw for about 20 mins. Then fill the cup half way with your preblended fruit juice. They have many different flavors that include a lot of different kinds of fruit so the choice is yours. Take the ingredients from the cup and put it in the blender. Blend that sucker until it’s smooth. You may need to add a tablespoon of water or two if the smoothie doesn’t blend too easy. The good thing about this recipe is that the smoothie is naturally sweet and half frozen because of the frozen strawberries. I’ve found that it makes a good dessert.

  • Jeff

    Steak Marinade:

    I made this tonight with some deer steaks. It turned out great.

    2 lemons
    7 cloves of garlic
    1/4 cup olive oil
    Ground pepper
    Dried Jalapeños

    Finely chop garlic and combine with juice of 2 lemons along with ground pepper, oilve oil and jalepenos. Place steak in marinade and cover for 2 hours. I cooked them in a heavy cast iron pan for a couple minutes per side. Add another 1/4 cup of olive oil and make sure the oil is very hot before putting the steak in. Let the meat rest for 4 or 5 minutes then enjoy.

  • Ladybug724

    I miss cookies. This might be close enough. (By the way, you can also eat Applegate Farms hotdogs. But what fun are hotdogs without the bun?)

    Chocolate Macaroons

    3 large egg whites
    1/3 cup honey
    3 tbs cocoa powder
    ¾ cup chopped walnuts
    1½ shredded coconut
    1/3 cup almond meal

    Pre-heat oven to 350. Place egg whites in a bowl and beat using an electric beater until stiff peaks form. Fold in honey, cocoa powder, walnuts, coconut and almond meal
    until just combined to minimize the handling of the batter. Spoon 1-2 tbs of mixture per
    macaroon into onto an oven proof tray lined with baking paper. Bake in oven for 15 minutes for medium sized macaroons, or 18 minutes for larger size macaroons,
    or until light brown in colour. Cool before serving.

  • Erik Herik

    The “Ham Dogger” sounds like a “bedroom” move… just sayin.

    *** Gluten Free and Dairy Free Cranberry Nut Breadprinter friendly ***
    — ½ cup coconut flour
    — 1 tsp celtic sea salt
    — 1 tsp baking soda
    — 5 eggs
    — ½ cup grapeseed oil
    — ½ cup agave nectar
    — 1 tbs vanilla extract
    — 1 cup cranberries
    — ½ cup walnuts, chopped

    In a medium bowl combine coconut flour, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl blend eggs, grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla. Blend dry ingredients into wet, then fold in cranberries and walnuts. Pour batter into (2) greased 6.5 X 4 inch loaf pans. (Use small pans to allow the bread to cut through thoroughly without over-baking the outside.) Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Cool and serve

  • Am I missing something here ? What do these pots have to do with article on Technique? I was going to ask the question in class tonight about technique over speed. As I found that in Wednesdays Workout /Class my technique was awful when I tried to go faster and got even worse when I became tired. Guess now I know – technique, technique. technique.