One of the greatest coaches of all time in any sport, Vince Lombardi, once said “Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect” and I think in CrossFit there are very few mantras that can make a bigger impact.
- How often do you find yourself just going through the motions?
- Are you paying attention to your rowing technique during those first 2 minutes of class?
- Are you working on keep your weight in your heels, back tight, chest up and knees tracking toes in your air squats during the warm-up?
- Are you actually trying to make that PVC pipe power clean look good?
- Or are you half-assing all of it because you’re screwing around or you just want to load a bar and hit the WOD?
Well, I’m here to tell you that all those crappy reps add up.
Have you ever found yourself in the following situation? I know I have!
It’s now round 7 of a 10 round for time WOD and you can’t do a good looking power clean at 135 lbs to save your life.
You’re hurting, breathing heavy, looking for water or the chalk bucket, anything to stall a little so that you can have some extra energy for the next rep.
Wanna know why?
Because the muscle memory isn’t there to save you when your body and brain are fatigued.
And, on top of that, you’re more fatigued than you should be at this point because you weren’t moving efficiently early in the workout so you used more energy to do the same amount of work as the guy/gal next to you that’s still cruising along.
I know what it feels like, it sucks, but the good news is that there is an easy solution and it’s in the second half of Coach Vince Lombardi’s quote.
“Perfect practice makes perfect.”
We all know that it’s not a fun to do the warm-up or the skill work as the WOD, but during those first 10-15 minutes of class while you’re still fresh is where you can make the most improvement.
It took me years and years to actually listen to my coaches and finally convince myself of this, half the time when I worked out by myself I wouldn’t even really do a warm-up, but I promise it works.
The more attention that is paid to how you move without load and not at fatigue, the better off you will be when those two variables are introduced.
In theory, you should be able to make an empty barbell power clean look identical to one at 135 lbs. You should also be able to make your air squat look just like your 300+ lb back squat. And finally, you should be able to make those hollow body & superman holds on the ground look the same as your kip during a pull-up or toes-to-bar.
Because “practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”