I recently had an opportunity to go through some one-on-one training and we did some very basic things: hollow body drills, RKC planks, kettlebell arm bars and Turkish Get Ups (TGU). I’ve been doing kettlebell workouts for close to a year and a half now and it was actually very rewarding to go back over these movements step-by-step. In fact, just a couple days earlier, one of our other trainers noticed that I don’t do something toward the end of my TGU properly, skipping the step where I should lower onto my elbow. I also identified a few other things I could do better.
The point is that there is always value in slowing down and making sure you’re doing every single step of every movement as well as you possibly can. CrossFit® calls this “virtuosity,” which they define as “performing the common uncommonly well.” Whether the movement is seemingly basic and straightforward like a deadlift or complex like a muscle-up or Olympic snatch, there are improvements that can be made by every athlete at every level of performance and virtuosity is certainly not “just for beginners.”
It isn’t just about identifying your movement and technique problems, either, but rather also striving to do what you already do well even better. CrossFit I35 seems to embrace virtuosity more than most CrossFit boxes I’ve been to, whether it’s in kettlebell training, weightlifting club, Foundations or regular CrossFit classes. You often hear coaches say, “This is CrossFit, not slop fit!” during classes and while it’s easy to let the wheels come off during the intensity of the workout, try to minimize that effect.
When you feel like you’re losing control of your movements dial the intensity back or lower the weight until you feel back in control. During the strength portions of the WOD, definitely focus on form and virtuosity rather than lifting too-heavy weights or rushing through it. Ask trainers to watch your movements before and after classes and give you pointers, too. That’s what we’re here for! Don’t be afraid to take videos of yourself and watch them later, too, to see what you can pick up on watching yourself do various exercises.
And, most of all, don’t be afraid to hit a Foundations class once in a while to break things down at a nice, slow pace and see what happens. I can say the slowed down, super-methodical 16kg TGU I did with Scott step-by-step was every bit as difficult as a normal speed 32kg one and by the end of the planks I was shaking and sweating!
Contributed by Steve Agocs, D.C., SFMA, FMT, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer