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Technique and Intensity

Technique and Intensity

Technique and intensity. Intensity is the key to positive improvements in most fitness related variables, like strength, power, speed, body composition, and conditioning. However, intensity without proper and consistent technique can cause problems that result in a vicious cycle of injury and stagnation.

Technique can be defined as the way that a task is executed. When referring to exercises, the techniques that people use to complete a task can be variable, meaning not everyone moves the same way.

However, there are certain aspects that are important to completing the task in the most efficient, effective, and safe way possible. We call these “points of performance.” Points of performance revolve around body positions, ranges of motion, and movement sequencing and timing. Coaches can certainly help with these points because a constant reminder can only help to solidify the memory of these techniques.

Points of performance revolve around body positions, ranges of motion, and movement sequencing and timing.

It will take time for some to fully understand and execute the points of performance of the exercises you learn. Right now, you may not have the mobility, flexibility, strength, stability, or coordination to do these things well.

It’s not about where you start, it’s about making consistent progress towards mastery of the exercises and skills in the program.

Intensity is what we’re ultimately pursuing in our workouts. We want to use more challenging loads, move faster, and utilize more complex and demanding skills. This is the way to trigger adaptations in the body that are favorable and result in improvements in fitness.

If intensity is the goal, how do you know when it’s time to start pushing yourself? 

  1. Proper Technique: achieving the points of performance, moving efficiently and safely
  2. Consistency of Technique: you can maintain your technique even in the presence of fatigue or during multiple reps

At some point in any fitness program, you may hit a period of stagnation, or plateau, where it’s hard to continue to make improvements. There are many reasons that this happens, including but not limited to:

  1. Inefficiencies in movement patterns
  2. Reaching the limits of genetic potential
  3. Working too hard (overtraining)
  4. Not working hard enough
  5. Poor recovery or nutrition

Don’t worry if you are struggling with many of the movements now, you can still achieve high intensity using simple exercises and some of the other tools in the gym or at home.