5 Rounds for time:
20 Deadlift, 135#(95#)
10 Chest to bar pull-ups
Post times to comments and BTWB
Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity, Oh my! As imagined by Courtney Shepherd and with the technical sounding language from Kelly Starrett
Hopefully everyone, at some point in their time at Verve, has heard about the idea of mechanics first, followed by consistency, and lastly adding in intensity. Good old MCI. But why pray tell is Mechanics first? It may be obvious to some but for those who find themselves scratching their heads and putting a good hard think on it, I would like to turn to Dr. Kelly Starrett and his book Becoming a Supple Leopard, to help answer that question.
Without actually using the words/ phrase Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity, Kelly addresses the importance of body positioning in the first few pages of his book. He starts first by saying that our bodies will take a ton of abuse for a really long time before it finally gives up the fight.
“Our bodies will put up with our silly movement and lifestyle choices because they have a freakish amount of functional tolerance built in. We shouldn’t however, make the classic error of confusing this miraculous genetic inheritance with a tacit rationalization for eating, sleeping, or moving however we please.”
We can move incorrectly, put our bodies through a ton of stress, and continue to get fit but to a point. That point is pain and injury. Kelly classifies pain and injury into four categories: 1) Pathology, 2) Catastrophic injury, 3) Overtension, and 4) Open-circuit faults. Categories #3 and #4 combined account for 98% of all pain/ injury we see in athletes. I would like to specifically address #4, Open-circuit faults, which is just a fancy way of saying “moving in bad position”. Examples of Open-circuit faults includes: rounded back, shoulders rolled forward, hyperextension of the lower back, feet turned out, head tilted up or down, and elbows flared out. Sound familiar? Possibly like positions we attempt to address and correct during our warm-ups and WODs?
“The problem is that the body will always be able to generate force, even in poor positions. This is not unlike being able to temporarily get away with driving your car with no oil in the engine or with a flat tire. Sure, you can do it, it just gets expensive.
Herein lies the problem: We have confused functionality with physiology. Positions that have served us functionally, like jumping and landing with feet like a duck’s, quickly become a liability when speed, load, or fatigue is introduced. Sure, you can lift heavy loads with a rounded back for a long, long time, but at some point your tissues will fail, resulting in some kind of injury.”
There is no magical way to fix this. This post will not provide a one sentence cure to bad positioning and henceforthly bring all future injuries to a halt. The key is to working on and mastering our technique/ mechanics, our good body position, without the load, speed, and fatigue. We must first start in good position, we can not have good movement out of bad set up. After addressing our set up then we can slowly add in the load and speed, all while still maintaining an awareness of our mechanics. When the mechanics breaks down, we need to take a step back. This step back does not equal failure, being weak, or losing out on the intensity of the WOD. This step back is designed to generate several future steps forward. As we strengthen our good set ups, we generate more force and power, and we can do more work. All good athletes hit a plateau, the really good athletes know they need to address their technique to continue to climb.
Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect permanent. Focus on the mechanics. Work to make those mechanics consistent. When the good mechanics are consistent, then let’s add in some intensity. MCI Baby, YEAH!!
*Quoted portions of this post were taken directly from Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett.