Technique vs. Load

group pvc

Where do I draw the line between the two?
Walking into any gym or CrossFit box can be an intimidating sight. Often times you find yourself walking into a packed house with a bunch of people throwing what appear to be massive amounts of weight overhead, or picking up even larger amounts of weight from the floor. We’ve all been to the point where we are flat out amazed by a lift we have seen or a number on the whiteboard when we first started.


Speaking of the whiteboard.


After crossfitting for a while and becoming a “veteran”, it is easy to get caught up in how everyone else is scoring. We see that our friendly competition has maxed out his snatch for the day and that number happens to be 20 pounds greater than yours.


So what is our first instinct?


Load that bar until we hit a lift that is greater than our counterpart regardless of how rounded our back is—right?




If we did this, we are obviously more focused on amount of weight lifted rather than technique used.


Okay okay get to your point.


The point is that many CrossFit boxes, or fitness gyms are so focused on amount of weight lifted that form and technique are often thrown out the window.


Let’s get back to that friendly competition up on the whiteboard. It may say that your counterpart out lifted you, but how are they moving?


Is their lift one that is technically sound without any hiccups or faults?


Are your lifts technically sound without any faults?  If so ignore the rest of this and continue on with your day.


For those of us who do not have the perfect lift, or the best mechanics in the world, this article is for you. The whiteboard can be a deadly thing and it can make us try to beat someone in all aspects of fitness while forgetting the fundamental aspect of CrossFit—”the fundamentals”


We must get back to the basics. Working technique and building a foundation are the most important concepts you can perfect and have a full understanding of, especially within the CrossFit community.


There’s a reason you started to snatch with a PVC pipe.


So what are the benefits to hammering technique prior to lifting heavy weights? Well for starters dialing in mechanics will prevent injury. Many of us find ourselves in the gym upwards of five times a week. Improper mechanics will surely put an end to that. Many injuries heard of within the fitness community are due to improper mechanics whether we want to believe it or not.


Stop loading the bar if you know your back is rounded!


Another benefit to perfecting your mechanics? More personal records! That’s right, chances are if your technique is dialed in and you are consistent with a program and put the effort in your PRs will not only happen more often but the jumps will be greater. Who doesn’t want that?!


So before you go loading that bar to try and beat someone else, why not take the time and better yourself, not only now, but in the long run as well. Take the time to use a PVC pipe, an empty barbell, or just running through the movement within your mind.

Trust the process.


“Build your empire on the firm foundation of the fundamentals”

— Lou Holtz