Mechanics First, Then Consistency and Finally Intensity


This is the formula we follow for success in all of our programs, whether it be in KidsFit, Teen Athletics or our Adult programs.

Let me give you an example of how we’ve implemented this concept in our Barbell class. Over the past month, we have been focusing on the Split Jerk. If you’re not familiar with the movement, it is very technical and requires explosive energy to drive the bar up, speed to drop underneath it, and strength to hold it overhead.

This is a movement that doesn’t come up too often in our programming, so it’s hard to get enough time practicing quality repetitions to get really good at it.

I believe the most important aspect of the movement is the footwork performing the split. If you split correctly under the bar, the bar travels overhead and you can successfully stabilize the bar overhead for a successful lift. If you split too narrow, you can lose your balance and miss the lift. If you split by moving backward (a common fault), you’ll miss the lift in front of you.

In the past month, we’ve seen a lot of progress. We started with MECHANICS. We taped foot positions on the floor and reviewed the dip and drive. We also ensured the tape positions on the floor were in the optimal position to catch the lift (front shin vertical, rear thigh vertical with the knee on the ground in the lunge position).

We also spent the majority of each class focusing on CONSISTENCY. We began each class with 3 sets of ten performing the jerk balance (moving only the front foot) with feet only. Then we performed 3 sets of ten performing the split footwork with the feet only. Finally, we moved to 3 sets of 10 of the Jerk Balance using a very lightweight PVC. This gave the class participants time to work on footwork for nearly 100 reps.

We finally moved to a little bit of INTENSITY. After performing the footwork drills, the class was able to practice the actual Split Jerk, but were encouraged to keep the weights light so they could get a feel for Intensity, but still keep the focus on Mechanics and Consistency.

Although this example came from our Barbell class, the same goes for all of our classes. New CrossFit members begin with our OnRamp. These are four 1-1 sessions in which we use PVC pipes instead of barbells and really light dumbbells and kettlebells to learn the movements. We keep workouts short so the focus can be on perfecting the movements, yet allowing the new member to get a feel for intensity.

New members in our kettlebell class spend their first several classes learning movements, with most not using anything over an 8 kg (17#) bell. Some new members even say the class was “easy” because they spent more time learning than pushing their pace or heavy weights.

In our kids’ and teens’ classes, we start with bodyweight exercises and after they demonstrate movement proficiency, we move on to weights. Once we start with weights, we like to start with dumbbells and kettlebells due to their simplicity. Finally, we are able to move to barbells (we have barbells as light as 15# for the kids). This is the way we progress from Mechanics to Consistency to Intensity.

This formula of MechanicsConsistencyIntensity has worked well for our clients over the years. Want to see for yourself? Click here to sign up for your free intro: