When it comes to “effort” in skill training, it seems that less is more.
Athletes who compete in CrossFit often thrive on giving full effort. They enjoy the process of pushing themselves – and they also believe that, unless they’ve given everything they had in a session – that they did not maximize their time on the gym floor.
In skill acquisition, however, full effort is not necessarily full victory.
In fact, many athletes need to learn to relax as they perform skills like muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, and barbell cycling. Being too tense during workouts with high volumes of these kinds of movements is one of the easiest ways to get really, really tired.
It can be challenging for folks to take a step back and work on improving the quality of their movement through consistent, low intensity practice – and it can also be difficult for them to work on movement in an unstructured “play” type environment without prescribed reps and sets.
On this episode of the Legion podcast, Todd, Jon & Luke discuss the process of skill acquisition in CrossFit athletes:
- Why it’s dangerous to think that you’ve “graduated” past skill work
- The difference between purposefully training movement quality in a fatigued state vs attempting to acquire and improve skills
- The intuitive capacity of the best to correctly select an appropriate movement strategy for a specific demand – and why the rest of us need to work harder at this skill
- The value of unstructured skill work – and why this is so difficult to do for the archetypal CrossFit athlete