Repeat after me “The goal of training today is…to be able to train again tomorrow! Not to be so sore I can’t sit on the toilet for a week.”
Mechanics: The prescription is simple. Mechanics, consistency THEN intensity. They are all important but need to be applied with more or less priority based on the development of the athlete. Day one CrossFitter and CrossFit Games athletes alike should be mechanics, mechanics and more mechanics. Regardless of what is being taught refining movement should be the main purpose and goal.
Consistency: Once the athlete is moving well squatting, deadlifting and pressing we continue to hone these skills and movements 3-5 times per week. with this athlete and that covers our consistency piece of the puzzle. IF and only IF we get to this point can we add intensity. Now that is not to say that we are not slowly ramping the athlete up as we go but it is the final variable in the equation not the first. Consistency is critical. Training consistent over time well will set the stage for tremendous success or failure when adding intensity next. Consistently good movement will create amazing progress but consistently poor movement will promote injuries and imbalances.
Intensity: Intensity is important. If you complete every single training session never revving your metabolic engine over a 2 or 3 on a scale of 10 then you will not achieve your goals. However, conversely if you come into the gym and go completely bonkers on every WOD with no accounting for position or mechanics you will be broken in a matter of months. Controlling your level of intensity is critical for maximum success and will also allow you as an athlete to know your body. When to push hard and when to back off a bit. The goal is always to refine the movement and add intensity once the movement is acceptable. That is sliding scale. Just because you are squatting awesome on Monday does not mean that Thursday will be the same story. Knowing how and when to apply mental intensity to work hard on movement and not just blasting through a workout to get the best score on the whiteboard.
Everything we do needs to be sustainable. If it is not then we will be working against our goals instead of towards them. Remember this is not a quick fix and the results of training the right way will be astounding but it is a long term lifestyle change not a crash diet or fad. Remember this equation every day you train. Mechanics, Consistency THEN Intensity. This will keep you progressing at a solid rate of sustainable growth and avoid injury and setbacks both physical and mental.