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Old 02-12-2017, 01:35 AM   #1
Sean J Hunter
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Quality of Movement - Where to draw the line?

We've been having a bit of a discussion among CF friends and such, regarding where the line might be drawn on the pursuit of quality movement patterns.
There must be a rule of deminishing returns here, surely?

The way I view it is this.
There are three levels of movement priorities

Priority 1 - Immediate safety. (avoiding acute injuries i.e. learning to set the back during Deadlift)
Priority 2 - Long-term safety. (mitigating poor movement patterns that may cause chronic injury over time)
Priority 3 - Economy of movement. (Movement patterns that if not optimal, do not pose any injury risk, but if worked on merely improve economy of movement.)


It goes without saying that Group 1 must be dialled in immediately for any new athlete

Whereas group 2 a coach may have a little time to really dial these correct movement patterns in, but of course it shouldnt be left too long.

For me the real debate comes to group 3.
If we assume that a specific group of athlete have no, and never will have, and desire to compete, and who's goals are simply health and wellness. At what point is pushing super high quality movement that has no injury / safety aspect a poor return on investment.

CrossFit seems to push a quality of movement that is perhaps higher than necessary, at least for non-competitive-goal types?

What am I missing here? Perhaps I'm looking at this incorrectly?

Thoughts welcome

Sean
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:05 AM   #2
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Quality of Movement - Where to draw the line?

I believe an athlete can master a movement to the point there is little or no value in invest much time in getting better.

An example would be Chris Spealler at the top of his competitive career probably shouldn't put much time into getting better at #95 thrusters. He was so close to the theoretical speed limit of the movement and could do huge sets unbroken.

This doesn't mean he shouldn't do Fran when it is programmed in his training. As soon as someone stops something capacity starts to decline.

What it does mean is the highest value training for him was trying to get stronger. That is where there was the most room for improvement. This is what he did.

Understand 99% of us have plenty of room for improvement in almost everything.
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Old 02-13-2017, 05:26 PM   #3
Sean J Hunter
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Re: Quality of Movement - Where to draw the line?

Thanks for the reply Brendan, always appreciate your input.

You speak of athletes (those persuing compertition).

What about those simply wanting to persue health / wellness.

Would you agree with my 3 priorty model, or do you think I'm perhaps looking at it incorrectly or missing a variable?

Surely there is a point of deminishing return on my priority 3, where good enough is good enough. If so where is that line, and does CrossFit push it becuasr they also cater to athletes and non athletes.

Thanks for your time.

S
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:49 AM   #4
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Quality of Movement - Where to draw the line?

I use competitors because they represent one end of the bell curve.

The other end might be represented by an unskilled unfit person.

My practical experience running a gym is non competitors don't train more than 5 1 hour classes a week, most only 3 or 4 hours a week.

At 3 to 5 hours a week everyone has lots of room for improvement even after 10 years.

My other experience is I started CrossFit at age 42, I'm now 49. Flaws in movement patterns are now presenting themselves as injuries.

I'm recovering from a small tear in a shoulder tendon as a result of poor scapular mobility during a lot of kipping pull-ups.

Prior to the injury most people would have said I had good shoulder mobility for a guy who is 49, 5'11", 205 and spends all day at a desk.

Remember I'm a L2 currently studying to take my L3 this Spring. Despite this I'm going back to square 1 to rebuild my shoulder movement and stability. I had to go to Power Monkey to find what I needed.

Being good at 20 is easy, being good at 50 is a whole different story. If we are really as good as we pretend to be then someone who starts with us at 20 needs to be functioning well at 50. How many coaches and gyms you think are good enough to accomplish this seeing someone 3 to 5 hours a week? I would argue few.

Of course here in lies the business opportunity.

If you haven't done so see if the administrators will allow you into our CrossFit Masters Facebook group. Avoiding, treating and recovering from injuries is a big subject all the time.

We don't think CrossFit is dangerous, most believe despite an injury we are better off then our peers as a result of our involvement in CrossFit.

Sort of rambling this morning. Only had 1 cup of coffee so far......
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:54 AM   #5
Alex Burden
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Re: Quality of Movement - Where to draw the line?

Interesting subject.... i am a firm believer in quality over quantity.

I think you can look at this is 2 ways, 1= limited range of motion/mobility or plain and simple 2= really bad technique.

Being young or old, new at CF or not if you have limited range of motion/mobility the person will and should still perform the movement to the best of their capabilities to the exact point where their technique starts to fail.
Over time that failure point will move and the athlete will become better and better to the point where they will not become any better, this may be due to the fact they have perfected it or they have physical problems/limitations that just do not allow them to do it 100% correctly maybe 80%, but those 80% should be as good, as solid and as correct as possible.

To me these are the people that give everything they have to acheive thier goal and do as best they can. These are the ones that will be around at the final whistle.

Now on the other side of things we have those that have full range of motion but they have really bad techinque or perform movements really badly. Now its not as if they do not know how to perform the movements correctly it comes down to their lack of interest or they are just trying to beat the clock all of the time and this comes at a cost.... everything falls apart.

These are the ones that will get hurt and are more likely to drop off in the end.

I think both of your higest priorities are to give these people a longer healthier life and the only way is to look at quality. It also means explaining to those you instruct what your qualities are and how you work. You need to explain to them that this is a long term thing and quality comes before quality. If you can't perform it to 100% you scale it, if you have mobility issues or other physical issue we will work with what we have but never jeperdize thier safety or the true form of any movement.

As soon as anyone lose the basic fundamentals of movments and how to perform them then other muscles, ligaments, joints, tendens start to take over to make up for that funny looking movment they are trying to perform. In the end this results in injury. If they are injured they are not going to workout, if they do not workout you might be losing income to your box.

If people want to sweat and feel as if they have worked out then stick them on the rower or assault bike, mixed with simple movements at the end of the sessions.

I workout at a globo but we have full Eleiko CF section, both my wife an I see the same thing day in and day out.... a personal trainer not looking at the movments or techinique, just concentrating on the quantity as their clients want to sweat. The trouble is that so many of them have strains, or bad shoulders or something else going on and these people are supposed to help them get fitter, but it should never be at the cost of the client.

Only the wife and I actually train CF at our gym in the morning and so allot people look at us through the windows and sometimes a few of them will try to copy something we have done or a specific movment... then when they try it we can see that they are thinking s%t... this is harder than i thought or they are thinking this was not that bad, but their technique is so bad on the verge to horrendus. The wife an I may spend months or up to a year to perfect something but once we have it we will never lose it.

That is probarbly why we are hardly ever have any injuries, a niggle here and there and muscle soreness or one thing but never injured and never any Bro reps.

That is why quality is always your focus.


All that after an egg, protien drink and my morning sandwich , oh and i'm 47 @218lbs and the wife is 48, weight undisclosed
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:35 PM   #6
Chris Sinagoga
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Re: Quality of Movement - Where to draw the line?

I can honestly say it has been a long, loooooong time since I heard someone say that CrossFit's quality standards are too strict. I like the perspective, it's usually the opposite.

I actually gave a presentation at Michigan State last weekend in front of 200+ football strength coaches about the same topic. They're long videos, but check them out if you want.
https://youtu.be/L8bsmvRSJmo
https://youtu.be/utvDgUFOYj4
(both links are w/f safe, I come in around the 7 min. mark on the first one)

In the end, there are a ton of different expressions of CrossFit, and each make their own movement standards. Our Affiliate has the highest standards of movement I've seen in person, but I'm biased obviously! We also train mostly younger kids, so movement quality is even more important. As long as you know the purpose behind your training, set whatever standards you need to meet that. But, like I said in the video, there are really three that must be kept to at all times: Midline Stability, Loading Order, and Laws of Torque.

Brendan, I used you for our Quote of the Week if that's okay. I gave you credit!
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:39 PM   #7
Victor J McQuaide
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Re: Quality of Movement - Where to draw the line?

Its really hard to watch peeps doing super bad form. I go up to the person and give them hints on what to work on, points to think on and most often if they are looking to be better they learn and thank me. But that has to be an approachable person. If you tell the person 3 times the same thing and they don't listen that is my limits. Some people just don't care or just want to do their own thing.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:32 AM   #8
Dustin Twiggs
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Re: Quality of Movement - Where to draw the line?

What I found while coaching is that 99% of my athletes (both those who wanted to compete, and those who just wanted to be more fit humans, really appreciated every single coaching cue I'd give them. sometimes you see someone who is functional and seemingly happy with where they are so you may not feel inclined to take them to that next level, but what I found was that they counted on coaches to continually give them advice.

Maybe it was a 46yr old stay at home mom who was using crossfit as a way to become more fit for horseback riding (real life example). She never wanted to compete in crossfit, but she still had an inherent commitment to quality, herself.

She may have already had objectives 1 and 2 down just fine, but really wanted 3 as well. She may not vocalize it but she wanted the coaching, that's why she came to a gym with coaches. she wanted to improve and she wanted constant improvement.

I saw this over and over with many athletes from all walks of life. Those pursuing a career in crossfit as well as those who just wanted to be healthier. they all wanted to improve their skills and capacity.

I used to sort of survey my athletes while coaching them to get a vibe for the level of coaching they sought. if they were safe and functional, did they still want me to nit pick as little details to help give them that extra 1/2% improvement per week? well 9 times out of 10 the answer was yes. The only people who I have met who did not want continued coaching were those were already "knew it all".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Burden View Post
I think both of your higest priorities are to give these people a longer healthier life and the only way is to look at quality. It also means explaining to those you instruct what your qualities are and how you work. You need to explain to them that this is a long term thing and quality comes before quality. If you can't perform it to 100% you scale it, if you have mobility issues or other physical issue we will work with what we have but never jeperdize thier safety or the true form of any movement.
This was my first thought as well. I was thinking of all of those individuals who come into a box and learn the majority of their barbell movements for the first time, ever, in a crossfit box. Training them correct form is something they can take for the rest of their lives no matter where they go. Be it to another box on vacation, or a different gym entirely some day when life dictates they migrate on. Giving them the best possible training is giving them a gift for life.

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Originally Posted by Chris Sinagoga View Post
I can honestly say it has been a long, loooooong time since I heard someone say that CrossFit's quality standards are too strict. I like the perspective, it's usually the opposite.
Ditto
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