Allow me to begin by stating that this is not an attack on your dedication to being a better you. I am not insinuating that you do not care about your health and wellness. But when it comes to functional movement and CrossFit, you genuinely have to care about what, when, where and how you are doing things.
Why is that? Because it’s the only way you’ll ever see real results with all of the efforts you are putting in.
Part of our jobs as coaches is to get you to care. Any good coach who cares about your progress will have at some point mentioned this word when talking about technique: virtuosity.
This concept was born in the gymnastics world where as a young child, you are prohibited from advancing to the next level (beginning at 1 and climbing all the way to 10) until you are able to perform compulsory movements at a certain level of mastery. Everyone is doing the same movements, but the judges are looking at HOW the movements are done
CrossFit has co-opted the term to cover all forms of movement. They also make sure to not forget the importance of mastery. They define virtuosity as “doing the common, uncommonly well”
And this where the whole “caring” part comes in to play. You’re going to have to “care” about how you do things in the gym. From your basic air squat to the most complicated barbell movements, there needs to be a conscious decision to perform every single rep to the best of your abilities.
Even the ancient Greeks had this concept in play as they trained themselves for battle:
We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
Now, of course, we don’t need to take this idea as seriously as they did on the battlefield. What we do need to take away from that idea is that you’re only going to progress as far as your standards will allow. How does that play out in your workouts?
Without going through multiple examples, we can summarize with this:
If you are working with a coach who is giving you feedback on your movement and technique ask yourself this: Are you #1 making the change within that moment, but also #2 are you making sure to hold yourself to that same standard when you’re by yourself, or when a coach isn’t looking. Do you push yourself towards virtuosity in movement or do you allow yourself to “get by” with sub-optimal technique and form?
If you truly want lifelong progress with your fitness goals, try taking on the task of seeking virtuosity in everything you do within the gym. Set a standard for yourself and keep it.