Form vs. Intensity

“Do you want me to meet you on time or at the right place?”


Do I want you to have perfect form or intensity?  Absolutely, yes!

How much power you are able to generate in a particular movement or workout determines how intense it is, whether you’re doing a near-max lift or something for time.  And we all know that intensity is the thing that provides us the best results. But increasing the intensity tends to decrease our form.

To a certain extent, this is perfectly okay.  We have to acknowledge that we can’t have perfect form and still maintain heavy loads and short times.  And practicing the movements in less than perfect conditions provides positive physiological responses and better prepares you for tasks you may have to do in the real world.

However, there comes a point when the combination of intensity and fatigue destroys your form past the point where it’s safe.  Once we find ourselves in this situation, we can get injured easily.  The trick is for you to find the perfect balance between intensity and form.  If you’re constantly doing the movements with perfect form, you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough.  But if your form is really bad, it will slow you down, retard your results and possibly injure you.

There are several things you can do to keep yourself from getting hurt and to maximize your work efficiency and results.  First, listen to your coach.  We know what good and bad movements look like and we yell cues at you to keep you on the right track.  Second, scale the workout correctly.  This means knowing your limits (including your maxes for the common lifts!) and choosing a scaling option that will challenge you.  And finally, work on your goats (your weaknesses) .  That is, practice that stuff that you have trouble with– especially flexibility for all you dudes.

Monday’s Skill:


3 x 3 (3 sets by 3 reps using about 85% of your 1 rep max)

Workout of the Day (WOD):

Tabata Something Else

For max total reps:

Tabata pull-ups

Tabata push-ups

Tabata sit-ups

Tabata squats

Post scores to comments

Various scaling options for pull-ups on display.

12:30 getting in a round of push-ups.



3 responses to “Form vs. Intensity

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