Overhead squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Front squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Back squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps

Try to increase the load on each of the fifteen sets. Have a plan.

March 2016

Ari shows the payoff of good movement patterns over time.

We’ve talked about brain plasticity before and there we learned that through repetition our brains build connections or pathways that allow us to achieve that same act with less effort the next time. Overtime, these actions become “natural” or even automatic.

Imagine a toddler learning to walk. It requires all of their attention and even then they experience a lot of mishaps. Now think of yourself walking. When we walk we’re not focusing on our steps and maintaining our balance, we’re thinking about something completely separate from the act of walking, yet we’re walking. That is one way the brain has created a pathway that is so strong that it no longer requires any of our conscious energy to achieve. Natural movement patterns are helpful in that they allow us to direct our attention elsewhere while we’re completing them but that also makes them very hard to change.

Every movement you perform, in or out of the gym, has some level of unconscious energy controlling what is going on based on how you’ve done that movement or similar versions in the past. It’s those past versions that lay the foundation for how you’ll do it today without thought. Since CrossFit came along with it’s use of functional movements many of us are finding out that movements we’ve done forever are suddenly incorrect. How the hell?!

Remember, it’s every time you’ve done a specific movement pattern that develops the unconscious pathways to repeat that movement later. When you were a baby crawling on the floor and first tried to lift your chest off the floor, that was your first pushup. Pulling yourself up to standing in the crib was your first pull-up and so on and so forth. From day one to today you’ve been building and reinforcing these movement pathways, but nobody coached you in how to walk, or pick something up, or lift it overhead, etc.

It’s very easy to fall into this idea that once we can do something, we no longer need to work on the foundations of that movement, after all, we can do the movement! But keep in mind that many of the movement patterns you have engrained over your lifetime were never at the scrutiny of a good Coach with a good eye, so you may need to go back and revisit some of the fundamentals, and they’re not going to change overnight. Start working today, really digging into the details and minutiae of the movements, and over time your old habits will be replaced with beautiful, efficient and safe movements.