I was asked earlier today which matters more – technique or intensity? As they were only just learning, they find many of the exercises challenging for both variables. So is it just a case of pushing through until both fitness and technique improve?
I thought that was a great question and like all things fitness, it isn’t as complicated as a lot of people like to make it. It really is just moving.
To answer the question though, I would have to put technique first for the simple reason that proper technique is usually pain free, indicates if there is a structural problem when it can’t be done and lets you compare apples to apples.
What’s all that mean?
Well, lets take the squat. If your squat hurts your knees lets look at the form. Usually the knees will be shooting forward and there will be little glute activation and a whole lot of weight distribution over the toes. While there is a place for that sort of thing with hindu squats and sissy squats and stuff, the actual natural most efficient movement for squatting is a lot different. The weight over the heels, knees torqued out, shins more vertical. So if this person thought they couldn’t squat because they were too old and their knees hurt, maybe it’s just technique.
If the technique cannot be done correctly after proper instruction, then maybe the body isn’t working right. So not being able to squat right could be tight calves, or hamstring or weak jacked up external rotators. These are things that should be looked at before the person tries something explosive like sprinting and blows the ass out of their engines.
Lastly or at least the last reason I feel like talking about right now is comparison of apples to apples. In other words, when the technique stays the same always there is a metric to measure improvement or lack thereof. If your form always changes especially under intensity you never know exactly where you are capacity wise. One week you half squat the next week it’s ass to grass squats. You can’t compare those two exercise numbers on time to completion of reps or weight used because of stroke distance (that’s what she said.)
Having said that, if you go hard with intensity, you will still see results if you don’t explode into a pink mist before you reach your goals.