Adding weight to the bar or choosing technique? What to do, what to do? This is something that I myself have struggled with at times. It’s fun to throw weight on the bar and see what we can do. Prove something to ourselves. Prove something to others? Right? Well not usually. One, this is usually an ego thing and two, when we lift a weight and know that our technique sucked, we usually walk away not feeling good about it anyway.
Your ceiling of gainz will always be limited by your technique. If your technique is always a 7 out 10, and you aren’t doing the appropriate work, at lower percentages to improve it from that 7, you will either A, never reach your potential, or B, injure yourself in the pursuit of a heavier lift. This sounds harsh but it is the cold truth. Technique gains OUTWEIGH pound gains all day every day. Technique gains are a foundation that can be built upon without fear of crumbling later. When you’re tired you can rely on your technique.
If you’ve hit a roadblock in your training and are frustrated, assess your scenario. Are you struggling with lifts involving the same movement patterns? Squats, hinges, presses, pulls? Do your training logs show gains in other areas but not in this particular lift? Take a look at those logs and find trends in the weights you’ve lifted. If you’re stuck, yet you continue on doing the same thing over and over, you are likely going to get the same result over and over. We spend too much time in our lives repeating mistakes and it’s frustrating. Don’t continue doing the same thing.
Back to the question: What to do? There are a ton of things to do. Schedule a 1-on-1 with a coach you trust. Video your lifts and compare to youtube videos of seasoned lifters. Video your lifts at various weights and work at loads prior to the inevitable technique breakdowns. Drop the weight!! Go back to the weights you lifted as a beginner which is usually where our technique broke down in the first place. Strive to lift those weights perfectly. Then elevate slowly over the course of say 4-8 weeks. After two months, you will be so stoked about where you’re at. You’ll notice more confidence and control at weights you lifted previously. Confidence in your technique means that you will know you can lift a weight, not hope.
In my CrossFit life I’ve had to dial back lifts multiple times, for 1-2 months. I’ve dialed back the deadlift numerous times, the squat twice, but most predominantly, I’ve dialed back my Olympic Weightlifting. In fact at this moment, I’m refocusing on my snatch. For the last 3 weeks I’ve practiced elementary drills, 2x a week, at no more than 75#. This is about ⅓ of my best 1 rep. This week I’m going to move up to 95#. All of this with the goal of being super confident again by November when I compete at The Legends Masters at Offshore CrossFit. It seems like a long way out but I’m certain, through experience, that when I get there it will feel like it was no time at all.