Deliberate practice for CrossFit

Gepubliceerd op 20 juli 2020 om 14:32

Deliberate practice is the practice of doing mindful repetitions with a specific purpose. Every rep is done with a specific intention to a specific goal. It is the opposite of regular mindless practise, where you would do reps without any intent and hoping that it will eventually pay off.


The intention is important for adaptation if we want to increase speed, we should do reps with a lightweight and move it as fast as possible. Most times, the weights used with these kinds of training is similar to weights used during warm-ups. But the intent makes the difference. 


While with the warm-up, the intent is to loosen the body, promote blood flow and change the body from work mode to train mode. The intent op the speed exercises is to recruit more motor units and move the weight as fast as possible. The response will be dictated upon the intent+modality+the individuals capacity. The weight is the same but the response it different due to the intent being different.


For deliberate practise to effectively take place, one should know his or her capabilities and choose the right equipment. Why? because if we want to intentionally become faster at squatting and we put 100 kgs on the bar while the 1RM is at 90 kgs it will not happen. Maybe the intent of moving the weight as fast as possible is present, the modality and the individual’s capabilities do not match up. The individual would need to move the bar faster in order to gain (absolute) speed adaptations (+1.4 m/s). So if an individual needs and wants to gain speed they should train speed. If they know they need speed and they know what they need to do for it then they can include deliberate practice. 


They believe in the exercise and drills making them faster, they know that the speed needs to be high, they know when to switch up the weight. Believing is an important piece of the puzzle, if you don´t believe that your training is making you better then you are in a bad place. Training should make you better at what you want to get better at through doing exercises that improve performance in areas that need improvement.

The takeaway, always ask yourself: WHY? Why am i doing this exercise, why am i prioritizing strict gymnastics over kipping gymnastics, why am i prioritizing short CrossFit WODs over longer CrossFit WODs, etc. You should almost always have a why to your training day.

David Scharff

Crossfit athlete/coach

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