Efficient Intensity

One of the hardest things to do in a Crossfit workout is to maintain good positioning when going fast.  In other words, stay efficient with intensity.  Add fatigue to that and it's even harder.  Efficiency refers to the amount of energy expended to accomplish the task, i.e. efficient movement = less energy expenditure.  In Crossfit we equate good technique with being efficient.  There is a lot in this, but generally it has to do with positioning.
      A very important position we've focused on a lot is the dip position of the shoulder to overhead movements, in this case the push press.  It's an easy one to understand but very tough to do, especially in a workout going fast while fatigued.  

In the following photo Shari shows a great set up position with a nice shelf for the bar to rest.   



In the next photo, Shari demonstrates nicely how to keep that good position she set up in.  The bar has not drifted forward at all.  Because she kept an upright torso in the dip, the bar traveled down in a straight line.  Now she is in a perfect spot to generate all that power out of the dip through her legs, hopefully sending the bar right back up in a straight line overhead!


They teach at the Crossfit Level 1 Certifications (at least they used to...) that your technique must be consistent before intensity.  How that can be applied here is that once you've established a stable pattern of good push press technique/positioning (weight back in the heels through the dip, chest up, good bar path, knees out etc.), if desired, you can ramp up the intensity (increase intensity by doing more work in less time) by performing the movement faster.  When moving at a fast pace, the room for error is tiny.  Everything has to work in perfect harmony in order for the movement to be efficient   Any little slip up in any of the points we've talked about and the movement loses its efficiency.  Teetering that line between intesity and efficiency is no easy task and is a big part of what makes the best Crossfitters the best.

 Annie has been called by many respected Crossfit coaches and athletes the most efficient female Crossfit athlete there is.  To be honest, at her size she doesn't have much choice.  The following video shows Annie working beautifully fast and stable through her push presses.  There is a lot to admire about her movement, but take a look at the bar path.  The bar comes down and goes up in the exact same spot for almost every rep.  
      But, like we said, teetering that line between intensity and efficiency is extremely difficult.  Notice on her 9th rep how she comes forward just a tad in the dip (her heels come up slightly) causing the bar to drift forward as she goes overhead.  Inevitably once that happens the body follows the weight and you see her pop forward.  That rep she lost her efficiency, meaning more energy was spent to accomplish the same range of motion.  14 out of 15 is really good though, I think we'd all agree she moved with efficient intensity?!


200m run
21 Push Press (95/135#)
21 DB Lunge (35/45#)
21 Burpee Box Jump (20/24in)
200m run
60s rest
200m run
15 Push Press
15 DB Lunge
15 Burpee Box Jump
200m run
60s rest
200m run
9 Push Press
9 DB Lunge
9 Burpee Box Jump
200m run