Breaking Down Technique vs. Intensity

Blog
ITF Staff
March 8, 2021

Today we are going to discuss one of the most important concepts when it comes to getting great results but also keeping you safe in the gym.

The idea revolves around two words – technique and intensity – and the principle is fairly simple. Intensity is the key to positive improvements in most fitness related variables, like strength, power, speed, body composition, and conditioning. However, intensity without proper and consistent technique can cause problems that result in a vicious cycle of injury and stagnation.

Intensity

Technique can be defined as the way that a task is executed. When referring to exercises, the techniques that people use to complete a task can be variable, meaning not everyone moves the same way.

However, there are certain aspects that are important to completing the task in the most efficient, effective, and safe way possible. We call these “points of performance.” Points of performance revolve around body positions, ranges of motion, and movement sequencing and timing. As you go through the program, you will be taught these points of performance and constantly reminded of them as you perform these exercises in workouts.

Points of performance revolve around body positions, ranges of motion, and movement sequencing and timing.

It will take some time for you to fully understand and execute the points of performance of the exercises you learn in this program. Right now, you may not have the mobility, flexibility, strength, stability, or coordination to do these things well.

(And that’s ok!) It’s not about where you start, it’s about making consistent progress towards mastery of the exercises and skills in the program. It is our hope and your coach’s job to make sure that you are performing the exercises well before moving up to a higher intensity.

Intensity is what we’re ultimately pursuing in our workouts. We want to use more challenging loads, move faster, and utilize more complex and demanding skills. This is the way to trigger adaptations in the body that are favorable and result in improvements in fitness.

Tracking the improvements in the scores of your workouts and the advancement of your exercise selection is emphasized in our program not for the sole purpose of friendly competition with your peers, but to also show your progress.

If intensity is the goal, how do you know when it’s time to start pushing yourself? Let your coaches be your guide as you become a student of movement. The things your coaches are looking for are:

  1. Proper Technique: achieving the points of performance, moving efficiently and safely
  2. Consistency of Technique: you can maintain your technique even in the presence of fatigue or during multiple reps

Once you are being successful with proper and consistent technique, your coach will encourage you to increase intensity. Don’t worry if you are struggling with many of the movements now, we can still achieve high intensity using simple exercises and some of the other tools in the gym.

At some point in any fitness program, you may hit a period of stagnation, or plateau, where it’s hard to continue to make improvements. There are many reasons that this happens, including but not limited to:

  1. Inefficiencies in movement patterns
  2. Reaching the limits of genetic potential
  3. Working too hard (overtraining)
  4. Not working hard enough
  5. Poor recovery or nutrition

If you experience this down the road, consult with your coach to determine the best course of action to continue progressing forward. Until next time, enjoy your fitness journey through the Tribe program!

ITF Staff

Our coaches love to share insider information with you! From fitness tips to nutritional guidance, Iron Tribe coaches are here to help you become the best version of yourself.