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"Smooth is Fast, Fast is smooth"

A fellow crossfitter related an analogy used a recent Level 1 certification to describe how one must work hard, when performing a prescribed exercise, but with good form.  The analogy used was shooting at a target and how shooting too fast without proper technique will result in a poor performance–not hitting the target.

We're going to expand on that theme using the principles and terminology of combat shooting.  There is a derogatory label for shooters who, because of the stress of having to shoot, try to put as many bullets as possible toward a target with little or no technique used, hoping to hit it.  "Hope" is not a strategy.   It's called "spray and pray".  The shooter sprays rounds down range and prays that the target is hit.  Spray and Pray is usually done when speed is the sole factor focused on by the shooter, a shooter who has not practiced good technique consistently or allows the stress of the event to override technique.

Is speed useful in a fight?  Of course, but in a gunfight the bullets that don't find the target, regardless of how quick the shooter got his gun out, up and pulled the trigger, don't amount to being effective.  Fast misses produce negative results.  You cannot miss fast enough to win the fight.

Similarly, the crossfitter who places all emphasis on the clock and not technique will move fast, but will have negative results as poorly executed movements will not count or worse, result in poor development or injury.  A crossfitter shooting for a record breaking "Fran" time who, in trying to shave seconds, doesn't go chin above the bar, doesn't come to full arm extension at the bottom of the pull-up or doesn't finish the thruster over head may go very fast but his performance will not count and his strength development will be compromised.

Another factor is allowing ego to interfere.  Lifting a weight that is too heavy for one to lift with consistent good form will cause performance to suffer.  Lighten the load until it can be handled throughout the workout with good form.

Then we have the shooter who has pretty good technique, but cannot "clear leather"–get the gun out of the holster with any speed, is slow to bring the gun on target and slow to pull the trigger.  This shooter is very deliberate and often analyzes each segment of movement prior to or as the movement is executed.  It's natural for the shooter to learn this way.  The learning stage will be deliberate and analyzation will occur.  The problem is they stay in this stage.  They analyze as they seek perfection meanwhile bullets are coming at them thanks to the bad guy who didn't feel it necessary to give his actions must thought.  All the perfection in the world will not help the shooter if the guy shooting at him is on target and decides to engage in in-depth evaluation when the gunfight is over.

The crossfitter who has the technique down, but insists on analyzing every segment anyway to the detriment of not pushing their limit will be slow to increase the intensity of the workout.  Staying at the same intensity will stagnate development.  "Analysis causes paralysis", as someone once said.  Not pushing the intensity level will impede performance.  The crossfitter with good technique, but resulting in the same times and weights for specific workouts is not increasing the intensity.  Increased intensity with good technique results in constantly improved fitness and performance.

Which brings us to shooter number three.  This shooter has good technique and this shooter can move fast.  This shooter doesn't dwell on every nuance of the technique because he knows that he has practiced it perfectly.  He has received good coaching, analyzed the movement in the beginning and worked on it to the point that it no longer needs to be pondered in order to perform it.  This shooter has also worked on the speed and intensity with a steadily increased consistency.  He can "clear leather", bring the firearm up to target and pull the trigger quickly, but not so quickly that technique is flawed.  This shooter knows that "smooth is fast, fast is smooth".  This shooter wins gunfights because he/she is as close to the perfect blend of speed and technique as one could hope for.  Upon the realization that they're has to be a shooting the gun is brought out quickly AND the bullets HIT their target accurately.  Intensity and accuracy wins the day.

This crossfitter has learned technique in stages and with weight that can be handled easily enough to execute properly.  The stages of movement are improved and weight was increased as the crossfitter adapted.  Once technique was learned safely with proper execution intensity was increased.  Proper execution is emphasized over increased intensity.  Not focusing only on the clock or only on the weight used, technique becomes part of the fiber of that crossfitters being.  Then the crossfitter is pushed, on a steady basis, by himself/herself or by a coach.  This crossfitter is constantly improving and knows that "smooth is fast and fast is smooth".  This crossfitter "wins" because they are the as close to a perfect blend of intensity and technique as one could hope for.  Every rep counts and they push themselves to the edge of their potential.

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