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  • Sam Dennis

How Much Does Technique Matter?

It's a fairly common phrase to hear people say these days... 'it's all about technique!'

While this is true to some degree, it also can be a road block for others. It is true that the technical side of lifting weights & moving is important, but on the flip side, your body is incredibly good at adapting to stress!

One of the latest trends I'm seeing is people believing that every single rep in a set should be the same, and while the intention behind this is good, it's also not realistic and often creates an unnecessary block to progress.

One example that jumps to mind is clients I have had in the past that were so hyper-focused on perfecting their form, that they never actually pushed themselves hard enough to make any progress.

When Does Technique Matter

Technique is always a factor, it's never irrelevant. The biggest implication of technique is intent. Are you training what you actually want to train? Are you getting the outcome you want from that exercise?

Performing a bicep curl and feeling it in your abs is likely a technical issue, and should be resolved. Intent is everything.

When training anyone new (0-1yrs) to training, starting with a technical focus and building motor patterns is the best way to go. There are ways to stress the body and still maintain good technique such as tempo, assisted reps, exercise selection, rest periods etc.

So as a general rule, the shorter someones training history, the more technique matters.

When Does It Not Matter As Much

Again, technique is always a consideration. However, as an individuals training age grows, so too should their awareness of how their body moves & feels during any given set or rep. This is called kinaesthetic awareness. The key to this puzzle is knowing that the body adapts to stress well. For example, if your 3rd deadlift set felt a little strenuous in your back, a less-trained individual might strip the weight back to assess their movement pattern, whereas a more experienced individual will either adjust on the fly, or simply accept that a few reps were not a good as they could have been, but that's no reason to stop pushing themselves and making progress.

Why? Because the body will adapt to the stress placed on it. As long as the stress or load is not too much.

So to summarise, yes, technique matters. BUT, not every rep will be the same and never pushing yourself outside of 'perfect technique' will result in less progress.

- Sam

Co-Owner & Coach

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