Slow is Smooth

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Those of you I have had the pleasure of coaching have heard me say this several times, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”  I have come to really love this line and use it with my own training as much as possible.  But, what exactly does this mean?

The saying is used often in the military – “moving too fast or rushing things can be life threatening to soldiers, but moving carefully and deliberately is really moving as fast as you can without increasing the risk on your own life.”   Slow doesn’t always mean ‘slow’ in the literal sense of the word.  In the case of moving well and being efficient slow means moving as fast as you can while still being smooth.  Smooth is controlled and swift and that equals FAST!

With the anticipation of the Open workouts (or any workout for that matter) getting your heart racing and palms clammy, you have to force yourself to keep calm and maintain your composure.  I want to take the above statement “slow is smooth and smooth is fast” and apply it to controlling your workouts in a couple of ways.  

Heart Rate & Breathing
My first recommendation in helping you maintain your composure in your workouts is through heart rate and breathing.  I know this is an easier concept for some than for others.  For any sport that exists we can say that the best make it look so easy.  For the best CrossFitters, from their first round to their last round, they seem to be moving the same and maintaining the same composure.  That’s because they are.  

Try to move as swiftly as possible while keeping your heart rate down.  This will allow you to move as fast as possible for the entirety of your workout.  If you let your heart rate skyrocket then you run the risk of hitting a wall and then not recover from it.  

Movement & Mechanics
In order for you to be successful with the first piece, you also have to be able to control your movement.  Think of your workout as a dance.  Every dance has a different song that you perform to and that dance has a different tempo, cadence and way you move to it.  It doesn’t matter if you are moving your own body or an external load; you have to find the rhythm and step.  Try to maintain almost perfect mechanics with every movement.   Make it look fluid.  Make it look easy.  

In workouts where there are double unders or plate changing involved, I continually have to remind myself that “slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”  If I keep these words in mind and maintain my composure then my double unders and transition times become a good time to catch my breath, control my heart rate and refocus.  

I don’t consider myself a great athlete nor am I that competitive.  I have had to work really hard for the gains I have made and have come a long way in the six years I have been a CrossFit athlete and coach.  I attribute most of it not to my physical ability but my mindset.  This mantra reminds me to stay calm, breathe, have fun and focus on what I am doing and not everyone and everything else around me.  

This mantra is nothing more than a conscious decision to slow down and move well.  

Continue to be great Four Barrel CrossFit!

Written By – Connie Keathley


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