These three words, in this order, are the foundation of the CrossFit charter. Any attempt to move past one stage without completing the previous is a misapplication of the CrossFit methodology. Freak accidents do happen, and healthy and fit people do get injured but I believe most of the bad experiences people have with CrossFit are a result of deviation from this tenet.
What does this mean in a practical sense?
First, a foundation of sound, safe movement patterns is our priority. Can you squat below parallel with good balance, a neutral spine, and knees tracking in line with your toes? Can you hinge at the hips, set your back in a stable neutral position, brace your abs and lift a bar off the floor? Check and check? Mechanics are good.
Step two. Can you do these things repeatedly with the same proper mechanics? You don’t want a 50% foul shooter on your basketball team the same way I don’t want a 50% correct squatter or deadlifter in my gym. You need to practice, deliberately and mindfully, until the patterns stick. And then you practice some more. These are basic human movements that don’t just exist in the gym, you’ll do them every day for the rest of your life.
Step three. Once you’ve demonstrated proper mechanics, and consistency with those mechanics, can you maintain them when you’re tired? Once you’ve reached this step, I know you are good when you’re fresh. I know you can do a perfect air squat. I know you can do a perfect deadlift. But can you do 50 perfect air squats after running a quarter mile? Can you lift 225lbs off the floor safely after doing a set of 21 handstand push-ups? If the answer to any these questions is no, then you might need to go back to step 1.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”