January 01, 2008
Strength, as an isolated quality, can be defined and measured as the biological contractile potential of muscle--as how hard your muscles can contract to apply force. But from our perspective, Coach Glassman explains in this lecture excerpt, that is an incomplete definition and an isolated measure that doesn't really reveal much about its application to real-world functionality (just as VO2 max measurements alone tell us little about a person's capacity and athleticism).
True, useful strength is not merely the muscles' ability to generate force but a body's ability to productively apply that force.
The missing link in so much mainstream fitness programming, from bodybuilding to monostructural endeavors, is the neuromuscular piece--in particular, the development of coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance. We can sum these elements up as "technique." Omitting them from one's training necessarily results in only partial fitness, partial expression of one's genetic potential, and a decreased threshold of maximal capacity. To increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains (the goal of CrossFit), technique is the crucial connection--whether your goal is to win the game, protect your life, complete the mission, or just be fit for the demands of everyday life at any age.