Is Technique the Most Important Part of Barbell Training?
Last week I was privileged enough to appear on a local radio show and I was asked if I felt technique was the most important part of barbell training. The answer I gave may surprise you, much like it surprised the host of the show.
I answered that it isn't as important as you may think. Now, allow me to explain myself a bit before your start lighting torches and grabbing your pitchforks. In the limited time, I had to explain myself on air I mentioned that not every rep of every set is going to be perfect and that as long as things are consistent and the load is light enough you can continue to increase your loading.
This is even more true for the novice lifter. Depending on how good of a "mover" someone is it takes quite a while to even be somewhat decent at lifting. Some people pick it up really fast and these are the lucky ones, for the rest of us (myself included) it takes time and a lot of effort to become even kind of good at it.
There is a time to hold loading the same for technical issues and there is a time to reduce load. The latter usually when someone begins a program too heavy or has been lifting incorrectly for a while. If the starting load was properly determined and the trainee is being monitored even poor movement based upon a comparison to a model can still be safe and improved with increased loading.
As the trainee becomes stronger and the movement pattern becomes more ingrained the movement execution will improve. As more global issues in technical execution are addressed by the coach and the coaching method then more specific areas can be improved with the end result being a pretty damn efficient lift. Even as the trainee becomes better at lifting there will still be deviations from what is considered perfect and this is normal and to be expected.
With proper loading and progressions and trainee monitoring poor lift execution is still safe and a normal part of learning to lift.