This progression is so central to our training philosophy we painted it in a place everyone would see when we ran classes.
In the next few posts I’ll cover what we mean by each of these stages of progression. The theme, though, is to start with the basics. Only once you master those should you begin making them harder or doing more of them.
Over the weekend I had a discussion with a strength coach about their middle school students beginning training for high school sports. My advice was to perfect the smallest of movements. At this point weights, strength, and speed are almost irrelevant. To make them the best athletes they can be later we need to have a long sighted approach. With patience these athletes will become much stronger, faster, and injury proof than if their program demands them to immediately see how much they can lift.
This is true not simply of young kids just beginning to workout, but all athletes. When you first begin to train you have to focus on the details before you progress. This may involve healing an injury, mobility, or technique work. You may have dreams of lifting lots of weight or doing complex exercises. These can surely be a part of the plan, but unless you follow the best path the chances become smaller that you will get there.
My best advice for sticking to the progression of Mechanics → Consistency → Intensity → Volume is to find a way to love each piece. Instead of always hoping to be onto the the next stage find something to enjoy while you work on each phase. This is will help it go faster and help you get more out of each step along the way.