With the Open coming up and thanks to the billion local competitions happening, a question often asked in class is “what’s the standard for this movement?” In events, like the Open, movement standards are used to define the prescribed task and to standardise the tasks to ensure that all participants are subject to the same requirements. All sports have standards; out of bounds lines, scoring positions, infringements, etc. And it’s all for the same purpose–to create a level playing field.
What we do in class, however, is not a sport. It’s training. One of the reasons you participate in a sport, like the Open, is to test the fitness you’ve developed in training. Therefore, there are no standards in training.
Before you take that and run (a bigger) riot in class, that does not mean you’re free to do whatever floats your boat in training. We teach you particular positions in training because they are the safest positions that will also yield the best results quickly. We spend most of our time in those fundamental positions, such as feet shoulder width in the squat, and when we’ve developed consistently good mechanics with intensity we freestyle it by playing with positions to suit the workout while increasing our skill level. We also drill good range of motion (RoM) in training because it pertains to improving your fitness.
So if we had to use phrases to define the difference, there are competition standards versus movement in training. What you should recognise is that consistently good movement in training naturally gives you high competition standards.
To go back to what we do in training, testing forms a part of evaluating training progress. When we do fitness testing in sessions, we do use some standards to ensure that you have a consistent and measurable baseline to track changes against.
In training, focus on consistently good positions. If you enter a competition, adhere to the movement standards to avoid no-reps. In training, there are no no-reps (unless we’re testing fitness ;-)).