Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity. It’s the way we teach all movements, not only for technique purposes but for safety too, as well as longevity of training. When sticking to the MCI of training you are able to learn the proper way to do your movements, how to do them consistently well, and able to slowly increase difficulty over time so as to not overtrain or increase the risk of injury. When an athlete is brand new to this style of training their body will take on a fair amount of shock at first before it learns how to recover and adapt. Sticking to the MCI allows time for the new athlete to get in great workouts while increasing their ability over time.
What Is MCI?
As stated above, MCI stands for Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity. When these three things are integrated into training the risk of injury goes down, the body’s ability to recover goes up, and gains/improvements can still be made at a steady pace. Aside from the obvious, reducing the risk of injury is crucial to achieving goals because it reduces the number of setbacks you may encounter. This goes hand in hand with MCI because of the “C” being consistency. So we have mechanics being your technique, consistency being frequency of good technique, but also how frequently you train, and intensity being what makes your workouts more difficult.
Mechanics are your technique. Every exercise, every movement, has certain mechanics that allow your body to perform said movement. This can be described as holding/achieving certain postures throughout a range of motion. For example, an air squat: chest up, knees out, feet flat, hips pass below the knees, and then stand to a full hip/knee extension. The chest up, knees out, and feet flat would be our posture. Passing below parallel and then standing to a full hip and knee extension is our range of motion.
Air squat mechanics have been established. Now we need consistent mechanics throughout our workout. Consistently achieving the proper mechanics of the movements is crucial to longevity and reducing injury. This consistency is not just to the end of a workout, but also to the end of a week of workouts. Alongside consistency of mechanics, we need consistency of activity. The more consistently you are active, the faster your body learns and increases its ability to recover; recovery-ability is key in making gains and improvements.
Intensity is any variation that increases the difficulty of a movement or workout. This could be a tougher movement, more weight, more reps, less rest time, etc. Continuing with the air squat example, the mechanics have been established and consistent, now to increase the intensity, so back squat will be the example. Starting with an empty bar, the mechanics are still going to need to be the same: chest up, knees out, feet flat, hips pass below the knees, and then stand to a full hip/knee extension. The difference now is there has been the added intensity of a load being a barbell. If able to maintain the proper mechanics under the empty bar, then begin to add weight. Only increase the weight if the mechanics can remain consistent to keep injury risk low, refine the movements patterns, and still make increases in performance/strength over time.