Is injury caused from a lack of skill or lack of strength?

I argue that most injuries (excluding falling off of a box or dropping a barbell on your head) come from lack of knowledge. The knowledge about your skillset and your own physical limitations.

Your priority should be to create consistent, perfect movement before adding load / intensity/ speed to your training and allow your body to get “stronger” through more training volume and skill acquisition. 

The most common reason people get injured in functional styled fitness is because they don’t follow the M.C.I formula in the correct order. 

  1. Mechanics: Learn and display the motor patterns of the fundamental movements throughout a large range of motion, at low intensities so that you can learn and develop your thresholds. 
  1. Consistency: Consistently be able to repeat the movement with control and technique. Ideally there should be a beginner phase where you incorporate tempo, eccentrics and pauses for all movements to help solidify your control and stability. 
  1. Intensity: Once you have shown that you can consistently hit perfect reps every time, you can now start to “Progressively” overload your intensity with small/ manageable jumps.

But here’s the kicker. Rather than going straight for the extra plates, consider utilising the most beneficial variable, time under tension. I.e. Slow down your reps and create added stimulus, rather than actual load/weight as you’ll see an increase in both performance and body composition markers.

So how does this apply to you personally? If you have gotten this far through this blog you are obviously an avid athlete and care about how to increase your performance and stay pain-free. Kudos to you. 

Look at every single exercise you can perform and grade it with the MCI formula. 

Mechanics – Consistency – intensity 

1. Mechanics: Can you perform the skill perfectly in low pressure / low intensity situations without time domains? I.e. Can you do the movement at its most basic level?

2. Consistency: Can you perform the above skill perfectly, every time? If this is a yes, then it’s time for the next step. If it’s 50/50, then keep working on the skill. You don’t magically get better when you add speed and load to the bar. 

3. Intensity: What happens when you add speed or load to the bar. Some athletes may be able to control their movement when they’re working at a low intensity, however, come unstuck as they start to add speed and or weight to the equation. If this is you, find the sticking point of where you begin to come unstuck and stay there for a while.
This is your new threshold that you should work within until you can consistently hit perfect movement patterns at THIS intensity. 

The aim of the game is to incrementally increase your ability to consistently move well at higher intensities. This requires slow and progressive jumps so that you have time to develop the skills at each level.

You will progress much faster and have much less injuries if you take the time to listen to the MCI formula. 


Harry Howe

Paddington Manager

BodyByBrando, Paddington


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