Athletes (that’s all of you) come to CFW for a variety of reasons- weight loss, improving general health, better athletic performance, etc. All great goals for sure. But what many of them find out early on is one thing- they’re not very strong. At least in terms of trying to RX the typical CrossFit workouts, that is. The 225# deadlifts and handstand push ups in Diane for 45 reps each aren’t going to just happen for most folks. And Fran turns into a 20 minute strength building routine of 95# “front squat/push press” and pull ups.

What many athletes need early on is to get stronger. Don’t get me wrong, that process happens for everyone when they start at CFW. Novice lifters progress rather nicely in their ability to increase loads. What I want to address now is the athlete in the middle. Someone who can RX 70-90% of the workouts. Someone who may have bodyweight movements down but buckle a bit when the load goes up.

This athlete needs to tweak some of the workouts to gain some strength. Here’s an example of what we did with a few athletes for Angie:

The workout is written as- 100 Pull Ups, 100 Push Ups, 100 Sit Ups, 100 Squats. An athlete that is wanting to gain some strength/size is not going to benefit from this workout (at least in terms of his goals). Here’s what we did- 1 round of 25 Pull Ups, 25 Push Ups, 25 Sit Ups, 25 Squats with a 25# vest. Rest. The two rounds of 10 of each movement with a 45# vest, resting between each one.

Much like scaling down, we can apply scaling up for certain workouts and create the right stimulus for gaining strength. Weights go up and reps go down, typically. Don’t look at this as an easy way to get out of workouts you don’t like. It’s definitely not an easier alternative. Talk with your coach about your specific situation.

Our current strength cycle started last week. Here’s what we’ll be up to for the next 5 weeks so you can plan accordingly:

Monday- Strength (Squat, press, deadlift, etc. plus (possibly) a short metcon)
Tuesday- Metcon (longer)
Wednesday- Strength (Squat, bench press, weighted chins, back extensions, etc)
Thursday- Skill (Oly lifts plus (possibly) a short metcon)
Friday- Strength (Squat, press, etc)

What does this mean to you? Well, if you’re the athlete I described that’s needing to make the 95# thrusters in Fran feel lighter, then Mon/Wed/Fri is your focus. I’ll be posting a “What You Need To Grow” supplement article this week so look for that. If you’re still working on all of your skills, bodyweight strength and weightlifting prowess, then keep your regular schedule and complete the workout as close to Rx’d as you can.

During our current strength cycle, even if you’re not coming on Wednesdays, you’ll gradually increase the weight on your squat and press by 5-10# per workout. Keep that in mind as you’re choosing your starting weight. We’ll typically be doing sets of 3×5 for squat, press or bench press.

See you at the box!