Posts Tagged ‘squat’

By Dr. Quinn Henoch (web)

Earlier this month, I was given the opportunity to present and coach at a weekend training camp for competitive exercisers. Doug Chapman, coach and owner of HyperFit USA in Ann Arbor, Michigan, hosted the camp. I was asked to present on self-assessments for movement and mobility improvement and to also lead the athletes through some warm-ups on both days.

This was a training camp in every sense of the word. The talent level ranged from open and regional athletes to Games athletes such as Julie Foucher, Neal Maddox, Chyna Cho, and Heather Welsh. I watched (no I did not participate, although I did accumulate one and a half wall balls, two pistols, and three consecutive strict muscles-ups over the course of the weekend) as these athletes practiced countless skills and were taken through workouts that tested all energy systems and aspects of their fitness game. It was truly an amazing thing to behold.

As I watched, coached, and consulted with the athletes, there were some common themes that I noticed regarding the movement and mobility game. These things were consistent with my experience working with CrossFitters in the clinic as well. Below are some tips for you crazy mo-fos (although these are appropriate for any athlete).

1. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE THORACIC SPINE FOR SHOULDER MAINTENANCE

As is the case at weekend events such as these, I spoke with many of the attendees about individual issues they were having. At events where the athletes are mostly of the powerlifter or weightlifter population, most of the issues are from the low back and below. However, at this camp, there were many issues related to the shoulder. This is not surprising, considering the insane amount of shoulder intensive volume that CrossFitters undertake.

As I was taking the campers through self-assessments, it was clear that many had restricted movement through the ribcage and thoracic spine. I have spoken at length about the importance of this for shoulder health in a previous article.

We used a couple of tests to grossly screen and assess scapula-thoracic function:

1. THE APLEY SCRATCH TEST, in which we are looking for no more than one and a half hand lengths between your fists, or symmetry when comparing side to side.image1

 2. THE LUMBAR-LOCKED ROTATION TEST, in which we are looking for about 45 degrees of rotation, or symmetry when comparing both sides.

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3. SEATED. We are again looking for at about 45 degrees of rotation or symmetry when comparing side to side.

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Restrictions in thoracic rotation were usually to the same side as the problematic shoulder when consulting with the individual athletes.

There are not many rotational components to competitive CrossFit – probably because rotational movements are more difficult to objectify and score. So inherently, most of the training is within the sagittal (front to back) plane, and the lack of rotational capacity through the upper back reflected this. Although the shoulder intensive movements may not technically require a large amount of rotation, if you are having issues in your shoulders, then it can be beneficial to restore all planes of movement within your ribcage and thoracic spine. After all, that is the foundation with which your shoulder sits, so restrictions there can lead to compensatory shoulder function. Here are a few drills to first undo all of the extension that training locks us in and then to restore rotation. Perform 2-3 sets of 5, or as needed.

Obviously, there are many other aspects to shoulder health and maintenance, but this is a good start.

2. NOT EVERYONE IS MEANT TO SQUAT TOES FORWARD

I know what you’re thinking – and no I’m not going to open up the knees-out debate again – but I think some athletes may have an unnecessary obsession with trying to obtain a toes forward squat. Of course, there are plenty of people who can squat beautifully with their feet perfectly straight, and that absolutely works for them. However, due to numerous anatomical variables, there are far more athletes who benefit from positioning their feet with some degree of toe out when squatting. Trying to jam into positions that are unnatural for their anatomy may even cause orthopedic problems. The rules are (1) that your feet must start and finish in the same place, (2) you must maintain three points of contact (big toe, little toe, and heel), and (3) the knee should track over the second toe. When you squat, you should feel like your ankles, knees, and hips are hinging naturally and comfortably. A great way to explore your bottom position and figure out where your natural hinges are is to use a kettlebell as a counterbalance.

I am pretty strict about the movement in this video; however, you can sit in the bottom and really explore different positions. The bell will keep you from falling on your ass. Move your knees and toes out, in, forward, backward, whatever. Figure out what is most comfortable. This helped a couple of people at the camp figure out a more comfortable bottom position.

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“Hey Ilya, you’d lift more weight if you straightened your feet.” – No one ever

3. IT IS OK TO SAY GOODBYE TO THE BARBELL WHILE YOU FIX YOUR SH*T

Many of the conversations with the athletes went something like this:

Athlete: “It only hurts when I do __insert barbell lift here__.”

Me: “Well you may have to take that out of your training until you can clear  up what you have going on.”

Athlete: “But…. Huh…? No… No……. NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”

OK, it wasn’t that dramatic, but I did get some very sad looks. Listen: If anybody wants you to keep lifting weights, it’s me. However, if something hurts and you continue to do the things that flare it up, it is very difficult to (1) figure out what exactly is going on in the first place, and (2) help it go away. This is especially the case when adding the fatigue factor of CrossFit. Stop shaking up the muddy water. Turn off the engine so the mechanic can work.

Barbell training is fantastic for strength gain because we can load it heavier than most implements. However, a symmetrical barbell can wreak havoc on someone who has asymmetrical ranges of motion or movement patterns. If you are far out from a competition, it is a perfect time to let things calm down. If overhead barbell work hurts something, use kettlebells or dumbbells in one or both arms. Many will find that these implements are much more comfortable than trying to manipulate a barbell while dealing with an issue. No, you cannot load those as heavy as a barbell, but if we are only talking about a WOD, then you really have no excuse. Kettlebells and dumbbells will still give you an overhead stimulus and can be plenty heavy enough to make a high volume WOD as awful as you want it to be.

If full snatches and cleans are causing issues but the power variations do not, guess what? Do power. Then figure out why your squat sucks. Remember, it’s called TRAINING. If you think blowing through hundreds of painful reps is going to do you any good, it will not. All it will do is make your brain associate pain with that pattern, further deepening your hole. Modify the movement to something that will give you the closest stimulus to what you are looking for and find someone to help you figure out what’s causing your issues.

*IMPORTANT POINT: I am not referring to the normal aches and pains of hard training, or the things that last a few days or a week. I am referring to athletes that are having the same issues for weeks to months or longer.

4. IT’S NOT ALWAYS THE ANKLES

During my lecture portion of the camp, I had a young lady demonstrate an overhead squat. She could not attain a below parallel squat without rounding her lower back. I then asked her to place her heels on plates, and I had her squat again. Her squat improved. I asked the group why the plates helped. The consensus was that she must have had restricted ankle dorsiflexion. This was definitely a possibility, but we had not tested her ankles; so that was an assumption. One of the major points of my presentation was taking the guesswork out of your mobility program.

We screened the young lady’s ankle range of motion with the test in the picture below. Keeping the foot flat and not collapsing the arch, we are looking for it to be at least 4” inches away from the wall when the knee touches. This gives you around 20 degrees of closed chain ankle dorsiflexion, and is plenty for most to attain a full squat.

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The athlete cleared the test on both sides and had no history of ankle or foot injuries. If it wasn’t the ankles, why couldn’t she squat without the plates? Putting the heels on plates also provides you with a forward weight shift. Meaning, you can sit down and back much easier without falling on your butt. It’s a counterbalance – just like the kettlebell is a counterbalance in the drill I described above. Ideally, our abs should provide the counterbalance. After one last quadruped test, in which the athlete demonstrated that she could attain very deep hip flexion position with a neutral spine, it was evident what the problem was: We had a trunk and pelvic stability issue.

Don’t assume your ankles are tight. Test them. If you find a limitation, here’s a good drill. There are many others out there.

If your ankles are fine, but you need weightlifting shoes or plates under your feet to squat, then perhaps stability is the problem. Try this drill.

5. CORRECTIVE WORK AIN’T A WOD

This tip is inspired by a very memorable moment during the camp. On the morning of Day 2, I led the entire group through a 45-minute movement/warm-up progression. One of the movements I had them perform was a bottom-up kettlebell screwdriver. My instructions were the following: “Grab a LIGHT kettlebell. The strongest guy in the room should be using no more than 20lb.” I watched as several athletes, who I knew were not the strongest people in the room, and even a couple that had come to me with shoulder problems grab a 20lb kettlebell. I let them struggle for a few seconds and then instructed them to go lighter. I looked over to see what the actual strongest man in the room, Neal Maddox, had grabbed. He was holding a 5lb kettlebell. I watched as he performed his bottom-up screwdrivers with focus and precision. Neal also happened to have the most experience in athletics in the room. He understood.

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Neal’s words to me regarding the situation – “I ain’t trying to be a hero.”

The moral of the story is that if you are going to perform corrective work, make the quality of the movement the priority. Remember, there are no gold medals for corrective exercise.

I want to thank Doug Chapman of HyperFit USA for allowing me to be a part of his camp. It was one of the most well-run events I have ever attended. The itinerary was followed to a T, and the organization was phenomenal.

What I was most impressed with was the training that the athletes were put through. One of the common criticisms of CrossFit is that the randomness of the programming does not allow for proper adaptation. Doug’s programming was far from random. Skills, energy systems, time domains, modes – it was all planned to maximize desired adaptations and minimize failure. It was training. Anything but random. If you are a competitive CrossFitter and take your training seriously, I recommend you attend one of these.

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by Chad Wesley Smith (web)

Is your squat stagnant? Have you plateaued? Chances just some small adjustments to your training can help you break through your stagnation and hit some new PRs. Check out these 5 tips and get that squat moving again.

1. YOU AREN’T JUMPING

Great squatting requires great explosive power and nothing does that better than jumping. Box jumps, squat jumps and depth jumps are all great means to improve explosive power that will carryover to your squat. When you do box jumps, make sure you land in a parallel squat or above, don’t let them turn into an exercise in how well you can pull your knees up to your ears. Squat jumps, either holding weights or with a bar on your back, are a great and specific tool to improve the squat. These can be done from different depths (quarter squat, half squat, full squat) and introducing a pause to them will also yield a great benefit. Depth jumps have tremendous strength benefits but are also very taxing to the joints and CNS, so they must be used strategically. The stronger you are relative to your bodyweight, the higher box you can drop from as you will be able to better overcome the inertia of the landing. Be a strength athlete, get jumping and reap the squat rewards.

Go more in depth with your jump training in this article.

2. YOU MOVE LIKE SH*T

If your hips, ankles, quads or calves are immobile/unstable, your squat is suffering. Movement deficiencies anywhere in the body can have a negative effect on your squatting technique and leave you injured or unable to train as hard as possible. Mobility or dare I say, suppleness, in the legs and hips will allow you to hit depth easier, stay in better and more powerful positions and most of all, squat more. The interrelated nature of movement and the kinetic chain is plenty of info for its own article-or book-and would be better covered by someone besides me, but for me I know that my problematic mobility areas are tightness in the quads which causes too much forward knee travel and tightness in the calves which limits ankle mobility making it harder to hit depth and causing knee pain. Both of these are solved for me through soft tissue work, a little stretching and just more frequent squatting. Improving movement quality doesn’t have to mean you are doing a full corrective program and never training hard but it is extremely important to your success.

Check out these great articles from Dr. Quinn Henoch to improve the bottom position of your squat and fix common errors in mobility training.

3. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO BREATHE

Say what?! Of course, I know how to breathe, I’m alive aren’t I? Well you don’t know how to breathe for maximum performance. Knowing how to properly breathe and brace your spine will make a tremendous to your squatting strength. For years you have been told to push your abs out into the belt or get ‘big air in your belly’, I’m guilty of cueing that myself, but it is only half of the equation. We want to create circumferential expansion of your trunk, creating 360 degrees of pressure through your low back, obliques and abs maximize tension and support in the squat. Think of breathing into your low back while flexing your glutes to create a neutral hip position to begin improving this position. Bracing a neutral spine position is stronger and healthier for maximum performance in the squat.

Ryan Brown goes in depth to how breathing can benefit your performance in the squat and other lifts…

4. YOU DO TO MANY EXERCISE VARIATIONS

I am not telling you to just do competition back squats like Malanichev does. You are not Malanichev and neither am I, he is the highest qualified lifter and therefore needs the most specific training, we are not and therefore do not. With that being said, the variations of exercises you do and their specificity should reflect your level as a lifter. More variations and less specific exercises are for lower qualified lifters, less variations and more specific exercises are for more qualified lifters. Specialty bars, bands and chains can all have their place in training when implemented properly. All of my squat training over the last 4 years has been comprised of competition stance squats, Olympic squats, front squats, pause squats, safety squat bar squats, squats with chains, dead squats and squats of varying width stances, that’s not very much variation. Your body doesn’t what a safety squat bar is or a cambered bar or bands or an Olympic squat or anything else, it just knows stimulus and stress and very small changes will present it with new stimulus to avoid adaptation. Relatively small changes in stance, bar placement, speed of descent, etc can present the body with new stimulus and help you address various weaknesses. Your competition squat should be the foundation of your training and nearly always present in your plan as it is practice for the competitive powerlifter, pick 1-2 other movement variations with high carryover to compliment it. Stick with them for 2-3 months at a time minimum to judge their benefit and train them hard but understand that their role is to build the competitive movement.

Check out this explanation of 3 common mistakes in squat technique and how to fix them…

5. YOU’RE SCARED

Scared of the weight and scared of the work. Confidence under the bar when you get ready for a heavy squat is HUGE. One of the most common ways I see people missing squats is that they get to a max weight and start going down way slower than they did with lighter weights, this wastes energy, doesn’t allow you to exploit the stretch reflex as well and isn’t the same technique you’ve been practicing in all your other sets. Get under the bar knowing that you are going to own that rep and dominate it from walkout to lockout. Heavy walkouts and reverse band squats are both useful tools to help you overload your body, prepare for heavier weights and build confidence. An overload of 10% above your max is plenty to yield the desired response, beyond that will not, in my opinion, give you benefits outweighing the extra stress on the body, nervous system and recovery abilities.

You also might be scared of the work it really takes to squat huge, scared of the pain, the soreness that real squat training will elicit. My last 3 squat sessions have been…

3/24/14
1) Competition Squat-545x8x3, 1 min rest
2) Olympic Squat-585x2x6
3) Pause Squat-495x2x8

3/28/14
1) Competition Squat-585x3x8
2) Paused Front Squat-455x4x6

3/31/14
1) Competition Squat-585×2, 635×2, 655×2, 675×2, 725×2
2) Olympic Pause Squat-605x3x3

And this is following a 3 week wave in which I did 104 work sets with 55-75% of my 1rm, squatting big weights takes work, you can do more than you are doing now. Increase your volume, increase your frequency, control your rest periods and watch your squat grow.

Squatting isn’t some great mystery, get strong all over, work hard and attack the bar. Give these 5 tips a shot and I know your squat will reap the benefits.

The following few lines are my experience and it does not mean it works for everybody. I do not say this method is the best and the rest is wrong. It is like some people follow the paleo diet, some the Atkins, another group of people the low calorie diet. None of them are wrong they just find a different way of dieting that suits them. It is the same with the training. It took me a long time to personalize it even if I know my body very well.

Yesterday I was in the gym and finally I reached my goal No.1………100 kg front squat 2 reps. I know it is still weak BUT compare to my past 3 years it has been a huge improvement since September 2013. I used to work for a crossfit gym in Hungary and we used one of the owners training methodology. 1 squat, 1 deadlift,1 press, etc session/week. With this method I struggled with everything. My squat did not improve if it did it was max 2.5 kg in a 4-week-cycle. CRAP, CRAP, CRAP. It was good for the clients but not for me. I tried the 5-3-1 method too but same shit different day. (AGAIN…maybe it works / worked / will work for you)

After this I came to London and no weight training at all due to lack of money. Actually it took 1.5 year to get back to the proper weight training and crossfit style training but it does not mean I had not trained at all. TRX, bodyweight, kettlebells were quite handy and available for free.

What made me to train with weights again? A weightlifting instructor course where we started with overhead squats with only 25 kg 5 reps and I was shaking under the bar. “SERIOUSLY AM I THIS SHIT???!!!” This is a bloody good reason, isn’t it?

Day 1 in the gym was amazing and awful at the same time. I realized I can squat, of course I can……yesssss…….the only problem: I squat like a weaker girl. 🙂 So I planned a tough workout. I am following my earlier cycle methodology namely Light Medium Heavy Medium week (it used be a deload week but I found it too light and pointless) with one 1RM/week/main exercise.

A quickie for the better understand (this is an old workout plan)

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As you can see above there was 3 days of training with 1 squat only. NOT ENOUGH!!!!! Especially for squats. At that time I followed the 5-3-1 method for strength and it did not work for me. I repeat “for me” maybe it works or will work for you.

My current workout contains 5 days of training/week with 1 back squat day (up to 1RM in a cycle) + 3 days of front squat (up to 2RM). I deadlift 2-3 times and 1 deadlift day is the main workout the rest does not go below 3 reps or above 5.  Press once a week + 2x push press. Of course I snatch, clean and jerk, etc but do not want to go deeper in details.

The main point is if you want to improve your squat YOU HAVE TO SQUAT MINIMUM 3 TIMES A WEEK depending on your level and strength. There will be a point when 3 times squats a week will not be enough so go for more.

DO FRONT SQUATS TOO even if they are f***in’ uncomfy because they are important to improve the clean.

The numbers:

Cycle 1

  • Back sq 1RM 107.5 kg
  • Front sq 5 reps with 75kg

Cycle 2

  • Back sq 1RM 117.5 kg
  • Front sq 3 reps with 90kg

Cycle 3 (December 2013)

  • Back sq 1RM 120 kg
  • (after deadlifting) Front sq 2 reps with 100 and 1RM 105 ( I felt I can do 2 reps with it but the second wanted to stay at the bottom)

Basically it is a 25 kg improvement in 3 months and my quads are insanely stronger and stronger week by week. As you can see sometimes accidentally 1 RM happens. I very rarely go down to 2 reps. Usually I stay between 3-5. Now 100 kg front squat…tick. Next level 5 reps with 100 kg.

I know these weights are not heavy (still weak) but during the last 3 months I have improved more than during that 1 year in Hungary. On the other hand my strength is improving so I will squat heavy , f***in’ heavy, in a year from now. 😀 😀

IF YOU FEEL YOU WILL REACH A PLATEAU or feel very very very tired during training, out of the gym (that happens to me in every 3-4 months) GIVE YOURSELF 2-3 DAYS OFF. I know I know maybe your next reaction is: “Rest day? WTF” 🙂 Believe me. You need it if you train 4-5 or more days/week.

DO NOT FORGET TO STRENGTHEN THE POSTERIOR CHAIN AND INCLUDE ASSISTANCE EXERCISES IN YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM + STRETCHING + MOBILITY EXERCISES.

BY CHAD SMITH (web)

The squat and deadlift are the foundational movement for strength. If you want to dominate the Sport of Fitness, you need to be proficient in both. With that being said, CrossFit athletes have been presented with lots of misinformation in regards to training these lifts. Strength in the both of these exercises must be developed over a wide range of rep ranges and as you strive to develop this strength, you must do it within the context of a program that develops many other, sometimes competing skills.

Before we get into my ideas about how to best train these lifts for CrossFit, let’s get a couple things straight…

SQUAT LIKE AN OLYMPIC LIFTER

CrossFit incorporates much more Olympic lifting than it does powerlifting and for this reason, among others, you need to make your squat look like an Olympic lifters. Whether you want to call it an Olympic squat, high bar squat, close stance squat, ATG squat or any other name, what matters is that you squat with a nearly vertical torso, stance that resembles your feet during the catch of a clean or snatch and you are squatting deep and explosively.

The face that Olympic lifting is a bigger part of CF than powerlifting isn’t the only reason you should focus on the HBBS over the LBBS. The low bar back squat is a detriment to the development of your Olympic lifting technique, ingraining a forward torso angle that will carryover to your snatch and clean catch position and lead to missed lifts.

Olympic lifters don’t box squat, the overwhelming majority of top raw powerlifters don’t box squat, you shouldn’t box squat (as your primary squat exercise) if you want to squat huge weights and aren’t wearing a multiply powerlifting suit. With that being said, the box squat is a good tool to use to teach the squat and can have its place as a supplementary movement, but cannot be the basis of your squat training.

DEADLIFTS DON’T EQUAL SNATCH/CLEAN PULLS

The first pull of a clean or snatch and a deadlift are very different movements and should not be taught as the same thing. Treating them as the same thing will make you worse at both of them.

Snatches and cleans will make your deadlift go up, but the vice versa is not necessarily true. Of course, for the beginner trainee improvement in general exercises, whether it is deadlift or squat variations, will improve your Olympic lifts but the point of diminishing returns there for the deadlift will be quickly reached. To be a good CrossFit competitor you need to be a good, not great, deadlifter in the grand scheme of strength (500-550 range at 190ish bodyweight is very good and enough for CrossFit but isn’t making any waves in powerlifting with 181 and 198 lifters pulling well over 700 pounds). Squatting and Olympic lifting with very little deadlift practice will make you a good deadlifter.

Now that we have those two issues out of the way, lets talk about how to get strong in these lifts to have great success in CrossFit. To be successful in CrossFit you must have maximal strength, explosive strength and strength endurance. None of these qualities need to be developed to the utmost elite levels, so we should use a balanced approach to improve them, while also keeping in mind the other dozens of things you must train.

When structuring the strength component of your CrossFit training, you should prioritize the primary exercises as…

  1. Squat-This is HBBS. Squatting more will make you snatch, clean, press, jerk, and deadlift more. It is the exercise with the highest transfer of training and until you are a national level or better weightlifter, putting 10kg on your squat is going to have a direct carryover to your snatch and clean.
  2. Snatch-The snatch takes precedent over here because it is more technical than the clean and someone who can snatch and squat, will more than likely be pretty good in the clean.
  3. Cleans-Cleans take practice of course and give you extra work in the front squat, but because squats + cleans don’t necessarily equal a good snatch, it gets the 3rd spot.
  4. Front Squats-The front squat is important to clean technique and will improve many other exercises, but since it can’t be loaded like the squat it gets the lower billing.
  5. Deadlift-All the way down here at number 5 is the deadlift. Why? Because all the things listed above will make the deadlift go up, but the deadlift won’t necessarily make them go up. Plus, the deadlift is highly stressful to the CNS and when you have so many things you need to train for, you can fill up your CNS cup so much with one exercise.

Let’s take a look at my favorite ways to train the squat and deadlift as it pertains to developing the wide array of strength qualities you need for CrossFit.

SUBMAXIMAL LOADS FOR MODERATE REPS-You don’t need to do work over 90% every week to squat and deadlift more! There I said it, hate to break it to you all but almost no top level raw powerlifters are working up to max singles on a weekly basis. Not only does the CrossFitter not need to do this, they shouldn’t do it. If you want to get better at squatting, you need to squat more, you need to practice and doing multiple sets at slightly lower percentages will give you this opportunity. For example, instead of working up to a max set of 3 (usually about 92.5%), do 3×3 at 85%. Focus the bulk of your maximal strength training in the squat, press and dead on sets of 3-8 reps at between 65-85% of your 1 rep max. The Olympic lifts will still necessitate going above 90% frequently.

Along with this same idea, you want to attempt very few maxes and avoid missing lifts. Missing lifts doesn’t build strength, making them does. Max outs are very taxing to the body and central nervous system and is an unnecessary stress to the body of a CrossFitter. Build your strength, don’t always worry about testing it and understand that PRs can come in many forms, weight, reps, speed and quality of the lift, so spend more tips focusing on the latter 3.

TIMED WORK-Of course, you need to do a lot of timed work in CrossFit but I mean something a little different here. Work on max rep in a given short time frame sets and short rest periods. For example, try doing max reps in the squat in 10 seconds with 50 seconds rest. Power is Work divided by time, so if you want to become more powerful you either can increase the work (weight or reps) or decrease the time. So if you can squat 300×6 reps in 10 seconds and then train to be able to squat 300×8 in 10 seconds, you have become more powerful. Working  with timed sets, whether it is timed work or timed rest, will help to improve your special work capacity.

ROTATING METHODS ON THE DEADLIFT-As I mentioned earlier, the deadlift is highly stressful to the CNS and because of that, we don’t want to pull heavy very often. The most frequently I would advocate pulling a heavy set of 1-3 in the dead from the floor would be every 3 weeks, but ideally every 6 weeks. Using a rotation between heavy, explosive and rep deadlift days, like Brandon Lilly discusses in The Cube Method, is a great way to go for CrossFit.

I would make a few adjustments though from what Brandon does for competitive powerlifting, because there is more emphasis on the higher rep ranges for CrossFit. A 6 week modified Cube approach on your deadlifts could be the following…

Week 1 (Speed)-15 sets of 2 reps at 60%, rest no longer than 10 seconds b/t sets

Week 2 (Reps)-Snatch Grip Pulls from 4” Blocks at 60% for 1xRest Pause (I’ll explain what that means in a bit)

Week 3 (Heavy)-Work up to 85%x3x3 from 2” Blocks

Week 4 (Speed)-10 sets of 2 reps at 65%, rest no longer than 10 seconds b/t sets

Week 5 (Reps)-Deadlift from Progressively Higher Blocks at 60% for 1xMechanical Drop Set

Week 6 (Heavy)-Work up to a nearly maximal set of 1-3 reps.

BODYBUILDING REP STRATEGIES-Gasp! Bodybuilding for CrossFit, yes. Bodybuilding rep strategies like rest pause sets and drop sets, both mechanical and weight, are some of the best ways to build strength endurance and lactic tolerance.

For those of you not familiar, a rest pause set is a combination of 3 small sets into one giant set.  Perform a rest pause set by performing reps (60% is a good starting point) until you are 1-2 reps shy of failure, rack the weight and rest for 20-40 seconds, perform another set just shy of failure, rest for 20-40 seconds, perform a 3rd sets to failure. This is a great way to exceed your rep capacity and build endurance and can be used with basically any exercise.

Drop sets can be done by either reducing the weight through a set or by improving your mechanical advantage as the set progresses. For a weight drop set, simply start performing reps and have your training partners pull off weights as you go. For example, set up in the squat with 45s and 3 25s on each side of the bar and try performing a set number of reps at each weight, having your training partner pull off 25s as you go until you are down to the 45s and rep out there. Using chains and progressively removing sets from the bar as you go is also a great way to performed weight drop sets.

A mechanical drop set is done by improving your mechanical advantage throughout a set so you can continue doing reps with the same weight, despite fatigue. Try out these mechanical drop sets. 1-Overhead Mechancial Drop Set-Load the bar with 70% of your strict press max, begin performing strict press reps, when you feel like you like you can only do 1-2 more reps, immediately start doing push presses, when you feel like you can only do 1-2 more reps, immediately start doing push jerks until failure. 2-Deadlift Drop Set-Load the bar with 60-70% of your 1rm, begin performing as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, add 3” blocks under the weights and continue to rep out for another 30 seconds, add another set of 3” blocks and perform reps for a final 30 seconds. 3-Clean or Snatch Drop Set-Begin by performing muscle variations of the lift until you are 1-2 shy of failure, then progress to power varaitions until just shy of failure and finally the full version of the lift-this same concept could work with Hang-Power to Hang-Full to Full or anything that progresses your ability to continue doing reps.

Hopefully this has given you some new perspective on effectively and efficiently developing strength to improve your abilities in CrossFit. It won’t be easy, but it isn’t particularly complicated either; squat heavy, for speed and reps, let your deadlift be built with other exercises and focus on building instead of always testing your strength and watch your strength skyrocket!

29/02/2012

Posted: 29/02/2012 in English, WOD
Tags: ,

Squat 5RM up to 100kg

Walking lunges 3×20 steps 16kg, 24, 24

Hamstring curls 5×5 with 30kg, 40, 50, 50, 50

Cable crunches 4×20 with 20kg, 25, 30, 40

For time: 5`43″

1/2 Angie

50 Pull ups

50 Push ups

50 Sit ups

50 Air squat

15/02/2012

Posted: 15/02/2012 in English, WOD
Tags: ,

Squat up to 1RM 115kg

Walking lunges 4×20 steps, 48kg

Hamstring curls 2×5 40kg, 50kg     3×3 55kg, 60,60

Leg raises 6×10

30 mins run

10/02/2012

Posted: 10/02/2012 in English, WOD
Tags: , ,

Squat up to 3RM, 105kg

Walking lunges  4×20 steps 12-12kg, 18-18kg, 24-24, 24-24

Hamstring curls 4×5 up to 50kg

Then a light metabolic part:

4 rounds of

Lion walk

Farmer walk with 24kg

Bear walk

Farmer walk with 24kg