I swear that 5 sets of 10 back squats is not a punishment.

Lifting PartnerSomeone asked me about strength programming the other day. While the comment was harmless, the perception was our strength program is random. So with that being said….I thought I’d put out a quick word about programming.

For example, we are currently in a high volume phase for bench & squats (sets of 10 & 8). This will eventually taper down into sets of 5’s, then 3’s and will lead us into our first PR week of the year.

Our high rep (sets of 10 and 8) training is a hypertrophy phase (hypertrophy = muscle building, please don’t tell me about getting “bulky”). The mid level reps (5’s) are like unicorns (i.e. magic) and train your muscles in a blurred area of size and power. Sets of 1-3 develop maximal strength and with enough volume (total reps) may have some effect on a muscles size.

Our Olympic lifting training is a little different. Most days we give a time limit to build up to a 1, 2 or 3 rep max. The reason behind this structure is pretty simple. It gives our newer clients a chance to work technique with light to moderate weights and drill those movements to become proficient. This structure also works well for our more seasoned lifters as it gives them sufficient build up through light, medium, and heavy weights. With the speed & efficiency at which the average CrossFitter works, it most likely will give them approximately 6-8 total reps with roughly 80-85% of their 1RM which is optimal.

That brings me to WOD’s and how those happen. So, there is a bit of variety here. I really like programming EMOM’s and AMRAP’s. Of course I’m going to explain why!! Keep your shorts on!
Part 2 of this article coming soon…


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