Crossfit – Weekend Team WOD
Albert here to talk about performance, and more specifically, how to measure and achieve it.
I will touch on a number of topics in the coming weeks, but today we are talking strength gains.
Let’s work with your squat for our example. If we want to increase the weight we can squat, then what is the best approach to take?
You need a progressive resistance training stimulus, with sufficient rest periods between sessions to allow for gains. This is hard fact, and I won’t expand any further on it. The world is round.
The programming at CFD (Crossfit Dublin) allows adequately for progressive resistance, (While also focussing on developing your overall fitness.) There is always at least one or more squat session each week (we allow for all the major squats variances). So if you’re not making gains you need to probably ask yourself why? (This also holds true for all the major lifts of course)
The fact is of course, it’s what you do on your training days that dictate your gains. Ask yourself do you maximise every opportunity to progress? Do you track your numbers? Do you approach each workout informed of the workout of the day – with a target weight in mind that you intend hitting – aiming to progress from last week? Now you may have answered no to all my questions, and still be making gains, but be sure of this – by tracking your training and making definitive goals you stand the best chance of achieving success and impressive strength gains.
Lets expand a little ….
Say for instance your squat has been described as a “train wreck”, by your coaches, and you’ve been advised to correct this before progressing. Despite this you start getting busy loading it up. Initially you may make some lovely gains on the weight lifted – but what do you think the likely outcome will be down the line? – you guessed it – a major plateau at best – and probably injury at worst. Whether you like it or not, it will be difficult to reach your potential with bad technique, and ultimately a bad plan of progression. You may spend a number of frustrating months at this plateau, before you realise your only choice it to now go back and fix your squat by reducing the weight, fix your mobility issues, and then start loading again gradually until your squat is good and solid under progressive weight .
But I already have a great squat I hear you say…. What then?
Do you track your weights? Do you have planned progressions for yourself? Do you think going from bodyweight to 2x bodyweight in a year is a realistic target go base your monthly gains off?
If you don’t track your weights, then it is difficult to progress. It’s a lottery every time your presented with a 5×5 or 3×3 – you probably just load up and off you go – “feel it” – hope for the best.
If you don’t have a realistic target, – then it’s damn hard to reach it. And if you don’t track, how will you know if things are increasing as they should? So let’s take the guy dreaming of a 2 x bodyweight back squat. He should know that takes time and effort over years of dedicated training with specific goals. The kind of dedication (and natural ability) that sees the top Crossfitters in the world hitting that weight and “elite” level Olympic lifters!!
So, in summary, the first steps to maximise your performance is:
A) have realistic goals, and
B) chart/track your performance. To help you do this, check out the following calculators below
C) Focus on maximising ROM before progressing weight …
The 1st link is your likely targets year on year as a dedicated “strength athlete”, (so these may even be a bit optimistic for us Crossfit athletes. Look up your bodyweight for each of the major lifts, and see if you’re on track based on your level of training.
The 2nd is your 1 rep max calculator, use this to calculate your submaximal lifts, and chart your progress!! Remember 1 RM lifts are dangerous (they assume failure) so shooting for 3 or 2 reps is safer (always use a good spotter!!), you can then use this tool to figure out your 1 rm.
Next week I will expand a little more on this topic of performance. But for now check out these brilliant tools, and happy lifting!!
Workout of the day:
tunnel workout – partner 1 goes, partner 2 follows and cannot begin the next station till p1 has finished; for total time as score:
200 m Overhead Barbell carry 50/30
20 cals – Rower
5 rope ascents – 15ft – advanced go leg less 15ft
15 muscle ups or pull/dip progession
DB Walking Lunges – 50 steps – 20/15
100 Double Unders