- max power snatch 1-1-1
- front squat 60% x5x5
- 4 rounds of 10 V-ups and 30 second weighted plank holds
Beast mode…on. Your relationship with the barbell is about to get complicated.
This marks the beginning of a fairly advanced training cycle that will last into mid-April.
This training cycle will require you to max lifts with far more frequency than you are accustomed. You need to be extremely cautious about over-use and over-training, especially if you are mixing CrossFit workouts into your strength training during this cycle. I have written this cycle as a stand-alone program, meaning that if you do all four workouts each week, then that is probably all you should do, and there’s a chance that it’s actually more than you should do. You are going to need to make intelligent choices about when to train, how much to lift during max days, and when to rest and recover. At this point, there are a handful of you who I do not trust to make good decisions about rest and recovery – you know who you are. Do it. Rest. Sit at home and eat peanut butter.
My general recommendations for the implementation of this cycle follow. No doubt, you will have questions. You should not hesitate to ask, either by posting in the comments section below, or by sending me an email.
Based loosely on Westside Barbell training-structure, the cornerstone of this cycle is max days. There will be two max days each week. As scheduled workouts, they will fall on Wednesday and Saturday. Given your schedule, you may not always be able to max on Wednesday and Saturday, and that’s fine. But, if you are going to follow this cycle, you must do all the max days, and you must do them in the following way:
- minimum of one day of complete rest before any max day.
- ideally, two days of complete rest between max days.
- “complete rest” means no CrossFit WODs, no Strength WODs, ideally some foam rolling and mobility work, and maybe some short sled-pulls or prowler-pushes.
On max days, there will be a single, focal lift, and your main goal will be to work up to a 1-rep or 3-rep max “for the day.” Time and strength permitting, all of your 1-rep maxes should be performed as a pyramid:
- The notation will be 1-1-1
- The ideal progression of weight for slow lifts (e.g. back squat or strict press) will be 100%, 102-105%, 100% (of previously established 1-rep max for the relevant lift). In other words, if you’re feeling good, you’ll work up to your previous 1RM, then hit a new PR, then repeat your previous 1RM. If you’re not feeling cocky, you might do something like 95%, 100%, 97%. If you feel like hell, you might do less than that – that’s why it’s a max “for the day.”
- for fast lifts (i.e. snatch, clean and jerk, and their hang and power variations), you will work up toward your 1RM. As you enter the territory of 80% of your 1RM and higher, you are not allowed to miss. Don’t freak out, just stop missing lifts. Alright, if you miss once, and you’re sure that it was for technical reasons, you can re-take the lift. Otherwise, you are not allowed to miss. If you miss the same weight twice, sit down and think about what you’ve done. Then, lower the weight on the bar enough so that you know you can pull a flawless lift. Pull that flawless lift. Then unload the bar and move on.
Enough about maxing.
Everything else that you do during this cycle will be hypertrophy (bodybuilding) or mobility work. Absolutely none of that work should be taken to failure or even near failure. I have supplied recommended percentages for most of the exercises. If these percentages feel too heavy, you can certainly lower the weight. If these percentages feel too light, just enjoy that feeling while it lasts.