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If you were not around on Friday for the post test of your pull ups and push ups, please find a time this week to retest your max sets of each of these and compare to your pretest results. We'd love to hear about your PRs, and please include them on our PR board!
We aren't exactly starting at the beginning of the month since our last focus was a 6 week cycle, and our new focus will be a quite a bit longer as well. This week we shift our programming to a powerlifting bias largely influenced by the conjugate method created by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. (If you aren't familiar with him, Louie Simmons is known throughout the world for both his lifting and coaching. He holds elite lifting titles in five different weight classes and has coached many elite power lifters. His gym, Westside Barbell, is well known for producing top lifters, and their methods guide the CrossFit Powerlifting Trainer Course, which we'll be hosting in March.) While we won't be following all of the methods of this program since our goals as CrossFitters are more varied than those of power lifters, our strength programming will follow some of the guiding principles of the conjugate method.
The conjugate method is based on 4 days of lifting per week, which is pretty much in line with our current program; however, there will be a much clearer structure to our lifting days.
Mondays and Tuesdays will be Max Effort days, which means we'll be going for somewhere between a 1-5 rep max on one of the key lifts. Mondays are lower body days (squats and deadlifts, along with variations on those lifts). Tuesdays are upper body lifting days (bench presses and overhead press variations).
Rather than just strict accessory work, we'll include WODs on most days that involve one or more accessory lifts or movements that support the main lift. For example, on Monday (day one of our new cycle), the WOD involves double unders and Curtis P's. The weighted lunges in the Curtis P's act as a lower body accessory movement for the squat. This method of incorporating accessory work allows us the flexibility to get our metabolic conditioning, gymnastics skills, olympic lifting, and other skills into the program as well.
Thursdays and Fridays will be our Dynamic Effort lifting days, which means we'll be working several sets at a lower percentage of our one rep max in order to build speed, power, and strength. In three week cycles, we'll practice sets of one lower body lift (Thursdays) and one upper body lift (Fridays), and attempt to increase our effort incrementally over the three weeks. For example, in weeks 1-3, we'll work on 10 sets of 2 banded deadlifts at a set percentage each Thursday, increasing our weight each week. Wondering what banded deadlifts are? That's one of the fun parts about this power lifting focus. In addition to having a more predictable schedule for your lifting days, you'll get to learn new variations on the lifts and play with some new methods for building strength. Thursdays and Fridays will also include metabolic conditioning and skill work, so don't worry if strength isn't your personal focus.
Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays will be more conditioning and skill work, with minimal barbell work. Expect to see more boxes, kettlebells, medicine balls, rings, jump ropes, ropes and other tools for training on these days. There will also be an emphasis on body weight movement as well as longer metabolic training on these days. If strength is your priority, these can be used for rest days if needed. Weekends can also be used for Olympic Lifting practice with La Mar, Competition Team Training with Michael, Yoga time with Nate, and more.
If we find this new focus to be successful in our trial run, we may keep it running as a general structure for our programming, while incorporating other focuses along with it. Stay tuned for updates! Come get strong with us!