“The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.” – Henry Rollins
Hello fellow CrossFit Raleigh athletes. Some things have come up over the last week as we have added weight to the 1 rep maxes and we want to be sure you are good to go with the program. Here are some topics that have been brought to our attention. Keep in mind, that there are different goals when programming strength components. Our goal at CrossFit Raleigh is to keep you safe, maintaining strength gains and building proper technique so that you can continue to train and make consistent gains during your progress.
Five biggest things:
- Is adding 5 or 10 lbs. too much?
- I’m hitting multiple reps in my last set of AMRAP, is that ok?
- Should I be going to failure?
- I don’t know what my 1 RM is, how do I figure it out?
- Stalling out on a lift. Getting to the point where you are unable to hit the rep scheme for the lift.
- This is athlete dependent. If you get to your last set and you can’t complete the minimum reps, just maintain your previous 1 RM. The goal here is to be able to break previous rep records without injury and with success. If you get to your last set and can only get 3 reps, but the minimum is 5, are you really achieving a successful lift? You definitely will not if you try to get the last 2 reps in while rounding your back. Improper form is not the goal and the only thing that is happening as a result is injury – not progress.
- Multiple factors exist when assessing an athlete based on this AMRAP. We aren’t using this set as the ABSOLUTE gauge for how many reps you can get at the weight in order to determine your 1 rep max. There is a systematic response when the body pushes through multiple reps at a particular weight that is different from one weight/rep scheme to the next. So, with that being said, if an athlete has increased their deadlift by 10 pounds this week and is hitting 15-20, this doesn’t mean that their 1 RM was incorrect. Think of it in reverse, the last time you did the 5+ AMRAP, did you hit 20 reps? Probably not. It is possible, but likely not. The program is doing what it is intended to do and that is to make strength gains. At this point, just because you hit multiple reps beyond the minimum required (in this case 5), does not mean that your 1 RM needs to change. Allow yourself to continue with the 1 RM, while making strength gains. When the next mesocycle comes along they will be ready to add another 5-10 pounds. Additionally, hitting these multiple reps builds confidence heading into the heavier weight. Don’t underestimate the power of confidence. Would you rather say, “I couldn’t hit my five reps. What is wrong with me?” or “Guess what. I got 15 reps on my last set.” I will take the latter – most of time when you say that, you are smiling with pride. The goal is progress. Overestimating a max may not lead to progress.
- Do not go to failure with poor form. Make the last rep a good rep, but it should be very challenging. Remember, you are learning to know what it feels like to grind out these AMRAPs and to recognize bad form when it is ready to rear its ugly head. If you go to failure in poor form – you risk injury and will not be able to train. Not our goal or yours.
- First, it is much better to underestimate than to overestimate. Do a set of 5 reps, adding incrementally until the last set of 5. So in the working sets that would be 3 sets of 5, with the last set being an AMRAP. Grab the attention of a coach when you are preparing for your last AMRAP set. This way the coach is able to see if you are maintaining good form throughout the lift and not just doing the reps. This is important because if you deviate from proper form you will know it, the coach will know it and can call off the lift. As an inexperienced lifter with the movement, you haven’t been exposed to the feeling of going at max effort while maintaining good form. That’s where a coach can step in and help you out. We want to teach you when to stop and how to recognize when to stop. So, say you got 8 reps at 90 pounds on the strict press. You can estimate a 1 RM as being approximately 105-110 pounds. This is of course not absolute. Use the max lifts chart in the WOD book. Under the 8 RM column, scroll down to 90 pounds (88 lbs.) and then follow that to the left to the 1 RM column to find the 1 RM. Again, this is not absolute. If you use this number for the next strict press day and find that you cannot achieve the reps, then just lower your 1 RM by 5-10 pounds. Remember what the goal is – strength, not injury.
- At some point as an athlete you will stall out on your progress. If after 3 mesocycles, you cannot go up in weight, go back down in your 1 RM. This will likely happen at cycles 5-7. If during the cycle an athlete worked up to say 185×10, an estimate 1 RM would be 245. 90% of that would be 220. Use that number to work back up through the cycles as was done previously. Still making strength gains and progress. This should not happen in the first 1-3 mesocycles. If it is, the 1 RM was overestimated.
And remember, not every lift day is going to be a top-notch performance and some days will be better than others. Just do the lifts to the best of your ability. Do the work and come back the next day to train for a better day. Continue to build on the previous experience. Remain confident and enjoy the progress.
- A couple of reminders, next Sunday, we will be open for a class. Sunday, Nov. 6, marks the first official Sunday WOD! CFR will be open for one WOD every Sunday starting at 10 a.m. Start planning your training schedule now. Sundays will be special WOD days. We will either do a longer hero/girl WOD or make it a specialized Olympic lifting day.
- Special Hours of Operation for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
- Wednesday, Nov. 23 – NO 6:30 p.m. class
- Thursday, Nov. 24 – NO CLASSES
- Friday, Nov. 25 – 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. ONLY
- Saturday, Nov. 26 – 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 27 – NO CLASSES
“City of Oaks Marathon”
- This is also a half-marathon, or 4-person relay marathon (yep, you can split it up into sections with a four-person team).
Sunday, November 6, 2011 @ 7:00 a.m.
- Good luck to Coach Will, Shannon Cox (who has set a goal of trying to win the half-marathon), Mollie, Brandon running in his first marathon and Coach Chennelle, who will be testing out the half-marathon having trained only with CrossFit training.
- Trying to work on your mobility? Shoulders, hip flexors, calves? Check out MobilityWOD.com.