We’ve spent the last few weeks learning how to lift the basic movements: back squat, strict press and deadlift, as well as spending some quality time on the floor press for some solid shoulder and chest work. As we enter the final week of the first of four cycles, you should reflect back on the improvements you have made not only in strength, but in form. In addition, understand the purpose behind this next set of four strength days – the deload week.
The deload week will have you all doing sets of 5 at a light percentage of your max for that lift. The purpose is to let you rest and recover before we move into the second cycle. There are no max rep days and you are simply gearing your body up for the next cycle.
Entering the second cycle, you will add 10 pounds to your deadlift and squat and five pounds to your strict press. This will be added regardless of retesting your 1 RM.
As we’ve said throughout this strength cycle program, you are making small gains in your strength. Do not expect that just because you have been diligent in your attendance and pushing yourself hard that when we re-test the CrossFit Total in a few months, that you will gain 30 or more pounds on your PR. You may not. Strength gains occur over a lifetime, and just as with life, there are ups and downs for whatever reason.
As you add weight, the reps will get harder and harder to obtain. All the more reason to enjoy it when you do get it. And, as a plus, when you are recording your reps and weights, you will know how much you can handle during a WOD or another day when you need to know your 5 RM or how many you got in that last set of 3+. If you reached 11 reps at 175 pounds, then you know that your 11 RM is 175 pounds. Lots of goodies coming out of your strength days.
Focus instead on why you are strength training to begin with. To improve your time in Fran perhaps? To be able to handle your own dog food at the pet store? To play with your kids at the playground without getting out of breath?
If you are doing the work – you are getting stronger. Believe it.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
- Barbells For Boobs – Register Today for the event on Sat., Oct. 29. Time and Location TBD.
Stage 1 – The Open
The Games season will begin with the Open, a worldwide online competition with one workout per week. The Open will run for five weeks, from February 22 to March 25. Anyone can compete in the Open, regardless of fitness level or experience. More than 26,000 athletes from around the world took part in the 2011 season, and 2012 promises to be even larger.
Stage 2 – Regionals
The top finishers in the Open will earn a spot at their respective Regional competition. The Regionals are organized by CrossFit HQ, and will run athletes through a series of workouts over the course of three consecutive days. Each weekend from April 27 to May 27, we will host multiple Regional competitions all over the world. Similar to 2011, athletes, teams, and spectators will gather at one venue and watch as the competitors hit the workouts shoulder-to-shoulder with the fittest in their region.
According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, functional movement is the ability to produce and maintain a balance between mobility and stability along the kinetic chain while performing fundamental patterns with accuracy and efficiency.
Stage 3 – The Games
The 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games will be held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., for the third consecutive year. Competition takes place July 13-15.