Strength Bias

Here's a great chart that gives you some idea of what you should be shooting for.

You may have noticed some changes in our programming at CrossFit Virtuosity lately. While we adhere to the CrossFit prescription of constantly varied functional movements at high intensity, we have decided to add a strength bias to our program for the next few months.

What is a strength bias? We are going to focus on the big lifts: squat, deadlift, press and bench press and program them regularly so you can get stronger. We will still do the fun MetCons that you all love but they will tend to be of shorter duration and often use heavier prescribed weights.

Why a strength bias? Strength is a critical component of fitness.  Every one of you will see improved performance in CrossFit workouts as your strength increases.  For the newer athletes amongst you, this might be the difference between scaling every workout and completing workouts as prescribed.  For our more competitive athletes this will be the first phase of preparation for the 2013 CrossFit Games. If you have been following the Open, the Regionals and the Games, you will see that the workouts are getting heavier and harder. In an effort to remain competitive in the CrossFit world we are trending heavier too.

How will this be implemented? Mondays are back squats, the king of all exercises. Tuesdays will focus on Olympic lifts either the snatch, the clean and/or the jerk. Wednesdays will continue to be classic CrossFit girls. We want to continually test the benchmark workouts to gauge the effectiveness of the program. Thursdays will be presses or bench presses. Fridays will be deadlifts. Saturday will continue to be a Hero workout; another opportunity to gauge our strength and its application to the longer, harder CrossFit workout. Sunday will be a mixed bag of goodies.

How do I get this most out of this?  Since we are trying to increase your strength by giving you regular exposure to the same lifts, it would benefit all of you to start journaling your numbers. Having a record of what you did before will make your lifting more efficient and effective. If you come into class knowing what you did previously, you can try to improve on it.  You can journal on a blog, in a calendar, or in a good old-fashioned notebook: anything works as long as it’s written down somewhere.

What about my beloved lung burn?  In addition to the strength workout, there will be a short, fast MetCon in the second half of class. This is a format we have used often so it really won’t seem very different to what you have already experienced. We know how much you love the sexy MetCons and we plan on continuing to deliver those to you.

What’s that guy in the corner doing?  Some of our Competition Team members will be doing additional lifting or variations of the lifts that we have programmed for class. This is all part of the grand scheme. Please don’t be distracted by their extra credit. Keep your eyes on your own paper.

Rob Orlando says, “You can’t cram for strength.” We are looking to make steady incremental improvements over time. We hope you all enjoy the journey.


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  1. James May 10, 2012 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I approve!

  2. Cortney May 10, 2012 at 10:52 am - Reply

    The chart is really cool, but I’d love some more context — do these numbers represent a one rep max, the weight you should be able to do in a 5-5-5 workout, the weight you should be able to do in any workout…?

  3. Claire D. May 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I love the strength training so far! Can the coaches give some advice on dealing with unintended consequences, like insatiable appetite?

  4. stOve May 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Cortney, if you google the chart and fish around a bit, it seems to indicate that these are 1 Rep Max numbers… I’ll be aiming for Intermediate across the board over the next few weeks!

  5. Maillard May 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Highly approve!!

  6. Carl May 22, 2012 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Crossfit L1, Concept2 rowing coach, Paleo eating, good cook, professional male moving to NYC for work M-F.

    If you live near CF Virtuosity and want a roommate M-F, I am interested in talking with you.

    I am a minority owner in a CF box outside of Baltimore and CFV philosophy is nearly identical to our own. I can’t wait to join your box.

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