The Program: Max Effort , aka. STRENGTH BIAS.
Ordinarily our CrossFit programming is highly randomized (in fact, we used a random number generator to build many of the WODs that you’ve done in the past). However, random isn’t always the best bet, especially if you have a specific deficiency that you need to target. For the next six weeks, our programming is going to be biased in favor of developing strength, while maintaining a decent level of metabolic conditioning. We’re using a protocol that calls for Max Effort (ME) workouts 3-4 days each week. Max Effort workouts feature a single barbell movement performed in sets of between 1 and 5 repetitions, where the final sets approach maximal effort or muscular failure. Most Max Effort workouts will be followed by a brief metabolic conditioning (metcon) workout.
You need to do all of the ME days in order to get the full benefit of this programming cycle.
Reps and Loading Percentages:
In ME workouts, the prescribed weight will be given as a percentage of your one-rep max – i.e. the heaviest weight at which you can successfully/safely complete one rep. For example, all of the ME workouts this week will be performed at a loading of 65% with 5 sets of 5 reps (denoted 5-5-5-5-5). You should be trying to use the same weight for all five sets. The optimal weight/loading will bring you very close (but not quite) to failure on final reps of the 4th and 5th sets. If you overshoot and hit muscular failure, just lower the weight slightly on the next set. Loading percentages will change each week; you’ll need to know your real or “theoretical” one-rep max in order to do the appropriate calculations for the ME workout.
Calculating One-Rep Max:
Many of you do not have established one rep maxes. That’s ok. You’re going to use this week’s lifts to establish a “theoretical” one rep max for each of the movements that we’ll use in subsequent weeks. Your theoretical max will be based on the weight that you could sustainably lift across all 5 sets of 5 reps. You will simply divide that weight by 0.65 in order to get your theoretical max. BE CONSERVATIVE when estimating. If you increased the loading from one set to the next, use the average score, not the highest score. Failed sets will not count toward the average. For example: for shoulder press, Nate H. posted 104, 111, 121, 121, 126 for his 5 sets of 5 reps. That puts his average loading for the day at 116.6. We’ll round down to 116 and divide that number by 0.65, which gives us 178. So Nate’s theoretical max on shoulder press is 178. Be sure to calculate your max and keep a log your loadings for every exercise.
Rest and Recovery:
On ME days, rest in between sets should be no less than 2 minutes and optimally 3-4 minutes. This will drive many of you crazy. Take it easy – have a conversation with the people around you. REST.
To reiterate: in order to get the full benefits of this strength-bias training cycle, you need to try to do all of the ME days. With that said, if you are doing all of the ME days, you should only do one, or a maximum of two workouts on non ME days. The metcons on ME days are optional – you should do two of these short metcons in the course of a week. REST.
Bottom line: if you do absolutely every WOD that we post, you will be overtraining. Don’t do it.