“You are right to be wary. There is much bullshit. Be wary of me too, because I may be wrong. Make up your own mind after you evaluate all the evidence and the logic.” - Mark Rippetoe.
If you’re like us, you love getting better at lifting weights. Also, if you’re like us, you weren’t born with an encyclopedic knowledge of physiology. You had to learn how to drive progress intelligently. If you’re like us, you may have participated in day to day, randomized exercise for fun, where progress was an incidental, but welcome byproduct of getting your sweat on and having a good time. You may have trained this way because you didn’t know that progress could be purposefully DRIVEN. This is the business of training here at Feral.
The first rule is to do the program. If you’re not showing up regularly, you’re not doing the program. Randomly or rarely showing up means that stressors are applied randomly and rarely. This might work initially, but it’s not a good long-term plan. If your mobility is limiting your ability to do the motion correctly, you’re not doing the program. Frequently work on your range-of-motion limitations and attack them mercilessly. Finally, if you’re not keeping a log and increasing your stressors, you’re not doing the program. Keeping track of your progress is crucial, so let’s explore it in more detail.
Let’s say, you’re attempting to increase your deadlift set by 5lbs every two weeks. (Every other Thursday we deadlift a single set of 5.) With a log, your progress or lack of progress is clear because the motion and rep scheme is identical from workout to workout. If you look back at your deadlifting and see non-linear progress, something is wrong. Someone training like this failed to consult their journal, had inconsistent sleep/recovery, or came unprepared.
The same principles- showing up, logging your data, and increasing the stressors- apply to the other main lifts too. Even though the template may be more complex (our Friday template takes 9 weeks to retest), similar or identical rep schemes come up often. You can always ask for help estimating a new work weight, and you are expected to give it your best each day.
Our current strength template is as follows:
Monday: Squat or Front Squat (volume) w/ deadlift variants for assistance work.
Tuesday: Press or Bench Press (volume) w/ pulling variants
Thursday: Clean (Volume) or Deadlift (Intensity) w/ squat or front squat volume for assistance work
Friday: Push Press, Push Jerk, or Split Jerk (Intensity)
The assistance work is not applied randomly. Match your workouts to your goals.
Here are a few examples that you can use:
If your goal is to improve your squat, make it a goal to beat your previous squat work on Mondays, and opt for the strength work on Thursdays.
If your goal is to better your pullups, pick pullups as often as they are offered, and opt for work that will help get your deadlift up.
If you’ve been showing up regularly, choosing strength work that’s relevant to your goals, and recovering well, but still feel stuck, let us know. You may be ready for additional customization on the group template. This applies to a small fraction of dedicated people who have been training for many months without setbacks. If you are stalled and unsure why, or need help choosing a workout for your daily program, just ask us for help.
I wish I had a more recent picture of Kyle. He’s been squatting 3x5 three times per week, increasing 2.5 pounds per session without fail. His next squat session he’ll surpass his old 1RM for 3x5 reps. He trains regularly, logs everything, and fights to progress. Booya!
Just one article today, it’s a doozie.
“Read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as one goes in; read as one goes out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.” - Cicero
Though reading is easily the best, we can’t put a whole book in a daily post. You’re going to have to settle for a video lecture instead. It’s on obesity and it’s quite involved, but watchable and worth your time. If this is too involved for your time/attention span, a funny cartoon has also been included below.
Congrats to everyone who did CrossFit Open workout 14.2. Remember to submit your scores before tonight!
Free weight hug training is superior to isolation, machine based hug training.
A barbell trained hug is inherently superior.