|We're going to focus on Pull Ups this quarter....by squatting big|
This past week we tested ourselves (as we do every quarter) in various areas of our fitness including all energy pathways (phosphagen, glycolitic, and oxidative) as we tested our CrossFit Total, Fran, and the 5k among other things. Hopefully you all noticed some improvements across all three areas due to getting stronger from the past 3 months of progressive resistance training. We're now going to build on that training for the next few months.
Back Squats are perhaps the number one lift for promoting total body strength and lean mass gains. So how do we improve upon squatting once a week? By squatting twice a week! Some of you may be thinking, "Damn, son! " All I can say is, BOOM! Mind blown!
As for the program, expect that three of every four weeks we will be squatting and shoulder pressing on Monday, and then squatting again with bench press on Thursday. Deadlifts will still be on Tuesday and Power Cleans on Friday. Pull Ups and Chin Ups will be programmed more often in the strength workout as well so that we can all get more proficient in them.
As far as your weights for these lifts, some of you may have reached the point where five reps were no longer attainable in your lifts. The best thing to do is to reset each lift three weeks worth and start the progression over. For example, I were squatting 300 lbs for my 3x5 sets last week, and we are increasing 5 lbs per squatting session, then I would drop my working sets down to 270 and start adding 5 lbs each squatting session again until I reached and surpassed my previous working weights.
As far as pull ups go, many of you are still working on weaning off the bands. There has been some debate in the CrossFit community about the benefit of bands, and many trainers (myself included) believe that bands actually HINDER our ability to get to strict pull ups, or at minimum slow us down considerably.
If you really want to get your strict pull ups faster, we suggest trying jumping pull ups and controlled negatives for a majority of your training. This will do a couple of things for you. It will make your arms and shoulder girdles stronger to more easily support your weight in a dead hang. A controlled, slow negative (lowering yourself from the bar) will strengthen your pulling muscles more rapidly than bands will. Bands are often times used as a crutch and making progress becomes difficult. Also injuries have resulted from the use of bands such as the band slipping off your foot and smacking people in the groin and bands breaking during a rep causing people to fall. If you really want to progress toward strict pull ups, use controlled negatives for strength work and jumping pull ups for conditioning work and you'll be ripping off sets of strict pull ups before you know it.