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These three main types of strength are relatively equal when it comes to frequency of appearance. Therefore, to prepare for the Open, we should simultaneously focus on developing pulling, squatting, and pressing strength.

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If you focus on these three strength types, all weightlifting movements you encounter will become easier. For example, if you improve your clean, your deadlift will improve as well, as both movements rely heavily on your pulling strength.

This insight makes strength training easier to implement, as we only need to track three elements instead of every single weightlifting movement. By tracking how often you are training these three types, you will get a good overview of your strength development progress.

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Practical strategies

A few additional tips for strength training:

• Get feedback on technique. As you progress, the weights involved become heavier. Good technique is paramount to reducing the risk of injury and ensuring you activate the right muscle groups. Ideally, this will be in the form of coaching from an experienced weightlifting coach. Additionally, get visual feedback by recording and watching your lifts. You can compare them with videos of the best athletes to see what you need to improve.

• Use a variety of loads. As we covered in the Principles chapter, strength development is most effective when you expose yourself to a variety of loads. That means you shouldn’t fixate only on lifting weights at 80-100 percent of your 1 rep max but also in the lower-intensity ranges. This has the added benefit of reducing injury risk and allowing you to increase training volume.

• Optimize the training load. Ensure optimal loads on the three types of strength. This will maintain the highest rate of improvement. Also make sure you don’t ignore any of the three types for prolonged periods of time. Only back squatting for strength will undermine your pulling and pressing ability over time.

• Educate yourself. The sports of weightlifting and Olympic lifting have been around for longer than CrossFit. Take advantage of this and educate yourself on the underlying principles. There are great resources available in both fields.

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Key benchmarks

Here are some benchmarks for the key lifts. You can use these to determine where you stand and identify strengths and weaknesses. If you have reached the benchmark for one of these lifts, move on and focus on the benchmarks you haven’t reached yet.

• Back squat: 2 x body weight

• Front squat: 1.8 x body weight

• Overhead squat: 1 x body weight

• Deadlift: 3 x body weight

• Snatch: 1.25 x body weight

• Clean & jerk: 1.5 x body weight

Home Crossfit Workouts Best Crossfit Workouts

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