With August 1, 2018 being the start of the 2018 CrossFit Games, I thought I would provide a quick summary of my training background so that anyone interested could understand my starting point and training philosophy. To understand the overall point/goal of my training – check out the blog post “Pursuit of the 2020 CrossFit Games“.
I set this goal and began training for the 2020 CrossFit games last summer – July 2017. At that point I had been exercising regularly for a few years focusing on upper body weight lifting and indoor bouldering (rock climbing without the aid of ropes). While I have generally tried to stay fit, like most of us, I had varied success, depending on my work and family life, outside commitments, travel, etc. As of Jul7 2017 I decided to retire from my business career effective July 2018, which meant I could start training more consistently.
My primary focus for the past year has been on increasing my strength, including my leg strength, which was woefully inadequate. Over the past year my lifts have improved as follows;
- Bench press – from 175lbs to 225lbs
- Back Squat – from 135lbs to 265lbs
- Front Squat – from zero to 195lbs
- Push Press (overhead barbell press) – from 75lbs to 155 lbs
- Deadlift – from 175lbs to 350lbs
While this has been a good year in terms of my strength gains, I am still far short of where I need to be in order to have a chance to qualify for the 2020 CrossFit Games. Based on the performance of the past participants in the Games in my age category I believe I need to achieve minimum strength lifts as follows;
- Bench Press – 250lbs
- Back Squat – 325lbs
- Front Squat – 250lbs
- Push Press – 185lbs
- Deadlift – 405lbs
My training for the past year has utilized the 5×5 sets & reps scheme where I performed 5 sets of 5 reps each at a given weight. Once I could lift a weight for the full 5×5 then I progressed to the next weight until I could complete the 5×5 with that weight. This worked really well and I realized consistent strength gains up until the May/June time frame when my progress slowed. CrossFit encompasses the Olympic Lifts (clean & jerk and the snatch). Knowing that my leg strength was currently inadequate to support these lifts at the weights required in order to be competitive, I have adjusted my training approach to focus more heavily on legs and more specifically on the front squat. The front squat is key to an effective clean and an effective snatch and so it is a “must have” in order to be competitive.
Beginning in July I adopted a squat every day approach as espoused by Cory Gregory. It combines aspects of the Bulgarian squatting training approach and the West Coast squatting approach and I believe lends itself effectively to the requirements of CrossFit metabolic training as well. This means that my training always starts with squat training – every single day with the primary focus being on front squats.
Readers can look back at my workouts and progress to see if this works. My plan is to maintain this approach from now through the end of 2018. At that point I will reassess my training needs and adjust as appropriate.