So last week, we completed our 20 rep max back squat progression. It was the first time in 13 years that we programmed anything like this. In case you missed the progression, here it is:
A1. Back Squat, 3 x 5, build to 75%, rest as needed
A2. Dumbbell Bent Over Rows, 3 x 10, rest as needed
B. Back Squats, 2 x 10 @ 70%, rest 2:30 between
- Building towards a 20RM in 3 weeks
A1. Back Squat, 3 x 3, build to 80%, rest as needed
A2. Alt Kettlebell Gorilla Rows, 3 x 12, rest as needed
B. Back Squats, 2 x 15 @ 70% or Last Weeks weight, rest 2:30 between
- Building towards a 20 RM in 2 weeks
A1. Back Squats, 5 x 1, Build to 85%, rest as needed
A2. Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Flyes, 5 x 10, rest as needed
B. 2 x 20 Back Squats, Rest 3:30 between sets
- Next week, we’re going for a “True” 20RM
A. Back Squats, 4 x 3 @ 70-75%, rest 2 mins
B. 20 RM Back Squats
- This is week four and the final week of this test
If you missed this progression, don’t stress because we’re bringing it back!
But our goal was simple: to challenge you in ways that could create new opportunities for personal and physical growth. A test like this can only improve your durability and push you to your physical limits.
And can you think of a batter movement than a Back Squat?!
As a coach, I saw many different approaches. Most of you were conservative, which is smart. Some were unsure each week. Perhaps this was simply because, like many, your lives left your strength fluctuating weekly. And then there were individuals that went for it. Regardless, if you stuck with it, you left better.
My experience with this progression was interesting. Personally, I struggled in weeks 1-3, but the magic of adaptation happened in week 4. In week 1, I did 185 for 10 reps, and I have to be honest, it felt like a house. My knees were cold the entire time, and I wasn’t used to breathing under the load. Weeks 2 and 3 weren’t much better, but I felt stronger and added 20 pounds, respectively. My goal heading into 4 was 225 lbs, which is over my body weight, but a couple of Nooners decided to make it a competition, so naturally, I went heavier than I had prepared. On the final day, I ended up doing 245lbs for 20, and it felt somewhat easy. Let me tell you; the pump was REAL. Like for REAL! The gold standard for this test is bodyweight, so I’m happy to report that my barbell weighed more than I do.
I share all of this with you to simply tell you that you’re capable of accomplishing your goals both inside and outside the gym. It may not always feel great, but with a little consistency and adaption, you can do just about anything. It truly is amazing.
We sneakily progress movements like pull-ups, deadlifts, wall balls, jump roping, calories rowed, or running throughout the year. These progressions are meant to both make you a better CrossFitter, keep you healthy and balanced, and give you the chance to elevate your fitness.
As we head into the fall, we challenge you to push yourselves a little more each week. But why not pick a movement and try to progress it on your own? You’re already here, so why not make the most of it?!