Some of you may be asking why are we changing to this, or why are we adding more “strength training” to our WODs. Or asking “will I get bigger/bulky?” I don’t understand the 5×5, 3×3 and 5×1 terminology.” I hope that today I can answer some of these questions and give you a better understanding of strength biased goals.
When you start CrossFit, your first accomplishment that you can be proud of is completing a WOD. This is hard work. It takes a lot of determination and hard work to complete a CrossFit work out. After awhile completing WODs just isn’t enough. You want to do them as Rx’d. CrossFit standards are high. It takes a lot of work and time to get to the level that you can complete a CrossFit wod as Rx’d. But when you get there, putting those three letters behind your name brings a huge smile to your face. Using a strength biased program like the 5-3-1 program, will get you to that goal faster. You are doing more work in less amount of time.
Heavier weights require you to use more muscles. As you may or may not already know, when you lift weights you are tearing muscle tissue. Since you are lifting heavier weights, you are using more muscle groups, hence rebuilding more muscle which is going to make you stronger. In the progression of the 5-3-1 program, you are completing heavier lifts each week and doing more work, which in return makes you stronger.
What is 5×5 progressive, 3×3 linear and 5×1 progressive and how do I know what to lift? Well let’s start with the meaning of progressive and linear. Progressive means that you are progressively getting heavier. When you are at your last lift, it should take everything you have to complete that 5th rep. Linear means that you are at the same weight the whole time. Each set is at the same weight. 5×5 progressive is five sets of five reps. You will add weight on for each set and the last one should almost be at failure. 3×3 linear means that you are at the same weight for three sets of three reps. This weight should be right around your five rep max. 5×1 progressive is getting you up to your one rep max.
When you are first starting this program, you may have to complete more than five sets to get to your five rep max, but once you know what you are capable of, you can gauge it so that your 5th set is at your max. Use this as a guide of what weight to use for your 3×3 and your one rep max. (5×1)
After using this program you should start to see a change in your body and in your performance. Lifting heavy weights triggers the biggest metabolic response. This will help you to become leaner. After you are used to lifting heavier weights, the weight as Rx’d, will seem “light”. You will have the confidence to complete the lift because you are now familiar with it and know that you can do it at a heavier weight. You will be strong enough to lift that weight and go all out, which will keep your intensity high throughout the WOD.
If you have more questions on this methodology or would like to know more, Google ‘Strength Biased Programming’ on the CrossFit website. Or simply use this time to practice your lifts at a lighter weight. The more familiar you are with the lifts, the better form you will have which eliminates unnecessary injuries and allows you to move more weight in less time.
I hope this answers some questions on the new Strength Biased Programming that you will be seeing at CrossFit Des Moines. I cannot wait to see the results and hear your feedback!
Back by Popular demand. The following was written by one of the women of CrossFit. Kelly H and Cheryl brought this to my attention, they asked me to post it again for all of CFDM’s new women members. So please read, enjoy and become inspired!
If I were feeling a little more lawless, I’d gather all the copies of Cosmo and Seventeen, douse them in kerosene, and strike a match. I’d throw in reams of print ads from Calvin Klein and watch with delight as Kate Moss’ stick-thin image was reduced to carbon. I’d add copies of Shape and Runner’s World until the flames reached toward the heavens, and then I’d crank call the editorial desk at Muscle and Fitness until they stopped publishing pictures of women on steroids.
I’d get the master tapes of America’s Next Top Model and dub over them with “Nasty Girls”, broadcasting the results on every television station in America. I’d skywrite “CrossFit.com” across the Boston skyline, and gently admonish the hoards of long distance runners trotting along the Charles River—with a bullhorn.
I’d take every woman with mass media-induced ideals of beauty, and I’d show them what it really means to be beautiful.
Beautiful women are strong and powerful. They are athletes, capable of every feat under the sun. They have muscles, borne of hard work and sweat. They gauge their self-worth through accomplishments, not by the numbers on the bathroom scale. They understand that muscle weighs more than fat, and they love the fact that designer jeans don’t fit over their well-developed quads.
They know that high repetitions using light weights is a path to mediocrity, and “toning” is a complete and utter myth. They refuse to succumb to the marketers that prey on insecurity, leaving the pre-packaged diet dinners and fat-burning pills on the shelf to pass their expiration date.
Beautiful women train with intensity. The derive self-image from the quality of their work and their ability to excel. They don’t wear makeup to the gym, and they wouldn’t be caught dead with a vinyl pink dumbbell. They move iron, they do pull-ups, they jump, sprint, punch, and kick, and they use the elliptical machine—as a place to hang their jump rope.
They spend their weekends in sport, climbing walls, winning races, and running rivers. They laugh as they sprint circles around the unschooled, turning the image-obsessed into benchwarmers. Beautiful women don’t care if they’re soaked in sweat and covered in dirt, if their nails are chipped or their hair out of place. They care only about quality of life.
Beautiful women are happy, healthy, and strong, and they’re right there beside me, tossing conventional beauty on the ever-growing flames of what used to be.