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How To Get Stronger With CrossFit

Updated: Jul 31

As a CrossFit athlete, you understand the importance of strength training in achieving peak performance and excelling in this demanding sport.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned athlete, maximizing your strength is a key component of improving your overall performance.

In this blog, we'll delve into the strategies and principles that can teach you how to get stronger with CrossFit and optimize your strength as a CrossFit athlete. We'll draw insights from renowned coaches, scientific studies, and popular books to provide you with a comprehensive guide to reaching your full potential.

How To Get Stronger With CrossFit

1. Establish Clear Goals

To maximize your strength effectively, start by setting clear and realistic goals. Understanding your objectives will help you tailor your training program to suit your individual needs. Renowned strength coach Mark Rippetoe, in his book "Starting Strength," emphasizes the importance of having specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.

For instance, you might aim to increase your back squat by 10% in the next three months or achieve a certain number of unbroken pull-ups. Having defined goals will keep you motivated and focused throughout your journey.

2. Prioritize Compound Lifts

Compound exercises form the foundation of CrossFit and functional fitness training. Focusing on movements like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses, and cleans can lead to significant strength gains. These multi-joint exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, allowing you to lift heavier weights and develop functional strength. In the book "The New Rules of Lifting" by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove, they discuss the importance of compound lifts in building overall strength and power for athletes.

3. Implement Periodization

Periodization is a training technique that involves breaking down your training program into distinct phases to target different aspects of strength development. By varying the intensity, volume, and focus of your workouts over time, you can prevent plateaus and reduce the risk of overtraining.

Renowned sports scientist Tudor Bompa's book, "Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training," is a valuable resource for understanding and implementing periodization strategies in your CrossFit training routine.

How To Get Stronger With CrossFit

4. Embrace Strength-Endurance Workouts

CrossFit requires not only raw strength but also the ability to maintain that strength during high-intensity workouts. Incorporating strength-endurance workouts into your training plan can help you sustain peak performance throughout longer WODs (Workout of the Day).

The book "Stronger Faster" by Ryan Andrews and Eric Cressey offers insights into optimizing strength and conditioning for functional fitness athletes.

5. Utilize Olympic Weightlifting

Olympic weightlifting movements, such as the snatch and clean and jerk, are integral to CrossFit training. Mastering these technically demanding lifts can significantly enhance your strength, power, and explosiveness.

Seek guidance from qualified coaches or refer to resources like Greg Everett's book "Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches" to perfect your form and technique.

6. Incorporate Accessory Exercises

While compound lifts take precedence, accessory exercises play a crucial role in addressing weaknesses, improving stability, and preventing injuries. Target specific muscle groups with exercises like pull-ups, dips, lunges, and farmer's carries.

Renowned coach and CrossFit Games athlete Chris Spealler's website provides a wealth of valuable information on incorporating accessory work effectively.

7. Don't Neglect Mobility and Recovery

Maximizing strength also involves taking care of your body. Prioritize mobility work, such as stretching, foam rolling, and yoga, to improve flexibility and prevent injuries. Adequate rest and recovery are equally essential for optimizing strength gains.

Refer to Kelly Starrett's book "Becoming a Supple Leopard" for valuable insights on mobility and recovery strategies.

How To Get Stronger With CrossFit

How to get stronger with CrossFit

Maximizing your strength as a CrossFit athlete requires a well-rounded approach that encompasses goal setting, compound lifts, periodization, strength-endurance workouts, Olympic weightlifting, accessory exercises, and proper mobility and recovery techniques.

By applying these principles and drawing insights from reputable resources, you can enhance your strength, improve performance, and excel in the dynamic world of CrossFit. Stay consistent, stay focused, and continue to evolve as an athlete on your journey to achieving your maximum strength potential.

Example CrossFit Program For Strength

Based on the principles discussed in the blog, here's a week's worth of strength workouts for a CrossFit athlete. Remember to warm up properly before each session and listen to your body, adjusting the weights and intensity as needed.

**Day 1: Compound Strength**

1. Back Squats:

- 5 sets x 5 reps (Work up to a heavy but manageable weight)

- Rest 2-3 minutes between sets

2. Bench Press:

- 4 sets x 6 reps

- Superset with Pull-Ups:

- 4 sets x max reps (use bands if necessary)

- Rest 2 minutes between supersets

3. Romanian Deadlifts:

- 3 sets x 8 reps

- Rest 90 seconds between sets

**Day 2: Olympic Weightlifting Focus**

1. Snatch:

- 5 sets x 3 reps (moderate weight to work on technique)

- Rest 2 minutes between sets

2. Clean and Jerk:

- 5 sets x 2 reps (moderate weight to work on technique)

- Rest 2 minutes between sets

3. Front Squats:

- 4 sets x 5 reps (use a challenging weight)

- Rest 90 seconds between sets

How To Get Stronger With CrossFit

**Day 3: Strength-Endurance**

1. EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) for 15 minutes:

- Even minutes: 5 Thrusters (use a weight challenging but doable for 5 reps)

- Odd minutes: 10 Toes-to-Bar

2. AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible) in 12 minutes:

- 8 Deadlifts (moderate weight)

- 10 Box Jumps

- 12 Push-Ups

**Day 4: Rest and Mobility**

Take this day to focus on mobility work and recovery. Consider doing a yoga session or using mobility tools like foam rollers and lacrosse balls to release tight muscles and improve flexibility.

**Day 5: Accessory Work**

1. Weighted Pull-Ups:

- 5 sets x 4 reps

- Superset with Dips:

- 5 sets x 6 reps

- Rest 2 minutes between supersets

2. Farmer's Carries:

- 4 sets x 50 feet (use heavy kettlebells or dumbbells)

- Rest 90 seconds between sets

**Day 6: Strength-Endurance Intervals**

1. 4 Rounds for Time:

- 15 Wall Balls

- 12 Kettlebell Swings

- 9 Burpees

2. 3 Rounds:

- 10 Push Press (use a challenging weight)

- 200-meter Run

**Day 7: Rest and Recovery**

Take a complete rest day to allow your body to recover fully. You can use this day to engage in light activities like walking, stretching, or other low-intensity exercises.

Remember to track your progress throughout the week, making notes on weights used, repetitions achieved, and how you felt during each session. This will help you assess your improvements and adjust your future training accordingly. Stay consistent with your workouts, listen to your body, and continue to work towards maximizing your strength as a CrossFit athlete.

Want to get stronger with a CrossFit Program built by experts? Explore our range of fitness programs here.

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