One of the arguments against our “little experiment” has been that the reason everyone continues to PR is because they had limited exposure to the lifts previously, and they are simply getting better because of practice. In some cases I believe this to be true, but I have data to make a fairly strong argument against this assumption…
Thomas Hanson has been doing CrossFit for over 4 years. He started at the original CF Atlanta with Mike G, Ken Gall, and a lady who used to be named Laura DeMarco. That original group was one of the things that made CF ATL famous and from what Laura tells me, Hanson used to beat Mike G on a regular basis (Mike has been to multiple CF Games). He came to us because he was working out on base one day and met Jason Hoggan. Obviously, after Hoggan monkeystomped him on a few WODs (I may have made that up), he decided he wanted to train at Outlaw. We, obviously, love getting experienced CF studs in our gym and were sad to know that he was going to be deploying in a few months.
While Hanson was deployed he stuck strictly to a Wendler 5/3/1 template with some metcon interspersed for conditioning. He put some good weight on his lifts and ended up topping out with a 475# Deadlift and a 345# Back Squat. He also tested his Clean and Jerk right when he got back and hit a new PR of 225#. Good strength numbers for a guy that had a 15 minute 5k in high school, and a sub 3:00 Fran.
Thomas walked back into Outlaw around 4 months ago. When he showed up I told him we were running a competitor/athlete program and I’d put him on it right away. He jumped right in with the others, who had started a few weeks before him, and basically sucked it up for a little while (I had his permission to say that). His conditioning was bad and his Oly lifts had gone to hell because he had spent most of the previous 6 months on powerlifting.
You may have seen the 150# Weighted Pullup video I shared on Monday’s post. That was a 15# PR for Thomas and it was the absolute tip of the PR iceberg. In the last month he has PR’d on his Snatch, Front Squat, Jerk, Power Clean, Deadlift, Back Squat, Clean and Jerk, “Fran” and “Helen”. In fact, for the Deadlift he just pulled 510—a THIRTY FIVE POUND PR—and for the Back Squat he hit 385—a FORTY POUND PR. Those gigantic PRs came for a person who has been doing CrossFit for well over FOUR YEARS and couldn’t even get close to those numbers after doing a specific strength cycle while deployed. Tonight I watched him hit an easy 265# Clean and Jerk—for a FORTY POUND PR—and thought I should probably say a little something about what I’ve seen happen with him over the last few months.
Last but certainly not least, if you want to make the argument that you absolutely can not gain strength, speed strength, and conditioning all at the same time…
About a month ago, just before this PR run started, Thomas did a completely unbroken 2:34 Fran, and a completely unbroken 7:55 Helen—both PRs.
*Please note the rest intervals in between the A and B segments. They are not all the same.
1a) 4X5 Hi-Bar Back Squats – heaviest possible, rest 30 sec.
1b) 4X5 Push Press – heaviest possible, rest 90 sec.
2a) 5X2 Banded (Clean style) Rack Pulls (just below the knee) @ 80%+40% bands – rest 45 sec.
Notes: Percentage is based off 1RM Clean.
2b) 5X5 Pendlay Row – heaviest possible, rest 45 sec. DEMO VIDEO
7 rounds for distance and time of:
1 min Max Distance HS Walk
1 min Max Time Ring L-Sit Hold
Notes: Use a 25’ down and back course for your HS walks. Try to stay close to rings and start your count each round from when you get into the L-Sit position. Time stops when the foot drops below the rings.