FREE Strength and Conditioning Workout
As some of you know, I run my business out of a local (and very good) Crossfit facility. Once per week I take over all of their classes with an “Underground Strength Day” (so named because of my certification with Zach Even-esh). My objectives on this day are as follows:
-To provide them with a structured, strength-developing program.
-Fill in any gaps I see in the normal programming that goes on. We do a lot of unilateral stuff, for example as Crossfit tends to focus on more bilateral movements. I also focus on strict pull-ups (no kipping) and shoulder/upper back development to help secure their shoulders.
-To give them a mental break from the clock (as Crossfit tends to use it a lot) but provide them with an ass-kicking workout that they have to learn how to pace themselves through while maintaining top technique.
Basically, I treat them like any of my athletes: I identify the needs of their sport and lifestyle (Crossfit, in this case) and make them better at it while promoting overall strength and health.
So here’s how the workout a few weeks ago went down:
A1) Dumbbell Clean and Press: 3 sets of 6
B1) Back Squat: (warm-up sets as necessary), 5, 3, 3, 1 or 3 depending on their strength and experience
B2) Vertical Jumps: 4 sets of 3
C1) Kettlebell High Pulls: 3×8
C2) Imperial March: 3×0.5-1 trip of the length of the gym and back
C3) Bulgarian Split Squats: 3×6-12 – Loaded with Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Barbell, or Weighted Vests
C4) Pull-up Variation: 3×6-12 (no kipping)
C5) Crab Walk: 3×1 trip down and back the length of the gym
(Performed as a circuit, three rounds)
So here’s the rundown:
We start out with some heavy dumbbell cleans to get everything fired up. The goal here was to rip that DB off the floor and get the body into an aggressive pattern while activating the posterior chain and continuing to warm up.
Then we move onto the BIG EXERCISE of the day. In this case it’s the end of a Back Squat cycle, so they warmed up as necessary then hit a set of five, three, and three (all progressively heavier) before finishing with a new 1-rep max (experienced lifters) or 3-rep max (newer lifters). This is where the strength is developed. Between each set I had them do a quick 3-rep set of vertical jumps to prime the CNS and make use of the activated fibers from the squat to increase their power expression. Plus, jumping is good for making you not suck.
Then we moved onto the assistance work/conditioning aspect of the workout. The assistance work was designed to develop some muscles and movement patterns that aren’t hit as often, while done at a smooth conditioning pace. You’ll see lots of upper back, lat, unilateral leg, and stabilization work in there. Plus some good body control and quadrupedal movement stuff.
And it was pretty brutal, so assuming nobody was slacking (and they weren’t) there was a good mental toughness component, too.
So there it is! With the usual disclaimer (check with your doctor and certified fitness professional before attempting this workout) it’s yours!
Looking for more workouts like this? Check out the GRIZZLY program for a full four-week plan!