The end of the current cycle
It’s week 11 of 12 of this Powerlifting cycle, and that means one more chance this week to chase those gains. For those of you who have been following the cycle, we’re one week away from retesting. For those that haven’t dipped their toe yet, this week or next will be the perfect time to jump in, try out the class, and establish a 1RM ready for the new cycle.
The programme: Wendler 5-3-1
We’ve seen a steady increase in numbers over the last few months, so for those who haven’t been with us from the beginning, we’re on a Wendler 5-3-1 cycle.
We hit our numbers in 3 phases; every 4 weeks, we go back to our original percentages and add a little extra weight to our 1RM. So week 1, 5, and 9, the percentages are the same, but your theoretical 1RM goes up; adding weight slowly to push the boundaries of what you’re able to lift.
The last set of every session is a max effort set, which means you can push yourself to the max every class, and then compare your numbers against previous weeks.
If you want to read about this cycle in more detail, go here.
Tried and tested
I’ve been following the exact same cycle along with the classes and recording my numbers. Here’s what I got on back squat.
(NB. my 1RM is calculated a little low due to a back injury, so these numbers are perhaps a little higher than I would expect)
If you’re following the cycle, you should have a set of numbers recorded somewhere a bit like this (even if there’s a week or two missing).
You can see a clear progression in numbers over the 11 weeks. In week 1, I managed 10 reps at 115kg in my max effort set. 8 weeks later and I managed the same number of reps at 120kg. Not only does this progression in numbers give you confidence to lift more, but it’s tangible evidence that you’re getting stronger and more proficient.
Next up in Powerlifting
Next week – week 12 – will be retesting. In all the classes over the week, you’ll have the opportunity to retest all your 1RMs, including secondary lifts like front squat, pull-up, sumo DL, etc. If you fancy starting with Powerlifting, or just want to test your 1RMs, come on down.
The following week – w/c 26.06.17 – will be SWOD week, where we’ll put our new strength to the test in some powerlifting benchmarks (“Linda” will feature).
Then, in two weeks – w/c 26.06.17 – we’ll be starting a new cycle. I’ve liked this Wendler programme so much we’re going to do it again. But, now that you’re all acclimatised, you can expect more accessory work, and some more challenging workouts. We’ll still keep our explosive work and sprinting, but we’re going to add in some more hypertrophy and bodybuilding-type exercises.
Who is CrossFit Powerlifting for?
The only prerequisites for the Powerlifting class is that you know the lifts in question: back squat, bench press, and deadlift. That’s it. If you’ve done the Level 1s, or are familiar with them from your own gym work, that’s enough.
You don’t need to have a minimum level of strength. You don’t need to know your 1RMs (yet). You don’t have to do low-bar back squats or conventional deadlifts.
The only thing you need is a desire to be stronger. Whether that be for CrossFit, for Olympic Lifting, maybe that was your weakness in the Open, or just for its own sake.
The lifts are all on rotation, so even if you can only commit to once a week, you’ll still hit all lifts over the cycle. Similarly, if you want to work specifically on one lift, say bench press, you know exactly which classes to come to.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be fleshing out the new programme. Feel free to email or FB message me with any questions. Otherwise, good luck retesting next week!