T Nation

Crossfit Strength Training

In your article, “7 Things You Need to Know to Dominate Crossfit”, you mentioned that you program the strength work of some crossfit athletes. I was curious if you could give an example of what that looks like?

I am not a crossfit athlete. Im just looking for a solid and proven strength program because of all the different lifts (back squat, front squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, press and their variations). Your help is appreciated.

Writing a complete program is outside the scope of a Q&A forum. Sometimes I will give an example mostly to answer someone who need to fix a specific problem. But I cannot write online program fore every body who asks on the forum

I see. The problem I have is fitting all of the lifts into a week.

Just a suggestion, an article on crossfit strength programming would be interesting.

Honestly, not really. I will gladly write pieces that provide tips and trick about how to train strength for crossfit, but I know the crossfit milieu very well and they aren’t looking for training programs from “outsiders” to their community. They are looking for tips and problem solving though.

What kind of advice would you give on training strength for crossfit? Specifically the frequency of each lift/variation?

The thing is that you really cannot train “everything”… for example the deadlift… you have a clean deadlift, snatch deadlift, conventional deadlift, sumo deadlift, Romanian deadlift etc. You cannot train all of these lifts otherwise you wont progress anywhere.

You need to be strong in the basic movement patterns as well as on the Olympic lifts.

Normally the people I work with have 5 training days per week. And normally 4 of these include strength work.

\Understand that these people are already fairly high level and do not need to spend much time on technical practice.

The patterns we need to be strong in are:

  • Squat pattern
  • Hip hinge (deadlift) pattern
  • Vertical press pattern
  • Vertical pull pattern

These are the most important basic patterns for Crossfit. Horizontal pressing and pulling are not as important in Crossfit performance so they should only be done as accessory or occasional work.

Considering the demands of Crossfit here is what I recommend TO START WITH… and this will vary if an individual has weak links that need to be fixed.

  • Front squat once a week and back squat once a week (on non consecutive workouts)
  • Deadlift (conventional) once a week
  • Vertical press once a week
  • Vertical pulling twice a week (with pressing and with deadlifting, normally alternating sets)

So it could be:

Monday: Front squat
Tuesday: Overhead press & Strict chin-ups (eventually strict ring muscle ups)
Wednesday: no strength work
Thursday: Back squat
Friday: no strength work
Saturday: Deadlift & Strict pull-ups (eventually strict bar muscle ups)
Sunday: no strength work

  • And one Olympic lift is trained on the same days, at the beginning of the workout.

  • The Olympic lifting section and the strength section should last no more than 30 minutes each (total of 60 minutes), which is why I like to use EMOMs.

  • The metcon section includes 1 or 2 WODs focusing more on intensity than duration (8-15min time cap each) and when they include strength movements they should include different variations than those trained for strength (so you get to at least practice more lifts).

  • 15-20 minutes of bodybuilding work for weaknesses is often add, normally two exercises done as an antagonist superset with very little rest.

  • If the athlete trains a 5th day I recoimmend lower intensity metcon for more duration, or swimming, or mountain climbing, etc.

That is a start, I will actually change the schedule or lifts depending on someone’s strength and weaknesses,


Thanks for the feedback!!

This looks great coach. Thanks