Last week we repeated five movements; Cleans, Snatches, Jerks, Front Squats, and Back Squats. In one week, well over 100 records were set, all one rep efforts.
Now, I am not the talented mad scientist behind programming as some are. However, I do very much enjoy it and find a great deal of comfort in the reasoning behind it. However, I am first and foremost a big believer in the human doing the program not the program itself, like I described here. Meaning that if you have the will, you will set records on even the silliest programs.
Provoking PR’s is something I think we all love. This is just some of the things we do to set the tone for record breaking weeks.
Train when tired
Life is lived tired. Not hurt or injured or damaged-tired. Since that is how we live, this is how we train. When it comes to competition, simply back it off and get less tired. It’s called peaking. You should always feel invigorated from the effort, happy, even euphoric, but generally a less than optimal is the optimal training environment. If you set records like that, think of what happens when your well rested.
Eat on the clock
It doesn’t matter where you are or what your stomach says if your feeding time is 11 am-you eat at 11 am, no exceptions.
We usually recommend eating 2-3 times per day. The amounts may change from day today, and so may the frequency but the main things is, make a plan, and follow the plan even when it’s boring. In fact, you will forget all about boring planning when you do things you have never done before.
Train when hungry
Training when your just this side of hungry makes you a little more aware of you, your surroundings, your advantages and disadvantages. Hunters find food when they are starving because their senses are heightened. You will find a “PR” for the same reasons.
Train more than once a day
Granted not everyone did this, however what makes the “PR” total above so impressive is that about 50% of them come from veteran CrossFiters (3 years+) In fact, we have a “Darin” at our box, what do you have? He has been training for nearly his entirely life and he still managed to “PR” his Snatch(280), Clean(305), Jerk(370), Front Squat(335), and Back Squats(475) a few by thirty pounds or more.
I attribute this to working more, and working smarter. Our “Darin” and others like him workout twice a day three days a week or so. That little extra, goes a long way.
If I ever was one to toot my own horn for anything, it’s this. I have absolutely no fear of performing an intelligent experiment. I bore easily, and I love learning new things.
Once your willing to learn from men far better than yourself, then you must be willing to tweak and adjust whatever they have done, not reckless abandonment, mindful tinkering. That’s how greatness became great, and that’s how you and yours will get better also. If not, at least you have a really good plan of “what not to do”.
Do auxiliary work and mobility:
Auxiliary work and mobility are not the least bit sexy, but they work. These key items are part of the un-fun list of things that we must do in order to do the fun things. If everyday, is just warm-up, workout, go home, your cheating yourself. Try Warm-up, mobility, workout, auxiliary, mobility and see what happens.
And remember, auxiliary movements are broken down parts of the whole. For instance Snatching from the floor builds and strains the lower back. Hip extensions are a specific lower back strengthener that can leave your shoulders time to recover while working the lower back.
I could quote a whole mess of Russian guys much smarter than I am but I will leave that homework to you and say only this. Percentages work because they tax you on your level and at varying intensity. You can manipulate weekly parameters for multiple lifts, you can focus more on squatting, more on pulling, more on specific pieces you have issues with.
Work more intensely, not just more
It feels like PCF’s 5 years have flown by, but it also feels like we have been doing this for a long time. That being said some athletes still believe “in shape” is long duration, less effort, sweating, rolling around on the floor and whatever else constitutes working more but not really working hard.
Intense work is performing reps at higher percentages. Intense work is workouts that don’t give you time to think. Intense work is putting all you’ve got into a few key efforts, or something short and dramatic. Working for the sake of working is boring simply because you get nothing out of it. Working intensely and briefly turns into records.
Lift heavy every week as a group
Almost every Friday at 5 pm, PCFers gather to Snatch and CJ as heavy as possible. The goal is always “PR”. This looks a lot like some of the Bulgarians who were known to train with ultra heavy percentages almost daily. They did this for multiple reasons, one is to become comfortable with scary stuff.
CrossFitters need to be awesome in multiple arenas, be it light weight, heavy weight, no weight, long, short, middle, whatever. We can’t hit maximum everyday, however, weekly, now that is totally do-able. Add in cool people to do it with and you have the most important part of the entire equation-atmosphere.
PCF’ers coach each other while head trainers coach everyone. It’s like walking into a CrossFit Coaches Prep Course and it’s awesome. The five movements listed above are key movements we hit ALL THE TIME, and yet WE GO OVER THEM EVERY TIME. Veterans may get bored, but they get better, and newbies feel comfortable quickly. Relentless attention to detail is how a three month CrossFiter snatches near their body weight, and a veteran CrossFitter PR’s twice on the same movement in less than a week time.
At the end of the week there was much to celebrate. We de-load the following week by taking volume down by 60% or so. We keep our Calories the same to heal/gain/recover. We even have a few PCFer’s run an ungodly amount of miles, 3/6/26-all of them with nothing more than CrossFit, and they all kill it. I call that-progress.
What is your bread and butter “PR” template?
1-Split clean+1 Low hang power clean+1 Hang squat clean+1 Front squat
EOMOM 6 Minutes
*One ball per three athlete team. Only one works at a time.
“Tag your it”
7-Box jumps 20/24
AMRAP 12 minutes
*One athlete is “out”. The other two athletes are performing the movements, one athlete working at a time. Once a round is achieved, one working athlete will change places with “out” athlete.
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