Progressive Overload

CrossFit defines itself as Constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity. And it says that the goal of CrossFit is to improve work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Now that is all just fancy ways of saying we are trying to get fitter, but it is important on some level to define what that fitness means and is.

In the gym on any normal week, we might try to hit a PR by squatting or pressing 5 pounds more that you ever have before. If so, that is great! Or we might do a metcon, say Batwings – 30 each of bike calories, deadlifts and burpees – in a faster time than you have before. Both are examples of doing either more work, or the same amount of work in a faster time. Both are measures to say that you are now fitter than you were the last time you tested either that lift or that metcon.

But… when we are stuck at home, with only a few pieces of equipment at our disposal we probably can’t test a 1 RM lift, and we might be able to do Grace – 30 clean and jerks for time – but not at the same weight we did it before. So how can we get stronger when we don’t have maximal weight to move? Progressive overload is how we do it in the gym, and usually by doing reps of a certain lift several weeks in a row at ever increasing percentages of your 1 rep max. But the other way we can use progressive overload is by doing the same weight (since we have limited weight options at home these days) for a few more sets of reps each week.

You will start to see that in the programming with Friday being a prime example. Last week, we maxed out a push-up, either handstand or regular and a row of some sort, either barbell, kettlebell or dumbbell. Friday we will be doing the same lifts with the goal of 1-2 more reps on each set. Here is another reason to be tracking your results in Wodify so you can pull up the last time we did these and give yourself a target for each set!

So stay healthy, stay strong and I look forward to seeing you in the gym again soon!

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