CrossFit athletes (not the Games type, the everyday affiliate type) have proven that consistent attendance paired with proper scaling and relative intensity will positively affect an athlete’s health and fitness consistently over time. 

Showing up and putting in the work is the first step. Learning to maximize your effort with each visit to the shop is the second step.  

Take for example a simple 7×5 back squat. You hop on SugarWOD and check your results from last time and see that your results were as follows: 

• 135, 140, 145, 150, 155, 160(fail), 160

The logic that many athletes use is this: 

“I’ll try and get 165 or 170 this time” – yet they will employ the same starting point and begin by advancing in with the same weight increments.  

A better strategy would be to: 

  1. Start heavier. You have already proven that you can lift 30 more pounds than where you started. How much heavier should you start? 5-10 pounds, don’t overthink it. 
  2. Take bigger jumps in the beginning when the weights are lighter. This allows you to take smaller jumps toward the end sets when the weights are heavy. This also gets you out of a pattern of “I always work in 5lb jumps.”

These small details ADD UP!

Sure, we all care about how much we can lift for any max test (if you don’t for some reason, please come speak with me immediately:), but we also need to note that the total poundage we lift in any lifting set also contributes to our long-term strength development – and eventual level of fitness. 

Using our sample set from above, suppose I start a tad heavier, as instructed, say at 140. I proceed through the lifts as follows: 140, 145, 150, 155, 160(f), 160, 162.5. Sure, you ended up with a small PR; however, the comparison of your total weight lifted looks like this: 

• Previous effort: 885 pounds

• Today’s effort: 912.5 pounds

Over the course of weeks and years of training, those small efforts to put a little more weight on the bar add up! You can apply this same logic to warm-ups. To be clear, we’re not implying that you should be failing or struggling through your last sets of warm-up; however, I bet everyone has a natural place that they could add 5-10lbs in their warm-up sets. 

Push the limit (just a tad!) of each warm-up set and starting point and you will naturally add in a bit of extra work into your training regiment.