Strength Breaks – My Secret Sauce
Written by Ricky Moore
At the beginning of my competitive CrossFit career I always relied on my background of wrestling, soccer and cross country to get me through many open and regional workouts. But the thing that always held me back was my strength numbers. So in 2016, I decided to break my year down into quarters starting after Regionals. At the time my best Snatch was 225lbs, Clean & Jerk 310lbs, and back squat 440lbs.
WHAT I’M ABOUT TO SHARE WITH YOU WILL SOUND CRAZY TO MOST.
For the first three months, I did only one conditioning piece a week! The rest of the week was spent lifting. I actually started falling in love with Weightlifting during this time. CJ Martin gave me a template to follow for 12 weeks and it was my bible so I only allowed myself to condition one time a week. It was actually really nice to not breathe too hard and not have to do Assault Bike workouts or intervals. From just that first cycle, I improved my snatch to 245, Clean & Jerk to 325 and Squat to 465. Not bad right?
In the 2nd quarter, I actually stopped doing any conditioning and only did lifting four times a week. I was following a new template. As an athlete I was learning to trust my body and my intuition and go with the flow. I made sure to focus on my weakness in a movement and hit the accessory work that corresponded. My lifts went to 264 Snatch, 334 Clean & Jerk and 484 Back Squat. I also competed and qualified for American Open Finals.
After competing at A.O. Finals, I decided to get back in shape and get ready for the 2017 Open in hopes to make the Team Invictus. (Side note: What I don’t recommend is doing a Regional workout as a baseline when coming back after doing no conditioning for 6 months.) It took me only six weeks to get my conditioning back and I was an even better CrossFit competitor because I could move a barbell much faster and more efficiently. ALSO, my gymnastics improved substantially due to my increase in overall strength. That year I made it to the last bar in the snatch ladder of The Open, took 12th in the SoCal Region and not only qualified for Games, but placed 6th with Team Invictus.
So what did I do after? I did the exact same thing the following year and got my numbers to 275 Snatch, 350 Clean, 375 Jerk, 428 Front Squat and the big 506 Back Squat. Also, I weighed 175lbs at the time.
Trust in the Process
I was never scared of what happened because I trusted myself and my past to allow me to work on my weaknesses. In my mind strength is the FOUNDATION for EVERYTHING in life. We need strength in everything we do and need to prioritize it. Just look at the people crowned the fittest in the world, they are alway in the top 3 of the strength events. Taking the time to develop strength will ONLY benefit you, never hurt you. Trust your coaches and training partners but more importantly trust yourself.
It’s Time for Your Strength Break
Now is the perfect time to two months to prioritize your strength so you can build your absolute strength. That does not mean that you have to remove ALL of your other training. But it may mean that you reduce some of your current training to allow your body the time to adapt and build strength. And that’s what we do in 8-Week Strength. Coach Hunter Britt will help you find a volume that will allow you to continue progressing towards your strength and training goals. The new cycle starts October 16th! If you’re interested, click here to learn more about the program.