Strength Cycle Benchmarks

In order to complete the upcoming cycle, you need the following benchmark numbers: 

1RM Back Squat
1RM Strict Press
1RM Push Press
1RM Deadlift
10 minute Max strict Muscleups*
1 rep max deficit strict handstand pushup**
55 strict C2b Pullups for time

*If you can’t do strict muscleups, DO NOT scale this with a technique based progression like leg-assisted muscleups. Remember we’re developing strength in this cycle, not technique, and so something like 10 minutes max strict pullups would be a better substitute. In that case, you’d punt the 55 C2b pullup benchmark.

**Even if the deficit you use is setting 10lbs plates on the floor, use those. Otherwise you can use max unbroken strict handstand or box assisted handstand pushups as a benchmark.

The 1RM based lifts will be percentage based, so you need accurate numbers. When in doubt, low ball your max. Your ego might be said saying “I’ll use 90% of my max as a training max” but it will weep tears of blood if you overestimate yourself and get demolished by the rep maxes in week 2. Better to run the cycle injury free knowing you could have used bigger weights and then run it again if desired.

Helpful but not necessary CrossFit/aerobic benchmarks: 

Thrusters 96/65

“Strict Diane” 
Deadlifts 225/155
Strict Handstand pushups

“Macho Man”
3 Power cleans + 3 front squats + 3 jerks 185/135 EMOM until fail

“Open Test”
50 Wallballs (20/14)
50 Double-Unders
40 Box Jumps (24/20)
40 Toes-to-Bar
30 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
30 Barbell Facing Burpees
20 Cleans (145/100)
20 Jerks (145/100)
10 Snatches (145/100)
10 Muscle-Ups

5k Run 

I’ll have some of the athletes I’m working with retest these workouts, but the cycle is not specific to these tests, it’s specific to improving strength. In other words, if you have other more current benchmarks, you can use those, just try to grab one short, medium, long and long monostructural (rowing, Assault bike, running). You would retest these at the end of the cycle

These tests are merely indicators as to what’s happening to your specific work capacity. If we end the cycle and all your strength numbers go up and these benchmark numbers go up – awesome. You would then run the cycle again and squeeze out some more progress.

If strength numbers go up and these benchmark workouts stay about the same – awesome. You would run the cycle again.

If strength numbers go up and these benchmark workouts go down – good. You would evaluate how much they went down and make a decision from there.

If strength numbers stay the same or go down and these benchmark workouts go up – you’ve been lying and doing additional work outside the program. Go away.



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