Strength Scoring

Lately, I’ve been focused on building up the strength aspect of my game, so I’ve been doing a lot of slower, heavier workouts,” says Becca Borawski, managing editor at Breaking Muscle and former program
By Eric Velazquez, NSCA-CSCS ,

Lately, I’ve been focused on building up the strength aspect of my game, so I’ve been doing a lot of slower, heavier workouts,” says Becca Borawski, managing editor at Breaking Muscle and former program director at CrossFit Los Angeles. “That doesn’t mean that it can’t still be fun — it’s just a different type of pain. There’s no denying a good met-con is a lot of fun, but one of the things separating the good from the elite when it comes to CrossFit is sheer strength. These fundamental movements will help you develop strength and also test your mental ability to stay focused.”

THE WORKOUT

5 Rounds:
Max Reps Front Squat (bodyweight)
Max Reps Overhead Press (men: ¾ bodyweight;
women: ½ bodyweight)

Perform the two movements back-to-back without rest. Rest a full two minutes after each set of overhead presses. Your score is the total number of squats plus the total number of overhead presses in the five-round session.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Metabolic: 2
Volume: 6
Technical: 5
Strength: 10
OVERALL: 5.75 (out of 10)

CLASSIFIER*

Firebreather: 80+
Excellent: 60 to 79
Good: 45 to 59
Fair: 44 or less

* “One of my favorite traditional CrossFit WODs is ‘Lynne,’ which is similar to this workout but with bench presses and pull-ups,” Borawski says. “It keeps the incentive of scoring without losing sight of strength and technique. This workout is my variation on that template — focusing on building strength and core stability from opposite ends of the body.”

COACH SAYS:

1 REST “I love this type of workout because they are also mental workouts for us CrossFit athletes — learning how to slow down in the rest periods so we can perform when the time is right.”
2 TECH “Keep your chest and elbows up on the front squat. If you insist on using your arms to hold the bar up, the overhead presses are going to be increasingly miserable.”
3 PREPARE “I know CrossFit athletes are used to metabolic pain, but the discomfort of a strength workout is special. Don’t be afraid of it.”
4 STAY TIGHT “Core stability is a major factor in this workout. Use your breath to keep your abdominals tight. Take a big breath and hold it during the lifts.”
5 STAY VERTICAL “As you tire, technique will become more and more important on these seemingly simple lifts. Keep that bar traveling straight up and down. Don’t tip forward on the front squat or let the bar drift away from you on the press.”

Becca Borawski is the managing editor for Breaking Muscle (breakingmuscle.com) and former program director at CrossFit Los Angeles (crossfitla.com), with more than seven years of experience coaching CrossFit to adults and children.

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