I’m still getting the girls’ new numbers, but here is one example of the improvements made over the 8 week period of strength training. JNa has been doing CrossFit for almost three years and at 30-something years old, is a great example of the gains that can be had when you focus on strength and power.
In eight weeks, JNa jumped many of her lifts by 30+%! If you’re a guy and are used to “guy numbers” then imagine your 250# back squat jumping to 320# in two months! And although one kipping pull up might not seem like much to you, it’s a mountain of an obstacle to cross if you’ve spent years on the bands. I won’t be surprised when she starts stringing multiples together and hopefully gets that strict pull up within a year.
When asked about what she gained out of the program and her thoughts, she said:
“Ridiculous PRs. I didn’t realize I had so much potential/strength – it’s to the point that I don’t recognize myself because I never considered I’d be a female crossfitter that could bench press over 100#. I thought I would gain 5-10 pounds on all the lifts. I want to Rx Grace and I can see that happening sooner rather than later.
“I think members need to be educated more about how strength could help them improve their overall CrossFit performance. I feel like I wasted at least a year making very small improvements in everything, kind of a jack of all trades/master of none. It seems like once you understand the lifts and the movements – where you know what form should look like, then it’s time to add strength into your routine. The difference in how I can do a WOD is like night and day – less rest with increased weights. I think about where I would be now if I did this a year ago!”
The reason I started BarBelles was for the same reason in bold above. I think it’s perfectly fine for people to do CrossFit-esque classes for a year or so (metcon style sprinkled with strength), but when you hit that plateau (and you WILL hit that plateau), the way around it is via strength. Specifically, slow AND fast lifts, plus max efforts like sprinting and high box jumps.
I’m excited to report back on the rest of the numbers. This week I’m heading to Austin with Laura Pappas for PaleoFX, a conference to geek out on ancestral nutrition and movement for 3 days. I’ll have plenty to write about after, that’s for sure!