Constantly Varied Strength
If you have been coming to CrossFit classes at NapTown for the last few months, you may have noticed a bit of a shift in the approach to strength work. We have veered away from programmed squat and press cycles and moved towards a conjugate system. Unless you are a pretty big fitness nerd, the conjugate system will hold little meaning for you but I am here today to share with you some insight into what it is and what we hope to get out of it.
The conjugate system rests upon the idea of constantly varied movements, a cornerstone of the definition of CrossFit. Instead of one rep max tests consisting only of the deadlift, front squat, back squat, and presses, the conjugate system expands that list 10 fold to include as many variations as equipment and the imagination will allow. We can improve an athlete’s back squat by simply back squatting more OR we can do tons of variations of squats and other lower body strengtheners and improve the back squat by association. If we deadlift more, sumo deadlift more, box squat more, and lunge more, then we will back squat more as well. A tremendous benefit to this style of training is a constant string of PRs from testing new movements and significant time between tests. It is hard to set a back squat PR when you test your 1 rep max every week. It becomes a lot easier to PR when you only test it once every 6 months with other leg strengthening and testing throughout. This makes for a good time when filling out your PR board and lowers stress when you are going to attempt that max because you have experience with maxing out almost weekly.
Another new feature you may have noticed is the addition of bands to our strength pieces nearly every week. Working with bands develops the central nervous system and teaches athletes to be fast through the entirety of the lift. When an athlete is faster through the sticking point of the lift, then he or she is more likely to be successful with top end weights.
You will continue to see this variety of lower and upper body strength pieces in the NapTown programming. Continue to log your scores on Train Heroic to track your progress and see the strength benefits down the road. If you ever have questions about the why behind the programming, then please ask a coach or reach out; there is always a purpose behind what we do!