Monday 130121

Push Jerk 1-1-1-1-1-1-1
Every minute on the minute for 10 Minutes: 2 reps @ 75%

Post results to comments and BTWB.

Ali, working hard and setting PR’s.


Building Athletic Strength ~ Luke Palmisano

Last week I was hanging with Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis. We talked about life, love, as well as the fine wines of Napa Valley. As we lounged on a veranda overlooking the Rocky Mountains, the conversation inevitably shifted to the eradication of evil ninjas. When we were each suitably satisfied that no one present was actually an evil ninja, we started talking solutions.  One solution: we had to make our muscles bigger and stronger, so that our fighting would improve, so our punches would be punchier, and our roundhouse kicks more devastating.  What would this involve?

In a word, hypertrophy.  Hypertrophy is the enlargement of an organ or tissue from the increase in size of its cells. So how can we make this happen with our muscles? Without getting too into detail of our anatomy, our muscles our made up of cross-sections of different fillaments and threads.  Strength exercises can increase both the number and the density of the muscular structures.  That gives us a rise in both muscle cell size and strength.  Heavy resistance exercises specialize in this area.  What exercises?  The most myofibrillar hypertrophy is found in elite weightlifters. How does all of this happen? The scientific academia is not quite certain, though there are a few different theories out there. In CrossFit, however, we base many of our assumptions on empirically driven data, that is, what we see and observe. What we have seen is this: when you train muscles both for strength and speed, and include high-rep sets (think 10-15 reps per set), the muscles enlarge.  So, you may see athletes training certain “waves” throughout the year, cycling the way they are training.  One of these waves, or cycles, would undoubtedly be a hypertrophy phase.  They build the muscle size up through high rep sets.  The next cycle may have a low rep/strength focus, depending on the athlete’s needs.

In the end, the three of us decided to start a hypertrophy phase. We all bro-hugged, and it was sweet. They asked me if I wanted to be in one of their next commercials, and I was all, “naw guys, it’s cool.  I’m not here for the notoriety. I’m here for the movement.” Word.

P.S.: This information is referenced from the book, Science and Practice of Strength Training, written by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky and William J. Kraemer

Questions about the upcoming Reebok CrossFit Open, Competitors classes, or local competitions?  Or maybe just questions about addressing your weaknesses?  Come join us Monday at 8pm for a brief meeting to chat! 



  1. Danni B. :

    Thanks Luke! I’m ready to get my hypertrophy on!
    Love this pic of you, Ali, lookin good 🙂

  2. Tiff in Korea :

    i’m in love with the “framing” of this info. sweetness.

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