Monday 130408

Back Squat


then, on the 2:00 for five sets 

Five back squats at 60% 1RM, + five chest slapping push-ups

Post results to comments and BTWB.


Why Constantly Varied? ~ Luke Palmisano

One of the variables of CrossFit that makes it special is the variety of variables in the WOD’s from day to day. Outside of eliminating monotony from your workout regimen, there are actually real benefits to changing the stimulus and movements on a daily basis. 

A general principle that you can bank on is that fatigue effects from different exercises will be specific to the muscles you worked. Sounds obvious, right? So, for example, let’s say you did a bunch of pull-ups on a certain day. You would most likely feel that in your lats and upper back. As a programmer for an athlete, your coach now has a couple of options, depending of his knowledge of you: Your coach can either continue to give you exercises that will fatigue your lats and upper back (think ring rows, rowing, ect.), or change the stimulus to effect a different muscle group. For the vast majority of us, the option is the latter. Why? Changing the exercises from day to day appropriately will allow an athlete to keep the stimulus and the volume high. And that is CrossFit. We want the intensity to stay high no matter what we’re doing. 

This also applies to combined exercises in a workout. Let’s say there is a workout that combines bench press and squatting. The amount of volume the athlete will be able to produce if the workout sequence is bench press, squat, bench press, squat, is more than it would be if the sequence were bench press, bench press, squat, squat. The muscles targeted by each exercise are allowed some time to recover by alternating the exercises than by doing them consecutively. Again, you see this predominately in CrossFit, because the intensity is meant to be high. There are always exceptions (think of a workout like “Angie”), but as a general rule, this is how workouts go. We restore the athletes ability to execute drills of another type.

If the exercise aren’t varied over an extended period of time, we run into a term called superposed, meaning, the effects of fatigue are stacked upon one another. Let’s go back to our previous workout, the one involving bench press and squats (which sounds awesome, by the way). We perform that workout on day one. If the training load or volume is high, the restoration time for the body can take anywhere from 48-72 hours. Then, on day two, we do ring dips and back squats. On day three, we do a workout with shoulder press and front squats. Three days of pressing, with three days of squatting. During the needed recovery time for those muscle groups, we’ve been continuing to fatigue them. The exponential effect of fatigue on the body because we neglected to vary the movements may lead to exhaustion. And that would be bad. Exhaustion and over-training can lead to months of setbacks physically. 

So, that’s why it’s constantly varied. Not because we’re throwing movements up onto a dartboard and randomly deciding what to do do. And not because we want the workout to be all crazy-like (“crazy-like”….think I like that one: Luke Palmisano 2012 ™©). There is a method to the madness, we assure you.

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



  1. How many sets?

  2. Jen M :

    There was so much awesome food yesterday any chance of getting the recipes??? I have the mock potato salad one but that’s the only one!!! Thanks so much!!!

  3. slaughter :

    NOM NOM NOM!!!

  4. Russell :

    Backflip pushups! Nice.

    Need to get one of those runway tramps with the giant blocks in verve (and a foam pit)

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