The back squat cycle we’ve been running for the past 12 weeks is over (finally!). The cycle was five sets of five reps (5×5). The squat is a cornerstone exercise for strength development, and the 5×5 format promotes good form and is done at a weight that steadily fosters strength gains and muscle growth. Adding 5-10 pounds each week probably doesn’t seem like much, but after a few weeks the weight starts to get very challenging. This added an element of mental toughness and intensity to the workouts.
Now we will transition to a new phase of our squat training. We’ll still squat 1-2 times per week in the coming months, but we will decrease the repetitions from 5 to 2-3. (See today’s WOD: 7×3 Back Squats).
Fewer repetitions will allow everyone to squat more weight without completely draining them for the rest of the week’s workouts. This in turn will maintain and even improve the strength gains we have acquired. During the final week of September we will test our back squat 1 rep max (RM) to see how much we have improved upon our baseline test back in May.
After we test our 1 RM, we will continue to back squat but alternate with the front squat. An improved front squat will translate to an improved thruster and thrusters are bound to appear during the CrossFit Open this spring.