The first CrossFit Powerlifting Cert was held Dec. 18-19 at Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio, where legendary lifter and coach Louie Simmons shared his methods with a group of elite CrossFit trainers and athletes.
One of the keys to the Westside system is speed training with light weights (about 50 percent 1RM), which means an athlete with a 300-lb. squat may work with only 150 lb. on the bar. While that might seem strange to those dedicated to strict linear progression, Simmons believes increasing your speed and power will actually increase your 1RM numbers and your absolute strength.
In this video shot on Day 1 of the cert, Simmons explains the finer points of speed training and how he “accommodates resistance” with bands and chains to produce optimal gains.
“If you start to lose power, you’re wasting your time,” he says. “If I punch someone three times and don’t hurt ʼem, I’m not going to punch ʼem a fourth time. I’m getting the hell out of there.”
Additional reading: Speed Development by Karl Geissler and John Baumann, published March 1, 2006.