For amateur athletes aiming to gain strength, seven-day programming is simple, says CrossFit Football’s Ben Oliver.
On Day 1, it’s squats, presses and running. On Day 2, it’s deadlifts and max pull-ups. On Day 3, rest. Day 4 is squats again, plus bench presses and running. On Day 5, do power cleans and max chin-ups. Take two days off and repeat.
Following this easy formula is key to newbies getting stronger, Oliver says. But it’s not without its negatives.
“That’s why the amateur progression is so important—once you get that gain, it’s never going to leave you,” he says. “But that dark time is going to last a while, and you just got to suffer through it.”
On average, the so-called “amateur progression” can last roughly 20 weeks. Then there’s a reset, Oliver explains. At that point, simply drop the weight to what it was three weeks earlier—or by about 20 percent.
“You’re going to keep resetting every single lift until every single lift fails,” Oliver says. “Keep riding out that amateur progression until everything fails.”
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Additional reading: Upward, Onward by Bill Starr, published March 28, 2012.