Strength Cycles



Your average CrossFitter who hits the daily WOD Rx has on average the following numbers on the Barbell. Their 1RM Back Squat is one and half to two times their body weight. Their 1RM Deadlift is two to two and half times their body weight. Their 1RM Bench Press is one to one and half times their body weigh. And their Strict Press is three quarters of their body weight. If you have found that your strength gains have plateaued and you have a long way to go to hit the numbers above then a strength cycle is just what you need to jump start progress again. Now I cannot stress enough that not all strength cycles are appropriate for CrossFit athletes. In fact most strength cycles will only burn out or injure us due to the share amount of training we do. The program below can be simply added to your current routine very little chance of them having a negative impact on your progress or recovery. The progress using this method is long, slow and gentle which is key to long-term progress and the development of lasting gains. Please keep in mind that if your sleep, stress management and nutrition is not up to par then before starting this program these elements must be addressed.


 This is perfect for the athlete who trains on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and/ or Saturday. The key to the program is the rest day on Wednesday and Sunday. Here’s how your week could look. If you’re starting to feel burn’t out the just perform the working sets of the main lift and call it a day.

It’s fairly typical for a Quattro session to consist of both a Strenth piece and a WOD. With the introduction of Wendler the only dramatic increase on volume would be the accessory work. Feel free to exclude the WOD if you’re struggling BUT understand that CrossFit is the sport of fitness and if you fail to include enough WODs in your training you will lose your fitness fast. I recommend hitting at least three WODs per week hard.

Monday- Squat + Accessories/ WOD

Tuesday- Press + Accessories + WOD

Wednesday- OFF

Thursday Deadlift + Accessories/ WOD

Friday Bench Press + Accessories + WOD

Saturday- WOD (optional)

Sunday- Active Recovery (nothing hard just get outside and do something fun)

NOTE: If all components are to be performed in a single session here’s how you can intergrate into class. The primary lift can be performed before class. The accessories can be performed during the strength portion and then partcipate with the group in the WOD. Alternatively during the strength portion perform the main lift and then during the WOD perform your accessory lifts.


–      Before starting this cycle establish your 1RM the week before. Start with sets of 3 dropping to sets of 2 and continue to build with heavy singles. Next week begin.

–      All lifts are based off 90% of your 1RM. This means 90% of your 1RM straight back deadlift (not a 1RM rounded, back snap) and your squat depth must be legit i.e. crease of the hips below the knees. This is to ensure two things; 1 the cycle works and 2 you don’t get injured. Ignore these words at your own risk!

–       If you don’t know your 1RM on the Squat, Press, Deadlift and Bench Press you will have to test these sometime this week.

–       Progress is slow so be patient (strength acquisition is a marathon not a sprint)

–       You must keep track of your own numbers.

–       If you miss a session don’t sweat it just continue the cycle as programmed

–       Each cycle runs for 4 weeks and we will do at least 3 cycles (12 weeks total)

IMPORTANT REMINDER!!! All sets are based off 90% of you 1RM!!!

WEEK ONE  (Wendler 5’s)



5+@85% Max reps! Record your score. All percentages are 90%1RM

Accessory- 5 x 10 @ 50%

WEEK TWO (Wendler 3’s)

Start with 3 warm-up sets (5@40%, 5@50% and 3@60%)

3@70% (of 90% 1RM)


3+@90% (Perform as many reps as possible at this load. MUST be more than 3)

Accessory- 5 x 10 @ 60%

WEEK THREE (Wendler 5/3/1)

Start with 3 warm-up sets (5@40%, 5@50% and 3@60%)

5@75% (of 90% 1RM)


1+@95% (Perform as many reps as possible at this load. MUST be more than 1)

5 x 10 @ 70%


Let the body rest and rejuvinate!

5@40%, 5@50%, 5@60%

On deload week take it easy with your CrossFit to. Perform half the volume of any of the Metcons.


New Cycle…..Start week 1 again, if you hit all your numbers, which you should, you will add 2.5kg to your 1RM Press and 5kg to your 1RM Squat/Deadlift and re-calculate your 90% 1RM.

Stick with this program for 3 months before retesting your 1RM.  You should be able to run this program for at least 6 months before needing to re-evaluate your program. Have fun, train hard, enjoy! 🙂