Squats and Deadlifts for CrossFit
Chad Wesley Smith

The squat and deadlift are the foundational movements for strength. If you want to dominate the “sport of fitness,” you need to be proficient in both. With that being said, CrossFit athletes have been presented with lots of misinformation in regards to training these lifts. Strength in both of these exercises must be developed over a wide range of reps, and as you strive to develop this strength, you must do it within the context of a program that develops many other (sometimes compe...

James FitzGerald November 2 2013 9:47 am
Chad, thx for the input.
some clarification...
based on the sport and what you see at the games it seems from some eyes that there is more oly work than powerlifting but this is incorrect in thinking, there are just as much slight sub max FS, BS, DL variations in CF work as much as there is oly specific movements, that alone should NOT be the argument to use the high bar squat, the reason is like you know that it carries over better to torso and shin angle for the clean and snatch, but NOT b/c there is more of the CJ and Sn in CF, this is incorrect

Clean and Sn set up in CF is a skill, and this is where the detriment of being specific in a sport like weightlifting can hamper someones ability in loads change in gauntlets, heavy met cons, moderate to high rep heavier met cons etc..the positioning for the DL changes as well, and ones specific set up for that lift when the HR is at 180 and u cannot hold your breath is different than the set up for the Cl and Sn...the idea for the sport is move the weight to lose the less energy as you do the work...i.e. in most cases straight legging it and trying not to use as many muscles as needed, if u want power output, sure, if you want the fastest time, u look good but you don't win....
performing TnG DL and DL in met cons is needed as a skill development in the sport of CF cause they do happen, and it takes one to know one, when we did not implement consistent bending under load reps like the DL and only Cl and Sn variances of the pulls, it resulted in folks redlining too soon in DL style workouts, b/c they did not have the exposure to the eccentrics of the movement and only the concentric work, as well, they lost the ability to recruit the muscles needed in the skill of DL'ing for reps

bottom line, CF'ers need to see the CJ and Sn as skills just like all other movements, alongside DL TnG and max efforts

arguably you are incorrect on the DL 500-550 range, how about women and their ratios, and more importantly, we have shown that the max effort in those lifts matter VERY LITTLE right now, what does matter is the ability of the person to work and recover faster the CLOSER they are to this max,,,i.e. many males at 500# DL and females at 300# DL lost clearly to males and females at less DL maxes in the heavy DL/BJ workout at regionals twice now, alongside what no one wants to discuss was the fact that most that lost clearly were focusing mainly on oly work and not DL TnG or reps of DL TnG in met cons...

squatting will make you press and DL more - arguable, depends on person, training age, mechanics, etc...

the DL being # 5 b/c of its highest CNS requirement is arguable, where is the data that shows this to be true, dotn you think that there are more "things" going on in the HBBS than the bend over and pick it up DL?...

using percentages for generalists like CF'ers does not work, simply, saying that the same CNS response for someone who does 3 reps or 82% of their 1RM is the same for some one else just simmply does not work that way, some can do more reps and less CNS fatigue as shown through increased recovery time to do the work again and simply making it look easy to show that, if you have spent some time with females and males in CF for years you would see this clearly
for example - a rookie female lifter can recover on the minute using 90% of her 1RM for doubles and repeat this work, an advanced male takes 6 min to repeat 2 @ 85% of his 1RM in a lift and when he rests shorter he cannot perform the lift...%'s can only be used per person based on the lift, training age, mechanical efficiency, etc...

saying that one can become more powerful b/c they can do 1 more rep in 10 sec with same load seems a little misleading in weight training....when someone can adapt to moving a weight eccentrically and concentrically faster in a shorter time period does NOT mean they are more powerful at the muscle level, it means they are simply adapting and moving the weight faster in that time frame - this is a deeper topic but intent of action on the concentric has a lot more to do with the power ability than the time for the 10 sec and weight moved
the reason why i question this one is people trying to move weight faster in the time removes some components of control in the eccentric and knowing the CF world, speeding up anything with load lowers ROM
...and the 10 sec work, 50 sec rest time without adjustments or recommendations on % and effort is unsafe, if i squat 3 times with 355# hi bar like i did 2 days ago, are you saying to take 50 sec rest and do this again and again to increase power?...this is what will happen - 1 rep next set, fail on 3rd set, how is that power increasing?

pulling tough every 3 weeks in CF is simply unsafe for most (not the talented which is the 0.5% of the 1% out there) as mentioned above athletes must compete frequently or practice the skill of TnG DL and conditioning pieces with the movement in it

LOVE the idea we have used for many years on density sets and drop sets but again these are for low NME people (or those who can do multiple reps higher and close to their 1RM) when done with explosive people can result in damage...i.e. i have an athlete who CJ 410# and BS in the high 400's for reps hi bar, to do 3.3.3 for him is basically a marathon and recovery from this takes forever and taxes him too much as he has high threshold units that dominate...
and the lactate threshold tolerance b/c of the longer sets is untrue, we have proven that in our lab where we see varying lactate scores based on various modalities
(i.e. comparing extended 90 sec weight training sets like you have with 30 sec of 3 different modalitiies to vent threshold, resp rate, rep and post LAc, HR)
...the modalities that CF'ers need to use for carryover in their sport should be moreso done through lower loads, higher contractions, higher turnover for metabolic production of lactate, and not in higher load extended sets ONLY. the involvement of those sets are important but are done in breathing efforts with other grinding movements to work on muscle endurance ALONG with higher breathing and no rest times - what is more applicable to the sport, as you'll hardly ever do a long set in CF without having to take 3 sec to move onto something else....calling them muscle endurance sets is more appropriate
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