Strength Training Programming

At CF671, one of our goals is to make you stronger. We want to leave very little room for interpretation so we’ll define “strong.” Strength, to paraphrase Mark Rippetoe, is the ability to apply force to something (in most cases a barbell) that would rather not move. For example, a barbell loaded with 225lbs on the floor would rather not move (up, of course you can roll it). One of the most efficient ways to get stronger is with progressive resistance training. Taking this further, the best exercises for building raw strength are the squat, deadlift, overhead presses, and the bench press.  If all you did were these exercise, you would be well on your way to being harder to kill and not sucking at life. In the business of the military and law enforcement, being harder to kill and not sucking at life are essential. Coupled with a good nutrition program (possible another post), people would confuse you with being a competitive bodybuilder. But that isn’t functional you might say, right? Well, there are few things more functional than a 315 pound deadlift, except maybe a 400 pound deadlift.

BLIM- The bottom line in the middle (bad joke): Incorporate the compound lifts properly and you’ll get stronger.

If you’ve noticed, we’re incorporating strength training into our overall programming. Although this doesn’t lend itself well to large groups because equipment constraints, this portion is too critical to leave out of your workout. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there will be a strength segment incorporated. After the strength portion, we’ll conclude with a conditioning workout. This is the most efficient way to get stronger while also quenching everyone’s thirst to get smoked.

Some clarification on terms- “volume” refers to the amount of sets and repetitions in a workout. “Intensity” in the context of strength training is the amount of weight lifted in relation to one’s one repetition maximum (1RM). An example of a high volume, moderate intensity workout would be “Angie” (100 Pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 air squats). An example of a low volume, high intensity workout would be the CF Total. Okay, let’s explain what we’ll be doing or more accurately, what we have been doing with strength training.

Monday’s strength workout will be of higher volume (normally 3-5 sets of approximately 4-7 reps) and moderate intensity (approximately 75-85% 1RM) for each lift.

Wednesday’s strength workout will be of low volume (normally 2 sets of 5 reps) and lower intensity (approximately 60-70% 1RM).  At this point, you’ll still be sore from Monday’s workout. The purpose of this day is to build muscle memory with the proper execution of the lifts.

Friday, as the P90X’ers say, is where you “bring it.” This day will be low volume (single sets of 1-2 reps), but high intensity (95% 1RM). Personal records (PRs) are for this day, but not at the expense of form.

If you’re new to strength training with the compound lifts, you may not feel sore after the workout. The primary reason is because you haven’t developed the ability to handle enough weight to cause soreness. Remember, form first, intensity later! Because of this, you’ll recover a lot faster than someone who has developed some basic strength with excellent form. These guys (or girls) can SAFELY handle a relatively significant amount of weight to cause soreness. Their rates of recovery from strength training bouts will be much slower than someone who has little experience with this.

Hopefully this helps you understand what we’re trying to accomplish at CF671. Remember if you’re not getting stronger with your current strength and conditioning program, you can’t call it a “strength and conditioning” program.

Enough reading, go lift like a guy or girl.



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