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JOURNAL OF HEALTH & ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE


Max Effort Black Box Collection
Michael Rutherford

Part 1: Max Effort Black Box Issue 3 - April 2005


After practicing and coaching the CrossFit methodology for over two years I am increasingly convinced the most successful athletes are those who come to the dance with the greatest strength and power. Athletes with the best strength base perform the best in this new sport called CrossFit. Greg Amundson and Josh Everett are two perfect examples of successful, and very powerful, CrossFit athletes. Both Greg and Josh can turn Fran in sub 2:40 range. Greg has also been reported to 1RM a front squat/push press (a.k.a. a THRUSTER) with over 275lbs at a bodyweight of around 200lbs. I personally witnessed Josh clean & jerk 155kg while weighing in the 84kg range. My own BLACK BOX project started last summer when I began thinking of how a template like this might go together. The final thoughts evolved during the fall when I was retained by one of the citys best high school basketball coaches. With this approach the basketball players strength improvements continued throughout the season. With this in mind I would like to present a permutation of the CrossFit theory. Consider this Maximum Effort CrossFit or ME CrossFit if you will. Stay with me here while we sort through this a bit. Here are some of the components of my ME CrossFit program. MAXIMUM EFFORT (ME): A cornerstone to the Westside Barbell training program is the Maximum Effort Day. During these sessions the athlete works with a load near his/her maximum (90% +) for that day. Repetitions range from 1-5. In this program we will be using near maximal loads for all the weightlifting movements. There are two rep ranges. The first week on a rotation, the repetitions are 5-5-5-3-3-3. Joe Kenn1 refers to these as introductory reps. The second time through on a movement, the repetitions are 3-3-3-1-1-1. My intuition indicates that experienced athletes could stay with 3-3-3-1-1-1, or you could perform 8 x 2 or 10 x 1. The Prilepin chart may be handy in a case like this. Anything over 90%, 4-10 sets 1-2 reps with an optimal number of 7 sets. MOVEMENT ROTATION: CrossFit athletes will recognize the following functional movements. TOTAL BODY (T): Include Olympic Clean variations, Olympic Snatch variations, Push Presses or Jerks. LOWER BODY (L): I like squats. I like a rotation of weighted back squats and front squats. UPPER BODY (U): I will select standing press and weighted pull-ups for my upper body movements. You could also look at bench press and/or incline press. I find these least productive but I know they are popular and necessary in certain circles. Again, for this discussion our movement pool includes: TOTAL: Power Clean from the Deck (PC) and Hang Cleans (HC) LOWER: Back Squats (BS) and Front Squats (FS) UPPER BODY: Standing Press (SP) and Weighted Pullups (WP) [Editors Note: Weighted dips and muscle ups seem fair game as well.]

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What we will do with the movements is rotate them on ME days. On the first ME day we will perform a to tal body movement (T): power cleans from the Deck (PC); on the second ME day a lower body movement (L): back squats (BS); and finally, on the third ME Day an upper body movement (U): standing press (SP). CROSSFIT WORKOUTS These should be familiar to everyone. One needs look no further than www.crossfit.com and the workout of the day. Whenever possible place emphasis on monostructural metabolic effortse.g. running, cycling, swimmingon the day following a ME workout. You could also precede ME days with more gymnastics movements. In any case, the varied if not randomized approach with CrossFit will address any weaknesses in your athletic profile and provide the GPP (General Physical Preparedness) you require to elevate your maximum strength and power. REST Rest is of critical importance. I cannot improve the 3 on 1 off micro-cycling design. I think it provides excellent balance between volume, intensity and rest. Now that we have the parts, here is how it goes together. SCHEDULE DAY 1 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 2 - ME (Total Body-PC) (introductory reps) 5-5-5-3-3-3 DAY 3 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 4 - REST DAY 5 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 6 - ME (Lower Body-BS) (introductory reps) 5-5-5-3-3-3

DAY 7 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 8 - REST DAY 9 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 10 - ME (Upper Body-SP) (introductory reps) 5-5-5-3-3-3 DAY 11 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 12 - REST DAY 13 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 14 - ME (Total Body-PC) 3-3-3-1-1-1 DAY 15 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 16 - REST DAY 17 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 18 - ME (Lower Body-BS) (introductory reps) 3-3-3-1-1-1 DAY 19 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 20 - REST DAY 21 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 22 - ME (Upper Body SP) (introductory reps) 3-3-3-1-1-1 DAY 23 - CrossFit workout (XF) DAY 24 - REST We have now rotated through the introductory reps and the foundation ME reps once. Now we rotate to the secondary foundation movement. In this case it would be hang cleans, front squats and weighted pullups. The athletes I have plugged into this template are continuing to improve, although they have only invested six months thus far.

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Part 2: Max Effort Revisited Issue 7 - August 2005


In April, Coach Michael Rutherford unveiled an elegant template that draws from the success of WestSide Barbell and of course, CrossFit. We have received numerous comments as to the efficacy of the program and we are hoping to post before and after stats as they come in. Smart manipulation of training helps not only to maintain the crushing metabolic conditioning of CrossFit but also builds elite levels of strength and power. PROFILE This athlete is eighteen years old. He will be entering his freshman year in college this fall and plans on playing linebacker in college. He was highly successful as a high school athlete. In football, he recorded the highest number of tackles totaled over two seasons and is the single season record holder for his school. This record stood for over sixteen years. His senior season, he placed third in the Kansas State Wrestling Championships with only one defeat all season. His high school weight room accomplishments include all time school best in the Power Clean, Jerk and the third best back squat in school history. This background is important because it shows that the subject was trained but also highly motivated. PRACTICE For the last eight weeks, he performed the ME BLACK BOX template (see The Performance Menu April 2005). He missed one week practicing for the Metro All Star football game. The athlete rotated the following exercises during the time frame: T= Hang Cleans / Squat Cleans L= Back Squats, Oly style / Front Squats U= Bench Press / Incline Press REPS 1st Rotation= 5x3 2nd Rotation 5x1 In addition to these changes the athlete modified his dietary practice, reducing additional servings on what was already a solid dietary practice for an 18-year-old male. The results have been rather significant considering the initial level of fitness for this athlete. Below are some measurable results.

PRE Height Weight Clean & Jerk Thruster Back Squat 71 211 lbs 301 lbs 245 lbs 380 lbs x 6

POST 71 202 lbs 314 lbs 275 lbs 405 lbs x 6

CrossFit Diagnostics Grace Fractured Fran Karen 2:29 3:39 7:05

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Part 3: Masters Weightlifting MEBB Issue 16 - May 2006

My friends at the Performance Menu asked that I share my training template from the recent USWF Masters Nationals. I had a successful Sunday on a relative scale. My return on investment of time (ROI) was excellent. I placed first at a national competition on essentially two training sessions per week while maintaining a high level of fitness incorporating the CrossFit mixed mode training technology. This version of the ME Black box might be useful to you.

Disadvantages
Limited time for mechanics of the lifts. If you have issues with your technique they may not improve with this approach. I used barbell complexes to warm-up and to cement certain techniques I needed to improve. The focus and intensity required may prove psychologically taxing to some. You may be under prepared. I found holes in my training as I approached the competition date. Your injury potential increases as you increase the intensity. I believe that during February and early March I was on the skinny edge of overtraining.

Assumptions and Limitations


This program will work for an intermediate to advanced lifter that is looking for results while not necessarily specializing. If you are a beginner or you have large technical issues then this approach may not be ideal. I also believe that you need to have a sound strength base. You should possess both a clean deadlift and back squat of 1.5 bodyweight. With that being said, I am not a model of technical excellence. You should also have a solid conditioning base. I believe ideally that you have been practicing the CrossFit approach to general physical preparation (GPP) of training for twelve weeks prior to launching into this template. Better and more established lifting coaches would suggest more sessions and more technical focus. They are likely correct. For these coaches, this approach may turn out to be a swing cycle or bridge approach to the next competition. This is a minimalist approach.

Subject Background
Leading into this focus competition I had only competed in two meets. My third would come eight days prior to this focus meet. I initially wanted to participate in this meet starting two years ago. Prior commitments precluded my participation. Im largely a selfcoached lifter. I seek out tips from more experienced coaches whenever possible. It was my oldest sons interest in competing that piqued my interest in entering an event. Im a generalist who enjoys a number of different sports and fitness activities. Ive practiced a randomized approach to fitness for many years. Even before I learned of the term CrossFit, I was coaching and practicing high intensity short duration workouts. At 47 years of age and 90kg, I can deadlift 195kg almost any time and back squat 150kg. Within the last year leading up to this event I snatch squatted 115kg x 3 and 90kg x 15. My general fitness is strong for a 47 year old male. I routinely rank in the 90th percentile in any of the benchmark workouts. I can row 2K around the 7:00 mark.

Advantages
Large ROI. You can bring great focus and intensity to your training. I consider this low volume training. Leaves time for other activities. You need not worry about being a specialist. I have been a frustrated golfer from birth. I would prefer to have my handicap drop to single digits than jerk 150kg. I had time to work parts of this passion. I also enjoy reading and spending time with my family. This approach allowed for me to be all things to all people. Perfect for a Masters lifter with reduced recovery skills. Builds tremendous confidence. If you are lifting within 90-100% of your goal on the practice platform you feel really confident when you compete.

Movement Pool
As a minimalist my approach to training took on a Spartan look and feel. For me, being good at weightlifting means to be good at the snatch and the clean & jerk. I basically practice one lift per session until the final weeks. So beginning on January 9th, 2006 here are

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the movements I practiced. I did not practice these for the entire duration. Beginning February 6th, I dropped the snatch grip deadlift and hang movements. I was now down to snatching and cleaning and jerking. Snatch Emphasis Snatch Grip Deadlift Hang Snatch Snatch from the Deck *Front Squat *Abs *Reverse Hypers Jerk Emphasis High Hang Clean & Jerk (HHCJ) Hang Clean & Jerk (HCJ) Clean & Jerk from the Deck *Back Squat *Behind the Neck (BN) Power Jerk *Abs *Glute Ham Raise
* These movements were at a fixed 3 sets of 5 reps. The load varied based upon the other movements and their completion.

Tuesday: Snatch Emphasis Session Wednesday: CrossFit Mixed Mode- or Recovery Session with dragging sled. Thursday: Jerk Emphasis Friday: CrossFit Mixed Mode Saturday: Limited Snatch and Clean & Jerk Session Sunday: Rest & Recovery Hot Tubs Cool Contrast Beginning with February 6th, 2006 until March 20th, 2006 I reduced the movements again. Monday: CrossFit Mixed Mode* Tuesday: Snatch, Behind the neck power jerk, back squat Wednesday: CrossFit Mixed Mode- or Recovery Session with dragging sled. Thursday: Jerk, Snatch Friday: CrossFit Mixed Mode Saturday: Limited Snatch and Clean & Jerk Session Sunday: Rest & Recovery Hot Tubs Cool Contrast Beginning with March 20th, 2006 until contest time I pared down the training to look like this. Monday: CrossFit Mixed Mode* Tuesday: Snatch, Jerk Wednesday: CrossFit Mixed Mode- or Recovery Session with dragging sled. Thursday: Jerk, Snatch, Friday: CrossFit Mixed Mode Saturday: Limited Snatch and Clean & Jerk Session Sunday: Rest & Recovery Hot Tubs Cool Contrast

Meso Cycling
DATES 1/9-1/27 1/30-2/3 2/6-3/10 3/13-3/17 3/20-3/31 4/3-4/7 SETS REPS 5 3 to 5 Unloading Reduced volume by 50% 10 to 24 1 to 3 Unloading Reduced volume by 50% 10 to 20 1 Unloading Reduced volume by 50%

I do not select specific intensity for a reason. The objective was to lift the best effort possible for the session on the final reps. If I did not feel good, strong or had misses on the way up I would conclude the session. My journal only shows two sessions where I terminated a workout. I also did not reduce the intensity during the process. Why climb half way up a mountain to return and then come back down? I kept the loading intensity high. I did pay attention to how I was feeling.

* My every other day CrossFit mixed mode approach can be located at www.coachrut.blogspot.com

Micro Cycling
I start my workday at 5:00 am and conclude several evenings at 7:00 pm. I have a son at home who wrestles during the winter months. Saturday and Sunday sessions were next to impossible. This is the weekly cycle that I followed for 13 weeks. Monday: CrossFit Mixed Mode*

Odds & Ends


I used a Zone 4-block, 3-times fat post workout recovery meal. I know this helped my typical hypo-caloric intake practice. I slept an average of 7 hours per night. On some weekends I was able to log up to 10 hours of sleep. The extra hours were helpful in bridging me into the next hard week.

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I competed in a meet exactly 8 days prior to my focus competition. I totaled 230kg on that afternoon. I felt solid on all my attempts. I narrowly missed a 130kg jerk and attempted and set a personal record on the snatch at 105kg. This was confirmation that I was ready.

a year and forced me to jerk with a right foot leading has finally healed. I believe that this should allow for more jerks and handstand push-ups. Ive received questions from some in the CrossFit community as to how I adjusted intensity with regard to the Monday, Wednesday and Friday sessions. Generally, I went hard but not to the cashed out stage. Cashed out is a term we use in our practice to describe the athlete out flat on the floor. These were still considered hard but not to collapse. I want to thank a few individuals. Coach Whitney Rodden, Coach Tom Cross and the entire Mid American Nazarene College athletic department for allowing me to train in a weightlifting friendly environment. Mike Burgener forwarded a couple of thoughts on my second pull. These drills gave me a nice warm-up routine. Finally, Gene Gilsdorf, an excellent lifter in his own right, paced my warm-up and helped me become successful on that particular Sunday. I salute all of my fellow Masters competitors. There were some amazing lifts over the weekend. It was an honor to lift with other folks who respect this sport.

Results
I competed in the 46-49 age group lifting in the 94kg class. I was light that morning even with a breakfast of eggs and fruit. I weighed 88kg down slightly from my normal walking around weight of 90kg. I hit a personal best total of 232kg. (102kg snatch and 130kg jerk). My Sinclair-Metzler-Malone was 328. This total was good for first place by 19kg. I placed 4th overall in my Sunday morning session, which included the 105kg and 105+ lifters.

Conclusion
I believe that my total could improve another 2-5% with a similar approach but more work on my snatch second pull. My shoulder that was painful for almost

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Part 4: Template Variation Issue 17 - June 2006

Introduction
When I first wrote in these pages of a way to increase athletic fitness via maximal effort (ME) training within the framework of the CrossFit technology I had no idea that the popularity of the template would reach this level. Since writing that in April 2005, I have received at minimum of one e-mail correspondence per week with questions about the template. Since that article, I have watched others take this 3-on 1-off configuration of focus lifting and calling it the XYZ Black box. Coaches I respect who had previously focused on a more myopic approach to conditioning are seeing the value of dropping in the ME work into their training cycles. They are combining the potency of CrossFit mixed mode with lifting big. As a result, the athletic monsters they were already creating are now monsters to the second power.

formula was conceived. I had my own case study of twelve high school aged athletes. The results were spectacular: quantum improvements in strength resulted. The added strength allowed them to push these CrossFit medleys to levels they were not able to achieve during earlier workouts. The team narrowly missed the state playoffs that year. This year the team finished second in the state in the largest class following this template. If you are unfamiliar with what I have discussed so far, I would suggest you go to the Performance Menu store and download the original issue.

Field Application: Template Variation 1


The boy scientist in me wanted to see more. I put some other athletes in a variation of this in my own practice with similar positive results. Since I did not keep copious notes, I am uncertain if this template variation is superior to the original template. My practice is geared as a service rather than a research environment. My guess is that there is no statistical difference between the two. However, I do believe that this template is easier to administrate and execute. The template that they followed was and is an easy variation: metabolic conditioning (CrossFit) mixed mode training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and ME work on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. Monday XFIT Tuesday TB Wednesday

Historical Roots
The birth of the ME Black Box came as the result of a contract I received from a local basketball coach. The coach was looking for a complete program. His team lacked in several areas. Their relative strength was very poor. He wanted a team that could run the floor all night but muscle up when needed underneath the rim and in the paint. Prior to my installation, the teams conditioning program consisted of alternating days of three sets of ten rep lifting and 400 meter track repeats. Looking at their lack of conditioning, I took to implementing the power of the CrossFit training template and adding the focus of either a total body (T), lower body (L) or upper body (U) movement and rotating these throughout the process. A successful

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XFIT Thursday LB Friday XFIT Saturday UB Sunday REST


XFIT = CrossFit Mixed Mode training TB = Total Body LB = Lower Body UB = Upper Body

work on this movement for testing purposes. Their schools, as with most schools, require this movement either as a 1 rep max or as a percentage of 1 RM for max reps. One could easily substitute overhead work, weighted pull-ups and or weighted dips in the UP movement pool. We stayed with each ME movement for three weeks before transitioning to another. Our rep rotation for each week went as follows: Week 1 5 x 5 Week 2 5 x 3 Week 3 5 x 1 A couple of reoccurring questions have arisen from the initial writing. The first question centered on reaching max loads. The idea is to increase the weight of each work set until the best effort for that day is achieved. The second question pertained to other exercises that day. The original plan did not include any additional movements. Ive since included assisting movements in certain cases. I like reverse hypers and glute-ham raise on the glute-ham bench. I like these movements for shoring up weaknesses in the posterior chain and in serving a pre-habilitative role. The Monday, Wednesday, Friday sessions did not select for sport specific metabolic training. We drilled the football kids with the same movements as the wrestlers. We worked the entire continuum of metabolic possibilities. I am, however, looking at cherry picking the WOD for more sport-specific stimulus. This will be explored in future articles. When we meet again, I will roll out another template variation.

Movement pool rotations: Total Body (TB) Clean Deadlift, High Hang Clean, Clean from the Deck Lower Body (LB) Front Squats, Back Squats (high bar position), Back Squats (low bar position) Upper Body (UP) Floor Press, Bench Press, Bench Press Im not a big fan of bench pressing. I believe it to have limited positive transfer to sport. Unfortunately, the athletes I placed in this template needed specific

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Part 5: A New Way to ME Black Box Issue 41 - June 2008


It was 2004 when I first started integrating M.E. lifts with the CrossFit high intensity randomized protocol. I have since tried some new methods, which have proven successful. They tell me at the Performance Menu that the M.E. articles are the most popular back issues on the shelf. I still receive e-mail each week with questions on the implementation on the template. The mother ship CrossFit.com with a push from Starting Strength guru Mark Rippetoe now includes a heavy dose of M.E. lifting. The CrossFit method now includes a lifting total. I like to believe that the ME BLACK BOX had something to do with that birth. Like a lot of things in coaching, these templates were born out of necessity along with trial and error. A couple of clients had stalled out with their progress. Thusly, this variant was born.
Day Mon Wed Fri Movement Pool Total Body (T) Lower Body (L) Upper Body (U) Rotation High Hang Clean, Deck Power Clean, Cleans Zercher Squat, Front Squat, Back Squat Press, Push Press, Jerk

Rep Rotations
Wk 1 - 5 x 5 Wk 2 - 5 x 3 Wk 3 - 5 x 1 I took creative liberties with the CrossFit workouts (dont act like it doesnt happen). I modified certain WODs and turned it into a game. I had the athlete draw them from a hat. The workout was not replaced into the hat until all 8 workouts had been completed for one entire cycle. If on day nine a workout was drawn from the hat that was completed within the last three days then a redraw was permitted. I found the familiarity with the WOD kept the workout moving each week, reduced the psychological demands of constant education, but did not compromise the desired stress adaptation. Here are the top eight modified CrossFit WODs. 1. Countdown DB Snatch: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8 reps (thats 10 right/10 left, 8 right/8 left, etc) 2. Modified Cindy: 5 pull-ups/10 push-ups/15

M.E. BLACK BOX BACKGROUND


I dont want to fill this space with a recap of the M.E. BLACK BOX writing. I hate to do it but you will need to invest in the ME Black Box article collection for the background.

THE M-W-F Black Box


This approach took hold over the last two winters. It was a way to abbreviate the BLACK BOX on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as these are the big days in my practice. The essence was a M.E. focus followed by a CrossFit type WOD.

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squats; How many rounds can you get in X time (I would pick the time based on the athletes relative fatigue for the day; generally not more than 10 minutes) 3. Modified Diane: Deadlift & Dips 21, 15, 9 reps (loading equals 100% of bodyweight) 4. Modified Jackie: 1000M Row / 50 DB push press / 30 Pull-ups 5. DB Snatch 10 (5 right / 5 left) Pull-ups 10; How many rounds in X time. 6. Isabel - 30 reps barbell snatch 7. Sled Push or Pull: 2:00 hard / 1:00 recovery x 4-8 reps 8. Modified Grace - 30 Reps Clean I might occasionally throw in something simple like a bunch of thrusters or ball slams, but primarily these were the ones we ran with.

The Template
The Daily schedule included: 1. Warm-up Moves 2. M.E. Focus 3. Modified WOD 4. P-Chain Move 5. Eight Great Post Stretch Moves 6. Foam Roller or Stick for the problem areas. Next month I have another spin for the committed family man.

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Part 6: ME Black Box for the Family Man Issue 42 - July 2008
While Ive had my successes with helping the aspiring athlete run faster, jump higher, and put more weight overhead, I derive the greatest pleasure from helping the family man or woman. He goes to work, he is likely in a relationship, has a family and probably volunteers in some capacity. These athletes have different stress and value systems. Elite performance and personal records are important but not at the expense of other values. I recently received that following e-mail which was the genesis of THE M.E. BLACK BOX FOR THE FAMILY MAN. My name is JASON and I hope you are doing well today. I think I am experienced enough to answer my own question but wanted to see if you had 2 cents to add. I am going to begin the ME Black Box routine. (Thanks by the way!) However, as a devoted father of small children, a husband and coach of recreational Baseball, I will not be going to the gym on the weekends. I reserve those days for foam rolling, active BW recovery and family. So if I am trying to adapt the ME BB to a 5 day program how do you feel about Crossfit M/W/F and ME Total on Tuesdays and alternating Upper/Lower each Thursday? I know this does not fit the 3 on 1 off parameters so I may find myself needing a rest day towards the end of the week. I am looking for a starting point with the BB. If it makes a difference in your opinion I am 37 years old and have been doing Dos Power training since it came out. And have been lifting for about 7 years now. Thanks for your time and I hope you have a great day.

strength and power stimulus to accelerate your fundamental strength and propel your CrossFit WOD times and benchmark workouts. The Family Man MEBB Rules 1. All training must take performed M-F 2. NO workouts are performed on Saturday and Sunday as these are reserved for the family and other pursuits. 3. No workout can exceed 45 minutes. 4. Other healthy practices should be in place.

The Training Template


This template is quite simple. The athlete will us an A/B split. A = ME Day B = CrossFit Day Since there are five days for workouts and two primary focuses of training, there will be a week of 3 ME sessions followed by a week of 2 ME sessions. The randomization of your program is completely your call. If your relative strength is the limiting factor then you should only incorporate short duration CrossFit workout challenges. I believe this training template offers even the busiest of family folks an opportunity to maintain top tier performance while maintaining a balance of family time.
Day Mon Wed Fri Movement Pool Total Body (T) Lower Body (L) Upper Body (U) Rotation High Hang Clean, Deck Power Clean, Cleans Zercher Squat, Front Squat, Back Squat Press, Push Press, Jerk

The Nuts & Bolts


At this stage of the game I trust that everyone is familiar with the ME BLACK BOX and the variants presented thus far. The ME BLACK BOX will provide the necessary

Rep Rotations Week 1 Week 2 Week 3

5x5 3x3 5x1

Week 1 Week 2

Mon ME CF

Tue CF ME

Wed ME CF

Thu CF ME

Fri ME CF

Sat Rest Rest

Sun Rest Rest

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Part 7: Advanced Options with the MEBB Issue 57 - October 2009

sets of 2 reps with 50% of the 1 RM squat with 1:00 of rest. Another would be a Hurdle hop or high box jump. Westside barbell founder Louis Simmons has train a number of sprinters with the Concurrent method and speed tier work is an important element in their training plan. Effort Tier work (Strength Speed) displaces the Force / Velocity Curve by working on the Force component.

Since 2004 when I first proposed the overlaying of Effort lifting with CrossFit / GPP (Max Effort Black Box aka MEBB), Ive worked on numerous template designs. Ive listened to athletes and coaches from various walks of life and different sports. The questions have come from those who just love CrossFit and want to do it better to the high school and College coach who want to employ CrossFit but also need more strength. Several CrossFit Games participants have confessed to using the templates. Testimonials from multiple individuals are littered throughout my blog and on my testimonials page. To Date heres what we know for certain occurs to the athletic fitness profile of MEBB users: -Enhanced athletic fitness -Improved CrossFit Performance -Improved athletic movement -Better Training Variety -Enhanced Power/Explosivenes -Reduction in orthopedic stress -Long Term ImprovementNo Theoretical Limit -Increases in lean body mass (LBM) -Flex use of components Never quite satisfied with the status quo, Ive been working with an advanced template. Ive had this out in BETA in different variations since Spring 2009. I want to share elements of this program with you today.

The Speed (Speed-Strength) helps to further displace the Curve by working on the Velocity at which the force is applied. (Kraemer and Fleck OPTIMIZING STRENGTH TRAINING 2007)

Volume Tiers Adding Speed & Volume Tiers


One thing Ive fought constantly with any of the MEBB templates was the overachieving, hyperactive What Else can I do? personality. If I didnt hand out additional assignments, they would go off the rails and just do something random. This got me to thinking that I needed to consider another way to harness that energy in a productive way. As a result, in addition to the Effort tier, I have added a Speed tier and a Volume Tier. Adding speed and volume are elements from a concurrent / Westside Template. Volume Tiers add dimension to muscle fiber, thickens connective tissue and increases capillary density. Volume Tiers are high-repetition sets reaching close to if not to muscle failure. Think bodybuilders. For the upper body, an athlete could perform 3 sets of 20 reps of suspended push-ups. Bilateral Lower Body Tiers are balanced with unilateral lunge patterns in the Volume Tier. Total body volume work is best accomplished with complexes using barbells or dumbbells.

Effort / Speed / Volume Speed Tiers


These are sub-maximal loads (50% of 1RM) executed at maximal velocities. Examples of this would be 10 The advanced template concurrently trains Power, Speed and Muscle density components. The order is Effort Tier, Speed Tier and finally the Volume Tier. A daily session might look like this.

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1. Warm Up Moves 2. Hang Power Snatch 3 x 3, 3 x 1 3. Squats 8 x 2 @50% of 1RM 4. Suspended Push ups 3 x RM 5. Glute Ham Raise 3 x 15 6. Post Stretch / Foam Roller

I guess Im an awfully good sponge. I absorb ideas from every course I can, and put them to practical use. Then I improve them until they become of some value. The ideas which I use are mostly the ideas of other people who dont develop them themselves. Thomas Edison when complemented on his creative genius.

Weekly Template 3/1 2/1


To date our best feedback points to a 3 on with 1 day rest followed by 2 on with 1 Day Rest. We rotate 2 or 3 effort/speed/volume tier days with 2 or 3 CrossFit couplets or triplets. The process for managing all this occurs with a MS Excel designed training tracker. I must note that selecting ideal CrossFit couplets or triplets takes a keen understanding of the athletes unique skill set. Its not a perfect science, but lets be frank, nothing in applied exercise science is or has been perfect. During my Intelligent Exercise Design seminars, we will be tackling the MEBB package from the original construct to this advanced topic. I look forward to discussing the merits of this process in the very near future.

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Part 8: Percentage-Based MEBB Issue 59 - December 2009

If you dont have a max for an athlete then just do some conservative projections and have them start. Here you go. MEBB PERCENTAGE BASED PROGRAMMING

One poor assumption I have made with regards to lecturing on the Max Effort Black box deals with the athletes experience with finding the daily max effort. Im up there babbling about finding that best effort for 5, 3 or 1 on a particular move and then suddenly it hits meThe majority of my audience is lost. I often times get the same tilted head, glazed over look my Airedales give me when Im talking to them. Its bad coaching on my part and I regret that. Failure breeds innovation. So now we have another way. After a month on the road, in front of friends, coaches, and athletes I returned to base to tweak out a thing or two. I broke out some training logs, a calculator and excel spreadsheet and found an alternative route to working through the three weeks rep rotation. This is nothing new to those who follow, practice and study the world of strength and conditioning. Its just a method that I have avoided to keep things a bit less cumbersome and a bit more intuitive. As a refresher, a particular movement is selected from an inventory of total lower and upper body movements. The first week is an introductory week of 5s, followed by a week of 5 x 3 and finally a week of 5 x 1. The objective each time is to reach a best effort work set on the final set of the day. Its at this point where difficulty arises in determining how to progress and arrive at that final work set. Percentage based MEBB to the rescue. Now Fans and coaches can plug their athletes into a max and have all their Sets calculated out for the three weeks. You will need one or all of the following. A chart, a calculator or an excel spreadsheet to do the work. I would suggest finding any one of 1000 max charts or formulas available on the Internet.

WEEK 1 5@55% 5@63% 5@70% 5@77% 5@85%

Week 2 3@63% 3@70% 3@77% 3@85% 3@93%

Week 3 1@70% 1@77% 1@85% 1@93% 1@100-101%

I can already anticipate the outcry at the oddball percentages. Yes, you can round up to 65,80,and 95 percentages to make your chart neat and tidy. You can also make your own chart with MS Excel. Find a business/accounting or math friend to help if you are like me. 1RM 101% 93% 85% 77% 70% 63% 55% 50% 50 51 47 43 39 35 32 28 25 Total body moves for the week of 5s and 3s May require a reset after each set for many. No big deal. Dump it safely and go again. I hope that this helps with the difficulty on finding a best effort and keeps you on track.

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