Lots of variety again this week, so lots of opportunities to feel out some movements, and improve upon last week.
Question: How do I know when I should increase, or not increase, my weight on an exercise?
There is no harm in doing the same weight over and over, but after awhile your body will adapt to this weight, and it will provide very little stimulation to the body, compared to the first couple of times you hit it. So, within the realm of safety, we do want to make sure we are going heavier, when it is appropriate. There isn't really a black and white rule to follow when it comes to increasing weights, but here are a couple of rules to follow to make the decision a little bit easier.
-If there is a rep-range provided for the strength part ( 4 sets of 4-6 reps), a good rule of thumb would be that if you hit 6 reps, increase your weight slightly. If you get stuck at 4. That is a solid 4 rep for you that day. The next time this exercise comes up with the same rep-range, try to make 5 or 6 reps at the weight you hit for 4 the week before.
-The simplest one: Did it feel easy? Did it feel really easy? Could you do 6 reps at this weight for like 20 sets? Then, it probably isn't an appropraite weight to provide stimulation with only 4 sets. Using the same example (4 sets of 4-6 reps), you want to think of this as a 4-6 rep max over 4 sets. The first set should be challenging, the second set should be slightly more challening, same with the third, and the fourth set you are pushing it hard, and that last rep should be tough.
-When it comes to increasing weight use this simple rule of thumb; but following this rule can be easier said than done. For example, if Sigrid is doing a more complex movement, like the Snatch, she would have a goal of "Mastering" the weight, before she sincreases. So, if the day's programming is 8 sets of 3 reps Hang Squat Snatch and she starts at 30kg, she wants to make sure that she gets a perfect set at 30kg, before moving up in weight. If she hits the 30kg, and it was pretty for every rep, then she should throw on 5-10kg for the next set. If Sigrid gets to 50kg and has a great first rep, too low bar contact on second rep, and had to walk forward on her third, she is NOT going to increase weight. If she right away jumps to 55kg, her next set is likely going to be crap, and potentially dangerous. In the long run, Sigrid will improve to a greater extent, and more quickly, by perfecting reps at a certain weight, before increasing.
Have a great week of training,
Crossfit 46 Coaching Staff