It's become clear that CrossFit's here to stay and can actually help you with your hypertrophy and body-composition goals... when done correctly. Obviously, not all CrossFit boxes are the same, and some may not have the programming that lines up with your goals. This program will.

If you're interested in strength or size gains along with general fitness and looking good naked, you've come to the right place.

This plan is built on a template derived from the conjugate system, with energy systems work (conditioning) that coincides with your strength work. Here's some of the details that make up the plan.

The Plan

4 Days A Week That Involve Barbell Lifts

The barbell work will range in terms of volume and intensity. Some days you'll work up to maximal loads; others you'll stay sub-max. On three of these days, you'll do conditioning after your strength work that will complement your lifting. The lifting will actually potentiate your conditioning work, which is what we're going for. This is considered a "contrast method." The conditioning portion will double as accessory work.

2 Days Of Low-to-Moderate Threshold Conditioning

These days will involve some longer and slower aerobic work, and also have a GPP (general physical preparedness) element to them to facilitate the response of work between 75-85% of our max heart-rate (MHR). These components are important to build your base, as well as facilitate recovery.

5 Days of Accessory Work

Think single-joint exercises as well as band work. This will boost hypertrophy but also improve your lagging muscle groups and joint health. You'll do this at the end of your session and it won't take more than 10 minutes to complete.

1 Day of Restoration

You'll do an "active rest" session that will involve aerobic work with a sled, tissue work, and extra tendon-work.

1 Day Off

You'll take a complete day of rest, but feel free to get in some low-impact activities outside of the gym.

What to Expect

  • Fast paced and efficient training sessions
  • Fast improvements in body composition
  • Improvements in your ability to tolerate higher volume while still recovering
  • Improvements in your work capacity
  • Training that keeps you engaged and is generally fun to complete

Typical 3-Week Block of Training

Monday

Max Effort Lower-Body

  • Zercher Box Squat: work up to a 3RM. Rest 2 minutes.

Conditioning

For time perform the following complex: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (See below.)

  • Deadlift
  • Power Clean
  • Front Squat
  • Push Press
  • Back Squat
  • Bentover Row

Start by completing 10 reps of each movement without putting the barbell down. After all 10 reps are done of all 6 movements, you can rest as long as needed and then move on to the set of 9 reps of each movement and so on. The goal is to complete this complex in as little time as possible, but the main intent is go through the 6 movements without dropping the bar.

Use a load that will make it a challenge to complete all movements without dropping the bar. Loading at a typical box would be around 95-115 pounds for guys and 65-75 pounds for ladies. Rest as needed between sets.

Accessory work

Using any set/rep scheme, accumulate:

  • 100 Banded Pull-Throughs
  • 100 Banded Pull-Aparts
  • 100 Russian Twists with a plate

Tuesday

Conditioning

5 sets of:

  • Sled Push x 100 meters (moderate weight on sled)
  • Ball Slam x 10-12 reps
  • Burpee (no push-up) x 12 reps
  • Jump Rope Double-Under x 30-50 reps

If needed your double-unders can be scaled to single-unders, just do double the amount, 60-100 reps.

You should have at least 90 seconds of rest after each set. Go at a moderate pace for all movements, so don't burn out halfway through because you used 100% effort. Start slow and augment your pace each round. Your splits shouldn't deviate too much, meaning if it takes you 3 minutes to complete set 1, you should be within 30 seconds of that time on set 5.

Accessory

Pick two single-joint movements that focus on bringing up a lagging muscle group and perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps supersetting the two movements.

Wednesday

Max Effort Upper Body

  • Close Grip Chin-Up Cluster: 4 x 3.3.3 (10 seconds). Rest 90 seconds.
  • Bar Dip: 4 sets x 9 reps. Rest 90 seconds.

Add weight to both if needed.

Conditioning

For time: 40-30-20-10

  • Push-Up
  • Bodyweight Walking Lunge
  • Dumbbell Push Press (light)
  • Abmat Sit-Up

So, 40-30-20-10 means on the first round, you do 40 reps per exercise in circuit format. On the next round, 30 reps of each exercise, on the next 20 reps, and finally 10 reps on the last round if you're not puking. Set a time-cap of 15 minutes and try to complete all of this work under that time.

Accessory

3 Rounds:

  • 10-12 Kettlebell Hammer Curls
  • 10-12 Kettlebell Tricep Extensions
  • 15-20 Bentover Rear Lateral Raises

Rest as needed between circuits.

Thursday

Active Rest Day

  • 10 minutes of max distance sledpull powerwalk (light). Try to not stop. Record your total distance after 10 minutes is up.
  • 100 total reps of band exercise. Choose 2-3 movements and accumulate volume i.e. leg curls (see video), pull-aparts, pushdowns, etc.
  • 10 minutes of soft tissue work. Your choice here.

Friday

Dynamic Effort Lower Body

  • Speed Back Squat: 9 sets x 2 reps using 75% of your 1RM, every 60 seconds. Focus on bar speed (fast with quality reps). There should be no hesitation to complete both reps explosively.
  • Seated Box Jump: 4 sets x 5 reps using a challenging height. Rest 60 seconds. (No need to use ankle weights as shown in the video.)

Conditioning

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) for 10 minutes:

  • 100 Meter Farmer Carries, AHAP (as heavy as possible).
  • 10 Dumbbell Thrusters (you choose the weight)

Your goal is to complete as many sets of farmer carries as possible without dropping. Typical loading would be 70 pound kettlebells for males and 53 pound kettlebells for ladies.

Thrusters are done with dumbbells, neutral grip. Use a load that you can focus on perfect movement and complete the work in one set without dropping it for all rounds. Typical loading here would be 50 pound dumbbells for guys and 25 pound dumbbells for ladies.

Accessory

  • Reverse Hyper: 3-4 sets x 15-25 reps. Start with 25% of your back squat 1RM and go as high as 50%. Rest 90 seconds.

Saturday

Dynamic Effort Upper Body

  • A. Split Jerk: 9 sets x 2 reps using 75%, every 60 seconds.
  • B. Speed Bench Press: 9 sets x 3 reps with 50-60%, every 45 seconds. Change grip every 3 sets.
  • C1. One-Arm Kettlebell Row with Rotation: 3 sets x 10-12 each side. Rest 45 seconds.
  • C2. Dumbbell Pullover: 3 sets x 10-12 reps. Rest 45 seconds.
  • D1. Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets x 8-10 reps. Rest 45 seconds.
  • D2. Dumbbell Tricep Extension to floor: 3 sets x 10-12 reps pausing for a 1 count on the floor. Rest 45 seconds.
  • E. Hollow Hold: 8 intervals x 10 seconds work/20 seconds rest
  • F. Accumulate 150 Banded Pushdowns or 100 Banded Face Pull-Aparts

Sunday – OFF

Week 2

Monday

Max Effort Lower Body

  • Rack Deadlift: Work up to a 1RM. Rest 3-4 minutes. Set-up so that bar is just below your knees.

Conditioning

3-5 Rounds of:

  • 8 RDLs
  • 8 Power Cleans
  • 8 Front Squats
  • 8 Front Rack Reverse Lunges (8 each)
  • 8 Push Press
  • 8 Back Squat
  • 8 Bentover Rows

Rest 2 minutes.

Complete all work without dropping the bar. Use a load between 65-95 pounds.

Accessory Work

Accumulate:

  • 100 Banded Pull-Throughs
  • 100 Banded Pull-Aparts
  • 100 Russian Twists with a plate

Tuesday

Conditioning

AMRAP in 30 minutes:

  • Row 500 meters
  • Run 400 meters
  • Front Rack Carry x 100 meters

Find a pace that allows you to maintain your output for the entire 30 minutes. Think somewhere between 70-80% of your best effort.

Accessory

Pick two single-joint movements that focus on bringing up a lagging muscle group and do 3 sets of 12-15 reps supersetting the two movements.

Wednesday

Max Effort Upper Body

  • Close Grip Floor Press: Find your 3RM. Rest 2 minutes between sets.
  • Wide Grip Pull-Up: 4 sets x 6-10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.

Conditioning

EMOM (every minute on the minute) for 10 minutes:

  • Odd Minutes: 10 Dumbbell Push Presses (choose a challenging load)
  • Even Minutes: 10 Burpees

Set a timer for 10 minutes. At the start of the odd minutes, you'll do push presses, and at the start of the even minutes you'll do 10 burpees. You should have least 20 seconds of rest after each set of burpees. If not, modify the volume to 8 burpees each round.

Accessory

3 Rounds of:

  • 10-12 Kettlebell Hammer Curls
  • 10-12 Kettlebell Tricep Extensions
  • 15-20 Bentover Rear Lateral Raises

Rest as needed between sets.

Thursday

Active Rest Day

  • 10 minutes of max distance Sledpull Powerwalk (light). Try to not stop for the entire 10 minutes. Record your total distance. Try to beat distance from last week by 200 meters.
  • 100 Total reps of band exercise. Choose 2-3 movements and accumulate volume i.e. leg curls, pull-aparts, pushdowns, etc.
  • 10 minutes of soft tissue work (foam rolling, etc.). Your choice here.

Friday

Dynamic Effort Lower

  • Speed Back Squat: 8 sets x 2 reps using 80% of your 1 RM, every 60 seconds.
  • Seated Box Jump: 4 sets x 5 reps, work up to same height as last week. Rest 60 seconds.

Conditioning

5 Rounds of:

  • 15 Russian Swings (heavy)
  • 20 Goblet Walking Lunges
  • 30 seconds max calories on Assault Bike or similar

Shoot for 90% of your best effort on each set. Rest 3 minutes. If you're unable to sustain a high-level of output, increase the rest to 4 minutes.

Accessory

  • Reverse Hyper: 4 sets x 15-25 reps. Start with 25% of your back squat 1RM and go as high as 50%. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Glute Ham Raise: 3 sets x 6-8 reps. Rest 60 seconds.

Saturday

Dynamic Effort Upper

  • A. Split Jerk: 8 sets x 2 reps using 80% of your 1 RM, every 60 seconds.
  • B. Speed Bench Press: 9 sets x 3 reps using 50-60%, every 45 seconds. Change grip every 3 sets.
  • C1. 1-Arm Kettlebell Row with Rotation: 3 sets x 10-12 reps each side. Rest 45 seconds.
  • C2. Dumbbell Pullover: 3 sets x 10-12 reps. Rest 45 seconds.
  • D1. Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets x 8-10 reps. Rest 45 seconds.
  • D1. Incline Tate Press: 3 sets x 15 reps. Rest 45 seconds.
  • E. Hollow Hold: 8 intervals x 10 seconds work, 20 seconds rest.
  • F. Accumulate 150 Banded Pushdowns or 100 Banded Face Pull-Aparts

Sunday – OFF

Week 3

Monday

Max Effort Lower-Body

  • Front Squat Clusters: Work up to a heavy 1.1.1 (10 seconds). Rest 2 minutes.

Conditioning

EMOM for 10 minutes:

  • Odd Minutes: 10 Goblet box Squats, wide stance, as heavy as possible. Sit back on the box on each rep.
  • Even Minutes: 10 Single Leg RLDs each.

Accessory Work

Accumulate:

  • 75-100 Double Leg Banded leg Curls
  • 75-100 Banded Ab Pulldowns

Tuesday

GPP

5 sets each of:

  • A. 60-yard Sledpull Powerwalk with bodyweight on sled. Rest 60 seconds.
  • B. 60-yard Single-Arm Farmer Carry. 30-yards each arm. Rest 60 seconds.
  • C. 2 Turkish Get-Ups each arm. Rest 60 seconds.
  • D. 60-Yard Sledpull Powerwalk using your bodyweight on sled. Rest 60 seconds.

Accessory

Pick two single-joint movements that focus on bringing up a lagging muscle group and perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps supersetting the two movements.

Wednesday

Max Effort Upper Body

  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Push Press, neutral grip: 4 sets x 6 reps each side, as heavy as possible. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Neutral Grip Pull-Up: 4 sets x 6 reps. Rest 90 seconds.

Conditioning

For time 10-8-6-4-2:

  • Bench Press
  • Hang Power Clean

Use your bodyweight for both movements. Ladies use half to three-fourths your bodyweight. If needed, increase the load or decrease the load, but all sets should be challenging to complete unbroken.

Accessory

3 rounds of:

  • Reverse Barbell Curl: 8-10 reps using a 2020 tempo
  • JM Press: x 12-15 reps
  • Deadbug + Reverse Crunch: x 10

Rest as needed between sets. For the 2020 tempo, you'll do a 2 second negative, no pause at the bottom, 2 second concentric, no pause at the top.

Thursday

Active Rest Day

  • 10 minutes of max distance sledpull. Alternate between forward, backward, and lateral pulling.
  • 100 Total reps of band exercises. Choose 2-3 movements and accumulate volume i.e. leg curls, pull-aparts, pushdowns, etc.
  • 10 minutes of soft tissue work. Your choice here.

Friday

Dynamic Effort Lower

  • Speed Back Squat: 7 sets x 2 reps, 85% of your 1RM, every 60 seconds.
  • Seated Box Jump: Work up to a challenging height in 5 sets. Rest 60 seconds.

Conditioning

AMRAP in 5 minutes:

  • 7 Thrusters using 95 pounds for guys, 65 pounds for ladies
  • 7 Burpees over the bar

Go for broke on this one, 100% effort.

Accessory

  • Reverse Hyper: 3 sets x 25 reps. Start with 25% of your back squat 1RM and go as high as 50%. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Glute Ham Raise: 3 sets x 8-10 reps. Rest 60 seconds.

Saturday

Dynamic Effort Upper Body

  • A. Split Jerk: 7 sets x 2 reps using 85% of your 1RM, every 60 seconds.
  • B. Speed Bench Press: 9 sets x 3 reps using 50-60% of your 1RM, every 45 seconds. Change grip every 3 sets.
  • C1. Supinated Grip Barbell Row: 3 sets x 10 reps. Rest 60 seconds.
  • C2. Bar Dip: 3 sets x 10-15 reps. Rest 60 seconds.
  • D1. Banded Hammer Curl: 2 sets x 25 reps. Rest 45 seconds.
  • D2. Banded Pushdown: 2 sets x 25 reps. Rest 45 seconds.
  • E. Shoulder Circuit: 3 sets x 10-15 each of front raise, lateral raise, bentover rear lateral raise. Rest as needed.
  • E. Side Plank: 3 x 20 seconds each. Rest as needed.

Sunday – Off

Final Reminders

Most people who do CrossFit have goals that are likely very similar to yours: size, strength, looking good, living longer, etc. There was a point in time when combining multiple elements of training in one session was frowned upon (I was someone that frowned upon it), but these elements should coincide with one another, meaning one should not impair the other. And most of your "conditioning" work can double as accessory work with the added element of time attached to it.

There's definitely something all methods of strength and conditioning can take from each other and, even if you're not into CrossFit, being open minded enough to try it might open you up to something you might actually enjoy and benefit from.

This a great way of staying engaged while still improving upon all aspects of your fitness. Even the "CrossFit haters" can benefit from this type of training. This may be a good way to get your feet wet and see if it's for you.

Related:  Why CrossFit Girls Are Stronger Than You

Related:  The Future of CrossFit Training