Improving CrossFit Core Lifts: part 1

Improve your 3 core lifts with this 9 week training program

The following program is a detailed routine to help a crossfitter improve their strength in the big 3 core lifts (squat, bench, and deadlift) while still maintaining time and energy to do their usual crossfit workouts. Outlined below is a 9-week strength cycle. It is split into 2 days per week. I would recommend doing the lower day on Monday and the upper day on Thursday, but depending on your crossfit schedule you can adjust that how you see fit, just allow yourself 2-3 days between the two workouts of the week. As you’ll notice the workout is a percentage based program, so that means you’ll have to know your one rep max in the squat, bench, and deadlift, or at least have a general idea. If this is your first time running a strength cycle or if you are fairly new to the squat, bench, and deadlift, I would advise subtracting 10-20 pounds from your 1RM before applying the percentages. For this program to work ideally for a crossfit athlete you should limit or completely eliminate any other lifting sessions other than these two workouts a week and your crossfit workouts. Week 4 and week 8 are what are referred to as deload weeks, although the workouts in these weeks may seem easy they are a necessity to the success of the program.

Week 1


Week 2


Week 3


Week 4


Week 5


Week 6


*GHR= Glute-Ham Raise

**Choose an abdominal exercise of your choice, I like decline bench sit-ups with medicine ball

***If you do not have access to mini bands just be sure to press weight explosively after pausing with triceps on floor.


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This is awesome.

What’s the purpose of the box jumps? Is it part of the warm-up?

Mike Booth

I had the exact same question for Patrick! He said the box jumps are a CNS primer for the explosiveness needed for the squat.

I also agree it might be impossible to implement this program with a CrossFit athlete. You might be able to have them do it at the beginning of the season.

I can most likely see a CrossFit athlete doing the twice a week workouts on their “off days”. My question is how much different would a powerlifter train? Patrick aren’t they pretty lazy on their recovery days 😉

I think this could work for a corssfitter in a few ways. If they do 2-3 crossfit workouts per week, then they just need to do the two workouts from the blog on 2 different days from the crossfit workouts. The serious crossfit athlete could fit this in in a two a day type split, do the workouts from the blog in the am on two days of the week, and do their regular crossfit workouts in the pm on those days, and whenever they like on the days they don’t do the workouts from the blog. A powerlifter would… Read more »

or by squatting, deadlifting, and benching more than once per week.


This would be ideal for a lot of athletes looking to increase core lifts. SO many CRossFIt athletes are chronic over trainers I think it might be difficult for them to stick to this program 😉