There are a few workouts in CrossFit that require a unique combination of brute strength and muscular endurance like Linda. Linda – a triplet descending ladder of deadlifts, bench press, and cleans scaled according to bodyweight – requires good, efficient lifting mechanics, relative bodyweight strength, and is uniquely challenging in its duration. The workout is 165 reps – a range usually reserved for bodyweight movements – but is entirely barbell, at somewhat heavy loading.

This week we are introducing a new strength cycle whose aim is to theoretically prepare for Linda and Linda-esque workouts. The emphasis will be on big, compound movements in fairly large sets with an emphasis on volume that gradually scales back toward the end of the cycle. Most of our “big lifts” will be written as ladder or reverse-ladder schemes, starting with high volume sets (10+) and working down toward moderate-to-low volume high-intensity sets of 4 – 6.

This will be a difficult cycle – one that requires a unique application of both volume and intensity, and one in which the athlete pays close attention to recovery and how the body feels. None of the days will have prescribed percent loading – it will be up to the athlete to feel out how each day should go. If you’re feeling good, go for broke. If you’re feeling a bit beat up, it’s okay to ease off a little. In either case, given the volume of this cycle, it is imperative that the athlete takes care of recovery as their body will surely take a bit of a beating.