The PUSH Experience - A CrossFit Perspective

We launched our beta testing program at PUSH about 3 months ago. When we first began the program, we never would have expected the tremendous feedback and support that we've received from our beta members. This week, one of our early users - who's name we'll keep anonymous - personally volunteered to write a post about his experiences with PUSH. I don't want to give away too much info but this user is an absolute beast... oh and his sports science knowledge isn't too bad either. Read on to learn about his early experiences.


EMOMs - A Brief Overview

Raise your hands in assembly, CrossFitters. Surely I am not the only athlete or coach who initially discovered PUSH and thought, But how does this help me? To address that question I wanted to share one way I have implemented the data this device provides into my training practices: EMOMs.

In action, an acronym for 'every minute on the minute', denotes a protocol in which a set number of repetitions are performed at the start of each proceeding minute.  Variables such as exercise selection, load and volume can be manipulated, based on the individual for whom the program is designed for, to stress any of the energy systems (Figure 1).

Figure 1 – Sample variations in EMOM designs to stress the different energy systems.

Personally, I prefer utilizing EMOM schemes to drill technical proficiency in Weightlifting movements and their variants. The patterning, recovery and density provide a host of benefits in a time effective manner.

Volume determination when following this approach is largely based on intensity and follows an inverse relationship to one another. Generally, intensities between 60-80% 1RM can be performed for 10-30 total repetitions as singles, doubles, and even triples.

That represents a rather large degree of possibilities in programming. This is where the PUSH Band comes into play.

Those percentage ranges offer guidance, but ultimately should not be relied on in this context.  Daily variance in performance potential can impact training. How will you respond? With the ability to objectively monitor barbell velocity you can make informed decisions on weight progressions (i.e. – intensity) if such a protocol is prescribed.

Integrating EMOMs with Velocities

Let’s examine the session from the example above: EMOMx10, 2xClean at 70-80%.

The goal of this type of piece within my current cycle is to drill the clean and the snatch with volume. Those two movements were rotated out of my programming in lieu of the 2014 CrossFit Open. With my offseason heading into full gear I want to re-establish efficiency in those motor patterns.

Figure 2 – Training session data from EMOMx10x2 Clean at 70-80%

The four days preceding the session depicted above followed Murphy’s Law to the letter. Stomach flu, continuing education requirements, reduced sleep, circadian rhythm disruption, off-set training window…

Despite the first-world adversities, I still found myself staring down a barbell ready to perform ten doubles at 70 to 80% 1RM.  On a typical day I would have taken two or three sets to build toward 80% and performed several sets at that load.

Obviously this wasn’t a typical day.

I instead performed three sets at my opening percentage (70%). This established a baseline velocity to maintain throughout. In the subsequent sets I dictated load increases based on my ability to maintain velocity.

The load increases were much less aggressive than I had planned when writing this prescription weeks prior. However, by utilizing the PUSH Band, and the associated velocity outputs, as an instrument to quantify my performance I was able to achieve the correct stimulus for the session – despite seemingly 'underperforming'.

By the way, it was not until sets nine and ten that I was using 80% 1RM as my load. This enabled me to complete my final four repetitions - and notice that barbell velocity dropped 0.1-0.2 m/s (Figure 2).