How CrossFitters Can Train Smarter, Not Harder

Athletes competing in the 2015 CrossFit Regionals have been ramping up training volume. Regional workouts are announced only a week before the first weekend of competition. Many athletes are attempting all of the workouts, in a short amount of time, placing a huge stress on their bodies.

In the 2014 CrossFit Games, Team athletes tested their 1 rep max Deadlift. This event required strategy: all 6 athletes, men and women, had 12 minutes to find their 1 rep max. The top deadlift at the competition: 655lbs by Sam Dancer for the men, and 445lbs by Ayo Anise for the women.

In competition, athletes performed their deadlift, and then scurried to change the weight for their next teammate. They had to develop a strategy before going into this workout for what weight they wanted to attempt first.

Attempting a 1 rep max deadlift is taxing. Competitors don’t want to do this too close to competition, or else they risk under recovering. Keep in mind, they don’t know very far in advance which movements will be tested.

PUSH solves this issue for athletes. The 1 rep max (1 RM) estimate feature allows you to work up in weight, but does not bring you all the way to your max. Instead, using velocity, it measures the speed in which you are able to move the bar. As you increase weight, it tracks how much velocity is lost, and finally forecasts when velocity would be just above 0 for an estimated 1 RM.

In fact, the weight was so light during my 1 RM deadlift estimate that multiple people told me “put some weight on that bar why don’t you?” while I was working up to my 1 RM. I assure you I workout at a very friendly and welcoming gym.

During my 1 RM deadlift estimate, PUSH had me work up to exactly 80% of my estimated 1 RM. My last set was at 340lbs for 3 reps. PUSH estimated my 1 RM deadlift at 425lbs.


So how accurate was this estimate? Very. Just 8 days before, I had done an traditional 1 RM deadlift test. I maxed out at 425lbs.


This feature from PUSH allows you to test your 1 RM max, without having to tax yourself like you would traditionally. Since I only worked up to 80% of my max, I felt comfortable moving the bar throughout the entire session. Total work from the 1 RM PUSH estimate was 13.4kj. Substantially lower than my traditional 1 RM deadlift session: 19.2kj. In other words, I had to do 45% more work to find my 1 RM without using PUSH.

For competitive athletes, this is huge. PUSH allows you to minimize training volume, and still provide you with a performance marker. Athletes no longer have to take training overboard so close to competition.

For the rest of us, this is also an invaluable tool. The feature currently works for Back Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift (Powerlifting movements). It took me just 10 minutes to work up to my 1RM deadlift. CrossFit is all about observable, measurable and repeatable workouts, like Fran. However, you might not hit the same test for 6 months! If you want to see monthly snapshots of your progress, the PUSH 1 RM estimate is a perfect way to do so on demand. Most importantly, it won’t take you out of the game for your next WOD.

Raphael Durand
Raphael is a CrossFitter and coach at NorCal CrossFit, focusing on how wearables and data can optimize performance.