Sunday, December 7, 2008


I received a few questions regarding the Max Effort Black Box (MEBB) path we are currently following.

Q. I see that I'm going to run out of weight (plates in my garage) towards the end of the template what should I do?
A. If you think the 5 x 5 week can be maintained for three weeks without running out of iron then don't reduce the reps to 5 x 3 and 5 x 1. Stay with the 5 x 5 and try to up your best 5. Another option would be to loosen up that wallet and run over to the local Dick's Sporting Goods for some more iron.

Q. I don't want to ZERCHER squat what other move would you suggest
. A. I would likely default to a box squat alternative. Your movement rotation would then be three weeks of box squats, three weeks of front squats, three weeks of back squats. In theory you could do three variants of back squats over nine weeks. Those variants could include width of stance and bar placement on the back. There are other exotic moves you can include.

Q. I want to bench for my upper body day what three moves might you consider? A. For max effort upper body with a horizontal pressing preference I would consider your three moves to be supine bench, incline bench and then floor press. You could also select the board press but use caution. You need experienced training partners for this. I know of stories where the lifter took the board in the chin. One with such force it resulted in a broken jaw.

Q. I like 5 x 5's especially for my lower body (L) and upper body (U) days. Is there any problem with staying with that rep range? A. No, you can stay with the 5's. Just make sure your movement changes based on your movement pool priority after three weeks.. I've also use 3,3,3,1,1,1, for the total body tier and 5,5,5,3,3,3 for the upper and lower body tiers.

Q. I want more abdominal focus than you show. Where should I place the abdominal exercises? If they are unweighted moves put them in the warm-up. If you are using some kind of weighted sit-up then put it next to the p-chain moves.

Q. How many warm-up sets should I take prior to starting into my first working set? The best rule of thumb I have ever heard was one set per 50lbs of your opening set.

Q. Am I suppose to maxout on every set? A. No. You should be progressively adding weight to the bar on the first four sets. One the 5th and final set you are attempting a best effort for the day. You might not reach the 4th or the 5th rep but your objective is the best effort for that lift on that particular day.

Q. If I want more METCON when and where should I add it?
I have done a bit of experimentation with additional METCON or CrossFit WOD's. The best auxillary day is Tuesday. You then have four opportunities for METCON. Three following the effort lifts and then a stand alone METCON day on Tuesday. Since Wednesday has a focus of lower body work buyer beware when including a tremendous amount of knee extension.

Q. Is it possible to do this M.E.B.B. template with only two training days? Yes. I will be working on a possible solution for an upcoming post or article in the PERFORMANCE MENU. A this point your should try to rest two days after the first effort day and three after the second effort day.

Q. What about the reps and sets on the p-chain moves? A. I've worked in and around 3-5 sets 3-10 reps. I've finally arrived at sets of 3 and reps of 8.