PSKC Programming

PSKC Programming


Based on some discussions we’ve had with other affiliate owners and members we wanted to pass along how we program at PSKC. Here are some key points and things we value with our programming:

1) Strength is King – if our programming has a “bias” – it’s towards strength. You can never be too strong.

2) Wide variety – seek to be all encompassing

3) Engine (Horsepower) is more important than skill. I’d rather have a person with a sub-7:00 minute 2K row than a fast “Amanda” (muscle up and snatch workout) time.

4) Workouts must be challenging but still “fun”. Members must stay in engaged and enjoy the workouts.

5) Designed for the average member NOT competitor. This programming won’t produce Games level athletes, and that’s fine because 99.9% of CrossFitters aren’t either.  You can get everything done in a 60 minute window and the member is out the door ready to kick ass in life.


7 Week Strength Cycles focusing on upper and lower body lifts. Over the course year we are able to cycle 8-9 lifts each. Each cycle we do a different movement – e.g. cycle 1 was backsquat, next cycle will be deadlift, next cycle will be front squat, etc

All taken from principles of 5/3/1, Prilepin’s Table, and conjugate systems.

Monday = Lower Body Lift (Squat or Deadlift variation, front squat, back squat, thruster, deadlift, sumo deadlift)

Wednesday = Upper Body Lift (horizontal or vertical press, military press, push press, push jerk, split jerk, bench press, floor press, hang clean- we are experimenting with this one)


Each day uses an accessory/assistance movement. For squats we use pulls and vice versa, also use single leg movements (lunges, step ups, split squats). For upper body day we switch between pullups and different pressing variations as accessory movements – variety is key (strict pullups, chinups, tarzan pullups, barbell rows, ring dips, HSPUs, close grip bench, etc). Hamstring and tricep development/strength is critical to assist the main lifts.


Week 1: Establish training max (Tmax). The Tmax is NOT a true 1RM/PR lift. The Tmax should be a heavy single, something the athlete should be able to hit at any day or any time of the year. It will roughly be around 85-90% of a true 1RM. We tell our athletes to work up a heavy single with good form but leave some in the tank. The Tmax will be what we utilize to base our %s for the cycle.

Week 2: 5 x 5 @ 60% – last set is an all out effort; as many reps as possible with good form. CrossFitters love to go all out, this gives them an avenue to do that and gain strength and more importantly time under the barbell. Plus it gives them an opportunity to break records at submaximal weights. E.g. if I know last backsquat cycle I did 10 reps at 225, I now have a number to gun for.

Week 3: 4 x 4 @ 70% – last set all out

Week 4: 5 x 3 @ 80% – last set all out

Week 5: 6 x 1 @ 90% – NO all out last set: The weight is too heavy at this % and it’s too risky to be going for an all out set.

Week 6: Test week – now this is week we want to gun for PRs and the true 1RM attempts.

Week 7: DELOAD – no barbell training during this week. Give the body a break from lifting in preparation for the next cycle.



Lower body lift + lower body accessory lift

METCON : Short (<10 minutes) conditioning workout with lower body emphasis


Main Lift -Front Squat 5 x 5 at 60% – last set all out

Accessory – Stiff Legged Deadlift – 3 x 8

Metcon: 7 min AMRAP

15 x Wall Ball

10 x KB Swing

5 x Burpee Box Jump


Skill: Olympic/Gymnastic/Kettlebell Skill

20-25 minute block of time dedicated to teaching and practicing the specific (Olympic Lift, Gymnastic movement, or Kettlebell movement)

Metcon: can be a little longer 10-20 minutes duration. We typically will make sure the metcon involves the prior skill.


Hang Clean + Split Jerk : work up to a heavy double.

METCON – 3 rounds

400m run

10 x Clean and Jerks 135/95


Upper body lift + upper body body accessory lift

METCON : includes upper body emphasis


Main Lift -Bench Press 5 x 5 at 60% – last set all out

Accessory – Strict Pullups – 3 x max effort sets


15 minute AMRAP

7 x HSPU

10 x Burpee Pullups


Skill: Olympic/Gymnastic/Kettlebell Skill

20-25 minute block of time dedicated to teaching and practicing the specific (Olympic Lift, Gymnastic movement, or Kettlebell movement). If we did an Olympic movement on Tuesday, we will do a gymnastic movement on this day or vice versa.

Metcon: We typically will make sure the metcon involves the prior skill.


Skill – Rope Climb and Ring Dips – 5 rounds of:

A: 2 x rope climbs

B x 5 x ring dips


1K Row – 5 rope climbs

800m row – 4 rope climbs

600m row – 3 rope climbs

400m row – 2 rope climbs

200m row – 1 rope climb

Friday – FYF

These are the shitshow days. Long duration (30 plus minutes) chipper style metcons. No skill development, lots of team wods and hero wods. These are “badge of courage” days, the members always know Fridays will be a kick in the nuts.

Saturday – Pain Clinic

A 4 station “partner suffering” workout. Lots of variety and “fun” on this day. Each station is 6 minutes long with 2:30 rest in between.

P1 – 7 x deadlift P2 – dead hang (P2 dead hangs until P1 has completed the deadlifts, they switch and complete AMRAP for the 6 minutes)

P1 – row x 200m P2 – double KB rack hold

P1 – wall ball x 10 P2 – wall sit

P1 – bear crawl 30m P2 – flutterkicks

Is this is the “perfect” program? No – but for several years it has worked extremely well for our members and we are continually seeing PRs year after year with our members. We feel this is fairly well balanced program that hits all domains of fitness, ensures member retention, and gets much needed time under the barbell at sub-maximal weights to develop form, strength, and confidence with the lifts.

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