Worried you might be losing your strength during lockdown? You don’t have to be.

In CrossFit we teach the theoretical hierarchy for the development of an athlete and for good reason. If you want to preserve your strength, improve it and ensure a lifetime of strength gains you need to spend as much time as you can building your gymnastic abilities first. Now if you’re carrying around a little more weight than you want to this might already have you clicking back over to Instagram, DON’T.

Bodyweight movements are the best movements to build motor control. Motor control is what’s needed for the more complex things such as cleans, snatches and deadlifts etc, etc. So in Lehman’s terms the better your motor control is the easier it is to learn new skills, lift heavier weights and sustain bigger amounts of stress on your body. It doesn’t work vice versa. It’s why you see heavy weightlifters unable to perform simple bodyweight movements.

Okay so gymnastics is your nemesis? Luckily there are plenty of movements you can do that will have a huge impact on your overall strength. All you need to do is take those simple movements and spice them up with a few variables.


In our ‘Skill’ programme we break your week down into push and pull days. This is going to be the basis of your beginning phase. Try the following workout ;

Knee Push Ups : 8×8 : Tempo 3s eccentric : Rest 30s between sets.

Apply the same rep, sets and tempo scheme to the following movements:

Forearm Scapulae Push ups
Chest Flys
Tricep Extensions
Feet supported Dips

Each set begins relatively easy but the tempo and the short rest periods in between your sets start to build huge amounts of fatigue. The movements all involve slow eccentric work. Eccentric loading is the biggest driver for tearing muscles, this is what makes you sore in workouts and this workout will do exactly that. The more you can find ways to tear muscles and rebuild them with sleep and improved nutrition the stronger you will become.

So how does this improve my lifts?

Well you would take the same approach for your lower body to. For extra points you could use the lack of weights you have to work on single limb strength. Think of as many exercises as you can that isolate the lower extremities, add that all important tempo and you’ll be building some incredible hamstring and glute strength in no time. When you come back and your back to deadlifting, squatting and cleaning you will find a bulletproof posterior chain that can cope with excess amounts of stress when performing compound and Olympic lifts.

For example

Single leg deadlifts
Split Squat
Air Squat
Step Up
Wall Sit
Glute bridge

None of these movements require weight to make an impact, we substitute it with tempo, stick to it like a T and treat each movement like it’s the most complex thing in the world. I promise you, you will come out of lockdown stronger.

To build muscle requires you to tear and break muscle fibres down. Muscle tears occur more frequently in the eccentric phase of any muscular contraction. So look to increase the time you spend on the eccentric phase of your movements. And that’s it. I just have you the secret to bodybuilding success but more importantly a bullet proof body to functional training.



1 thought on “BUILD A BASE”

  1. Sharon Salter

    I have always been frustrated that I couldn’t do this CrossFit move or that CrossFit move. The article explains so much more to me. I really enjoy the gymnastic element of this lockdown programme ad I can see it has made improvements in my all over fitness. I was sceptical about not having heavy weights at home but I can see my ability to perform in WOD has increased. I am actually relishing the fact I can do this skill practice without having to worry about getting to the box on time and other myriad problems. Thanks Solv

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