10.7.15 Box Brief

The Main Line CrossFit Programming 101

 Maximal Effort Method

By Shane Sweatt and Laura Phelps-Sweatt

At Westside Barbell, Shane Sweatt lives by the maximal-effort method.

It’s a conjugate system, “which is exactly what you guys do,” he says in this CrossFit Powerlifting Trainer Course.

The rotation of exercises not only allows for variety but can also be a useful coaching tool, says Sweatt, who is accompanied by elite powerlifter Laura Phelps-Sweatt.

“A great thing about conjugate is if I have a client come in and I can just see that they’re off that day … what I like to do is I give them an exercise they’ve never done before. Let ’em set a PR,” he explains. “I’m not going to kick them while they’re down. I want to build them up.”

A couple of weeks later, when the client is feeling good again, Sweatt takes a different approach.

“I’m going to take them to a movement that is either going to translate to an event coming up or … I’m going to take them to a personal record that I know is going to mean something to them.”

He adds: “It’s a lot easier to get in the gym when you’re getting results, right?”