eMPoweR. Get It? MPR. What Is Muscle Phasing and Why Is Coach Talking About It So Much?

Understanding muscle phasing (range/reps) is ideal for you to inevitably get exactly what you want out of the program at Humble Beast CrossFit. We have already extracted the most essential movements to do weekly (press, squat, bench, deadlift, and Olympic weightlifting lifts); we try to teach them with utter thoroughness and efficiency. 

The Humble Beast CrossFit program is designed to meet goals such as absolute strength gains, increased endurance and fat loss/ body composition changes. How you choose to follow the range/ reps scheme of the program and how closely you adhere to said range/ reps scheme will determine how successful you are at achieving your personal fitness goals. 

In order to achieve any sort of change, adherence is key. Before you decide to embark on a pathway of said muscle phasing, make sure you are ready to actively record your progress and to consistently follow your pathway in order to best obtain your goal/s.

What is your goal?!?! Let’s review the three main potentials for skeletal muscular conditioning: strength (hypertrophy), endurance (resistance to fatigue), and toning (repetitive contraction). You could break each of those down into an even more elaborate sub category, but let’s leave that to the physiology geeks (like Coach), and keep it simple.

STRENGTH

In order to develop strength, you should never ever exceed 5-8 repetitions of a movement. Depending on the amount of muscle being used (aka, the type of movement/lift), the range will vary. Ideally, absolute strength comes from lifting as heavy as possible (AHAP), with good form for 5-8 repetitions. This literally means that whatever set you pick (yes you have choice), the final reps should be 10/10 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most challenging. This phase is usually reserved for clients looking to make absolute strength gains.

ENDURANCE

This phase will build muscular endurance/resistance to fatigue. This range is ideal for clients looking to “last longer” during workouts. Typically, after a “strength” phase, this phase would come next. However, those not worried about absolute strength can skip the strength phase and remain in this phase longer, exercising discipline within the 8-15 rep range.  This phase is ideal to explore those larger rep maxes (RM).

TONE

This phase is the most deceiving. Its sole purpose is to define/tone the musculature through contractionary forces. It is deceiving because the muscle will look thinner, and more tone, but potentially be less “powerful”. The range for this phase is 15+ reps (pending movement).

The range/ reps scheme is summarized on the whiteboard and if you need help: ask your coach! If all of this is confusing and you don’t know how to assess and evaluate your goals: ask any of the HB staff!

Remember, adherence is key, and each of you should be spending a bare minimum of three weeks in an MPR (ideally 5-8 weeks would be best). After that time, re-evaluate your progress and proceed to remain in your MPR and increase intensity, or, change phases in relation to your goals!