Diaries of a Hermit Coach | Max Mormont

Diaries of a Hermit Coach…

As a coach, I really like keeping to myself and to my community. I pride myself on being a hermit coach but sometimes, and especially as of late, kids (which is my way of saying dude for athletes or people), have been getting me out from under my rock. In the last thirty days I have gone on five trips for coaching. I visited the east coast to evaluate athletes, traveled to another country for personal training, and went to a few states to coach and prep athletes. This is all motivated by my passion for coaching and CrossFit. I have been blessed with coaching around the world, including all types of athletes and people looking to get the most out of their genetic potential. It is amazing to see how far CrossFit, coaching, the general quest for fitness has come. However, being a hermit coach is a choice that allows me to focus on my true passion; my community and athletes at a grassroots level.

Read more at ProgenexUSA…

15.2 IS 14.2!

15.2 IS 14.2! This is a great CrossFit workout!!! This workout tests your anaerobic threshold through your work-to-rest rate capacity. Hopefully if you did not have a chest to bar pull up last year you do have one this year. If you did not have a pull up last year you better have one this year if not shame on you! The CrossFit Open is meant to test our fitness each year. If you have not progressed in the last year, you should look at your training habits and diet and fix those ASAP! Remember CrossFit has movements like double-unders and chest to bar pull ups and if you do not have them yet, do not be scared, you have 365 days to work on it until next year! Yes you should work on things that you are struggling with or just flat out do not have. That also includes dieting and stretching! I am excited for this workout mostly because I have a lot of members that use bands but should not be using them, yet cannot move away from the training wheels… Here we go!!!

Now let us dive in to this workout.
15.2 is a “Pay-to-Play” workout or “Multi-Level Buy-In” workout. It is every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete 2 rounds of overhead squats at 95 lbs. for men and 65 lbs. for women, combined with chest-to-bar pull-ups. It starts with 10 reps of each and goes up by 2 reps every completed round until failure. The weight is light, so snatch the first one and hold on for the ride and go unbroken. If by chance this weight is heavy in an overhead squat you have two options. Power snatch it up and get set to overhead squat, or power clean and push jerk to narrow grip overhead squat or power clean and push jerk it over to your back, move your hands out jerk it up to an overhead squat position. I am not going to lie that’s a lot of steps but if you have to go for it! Try to relax and recover on the overhead squat. If you start to break up the overhead squats it will take you to long and getting out of each buy-in will get hard. The chest-to-bar is the tough part of this workout. Butterflies are faster but they do tax people if you cannot relax during them, so do not try and learn something new now or change what you’ve been doing. Test what you have and improve on it, or change it for next year because now is not the time. This goes for overhead squat position too. I gave the example to my athletes of going to a shooting contest and borrowing a friend’s gun the day before which you have never used in competition or let alone shot before. You could only imagine how well that would go. So go with what you know works. Even though butterfly pull ups are faster it’s not necessarily a good thing on this workout. 15.2 is all about pace and work-to-rest ratio. Finding a way to not work too hard and being able to rest and recover is going to be your success or failure in this work out.

When thinking of work-to-rest ratio you want to stay on the side of working less time and resting more time. However this workout will get you if you move too fast too soon and at some point it’s going to turn in to too much work in to too little time. I feel this workout needs to be paced at a 1 to 1 work-to-rest ratio from the start and then let it slowly slip away 15 to 20 seconds each time. Here is an outline of the pace that I think is needed to get to the 18’s.


Round 1: From 0:00-3:00 = 1 minute 20 second (40 second a round)
Round 2: From 3:00-6:00 = 1 minute 30 second (45 second a round) / +10 sec (+5sec a rd)
Round 3: From 6:00-9:00 = 1 minute 50 second (55 second a round) / +20 sec (+10sec a rd)
Round 4: From 9:00-12:00 = 2 minute 20 second (1 minute 10 second a round) / +30 sec (+15sec a rd)
Round 5: From 12:00-15:00 = 3 minute (1 minute 30 second a round) / +40 sec (+20 sec a rd)
Round 6: From 15:00-18:00 = Hold On!!!

Now these are rough numbers. You could start at a slower pace, but by round 3 the amount of work in the amount of time starts to catch up. Let alone the 208 total reps (104 being pull-ups), all in twelve minutes. 15.2 is like the beep test, or for us CrossFitters, Death by Pull-Ups. It starts out smooth, everyone talking, then ZANG it’s quiet and everyone is trying to outrun the avalanche. So my advice to anyone doing this work out no matter the level would be: start off by going slow and steady, be mentally tough, and have a pacing strategy..

Strategy, Tips, and Break Down
a) Strategy

i) Beginner
(1) Power Snatch to Overhead Squat
(a) Do OHS in 3rds, half’s or Unbroken
(2) Chest-to-Bar
(a) PR time!!! Cross grip, reps: singles or maximum of 3’s
ii) Intermediate
(1) Try to Snatch first rep or Clean to Jerk + Narrow grip OHS
(a) Unbroken OHS and move to half’s sets in later rounds
(2) Chest-to-Bar
(a) Do the C2B reps in 3 sets at most! No need to work harder.
iii) Advanced
(1) Overhead Squat
(a) Snatch 1st rep
(b) OHS go unbroken
(c) Recover on the OHS but do not break them up! Get them out of the way.
(2) Chest-to-bar
(a) Do the C2B reps in 2 to 3 sets at the start.
(b) If reps slow down, immediately move to 3 or 4 sets
(c) 10’s: 2-3 sets, 12’s: 3 sets, 14’s: 3 to 4 sets, 16’s: 4 sets, 18’s: 4-6 sets

b) Tips
(1) Recover on the overhead squat
(2) If reps slow down, immediately move down in rep scheme
(3) Work Little to rest less
(4) Stay under the 2min mark to move on two more rounds.
(5) Be prepared to hit a wall out of nowhere and try to find a way to work through it
(6) 2014 Tips http://youtu.be/Oo506lse1I0

c) Break Down

The MTR Matrix

The MTR Matrix

This is basically a system of volume/intensity progression that was used by the old Bulgarian regime that has not fallen out of favor. You can play with and rearrange the weeks as you like, but my preference is to go A-B-B-C-A. Some people can handle A-B-C-D. Try different things and see what works for you.     Also, to start with a lifter is probably best off basing the entire mesocycle on the MTR that was used during the first week. So, the weeks will just build upon each other.

As the lifter becomes more comfortable with the system and his own capabilities, however, he will become more in tune with what his true MTR is on any given day, and during weeks B and C, respectively, will basically just do a second wave and a third wave back up to that weight irrespective of what MTR was used during week one.


“A” Week:

Predicted MTR -20kilos for 2 reps.

Predicted MTR -10 kilos for a single.

MTR for 3-4 singles.

“B” Week:

Perform A week progression.

MTR -10 kilos for a double.

MTR -5 kilos for a single.

MTR +5 kilos for 2-4 singles.


“C” Week:

Entire B week progression performed.

Double with MTR -20 kilos.

Double with MTR -10 kilos.

3-5 more singles with MTR plus 5 or 7.5 kilos.

“D” Week:

Predicted MTR -30kilos for 2 reps.

Predicted MTR -20 kilos for a single.

MTR for 1-3 singles.


So, if you were doing a simple A-B-B-C-A progression over 5 weeks, and you found that your snatch MTR was 100kg on the first Monday, for the next 5 weeks your Monday snatch workouts might be as follows:


Week 1: 80/2, 90, 100 (3-4)                            Week 2: 80/2, 90, 100 (3), 90/2, 95, 105 (2-4)

Week 3: 80/2, 90, 100 (3), 90/2, 95, 105 (3), 80/2, 90/2, 105 (2), 107.5 (2)               Week 4: 80/2, 90, 100 (3-4)

At this point, the lifter would start over, this time likely using 105 as the MTR for the first A week in the mesocycle.


Maximum Training Resistance.

Now, one of the important concepts here is that of “Maximum Training Resistance.” This is what some of you may have heard referred to as a ‘daily max’ before.

The definition of the MTR is “the maximum resistance that can be overcome one time without a strong effort of will or emotional stress.” This is key in this program; at least as I have it structured to work for the individual.

We want to use the MTR so as not to burn out the nervous system. Thus, on Mondays and Wednesday, the singles in the classical and power lifts must NOT be ‘balls to the wall.

Of course, you have to toe the line. Also, you have to learn whether you are missing lifts because you are actually working above your MTR, or because your form sucks.

For me, it is an issue of pulling in the snatch and clean and the drive in the jerk. If I am pulling the bar high enough to snatch it or clean it, and driving it high enough to jerk it, I don’t feel that I have exceeded my MTR, whether I am making the lifts or not.

If I am missing my snatches out front, it is likely just because of my crappy first pull and lack of a full shrug, and not because I am going too heavy. As a lifter progresses, he will learn exactly where that line is.

At the start of the program, Mondays and Wednesdays only will be done using the ‘MTR Matrix’.

A Revolutionary Approach to Powerlifting



A Revolutionary Approach to Powerlifting
3 x 3- Part 1- Basic Information
  By Stephan Korte

The training program presented here has been used by some of the strongest German powerlifters including IPF Junior World Champions Ralf Gierz and Michael Bruegger. Gierz totaled close to 2200 lbs. at superheavyweight and Bruegger was the first German powerlifter to break the 2200 lb. barrier at a bodyweight of 26O lbs. Bruegger was also the first German to bench over 600 lbs. in an IPF competition (paused and no bench shirt). The basic concepts of this program have been used by almost every Olympic lifter, including many world champions over the last 40 years.
The 3×3 system is an eight week training cycle that consists of two phases. Phase I is a high volume phase, while Phase II is the competition phase. It shares some similarities with the Louie Simmons style of training program. The similarities include no off-season, training percentages in the 58-64 percent range and the main focus of the 3×3 is its high volume phase. Another similarity is very few of the 3×3 training lifts are in the percentage range of 80-95 percent.
The one thing making the 3×3 unique when compared to Simmons and other current powerlifting training is that the only training exercises used are the competition lifts. There is no assistance work! Why is that? The answer is very simple. In order to get strong in the squat you need to train the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and the lower back. In other programs there are different ways in which to train all these muscles. You can perform a variety of assistance exercises or you can combine the squat with these same assistance exercises. The other option is to train the squat and only the squat. We already know this exercise works all the muscles mentioned above. The major advantage of this option is the squat works the muscles exactly the way they are needed for the competition.
As I mentioned earlier this type of training approach has been used for decades by the Eastern Bloc and Western European Olympic lifters and it works. During the last 10 years I have had the opportunity to talk to and train with many Olympic lifters. In 1992 1 was stationed at the Olympic Training Center while doing my assignment with the German Army. I observed that their training consists of only the competition lifts, the snatch and clean and jerk. Some of you might say that Olympic lifters do a variety of pulls including pulls from a block, high pulls from the hang position, etc. If you take a closer look at these exercises you will see that they are biomechanically identical to a certain portion of the competition lifts. The only difference is that they are not performed through the full range of motion of the competition lift. This will definitely overload the muscles. This is a technique that is very effective if you do it right. Unfortunately I see many powerlifters doing it wrong. They do hack squats, leg presses and leg extensions – exercises that have no bio-mechanical relationship to the competition lift. Leg pressing a 1000 lbs. does not mean that you can squat that weight. Do you see the difference? These exercises do have their place in a training program,

but only to rehabilitate from injuries or to create variety once in a while, but not in a serious training cycle.
The 3×3 system works so well because your muscles will be stimulated much more than with other routines. Let’s take the squat again to explain this fact. For example, if your squat maximum is 700 pounds and your training schedule calls for 5 sets of 5 reps once a week you will achieve a fairly high volume com-pared to other training programs. When 75% of 700 pounds (525 pounds) is done for 25 reps (5 x 5) you end up with a total squat tonnage of 13125 pounds per week. This tonnage is determined by the work sets only and not the warm up sets (this is the standard approach in the 3×3 program). Now take a look at the total squat tonnage of the 3×3 system. In week four you use 64% of 700 lbs. which is 448 pounds for a maximum of 40 reps (8 sets of 5 reps). The total tonnage of only one workout is 17920 pounds. You repeat this workout twice and you end up with a total squat tonnage of 35840 pounds per week. That is over two and a half times the volume of the other program. The 3×3 system creates a workload stimulus that forces the muscles to work much harder and therefore to grow faster and get stronger.
Preparations: Before you start with the 3×3 system you need to find your current maximum in each of the three lifts. There are many ways to find this out and it’s up to you which one you choose. You can use your last competition lifts if the competition was recent (within the last 4 weeks). You can also go for a maximum single in the gym (important: use all the equipment you usually wear in competition). If you estimate your max based on reps you can use a variety of equations. A simple one is the Epley equation. In the Epley, you multiply the reps achieved by .033 and multiply the product of this times the weight used. Add the resulting product to the weight used and you have your max. Remember it does not make sense to choose weights that you cannot handle.
Once you have found your current maximum you can calcu-late your training weights for the next eight weeks. I will give you a more detailed explanation of this in future articles. However, before your start the program you will be asked to increase your current maximum in the squat by 25 lbs., the bench press by 10 lbs. and the deadlift by 15 lbs. This will be your new projected maximum and it will be this number that you will base your training. The training weights will be 58-64 percent of this projected maximum in phase I and 60-95 percent in phase II.
Phase I- Weeks 1-4 – High Volume Phase: By doing a lot of sets and reps you will reach a high volume during phase I. This set and rep scheme builds muscle mass, strength and helps to improve your coordination and technique on each of the competition lifts.

Summary: Phase I
Day l
squat: 5-8×5
bench: 6-8×6
deadlift: 5-8×5
Day 2
squat: 5-8×5
bench: 6-8×6
deadlift: 5-8×5
Day 3
squat: 5-8×5
bench: 6-8×6
deadlift: 5-8×5

The total number of workouts in phase I is 12. This is three workouts per week. Make sure to rest one day between the workouts and rest two days after the completion of one training week. I used to work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. With this approach I had two days off on the weekend which really helped me to recuperate.

You will squat, bench and deadlift in every workout. Yes – you squat, bench and deadlift three times a week. That’s too much? How do you know? Have you ever tried it? You will not be doing any assistance work, which means that you have all your energy available for the three competition lifts. By the way, I’ve worked with Olympic lifters and they train the squat six times a week. They break it down to four front squat sessions and two back squat sessions. In these workouts they used some heavy poundages. If these lifters were overtrained it is of no consequence because they won a bronze and a silver medal in the superheavyweight category at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
The sets and reps are the same in every workout. Five to eight sets of five reps for the squat and deadlift and six to eight sets of six reps for the bench press.

You work with four different percentages during phase I, but you stay with one percentage for each training week. This means you will use a particular weight for each exercise and work with it for three workouts or one training week. The next week of training will have you using a higher percentage and therefore a higher weight. That way you increase the weights every week. Make sure to use no equipment, except a power-lifting belt.
Phase II – Week 5-8 – Competition Phase: During phase II you will reduce the volume dramatically and increase the intensity week by week. This helps you to adapt to the heavier weights. You will use powerlifting equipment (suit, belt, wraps, and bench shirt) for every heavy lift (1-2 reps). The intention of phase II is to build power, maximum strength and improve your technique with heavy weight.
As in phase I, the total number of workouts in phase Ills 12. There are also three workouts per week. Make sure to get plenty of rest between the workouts. You will still squat, bench and deadlift in every workout. The sets and reps in the daily workouts will vary. Each exercise is divided in two parts:

  1. Technique and power training. You will be performing three sets of three reps for the squat and deadlift and five sets of four reps for the bench press. The training weight is 60 percent of your projected maximum and it and it will be con-stant for the next four weeks.

Maximum strength training. You will use 80-95 percent of your calculated maximum for one to two sets of one rep for each exercise. Train maximum strength on only one exercise per day. I used to max out as follows: deadlift on Monday (day 1), bench press on Wednesday (day 2) and squat on Friday (day 3).

Summary: Phase II
Day l
squat: 3×3
bench: 5×4
deadlift: 1-2×1
Day 2
squat: 3×3
bench: 1-2×1
deadlift: 3×3
Day 3
squat: 1-2×1
bench: 5×4
deadlift: 3×3
  • While the percentages for the technique training will be constant, the percentages for the maximum strength training will be increased weekly by five percent.
    Next up: Part 2-The squat: High volume and competition phase. Until then: Good lifting! If you have further questions, feel free to call or write me. Also available for seminars.

ISP – mt. Scientific Publishing Mr. Stephan Korte
Lindenhof 9
59759 Arnsberg, Germany
Phone# 01149-171-4100561
E-Mail: stephan.korte@salzburg.co.at

Reproduction of this article, in whole or part, for any purpose other than personal use is
prohibited without written consent. Copyright 1999,2001 2001Stephan Korte.