CrossFit Powerlifting
The Strong Class

Our CrossFit Powerlifting Class features a strength training exercise (like deadlifts or power cleans) in every class.  Workouts are posted on SugarWOD a week in advance so that you can structure your own workouts accordingly.  The programming is based on Starting Strength (Mark Riptoe), Catalyst Athletics (Greg Everette), and Westside Conjugate Method (Lou Simmons).

Our CrossFit Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting Class (STRONG) begins with a dynamic warmup based on the barbell lift we’ll be doing that day. Barbell lifts includes exercises like: 5 x 5 Front Squat, 5-5-3-2-2-1-1-1 Sumo Deadlift; or 3-3-3-3-3 Powerclean. The second part of the workout will strengthen and/or mobilize muscles and joints used in those exercises. For example: for front squats, we might work on improving external shoulder rotation, unlocking T-spine extension, improving ankle mobility, and assisting in recovery for the lats, glutes, and quads.

The main exercises (barbell lifts) you will see are Deadlifts, Bench, Press, Jerk, Clean, Squats, and Snatch.  You will be taught multiple variations of each exercise.  Each class features four skill levels: beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert.  Strong is an excellent fitness class to learn the foundations of proper weight lifting.

Warmups, Skill Workout, Mobility & Cooldowns

For our powerlifting class, we consider which exercises you should do so that you perform better at the barbell lift of the day.  Some of those exercises become the warmup and skill work.  Some exercises become the tissue mobilizations and cooldowns at the end.  Corrective exercises are used in both the warmup and skill work to reinforce good exercise patterning.

Strong Powerlifting Class Strength Training

Our Powerlifting Strength program is available on SugarWOD for members with an existing account.  For strength: the program rotates between: squat, deadlift, press, and clean.  We rotate versions of each exercise to maintain symmetry and decrease risk of injury:

Squat Variations (Powerlifting Class)Deadlift Variations (Powerlifting Class)Clean Variations (Powerlifting Class)Press Variations (Powerlifting Class)

Back Squat

Front Squat

Low bar back squat

Box Squat

Split Squat

Conventional Deadlift

Sumo Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift

Stiff Leg Deadlift

Single Leg Deadlift

Power Clean

Squat Clean

Sumo Deadlift

High Pull

Hang Clean

Bench Press

Overhead Press

Push Press

Push Jerk

Split Jerk

Powerlifting Class Conditioning Training

The second portion of the powerlifting class in on conditioning.  This includes CrossFit style workouts, TRX Suspension Training, Rip Trainer, Bosu, Kettlebell Work, and Dumbbell Work.


CrossFit Powerlifting Alexandria VA

Powerlifting in Personal Training

With our private personal training sessions, you can learn and gain the benefits of powerlifting and conditioning at your own speed.  Personal Training Sessions feature programs that are custom written to you.  They evolve over time as you gain strength and mobility.

Powerlifting Competitions

We also prepare members for powerlifting competitions.  In a traditional Powerlifting Competition, a lifter will have three (3) attempts at each lift to reach maximal strength; these competitions are timed around a lifted peak performance. While you are not required to enter a competition, we will take you through a full training cycle and then retest your lifts.

Appropriate Ages for Powerlifting

Young or old, short or tall, anyone can take up a Powerlifting program and reap the benefits (increased Power, Strength, Bone Density.)  Building up mobility properly is important so that you can correctly perform these lifts.  While everyone can benefit from a lifting program, these are complex moves and require a great deal of core control to protect the lifter from injury.  Mobility plays a large roll in the execution of the safe execution of these moves. If we feel it is not safe, we will work on the problem areas so you can eventually lift safely and at your full potential.

Powerlifting Equipment

At Sand & Steel, we have many different Powerlifting Alexandria VA programs, but also the latest equipment and tools. If Rogue makes it, we probably own it. From Barbells to Football Bars to Safety Squats and Chains. We are equipped to challenge your muscles and get you the results you desire.


6-Week Powerlifting Alexandria VA Program

Buckle In - Dynamic Legs - WOD 60

Buckle In is a dynamic effort legs day. Static weight is plates plus the bar. Accommodating resistance is weight with chains and/or bands. An olympic ring set can be substituted for the TRX Body Saw. The Glute Ham Roller from Sorinex can be substituted with an Ab wheel.
MovementSetsRepsDurationStatic WeightAccommodating ResistanceRest
Box Squat122N/A50% ORM25% ORM45 seconds
Conventional Deadlift38N/A40% ORM30% ORM30 seconds
Sled Drive590 secondsBWN/A45 seconds
TRX Body Saw320N/AN/AN/A45 seconds
Glute Ham Roller Rollout520N/AN/AN/A45 seconds

Angel-Dynamic Upper Body

Westside workout Angel. A dynamic day on the Westside Conjugate system involving Overheard press as the main movement. The weights are based on the on rep max or (ORM) and change week to week.

Movements Set Reps Duration Weight Resistance Rest Comments
Strict Overhead Press 9 3 N/A 50% of ORM 30% of ORM 30-45 seconds
Ring Pullups 4 10 N/A N/A N/A 45 seconds
Row 250 M 3 N/A 45secs N/A N/A 90 seconds Max Effort
Ring Static Fly and Hollow Body Hold 6 N/A 30secs N/A N/A 20 seconds
Reverse Band Fly 5 4 N/A N/A N/A 30 seconds
Candle Sticks 5 4 N/A N/A N/A 30 seconds
GHR Pikes 3 20 N/A N/A N/A 45 seconds

Strength and Honor – Max Effort Leg Day

A Max Effort Leg day with the deadlift being the prime movement. All weights are based upon the one rep max (ORM) which should increase each week.

Movements Sets Reps Duration Weight Resistance Rest Comments
Conventional Deadlift 3 Max Effort N/A 90% of ORM N/A 2-5 minutes Within each set perform as many reps as you can cleanly execute
Barbell Cleans 3 20 N/A N/A N/A 45 seconds
Assault Bike Sprints 4 10 Calories 30-40 seconds N/A N/A 2 minutes Max Effort sprint
Sand Bag Snatches 3 15 N/A 30lb N/A 30 seconds
Handstand Walks 4 50 Steps N/A N/A N/A 45 seconds Scale to workable goal, hard effort
Yoga Leg Holds 4 N/A 60 Seconds N/A N/A 30- 45 seconds

Glory – Max Effort Chest/Triceps- WOD 63

Max effort upper body day with the Push Press as the prime mover. The weights are based upon a percentage of the one rep max (ORM) of the client.

Movements Sets Reps Duration Weight Resistance Rest Comments
Push Press 3 Max Effort N/A 90% of ORM N/A 2-3 minutes Complete as many reps as you can safely and cleanly execute
Dips N/A 40 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Dumbell One Arm Press 4 20 N/A 30% of ORM N/A 45 seconds
Wallballs N/A 100 N/A 20lbs N/A N/A
TRX Spiderman Planks 4 25 N/A N/A N/A 45 seconds
Decline Bench Situps with Mace 4 25 N/A 20lb N/A 45 seconds

Sand & Steel Power Lifting Programs

  1. Strong By Dawn and Paul: only one program at Sand & Steel bears the owner’s name, and this is it.  A powerlifting program designed to burn calories, build core strength, and of course strengthen the main lifts.
  2. Power Lifting Fundamentals: working off the amazing program Jim Wendler has developed, this beginner friendly program uses a time proven periodization to garner impressive strength gains.
  3. Level III: Glute and Core: if you are deconditioned and want to start a powerlifting program this is it.  Not an easy program by an means, but excellent in that it gradually builds up strength for deconditioned athletes.
  4. Texas Method Power Lifting: there are few coaches who know more about powerlifting than Mark Riptoe.  Paul is a learned student of his methodology after attending his Starting Strength Seminar.  He has developed this amazing program based on Riptoes seminal book Practical Programming for Strength & Novice Method.
  5. Westside Program: Our toughest powerlifting program.  Leveraging accommodating resistance and max lift days this program puts on size and power in record time.
Powerlifting vs. BodybuildingPowerlifting vs. Metabolic ConditioningPowerlifting vs. Functional TrainingPowerlifting and CrossFit
  • Bodybuilding is about shaping your physique to look a certain way with each muscle is trained individually.
  • Powerlifting utilizes compound movements to get the most raw strength
  • Bodybuilding is very high volume, high rep training to create muscle hypertrophy
  • Powerlifting is moderate to low reps at heavy weights- designed to build strength/power
  • Powerlifting is a meant to build maximal strength, bodybuilding is focused on lifting to sculpt the muscle.
  • Metabolic Conditioning is focused on increasing your cardiovascular capacity and weight loss.
  • Power lifting will shape and change your body but the goal is strength and power.
  • Metabolic Conditioning utilizes higher reps with the goal of getting the heart pumping.
  • Both will use compound movements, but with different goals the workouts are different. A heavy squat for Powerlifting vs. Multiple light weight squats in Metabolic Conditioning.
  • Functional training is a term that is often used, when used here we mean specific training towards a specific goal; i.e. becoming stronger in movements that translate to every day strength.
  • The focus with Functional training is to build your muscles and conditioning to mimic those moves used in every day life and to reduce injury risk.
  • Powerlifting is overall strength towards 1 rep max goals, functional Training is strengthening for every day movements.
  • Functional Training is going to use moderate to no weights for majority of the movements
  • CrossFit can get a bad name in the Powerlifting community, but the truth is the stronger you become the more well rounded you will be as a CrossFit athlete.
  • The sport of CrossFit is developing towards the  stronger athlete- not just the fastest. The downside is a lot of CrossFit programming  skips over raw strength and favors volume in the lifts.
  • Building a strong strength base will improve the over all benefit.
  • Powerlifters may scoff at box jumps, but in truth they are a helpful move in practicing leg power, just what you need to stand up a heavy squat.

1 thought on “CrossFit Powerlifting <br> The Strong Class”

  1. There aren’t many gyms in Northern Virginia that offer a real powerlifting class. Coached by professional strength coaches, this is the class to attend if you want how to do powerlifting and Olympic lifting correctly. Workouts are scaled to your level, but they are still always a challenge.

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