After we came back to the city, I’ve planned on going back to the gym. That involved me restarting from Test Week 1 Obi Vincent’s Crossliftr 3 program. Restarting, because early in June I actually started with Test Week 1, but then we went to the seaside for the summer. However, even that this is a test week, the program will challenge your strength and endurance.
This Crossliftr 3 program is built for athletes aiming to improve their mobility, strength, and endurance. It’s a 10-week program starting with a test week, there’s another test week in week 6 and then another one at the end. In this program review, I’m not going to share the program itself, but I’ll write down how the workouts and the program felt overall.
Front and back squat test
I’ve had some experience with back squats before starting with this program, but I can’t say the same for front squats. With front squats, what you will need is lats and wrist mobility. If you start with an empty barbell (which I strongly recommend) and feel like it’s choking you, then it’s on the right spot.
Despite that, you may feel that it’s your wrists holding you down, with some experience you will quickly discover that it’s actually your lats. The lats are helping you keep your elbows high enough so that the barbell can stay in its place. Apart from lats mobility, I’d recommend stability exercises. The Zombie front squat is a good start here and will directly impact your front squat stability.
With the back squat, I didn’t have much of an issue, except that I haven’t squatted heavy for 6 months or so. Meaning, most of the strength gains I achieved pre-Covid, are gone. Well, it’s a good moment to start re-building!
Front squat PR: 55kg
Back squat PR: 75kg
Bench press and deadlift test
With the deadlift, I didn’t have much of an issue while testing. However, there’s always room for technique improvement. One thing I need to focus on in the future is the beginning of the movement – picking the barbell off the ground. It has to be lifted off the ground with a straight back and then exploding upwards.
This would help me especially considering that I’m a tall person (187cm/6’1’’), neutralizing potential arching of my back. I guess I need to go back to filming my deadlifts. Or, essentially, filming all of my lifts.
With the bench press, there’s a lot to improve. I think I can lift a lot more weight, but most of the time I’m afraid that I’ll drop it on m chest. Yes, I can ask somebody to spot me, but I kinda don’t feel it. I want to deal with this myself.
That’s the reason I used support arms this time and it felt good. One thing I need to focus on with the bench press is speeding up the descending of the bar a bit. The reason I need to do it is that I’m fatiguing in that part of the movement the most, especially with more weight on the bar. I just need more explosive power here.
Deadlift PR: 120kg
Bench press PR: 70kg
Overhead press and Push press test
With both the overhead press and the push press, there’s a lot going on in terms of overhead mobility. If your overhead mobility sucks, you would need to focus on that. These two presses can really challenge your strength and endurance.
At least with me, I feel these 2 presses the most challenging and taxing. After a few sets and I want to just leave the bar and go home. To be honest, that’s how I felt with shoulder exercises in general, but that’s probably just me.
As it is with every other exercise, make sure you’ve warmed up your shoulders before adding weight to the bar. Starting with an empty bar is always a good choice – this is your last chance to feel the bar and set your technique right. Executing the overhead and push press correctly, can have a big impact on your other lifts.
Respectively, screwing up during the execution of these two lifts can cost you a lot, as your shoulders are part of lots of other lifts. Be careful here and if you don’t feel the movements right, take a step back, drop the weight, record yourself, and look at your technique.
Overhead press PR: 45kg
Push press PR: 55kg
Challenge your strength and endurance
Test Week 1 isn’t about the main lifts, like squats, deadlift, and the different presses. There are also push-ups, pull-ups, hanging leg raises, and lots of rowing. Yes, you are going to use a rowing machine quite a lot. On Day 3, you will have to row about 3.5km in 15 minutes.
Remember: Pace yourself and don’t throw everything in the beginning. Some of the workouts Obi prepared are quite long and will definitely challenge your strength and endurance. There are super sets as well so be sure that it’s not going to be a walk in the park.
I think the 3.5km rowing was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done for my endurance in the past year. I remember that back in the summer when I initially started with Test Week, I did small breaks here and there. This time, I pushed myself to the limit and finished this without any additional breaks.