A Look Inside the CP Staff Lift

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The sign above is what greets every person as they walk into Cressey Performance on a daily basis. Sometimes, though, we’ll have an athlete who fails to see the sign, and I’ll catch him texting on his phone while he’s out on the floor. Big no no – unless, of course, either Megan Fox or Jessica Biel are on the other end. Then I’ll just give him a high five and be on my way.

Needless to say, the sign sets the tone. You’re there to work, nothing else.

I’ve always talked about training environment and how it’s the “x-factor.” I honestly don’t know how people train in commercial gyms day in and day out. What, between Lady Gaga blaring over the stereo (I love techno, but she sounds more like a washing machine giving birth), guys who are 160 lbs soaking wet walking around with inflated lat syndrome (ILS), and personal trainers who don’t even look like they train taking people through their BOSU ball circuits, it’s no wonder people seem unmotivated and disinterested whenever they’re training.

What’s more, if you are one of the few who “gets it,” and of all things, trains with a dumbbell heavier than 30 lbs, or actually uses the squat rack for its intended purpose, or does sprints on the treadmill, or, I don’t know, has the audacity to place a barbell on the ground and deadlift it, repeatedly – you’re more likely to be seen as a “weirdo” and get your fair share of dirty looks than anything else.

This is why it’s so important to find a place where you can train around like minded individuals. I mean, if you want to get good at accounting, you hang out with accountants. If you want to get good at not getting laid, you hang out with people who play Magic the Gathering. If you want to get stronger, leaner, faster, or more bad-ass, then you try to train with people who are stronger, leaner, faster, and/or more bad-ass than you.

As such, our staff lifts have been epic lately. While we generally train four times per week – at least twice per week (usually Thursday and Saturday), we’ll have several guys (and girls) come in and train as well. Yesterday, along with the staff, we had a National US Rugby player, a professional boxer, a former intern, a powerlifter, and crazy George in the house.

Just to give you a little bit of an idea of what yesterday was like, here’s what we started with:

A1. Bench Press Clusters 4x 2,3,5,2*

Clusters of 2,3, and 5 reps using the same weight. Then, on the last cluster (2*), you increase the weight 5-10 lbs and let er rip. On the following set, however, you use the same weight you ended with on the previous set. A simple example:

Set 1: 185×2, 185×3, 185×5, 195×2

Set 2: 195×2, 195×3, 195×5, 200×2

Set 3: 200×2, 200×3, 200×5, 205×2

So on and so forth

A2. Farmer Carries 4×2 trips (80 yds total) with 160 lbs in each hand. On the last set, however, you go for as long as you can go.

The above is a killer combo. Dan (the powerlifter), who will be the first to tell you he has the conditioning of a pregnant pig with emphysema, couldn’t even do two sets without vomiting in week 1. Yesterday, he dominated, and didn’t vomit until he got home. Conversely, Jake (the rugby player) made us look like a bunch of little girls when it came to the farmer carries – he ended up doing SIX trips (240 yds) on his last set.

Be honest, you’re jealous, right?

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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