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How to Read the Invitational Workouts

Normally in classes we don’t write suggested weights, as our primary goal is for each person to challenge themselves to their ability and not try to meet an arbitrary standard.

However, during a competition like the Invitational, it’s necessary to have some standards of movement and suggested weights so we can actually track the results for each person.

Sample Workout:

Competition 1


15 deadlift (135/95)


Competition 2


15 deadlift (105/75)

Savanna bar Pull-ups



15 Deadlift (any weight)

Ring Rows

In this sample workout you can see there are 2 different options for the weight of the deadlift in competition 1 and competition 2. Traditionally that is done to signify ‘(men’s weight/women’s weight)’. Generally the ‘women’s weight’ is 65-70% of the ‘mens weight’.

This standard comes from the world of CrossFit, so it feels like ancient tradition but it’s really only about 15 years old. And, it’s based on gender alone which is dumb af and not very helpful.

So, instead of thinking about the suggested weights as falling along the line of “men or women”, think of it along the line of the intended stimulus and what it would require for you to feel that stimulus.

I will use myself and coach Jerik as an example. My heaviest deadlift is 360# and Jerik can do #465. In a workout, both Jerik and I can comfortably do any of the listed weights for comp 1 and comp 2. So what would we choose?

Well, a workout like this is written to have deadlifts that are fast, but taxing so that the pull-ups are harder. When I look at the levels, I know I want to pull-ups, so my choices are either 95 or 135. I know I can do 95# for sets of 10. It will be hard and I will get very tired, but I likely will be able to continue with sets of 10 or two sets of 5 reps for each round. If I chose 135 I would likely have to do 3-5 reps at a time throughout the workout. I would likely get “stuck” at this weight. So, I would choose Comp level 2 at 95#. Jerik would choose 135#. A smaller cis-man who is around 140# bodyweight and has been lifting here for a year or so and has a top deadlift between 250-300 might also choose to do 95#. A non-binary person who is around 185-205# and has been working out here for 3+ years, and can do around 350# for a deadlift might choose 135#.

The point is that your choice in weights should reflect the stimulus the workout is looking for, and not just reflect your sex assigned at birth or your gender. That’s a dumb standard that doesn’t actually make competitions like this “more fair”. It will provide better outcomes and genuinely harder competition for everyone if we get to compete in the category that best suits our body-type, years of experience and strength levels.

Of course there will be folks who will feel VERY stretched by the suggested weights, and you may choose to try something harder than you think you can do just for the challenge of it.

The final thing to note is that choosing competition 1 will bump you up a bit over competition 2, but not so much so that you should choose competition 1 and just do a single rep. For this sample workout if you choose Comp 1 and get 4 rounds, that would put you at a higher score than someone who does Comp 2 and gets 6 rounds. HOWEVER, if you choose Comp 1 and get 1 round, that will not put you at an advantage in scoring. That’s just hard to watch.

Basically: do what challenges you the most but allows you to complete the work. You should be working to to the top of your ability, to the edge of discomfort, and at the greatest pace you can muster.

I hope that is helpful as you are making your choices during the workouts next week – we are so excited to get started!

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