You Want Me To Do How Many Reps…31×1


On occasion you may see that we have started putting in tempo prescriptions for some of the movements, specifically lifts.

To explain what these numbers mean lets use the squat at a tempo of 31X1.

The FIRST number indicates the lowering (eccentric) part of the lift. In this case, the athlete will lower to the bottom of the squat in 3 seconds. This forces the athlete to maintain tension and control of themselves instead of divebombing.

The SECOND number tells the athlete how long to hold the bottom of the lift. In this case, maintaining tension and good position at the bottom for one second. Don’t get soft!

The THIRD number indicates the speed at which the athlete should ascend to the top of the lift (concentric phase). If it’s 3, then 3 seconds up to the top. If you see X, such as in our example, then this means to explode up to the top as fast as possible. Follow the tempo even if you can move the weight faster.

The FOURTH number tells us how long to hold the top of the movement. In this case a one second hold at the top to get reorganized for the next rep. In all cases, the first number of a tempo lift is always the lowering (eccentric) portion, even if the movement starts with the ascending (concentric) portion (like a weighted pull up).

Why do we doing this? A few reasons:

  1. Constantly Varied. We hear this all the time in CrossFit. Switch things up instead of just going for Max effort lifts all the time.
  2. Focus on muscular elements versus tendinous elements (a slow, controlled motion is going to place more stress on the muscles, whereas a bouncy or ballistic motion will place more stress on the tendons, etc.)
  3. Improved Stability.
  4. Get stronger of course! More time under tension = gains, gains, more gains!


  1. These are general CrossFit classes. Every class includes a warm up, skill session and a workout.

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