I am doing Crossfit for couple monthes and still can't manage to always find a good weight for training according to weight exercises.
For instance, I can do deadlifts with 60 kg and front squat with 50 kg, but thrusters with only 40 kgs, while won't be able to do power snatch even with 40 kgs.
Recently, my coach adviced me to take 30 kg on thrusters since "that's an intensive exercise, not strength exercise; better take less weight, but do more reps".
So, the question is what is an expected relative weights table? How do you know which weight to take for every exercise except for remembering "my" value for every exercise and reps number. Trying different weights doesn't work well, because this value changes with time and progress.

As for me, I currently use then next "formula" (of course, approximately):

x * reps coefficient * exercise coefficient

where x is currently 60 kg (actually 1 RM Deadlift) and it changes while I progress.

Reps in round    Coefficient
1-2              1.0 (doesn't change)
3-6              0.9 (-10%)
7-10             0.75 (-25%)
11+              0.5 (-50%)

Exercise         Coefficient
Deadlift         1.0 (doesn't change)
FS, BS           0.8 (-20%)
Squat clean      0.75 (-25%)
Pushes / Jerks   0.75 (-25%)
Power clean      0.7 (-30%)
Thruster         0.7 (-30%)
OH squat         0.6 (-40%)
Power snatch     0.5 (-50%)

So, if I see "xxx rounds, 5 rep each, power cleans", I currently take 60 * 0.9 * 0.7 ~= 35-40 kg, according to my physical and mental state, and WOD intensity / rounds count. Or when I see "Power snatch 3 reps EMOM", I would take 60 * 0.5 * 0.9 ~= 25-30 kg.
When I manage to make deadlifts with 70 kg, I will recalculate weights for all other exercises. I will also increase coefficient if I improve my technique - for instance, recently power snatch coefficient was 0.35, because I couldn't do it very well.

Of course, it is very individual, but what are the general averages and ideas?
What weight are you taking for every exercise? I would also be happy to use this information to understand which exercises I am bad at, and what should I work on more often.

  • What's the actual question here?
    – Dark Hippo
    Dec 22, 2016 at 10:29

3 Answers 3


I've been doing CrossFit for just over two years now, so I know what you're feeling. I have to say though, I think you're overcomplicating matters just a bit.

For me, I know what my 1 rep maxes are for each movement, and so whatever is RX for that day's workout, I'll immediately know whether or not I need to scale it, based upon the weight and reps.

I ask my coach what percentage of my 1rm I should be shooting for, and they'll give me the answer, as different workouts have different purposes. You don't want to go too heavy and have your time/score way longer/less than everyone else, and same for going too light with weight.

To answer your question though, there aren't really general averages that apply to everyone. That's where you need to take your personal ability and realistically apply it to your workout.

Your method works though from what I can see, especially since you're adjusting it as your skills improve. It's very technical, but if that's your style, stick with it!

  • 2
    +1. Having worked with an 8-week lifting cycle for a year now with warming up at 50% of my 1RM and lifting at 75-90% of my 1RM means I know instinctively how many reps I can take at many different percentages of my 1RM. So when I see a number of reps on a WOD, I'll know the scaling. And for all the exercises not in my strength programme, just trying it 2-3 times on a WOD gradually adding weight gives me a pretty good impression.
    – sshine
    Jan 5, 2017 at 9:45

I believe that your precision approach will somewhat modify the programming intent and result in less variety. That difference might appear only in time when using a weight heavier or lighter than intended as prescribed.

Consider the rep scheme in these WODs (and other Girls) to see the programming doesn't correlate reps to weight to the degree of your plan:

“Diane” Deadlift 225 lbs Handstand push-ups 21-15-9 reps, for time

“Elizabeth” Clean 135 lbs Ring Dips 21-15-9 reps, for time

“Eva” Run 800 meters 2 pood KB swing, 30 reps 30 pullups 5 rounds for time.

“Fran” Thruster 95 lbs Pull-ups 21-15-9 reps, for time

“Grace” Clean and Jerk 135 lbs 30 reps for time

Perhaps consider approaching each workout as an overall scale to your ability. Maybe you can accomplish 70% of Grace, but 100% of Elizabeth. This is a natural scenario and implies that Clean and Jerk is a weakness relative to your Clean ability.


Just a quick note - Front Squat is almost always not as strong as the Back Squat. Here is a ratio my coach gave me:

BS 80% FS 68% DL 100% PC 53% PS 41%

My estimation is that for conditioning WODs, try to stay around 50% (+/-10%) of 1RM. Anything more is strength training. Anything less is warming up or technique work.

The purpose of the WODs can influence the choice of weights. Maybe you want to train at the desired tempo or just set a personal record to measure progress at an Rx weight. Maybe train WODs alternating too heavy, too light and just right.

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