Max Box Step Up/Down workout

  • Creator
  • #63655
    Lauren Barthenheier

    12 Week Time Crunched Mountaineering Plan

    Max Box Step Up/Down workout (Max strength development)

    Warm up with and 1-2 sets of 10 squats with 50% of max weight.
    Use this workout for Max strength development.
    For step ups use a 30-40cm (12-15″) box to step up. Face the box and step up then back down. Repeat for prescribed reps then switch legs.

    For Step Downs you may need a smaller box.

    Select a weight that allows 5-6 reps until failure.
    Do 4-5 sets of only 4 reps on each leg with this weight in each exercise. 3 min rest/set. Do not go to failure

    Increases in weight should come week to week.

    See video for reference:

    I am confused by the instructions in Training Peaks. By “selecting a weight that allows 5-6 reps until failure” is the weight only for the max box step up or both max box step up AND max box step down? Also, in the video it suggested using an standard straight barbell bar or weighted vest. How much weight should I be lifting?

    In the video, it also suggested using a weighted vest for the the max box step down. How much weight should I be lifting?

  • Participant
    Eddie on #63686

    Hi Lauren,

    I’m not familiar the UA plans, but here’s the basics of Max Strength workouts.

    First, you’ll need to find out how much weight to use. For each exercise, select a load that allows you do to at maximum 5 reps (you would fail to lift the 6th rep with good form).

    Once you find the correct load, you’re ready for the workout. But for the workout, you’ll perform each exercise without going to failure by only performing 4 reps.

    It may take several sets to figure out the correct weights, and your step-up weight may be different from your step-downs.

    The general idea behind a Max Strength workout is to lift heavy to increase the pool of recruitable muscle fibers without gaining more muscle mass. Having both high strength and a large aerobic base will enable better gains in muscular endurance workouts.

    Lauren Barthenheier on #63700

    I did the Max Box Step Up/Down workout yesterday using a squat rack with a barbell resting on my shoulders. I used the weight shown below and I was playing with the weight selection. After researching online, I found a tool to help determine how much I should be lifting depending on gender, age, and experience –

    Max box step up
    Round 1: Bar + (2 * 2.5 lbs) = 49 lbs
    Round 2: Bar + (2 * 2.5 lbs) + (2 * 5.0 lbs) = 59 lbs
    Round 3: Bar + (2 * 2.5 lbs) + (2 * 5.0 lbs) = 59 lbs
    Round 4: Bar + (2 * 2.5 lbs) + (2 * 5.0 lbs) = 59 lbs

    Max box step down
    Round 1: Bar + (2 * 2.5 lbs) + (2 * 5.0 lbs) = 59 lbs
    Round 2: Bar + (2 * 2.5 lbs) + (2 * 5.0 lbs) = 59 lbs
    Round 3: Bar + (2 * 2.5 lbs) + (4 * 5.0 lbs) = 69 lbs
    Round 4: Bar + (2 * 2.5 lbs) + (4 * 5.0 lbs) = 69 lbs

    Bar = 44 lbs

    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    emilieskadi on #76043

    I’m trying to get an understanding of how to trigger max strength in my legs… Back squat is currently something I can’t do, due to shoulder mobility… So I tried a hack squat I it’s called. When I start to push the weight I feel a lot of pain in my low back and nothing we do seems to remedy the issue, except to go down in weight. But I don’t feel any sort of max strength failure or work in my legs when I lower the weight, and I can do tons of reps…

    So we went to leg press machine since it doesn’t hurt my back. I’m currently doing 5 reps at 410, and only able to get 2 at 420, so I feel like I’m finally able to do max strength, but I’m not doing functional movement and that is annoying… I know ideally I would get my core as strong as my legs but I hesitate to think my core could ever handle stabilizing 420 lbs!

    Any thoughts? Ideas functional movements that can get really heavy but not stress my back like squat does? I was wondering if box step ups/down might be a good solution… But I might struggle to hold dumbells that heavy grip strength wise…. to ideas!!

    Thomas Summer, MD on #76056

    Most functional, if talking about mountain sports (except skiing) are single leg exercises. So I would recommend doing Box step ups and downs. Try how much weight you really need. Also play with the hight of the box. If you want to go truly max strength with squats, build your core first (sorry?). A strong core is the base of almost every movement. Don’t do any kind of strength training that causes back pain!
    Maybe consider blood flow restriction training…

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.