Last week I shared my story of the creation of the Max Effort Black Box (MEBB). But truth be told, I learned quickly that while the three-on-one-off MEBB rotation worked well for the independent contractor or self-employed, home-based business consultant, it turned out to have some limitations for the typical family man.


And while I’ve had my successes with helping the aspiring athlete run faster, jump higher, and put more weight overhead, I derive the greatest pleasure from helping the family man or woman. He goes to work, he is likely in a relationship, and he has a family and probably volunteers in some capacity. These athletes have different stress and value systems. Elite performance and personal records are important, but not at the expense of other values.


coach rut, michael rutherford, MEBB, max effort black box, MEBB crossfit


I recently received the following e-mail, which was the genesis of my variation on the original MEBB - the Max Effort Black Box for the Family Man:


My name is Jason and I hope you are doing well today.


I think I am experienced enough to answer my own question, but wanted to see if you had two cents to add. I am going to begin the ME Black Box routine. (Thanks by the way!) However, as a devoted father of small children, and a husband and coach of recreational baseball, I will not be going to the gym on the weekends. I reserve those days for foam rolling, active bodyweight recovery, and family. So if I am trying to adapt the MEBB to a five-day program how do you feel about CrossFit M/W/F, ME Total on Tuesdays, and alternating upper/lower each Thursday? I know this does not fit the three-on-one-off parameters, so I may find myself needing a rest day towards the end of the week. I am looking for a starting point with the barbell.


Thanks for your time and I hope you have a great day.


The Nuts and Bolts

At this stage of the game I trust that everyone is familiar with the ME Black Box. The MEBB will provide the necessary strength and power stimulus to accelerate your fundamental strength and propel your CrossFit workout times and benchmark scores. But there are slightly different rules for the family man:


The Family Man MEBB Rules:


  1. All training must be performed Monday through Friday.
  2. No workouts are performed on Saturday and Sunday, as these are reserved for the family and other pursuits.
  3. No workout can exceed 45 minutes.
  4. Other healthy practices should be in place.


coach rut, michael rutherford, MEBB, max effort black box, MEBB crossfit


The Family Man MEBB Training Template

This template is quite simple. The athlete will us an A/B split:


  • A = Max Effort (ME) Day
  • B = CrossFit (CF) Day


Since there are five days for workouts and two primary focuses of training, there will be a week of three ME sessions followed by a week of two ME sessions. I have included the ME Day tier rotation information below:


coach rut, michael rutherford, MEBB, max effort black box, MEBB crossfit


Rep Rotations:


  • Week 1 - 5 x 5
  • Week 2 - 5 x 3
  • Week 3 - 5 x 1


The randomization of your program is completely your call. If your relative strength is the limiting factor then you should only incorporate short duration CrossFit workout challenges.


I believe this training template offers even the busiest of family folks an opportunity to maintain top tier performance while maintaining a balance of family time. If you give it a try, come back and leave a comment and let me know how it’s working for you.


Photos courtesy of CrossFit Impulse.