How strong are you?
A good measure of this is what we call the CrossFit Total. The CrossFit Total is the sum of the best of three attempts at the squat, the press, and the deadlift, the three most effective lifts in existence for developing and testing functional strength. All three lifts are done while standing on the floor. They require minimal and inexpensive equipment. They are not as technique-dependent as the Olympic lifts are, this is not to say they don’t require technical proficiency. These lifts are safe when performed correctly, and can all be performed without spotters, but only with athletes familiar with experience and proficiency in these lifts. The CrossFit Total more accurately reflects the level of functional strength available to an athlete than any other test available.
“The rules for the lifts will need to be simple and well understood by everybody, both the lifters and people in the position of judging them, so we’re all on the same page. The idea is that when you post a CrossFit Total, yours will be done to the same standards as everyone else’s. The lifts must be easy to judge, easy to understand, and as difficult to corrupt as possible. By starting out with a clear picture of what we want and don’t want from a CrossFit Total, many millions of hours of bitching, hard feelings, and confusion can be averted. It must be understood that good form in the lifts is inherent in the rules for testing them.
The order for performing the three lifts will be squat, press, and then deadlift. The best single attempt for each of the three lifts are added together for the CrossFit Total. There is no time limit for each lift or for the length of the session in which they are all performed, but they must all be performed during one session—i.e., you cannot leave the area to rest or perform other activities between the three lifts. Multiple progressions to the best attempt are not allowed; do not work up to your best squat, then change an item of equipment or clothing and work up to it again to try to better your first effort.”
–adapted from CrossFit Journal #52 “Mark Rippetoe
3 attempts, best attempt counts CFT = total of 3 lifts