BoxLife Competitors Training #004

BoxLife Competitors Training #004

Box Life Engine Builder: A New Way To Train For CrossFitters

By Christopher Dolan

The BoxLife engine builder is a new way to train for the sport of CrossFit. I’ve been using it since last year and have noticed significant improvements in my strength, speed, power, agility and overall fitness. You don’t need any fancy equipment or special training methods; all you really need are your body weight and some time.

I’m not going to lie – I was skeptical at first when I heard about the BoxLife engine builder. But after spending several months with it, I am convinced that it’s one of the best ways to get fit and strong right now. If you’re like me, then you probably aren’t very familiar with the concept of building muscle mass through exercise. So let me explain how it works…

What Is An Engine?

An engine is basically a machine that converts energy into motion.

Think of it this way: if you were driving down the road and suddenly came across a tree that had fallen on your car, would you stop immediately or would you continue driving forward anyway?

Of course, most people would choose to drive over the tree rather than slowing down.


Because they feel safer doing so! That’s because our bodies instinctively know that moving forward will lead to safety. That’s the same reason why you should be using the BoxLife engine builder. It will allow you to safely become more powerful and agile over time.

The great thing about this is that it’s a lot safer than traditional weight training. Even though it sounds counter-intuitive, building muscles through exercise requires you to place your body under a load. And when I say load, I don’t mean barbells or dumbbells, I mean anything that increases your body weight. The more your body weight, the more stress you place on the muscles you lift. And if that stress becomes too much, then those muscles can tear or otherwise become injured.

This happens to a lot of people who go to the gym and try to pack on as much muscle mass as they can. The result is that they either don’t get any stronger or they get stronger but suffer an injury in the process. It’s a lose-lose situation!

But the BoxLife engine builder is different in that regard. Even though you may be placing your body under more stress, you are still safe because you are only using your own body weight. Your muscles are designed to handle that and a lot more. Take a look at this chart:

See how much your body weight makes up?

The average person weighs around 166 pounds. Now, I’m not telling you to weigh yourself right now. (I’m not telling you to weigh yourself at all, to be honest.) I am simply stating that your body can handle the stress of its own weight. In fact, it’s estimated that the average person walks around at least three miles per day – and they don’t even work out! When you do the math, that comes out to roughly 2.7 tons of pressure on your feet alone. Think about how much your body can handle! It’s truly amazing. Now, take all that weight and apply it in short bursts using the engine builder and you have an incredible tool for getting stronger!

The other reason why the BoxLife engine is so safe is because it focuses on compound movements.

You know how everyone is always talking about working out different body parts?

Well, doing so has never shown to gain much effectiveness in terms of building muscle mass. Instead, your body works as a single unit with each part supporting the other. This is why the BoxLife engine focuses on a series of exercises that work your whole body. You’ll be able to lift more than you’ve ever lifted before while lowering the risk of injury!

It’s like the old saying goes: you can’t gain mass if you’re in the hospital getting stitches!

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should start using the engine builder today. It’s a safe, fun and healthy way to get stronger!

WEEK ONE: The Squat

This movement is the foundation of the program. If you’re a beginner, then this will be the first heavy squat that you do. However, even if you’re advanced you’ll still be doing a variation of the squat – so no need to worry. Now, before we begin I need to mention that there are several squat styles you can do. The engine builder program uses the Box Squat.

BoxLife Competitors Training #004 |

The Box Squat is a style of squat where you will be using an outline of a square (or box) on your floor to squat in. It looks like this:

You’ll want to make sure that you’re centered in the middle and not leaning too much in any direction.

In addition, your upper and lower legs should touch the lines on the outside and your feet will be pointing out at a 45 degree angle.

Now that we have our set-up, let’s get squattin’!

Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Hold the bar just outside your shoulders. Keep your chest up and your back straight.

2. Now descend by bending at the hip and knee until the tops of your legs are at least parallel to the floor (or box).

3. You can use two different styles of breathing for this movement:

a. Short Breathing:

This style of breathing is recommended for the heavier sets. On your first three sets, take a deep breath in through your nose as you go down and hold it until you come back up. This may cause you release some of that air as you descend. On the heaviest set, don’t take a breath in at all – just hold it until you’re done descending.

b. Long Breathing:

This style of breathing is recommended for all sets except the last. Once you reach your target weight, take a deep breath in through your nose on the way down and then exhale slowly as you come back up. Continue this throughout the set.

4. Descend until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor (or box).

BoxLife Competitors Training #004 at

5. Hold that position for a moment and make sure you’re centered and balanced (you don’t want to fall over).

6. Ascend by pushing with your legs.

7. That’s one rep.

Continue until you finish the required amount of reps.

So, you can now perform the squat on its own. If you’re a beginner, it may be best for you to use the short breathing pattern (the heavier sets). If you’re more advanced, it may be best for you to use the long breathing pattern (all sets except the heaviest).

Here are the sets and reps for each week:


Set 1: 8 reps, Short Breathing

Set 2: 6 reps, Short Breathing

Set 3: 5 reps, Short Breathing

Set 4: 8 reps, Long Breathing


BoxLife Competitors Training #004 - Picture

Set 1: 8 reps, Short Breathing

Set 2: 6 reps, Short Breathing

Set 3: 5 reps, Short Breathing

Set 4: 6 reps, Long Breathing


Set 1: 6 reps, Short Breathing

Set 2: 4 reps, Short Breathing

Set 3: 5 reps, Short Breathing

Set 4: 6 reps, Long Breathing

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Specialized Set #1: 10 reps, Long Breathing

Specialized Set #2: 8 reps, Long Breathing

Specialized Set #3: 5 Reps, Long Breathing

Specialized Set #4: 20 Dels, No Breathing

Once you’re finished with the program, you can continue directly into the “Engine Building” Program or take a few days off before starting the next program: “Engines on Autopilot”. Good luck!


So, you’ve completed the first program. Great! Now that you’re done, you can take the next couple of days off from training before starting the next program or you could immediately start the next program. It’s up to you – just don’t do the same amount of reps and sets on this program since it is different.

The “Engines on Autopilot” program is made up of two different training types with a specific amount of reps and sets. Once you start the program, you will be alternating between these two types every other day. In fact, even the name of the program is an analogy; just like a plane’s autopilot system takes over for the pilot while the plane is in flight, this program takes over for you in building your “engines”. Are you ready to get started?

Sources & references used in this article: