Monthly Archives: January 2019

The element of programming you’ve forgotten

I’m not pinned, I’m doing pause reps….
 
Believe it or not I’ve sad this before.
 
Once because I was genuinely doing paused reps and people were rushing over.
 
The other time I was legitimately stapled by the bar in a bench press and felt a little silly as I had only moments before declined a spot.
 
In the more modern realms of lifting the eccentric-less styles of training have taken quite well and gained in their popularity.
 
Think weightlifting as an example.
 
In fairness most power related sports don’t really have a heavy eccentric component in them, some do however not the ones most people are enamoured by.
 
The stronger they get concentrically with out looking at how much they can stabilise and lower, the closer they edge towards injury.
 
Many have never heard of the term strength deficit before.
 
As such let us delve in to it for a spell.
 
Eccentrically you should be able to handle around 30% more than you can lift concentrically for all things to be considered equal, or at least not to be on the brink of royally snapping your shit up.
 
When this number starts to drop below 30% things need to be looked at, if yours is 20% or lower then you may have a problem.
 
A good example is that of an average runner.
 
Potentially strong in the quads, the hamstrings/glutes not so much.
 
They need the hamstrings to allow them to achieve their full potential for running, along with helping any potential change of direction that may occur in the blink of an eye.
 
Make them try some sprinting style drills that involve moving in anything other than a straight line and they’re more often than not very slow, or the go for it and something goes ping.
 
 
How do you know if you have a strength deficit on a lift?
 
The 4+2 method is a great way to find out what it is.
 
I got this from Poliquin.
 
Actually there is probably an article, hang on.
 
….
 
 
^^ There you go.
 
I wonder how much thought you give to the eccentric portion of your lifting?
 
Perhaps you’ve taken up the current in thing of ‘tempo work’ – tempo bench, tempo squats etc, which is actually just lifting normally truth be told.
 
If you were going to do tempo work then your lifting owed be done to a metronome.
 
Training eccentrically with maximal/supra-maximal is very taxing, best suited for 3 week blocks maybe 2-3times per year for most people.
 
Having a focus on the eccentric portion of your lift however.
 
Well that is something you should always have in mind for all you lifts, unless specially programmed otherwise by your coach.
 
What is the optimal ‘everyday’ eccentric pace?
 
4-6 seconds seems to be the sweet spot because it allows for a decent load to be lifted multiple times so that you’re not missing your volume/intensity needs.
 
Concentric should in my opinion always be performed as fast as possible (with control, obviously).
 
The top end of a lift you can choose to pause there for a second to re-brace/stabilise or just go straight in to the next rep if you’re already in the groove.
 
At the lowest part, of the end ROM, like the top you can just crack on or you can utilise a pause.
 
^^ A minimum of 4 seconds in the hole will greatly debilitate the stretch reflex (stored tension/potential kinetic energy and all that jazz) meaning you need to generate more tension/force to get the weight back up.
 
^^Klokov has had a method named after him for his length pauses, the ‘Klokov squat’ it looks like this: 1 rep x 6-10-X-0 tempo. They’re horrid yet so so much fun.
Try using this little gem in your programming and let me know of all the gains you make.
 
Eccentric/Pause Focus:
 
– Pick 1-3 main lifts
– Accessory work will be 2-3 sets of AMRAP
– Rest as needed
 
Week 1-2: Acc – 6×6-8: tempo 8-0-X-0
Week 3-4: Int – 8×2-4: tempo 2-6-X-0
Week 5-6: Acc – 6×6-8: tempo 6-0-X-0
Week 7-8: Int – 8×2-4: tempo 2-4-X-0
Week 9-10: Acc – 6×6-8: tempo 4-0-X-0
Week 11-12: Int – 8×2-4: tempo 2-2-X-0
 
Week 13 – Deload
Week 14 – Test new RM on the lift(s) you focused on
 
As always leave any questions below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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***6 Steps to Solid Sessions***

No long monologue today.
 
Time to get straight in to the good stuff, easy to follow steps to create training worthy of the gods.
 
Well, maybe not the gods, at least legendary hero though.
 
The structure of session I will use as an example in each is as follows:
 
W/U – warm up, potentiation biased
Skill – learning something new, refining technique etc
Main – building strength and lean mass (muscular bits)
Accessory – often within main element (weak points)
Conditioning – can be for CV or addition to main/acc
C/D – cool down, CNS optimisation bias
 
Let’s go.
 
Step 1 – Movement first.
 
Simple as it sounds many lack any large amount of movement based exercises in their training, as such you are going to want to make sure you get this down first.
 
You will have something movement related in every session, it can be for warm up/cool down, skill acquisition, main exercises, conditioning or accessory (weak point) purposes, however it will be there every session.
 
Example:
 
W/U – Leopard Crawl 100m – 5min
Skill – Loaded carry medley – atlas stones – 15min
Main (strength) – Sandbag clean, carry and load -20min
Accessory (postural) – SA Waiters walk – 10min
Conditioning – Farmers Walk & Suicides – 5min
C/D – Yoga Flow – 5min*
 
*If you’ve trained in the PM a Yoga flow surrounding internal torque will trigger the para-sympathetic nervous system, if you hit the gym int he AM then you’ll need one focused on external torque.
 
You get the idea, yo’d have one movement related element in each session, you can of course have a full session of movement like the above as well.
 
That’s the first step done covered.
 
Movement is life, quite literally in most cases.
 
Giving it the attention it deserves in your training will yield results beyond what you ever expected, trust me, it’s totally worth it.
 
Until next time.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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“Box Jump” – an abused exercise

“I have a 50 inch box jump” 
 
This is my face when someone claims this – 🤔🤔🤔🤔
 
Now while it is entirely possible, it’s not probable.
 
What most people have is a 50 inch tuck jump.
 
To have a legitimate box jump of that heigh yo’d be looking at a 40+ standing vertical jump, and that shits almost as rare as helpful retail staff at TK-Max.
 
It is easy to get movements confused.
 
I get it, the box jumps we see on the gram look impressive, they draw in the likes, however if you know what a good form box jump looks like you’ll know the difference.
 
We mistakenly think that the higher we stack the boxes the better it will be for us.
 
So very wrong.
 
Like terrible, really.
 
There are a lot of articles form well respected athletic coaches that are not he same page, I will google one and pick the first without reading it because I’m that confident if I search –
 
Real vs Fake Box Jump
 
I will get one.
 
 
Do you have box jumps in your training?
 
If so you might want to dig in to the form, just for the lol’s if nothing else.
 
I will leave you with two points to remember.
 
1 – Your hips want to stay above your knees when you take off and land, that is correct form, video yourself and check.
 
If your knee/hip angle chances dramatically from takeoff to landing on the box then I’m sorry, that’s not a box jump, it’s a tuck jump on to a box.
 
(I’m not really sorry).
 
2 – They are a power exercise (high velocity) and best served in sets of reps where you accelerate maximally, once speed goes you stop.
 
While you can use them for cardio you probably shouldn’t.
 
Bonus Point – Step down off the box, don’t jump down, unless you want increased risk of injury, then by all means fill your boots.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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***Plateau Breaker Series***

We all hit a wall at times with progress.
 
Given I’ve been here several times I’m going to share with you some of the methods I used to overcome mine.
 
First up, shoulders.
 
More specifically, pressing overhead.
 
There is little else quite as impressive as putting a heavy weight over head.
 
Ideally you want to be able to press your own bodyweight with crispy clean form.
 
Many can’t because they’re just too weak.
 
Or too heavy, might be a combination of both, who knows.
 
The three go to methods in my arsenal are as follows:
 
Negatives – High MUR, allow overload of CNS, good fun
 
Partial Presses – Teaches high tension, helps with confidence to grind through sticking points, looks cool
 
Plyometrics – Improve RFD, improves CNS connections, makes great fodder for Instagram video
 
How do you apply these?
 
There are many ways, I will give you some easy to apply ones immediately.
 
Negatives:
 
Push press (or push jerk) a heavier load than you can strict press overhead.
 
Aim for 2-5 reps, each rep you will aim for 6-10seconds on the negative portion of the lift. If a rep negative is less than 6 second stop the set, if it happens on the next set you’re done for the day with these.
 
Sets, well starting off with 3-4 is good, aim to bulk to perhaps 6-8 total, rest as needed between sets.
 
Don’t just let it drop though, stay tense and almost aim to pull the weight back down.
 
Partial Presses:
 
You will need Pins for this of block son some description where you can place the bar on.
 
Simple set the bar at your sticking point and press away.
 
Given the reduced range of motion 4-8sets of 4-6reps work well for this, you may also be abel to utilise heavier loads than normal as well, just make sure you keep total body tension in each rep.
 
*You can also set partial ROM, you’d need two sets of pins for this, say giving you 4inches of movement, you press from a pin just below your sticking point to a pin just above your sticking point. You’d drive the bar in to the top pin AS HARD AS POSSIBLE, for as long as possible, then repeat until you hit momentary muscle failure, then rest 5min.
 
Plyometrics:
 
Personally I’ve found launching a medicine ball as high as possible in the air works well.
 
You’d so as many sets as possible while maintaining speed, reps would be 2-3 per set as the focus is on acceleration. Rest 1-3min.
 
If you’re more advanced you can look at handstand depth drops – look up the book ‘Plyometric Training, achieving explosive power in sport, Hatfield & Yessis’.
*Please note all of the above, unless stated, are to be done while leaving a couple of reps in the tank, strength is a skill and you should see the above as PRACTICE not a workout method, if you want to get strong.
 
There you have it.
 
Some simple methods for breaking a pressing plateau that can be performed in most gyms without the need for specialist kit.
Be sure to get in remedial work in the form of lateral raises, reverse flies, t3 raises and so on, these areas are often neglected and can be the cause of tension (strength/power) leakage, they will be covered in the future so keep your eyes open for that post.
 
Next time; Deadlifts.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Thrusters for Fun

Not going to lie, I just smashed out a wall of text for a post elsewhere.

As such I am going to keep this one nice and short.

If you want to read the wall of text then head over to Gains Central 🤗

Below you’ll find one of my favourite lifts for getting in a solid session in less than 20min.

To be fair CrossFit paired it with pull ups and called their monstrosity Fran.

21-15-9
Thrusters – 95lbs
Pull Ups
Do it as fast as possible, lay down, die.

^^ When this was created it was based on the principle of 21 was the max amount of reps achieved (momentary muscle failure), then 15 was next, then 9 and so on.

These days people can hammer through Fran with little issue.

Anyway, enough about Fran, let’s talk about thrusters.

A front squat followed by a press.

This is a movement that hits pretty much everything.

Give me 20min and I can use this lift and nail myself with it.

Here are 5 options for a 20min thruster session (this includes the warm up).

1 – Rep Ladder OMEM

Say you load the bar with BW, do one thruster on the first minute, the two on the second, three on the third and so on, until you do twenty at the end.

If you miss the reps on a minute then take the next one as rest and start over with the number you failed on.

2 – Weight Ramp

Star tog off with the bar and then add 5-10kg, or whatever every set and go as high as you possible can.

If you miss set (do 3-5 reps per set), drop the load by 25% and start over from here adding weight as before.

3 – 30/30

Pick a load (you can increase it as you go if you wish, I like BW for this).

Do 30 seconds of thrusters, then rest for 30 seconds.

Repeat until 20min is up.

4 – Breathing Thrusters

You will pick a load, start off light.

Each set will be 20 reps broken down like this:

10 reps then stand and hold the weight, 5 deep breathes, 5 more reps, 10 deep breathes, last 5 reps, then drop the bar, add load and repeat for the remainder of the 20min.

5 – Time drops

Pick a load and do the following.

5min of continuous thrusters, then 3min rest.
4min of continuous thrusters, then 2min rest.
3min of continuous thrusters, then 1min rest.
2min of continuous thrusters, then lay down & die.

There you have it, a one movement wonder.

You don’t have to use thrusters, you can sue plenty of over movements, however there is something about this particular spawn of satan that hold a special place in my heart.

Much like sitting outside a coffee shop in the summer with a friend and laughing at elderly people who can’t parallel park with no remorse of hesitation, ah, good times.

Yep, I’m going to hell, meh, it happens.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Honestly, this is blindingly good information.

A short tip to improving form instantly.
I can’t take credit for this little gem, it is something in the lifting world the Russian athletes of the world have done for a while.
 
You will also find it common in various other sports as well.
 
Why?
 
That is simple, it is because of the exceptional amount of feel it provides you.
 
Close your eyes and lift.
 
Yep, lifting with your eyes closed if one of the best ways to sharpen up your form instantly.
 
Is it dangerous?
 
Meh, potentially, then again, you wouldn’t want to try it with your 1RM, perhaps starting off with bodyweight and then moving on to lighter loads is more sensible.
 
What pulling down the lids on your peepers will do is nothing short of amazing.
 
You will start to feel your bodies movements.
 
The balance biases, the instability, the movement patterns and so much more.
 
If something is off you will wobble, feel unstable and probably bail on the attempt, and that’s okay because you can try again.
 
Being the complex creatures that we are,w e rely heavily on our sight.
 
Maybe we shouldn’t, not all the time.
 
Give this little tip a try with smaller movements first the are lower overall risk.
 
Over time build up to doing it with larger compound movements.
 
With enough practice you’ll be Daredevil in no time.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The need for speed

Power, what is it?
 
UNLIMITED!
 
If you get that reference pat yourself on the back.
 
In regards to training it’s the ability to apply your strength quickly.
 
You can have people that are monstrously strong, yet not very powerful.
 
Much the same way you can have people that might not have epic amounts of strength and yet are very powerful in regards to performing specific tasks.
 
Power based movements or training isn’t for everyone.
 
This is because people lose the ability.
 
They don’t practice it enough because like strength, it’s a skill.
 
As we age this diminishes dramatically and at an alarming rate if it isn’t practiced regularly.
 
I’ve known people in their 30’s that while strong have no ability to accelerate, this is quite worrying.
 
To better understand this you will need to look in to the Force-Velocity Curve.
 
There are plenty of books and courses on the topic, so I won’t bore you with a lengthy explanation.
 
 
A simple way to remember it is this –
 
High force = Heavy lift done slow (because it’s heavy)
High velocity = Lighter lift done fast
 
Power = The heaviest loads you can most at the fastest speeds effectively.
 
Simples.
 
In programming certain clients training I like to follow this little set up.
 
– Flow
– Fast
– Slow
 
This translates in to some form of movement complex to get the body primed, hence the term flow.
 
Second is the power elements of training. These can eb bodyweight movements, classic lifts, odd objects or some sort of sporting necessity/skill.
 
Finally it’s time for lift a tad heavier which will slow the pace of the lifts down, not too much so that it’d detrimental, just more a case of classic strength work to add some lean mass.
 
*Personally I would still advice people to lift concentrically as fast (powerfully) as possible with the loads they are using, CAT style ala Dr Squat as this will force more motor unit recruitment, meaning more overall gains in the end.
 
Using the above how would you put that in to a session?
 
Here is an example:
 
Flow – Mobility Complex
Fast – Kettlebell Snatches, Kettlebell Jerks
Slow – Deadlift, Presses, Pull Ups, Postural Work
 
Then perhaps some classic stretching to finish up, or plan in a couple of stretching based days or perhaps do yoga once or twice a week.
 
Power style training is great fun, and very rewarding.
 
Reps classically are less then 5, while not set in stone it’s a good starting point.
 
When looking at this kind of method you want to move each rep as fast as possible wile maintaining good form, if you start to slow or form goes you stop and rest.
 
Loading is up for discussion depending on the goal.
 
You could use anywhere from 30-80% of 1RM for power work.
 
Sets, it ends up being fairly high 6-8 is common for 4-5 reps, 8+ more so when doing 3’s and below.
 
Rest periods can clock in up to 5min, perhaps more, or just as soon as you feel ready to go again, go by feel on this one.
 
Splitting your training days in to Pull-Push-Legs, or Lower-Upper, maybe Anterior-Posterior all work, as does full body, my best advice is to find one that you enjoy as that will become more sustainable in the early stages.
 
Try the Flow-Fast-Slow approach, you’ll find it quite enjoyable.
 
I will even give you three sample days to get you going.
 
Leg Day –
 
Fast – Box Jump 2-3 reps, 8-12 sets, rest as needed
Slow – Front Squat & RDL, 4-6 reps, 4-6 sets, rest 2min
 
Push Day –
 
Fast – Push Press 2-4 reps, 8-10 sets, rest as needed
Slow – Ring Dip & Ring Chin, 5reps, 7sets, rest 2min
 
Pull Day –
 
Fast – Power Clean 2 reps, 12 sets, rest as needed
Slow – Bent Over Row & Farmers Walk, 8-6-4-8-6-4reps (20m on farmers walk each set), rest 2min
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Eccentric eccentrics

*Lifter sees you pinned under a bar.

“Do you need a spot bro?

*The reply you need to save face.

“Oh, thanks for the offer, it’s okay though, I’m doing Eccentrics & Isometric holds, I’m not pinned.

*After lifter leaves slither out from under the bar you loaded way too heavily and hope no one check CCTV.

Time to talk about eccentrics.

Ah the English language, what an interesting thing it is.

When it comes to utilising this overload principle you’ll find you can get results coming thick and fast.

However, with a fast rise there is an equally fast fall awaiting those who become greedy.

Eccentric training often recommends the use of 100-130% of a person 1RM, depending on the movement.

In some cases when people have reached superhuman levels of strength their eccentric ability to handle loads can be a high as 170-200% of their 1RM.

Yea, I know, that’s just nuts.

As a guideline for knowing if someone is ready for this style of training with extra loads (as in not on bodyweight movements), there are some things to remember.

What comes next has been lifted from books such as SuperTraining, The Science & Practice of Strength Training and many years of working with coaches far smarter than I am.

– For lower body you’ll want to be able to handle 1.5-2xBW on a squat minimum.

– Pressing movements to fall between 1-1.5xBW

– Hinging is better off at 2xBW

This may seem excessive to some.

Heck, there are plenty of people who use eccentrics with loaded movements without these strength levels, however the progress that can be made will always be compromised.

One crucial thing to remember is that this style of lifting puts a hefty stress on the body, not to mention the ligaments & tendons take a lot longer to ascertain their fortitude, unlike muscles where this happens relatively quickly.

You’ve also got to remember that the GTO is there to protect you, if you don’t have the base strength required then it won’t allow you to even hold a heavier load without shaking like a defecating dog.

As such this method should be respected.

So, how can you use it?

Well provided you’ve got the required strength levels.

No major or chronic injuries to speak of.

Then you’re good to go.

Here are three ways I use eccentrics in training.

Each method would last for 3 weeks, then not be repeated or used again for 12-16 weeks.

Yep, you’ll find more benefit if you do this 2-4 times per year.

As for sessions you’re looking at one of these every 5-7days for this style of training.

More sessions than that in the 5-7 day period is often too taxing for anyone not very well trained, for now 💪

More is not better, it’s just more.

Method 1 – Hold, Hover, Hoist

*Spotter advised.

This is made up of three mini-sets you could say that make 1 full set, or a three-phase eccentric lift.

First, you load a bar with more than you can lower, un-rack it and hold it for 10-30seconds, the rack it.

Rest 3-5min

Second, take out a supra-maximal loaded bar, you’ll be looking at a 10+second eccentric phase on this as you will be looking to hold the weight isometrically for 2-3 seconds 2-3 times during your lowering phase.

Say you’re doing it on a squat, you’d stop first at a 1/4 position, then again at half, then again at 3/4, and then fight it to the bottom where the bar can now rest on the pins and you can safely step out from under it.

Rest 3-5min

Finally, load the bar with 70-80% of your 1RM and crack out a set of 3-6 reps with solid form.

Rest 5-10min then repeat once or twice more if you’re some kind of inhuman beast lobster.

This plays heavily on tension as its main overload driver.

Method 2 – That’s what friends are for

A classic method of loading a bar with 100-110% of your 1RM.

You will want the eccentric portion to be 6-10second on the first rep, then try to sustain this for each subsequent rep, have your training partner help spot you up.

1-5 total reps rep set.

3-5 total sets.

5min rest between sets.

Method 3 – Decelerate to Accelerate

This one can be done alone.

Load a bar with 100-130% of your 1RM and perform 1 eccentric.

Rest 2-3min.

Next perform and explosive variation of the lift you just did, if it was a bench press you might do a plyo-push up or an explosive med-ball floor press/throw.

3-5 explosive reps

*Or until you lose speed, which you’d need a tool to measure for accuracy.

There you have it, three methods to shatter plateaus and make epic gainzzzz.

^^ The more Z’s the more progress, it’s science.

Oh yea, I mentioned that this can help you gain followers on social media.

It will.

These methods are sexy to watch people perform.

They sound awesome and create a curiosity among people who want to make progress.

Plus who doesn’t want their Instagram videos to be with impressive weights or toilet mirror selfies under – ‘that good lighting’.

You’ll also be able to explain to people why you’re using the methods above (extreme overload, plateau breaking, nervous system training) and why/how they can adapt them.

These are truly worth your time.

Since this post is long enough I will leave the topic of Strength Deficit for today, however if you do CrossFIt you NEED to dig in to that to avoid injury.

Here is a great place to start:

https://www.strengthsensei.com/strength-deficit-train-size…/

One final note.

You can perform certain eccentric movements on your own, things such as push press, cheat curls, etc are all good for using to allow you to do eccentrics on smaller movements.

You can also do individual limb eccentrics as you can lift the load with both and lower on one.

There are just so many options, it’s truly a deep habit hole.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Progress Time

I don’t know what it is.
 
You might.
 
Regardless of the answer though, you can’t beat a bit of 90’s classic pop songs to make you smile.
 
They’re even better when you know all the words too.
 
Anyway, it’s time for a little lesson in time.
 
Programming sessions based on Density (work capacity, basically how much you get done in said time) is a great way to work with individual clients or groups.
 
Especially groups to be fair.
 
As a PT you get quite familiar with living your life y the clock.
 
Each second is of vital importance and not to be squandered.
 
A wise policy for life too.
 
Given most sessions are 1hour in length, you need to be optimising them.
 
Personally I love programming.
 
It’s always fascinated me, it’s truly an art to get right.
 
That being said, not all people or clients want to know the numbers unfortunately, they’re just looking for a good time.
 
As such who are we to disappoint them, right?
 
When it comes to progressing either Volume (reps/sets) or Intensity (loading %) you can end up increasing the time of a session.
 
If people can train longer than an hour then these two are the first ports of call for progression and achieving progressive overload, density would be an afterthought and taken in to account last.
 
However when the luxury of time isn’t there, Density rules.
 
Taking away the W/U-CD elements, which would total about 15-20min, we have 40min left to play with to help people achieve results.
 
That my friends is plenty of time when you know what you’re doing with it.
 
Given there are endless options on how you can use this time effectively I can’t go through them all, hopefully 4 will be enough to get you delving further in to the topic.
 
1 – Time Block & Rounds –
 
Typically AMRAP means ‘as many reps as possible’ however it could also mean ‘as many round as possible’, for the purpose of hitting a good stimulus you’ll find using rounds more useful than reps.
 
Example:
 
Reps: 5-10-15 (can be meters)
Movements: Pull Up, Farmers Walk , Med-Ball Slam
Time: 20min
Focus: Posterior Chain
Result: Hot Death
 
How to progress this is easy, you set number of rounds to achieve in time block and if it is hit then you can either change the movements or increase the loads of each of them, if not you just stick with it for as many sessions as is required until the target is hit.
 
2 – Time Block & Wave Loading –
 
A little trickier as you will need to know people strength levels ideally, not a necessity, just an ideal.
 
Example:
 
Reps: 6-6-6 (light load, medium load, heavy load)
Movements: Press Overhead
Time: 20min
Focus: Anterior Chain
Result: Shoulders for days
 
How to progress, you will need to watch the last set of reps and how the land is handled. If it flies up and the timer is at say 19min then you can logically add some load, if the person needs a chunk of rest before lifting it then keep it as it is.
 
Think of it this way. Press = 30kg, 45kg & 60kg, the first two sets are 50/75% of the top weight, they are meant to be easy so that speed/form can be focused on while still getting some work done.
 
The focus is the top set, if the top set can’t be hit then they will go between the 50-75% loads until they feel ready to hit the top one or the rest after the 75% as long as they need to hit the top set.
 
Sounds complex, it’s actually easier to do it.
 
3 – EMOM –
 
Every minute on the minute, a popular CrossFit staple, however by no means created by CF.
 
Ideally your EMOM will last 15-20 seconds in the first round, then slowly end up being longer as it takes the person more time to complete.
 
If you’re EMOM start off in round one at say 30 seconds you’ve gotten the exercise choice/flow very very wrong because it leaves no room for fatigue of any sort.
 
Reps: 3-3-3
Movements: Power Clean, Push Press, Front Squat
Time: 10min
Focus: Whole Body
Result: Kill me now
 
4 – For time, yep it’s a race –
 
As you may have guessed, you simply set out a task to be achieved and set people off, the idea is to finish it as fast as possible, with good form.
 
If you have the time limit of sat 10min and someone does it in 5, well, add load to their movements, if someone doesn’t finish it in the allowed time then they stay as they are.
 
Reps: 800m
Movements: Bear Hug Loaded Carry
Time: 15min
Focus: Posterior Chain & Core
Result: Much harder than expected
 
All in all pretty simple to grasp and when your life is ruled by three hands, this style of programming is invaluable.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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4,8,12 or 16 week challenge

Last night I had a thought.
 
I’m sure many of you have done the 10,000 swing challenge before.
 
What else have you applied it to though?
 
Logically there are movements that will work well with this target of reps, and others not so much.
 
The swing variation is to be done in 4 weeks.
 
Extremely manageable.
 
The high frequency of sessions (5 a week) is also great for grooving a movement pattern.
 
4 weeks isn’t the gospel truth though, you can take longer, as such that is how you can apply different lifts successfully.
 
In the 4 week block you are looking ideally to train 5 days per week, hitting 500 reps a day.
 
If you want to stretch it to 8 weeks then you’d be hitting 250reps per session, based on 5 sessions per week.
 
Over 12 weeks it would be 166.7 reps a day.
 
Now since that is an irritating number to me I’d round it up, probably, 167.
 
Still annoying though 😟
 
However if you got for 16 weeks, well that give you 125reps per session and now you can start to apply it to a lot more lifts.
 
An 8 week block you might be able to do Pistols, Push Presses, Jerks, Renegade Rows, Inverted Rows, Clean & Jerks to name a few.
 
^^ All kettlebell movements by the way, you can use dumbbells also.
 
The 16 week one might be better suited to things such as pull ups, some barbell movements.
 
I’m sure you get the idea.
 
As you can see it’s a nice way to give yourself a little challenge if you don’t have the spare cash to hire a full time coach.
 
If you were going to program it this would be the formula to follow.
 
Warm up flow – pick one
A1 – 10,000 rep challenge lift
B1 – Push/Pull/Squat/Hinge/Carry/Sprint (pick one)- 5×5
Cool down flow – pick one
 
Since you’re doing 5 sessions a week the main movement will be done each session, for an accessory lift you can pick any exercise your choose from the basic movement patterns.
 
Of course it doesn’t have to be 5×5, however when I’ve done this personally that worked very well.
 
You could pick different rep ranges each time, it generally doesn’t matter.
 
Say you had Pistols as the 10,000 rep challenge movement.
 
The accessory ones might be Bench Press, Pull Up, Farmers Walk and a Deadlift on the mix every other week, the options are endless.
 
This kind of thing is more about having fun with it and giving yourself some short term focus.
 
When it comes to breaking down he main lift, the reps and sets are up to you.
 
You might do 10’s, 5’s, wave’s, ladders or one mammoth set of unbroken reps because you’re a monster.
 
Give the above some thought and if it takes your fancy, give it a go.
 
If not, search previous posts, you’ll find a lot of other programs on this page.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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