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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