Tag Archives: programming
What is the shortest amount of rest you can take while still being able to maintain high effort outputs?
Knowing this will allow you to perform HIIT.
It will also allow you to build up an acceptable level of metabolic fatigue for some added benefits to power endurance, however be aware that this won’t necessarily take your ability to produce power up, to do that you need to be fully revered and some.
Having so many training options is both a blessing and a cruse.
Due to the popular majority being focused around ‘feeling worked out’ or ‘tired’ it leaves too many people lacking any form of meaningful progress once they get past the point of beginner.
Training is meant to make you stronger, not leave you smaller and more frail each time you push your limits, which is what happens to a lot of people.
There is one easy way around a session that tips you over the point of good stress (eustress) and into the realms of bad stress (distress).
Timing your rest periods.
I know, something so simple it’s as if experts in the field of progress/performance have written about them for years. Oh, wait…
As a general rule these are what typical adaptation common rest periods are linked to:
<60 seconds = aerobic & muscular endurance
120-180 seconds = anaerobic endurance/tolerance & muscular hypertrophy/strength
180 seconds > = ATP-PC power/performance & muscular strength (absolute)
Now this is a very brief and wanting guide, to truly appreciate rest periods you’ll want to put income effort and start your reading journey with the glorious book: SuperTraining.
Under recovering with short rest periods because you want to feel tired will indeed yield that result, however that’s all you’ll get from it because you’ll be unable to repeat productive efforts in your sets.
While aiming to create ‘in-road’ and elicit and oxygen debt is indeed something viable, you must first understand the necessity for rest first and how manipulating rest periods works.
Say you wanted to perform an anaerobic bias training set, what some call ‘metabolic training’, here is what it may look like on paper:
A1 – T-Sprint x 30-50m
A2 – Clean x4
A3 – Push Press x4
A4 – Sled Sprint x20m
A5 – Weighted Pull Up x4
There will be a 15-20 second average transition time between movements
Total rest between series is 4-7min
2-3 total series
Most people will think they can use less rest because they’re special or unique, they are wrong.
In the above example you’d want to rest the length of time that allows you to repeat a series with the same level of effort/output/performance, meaning the first rest might indeed be 4min, the second rest block might be 7min though.
The majority of people need more rest, not less.
Well, if they want to actually make decent progress anyway.
The next time you train take a stop watch with you and stick with your rest periods that your coach (or whomever) has suggested.
If it says 90seconds, that’s what you rest, so you start you next set bang on the 90 second mark, if you feel yourself slowing or in fact lose a rep on a set you’re done, unless otherwise advised by your coach to say drop 10% load of however they’ve set up your program.
Rest as little and as long as you need.
Fellow Trainers & coaches.
Your own experience will influence the way you train others.
We touched on this yesterday, and this is by no means a bad thing however it’s easy to fall in to the trap of giving everyone what you like to program or feel comfortable programming.
Again, while not necessarily a terrible thing, it is 100% a lazy thing.
Don’t get me wrong and think that this never happened my end because it did.
While you can indeed find reasons for falling back on something that is quick and easy to spam out in a program, such as people asking for free advice, when you have paying clients it’s not the most optimal thing to be doing.
Of course we will have various tools/protocols/programs stored in memory that we can draw on and guess what, they will work for a lot of people.
This usually happens because these adhere to some basic and fundamental principles of training.
If you take some time to look at the way people write programs you’ll notice a pattern in what they do.
One of mine is the classic 3-week wave, often varying the lift itself at the end of each micro block, this is because it keeps people consistent because sadly most can’t stick with the same things for too long due to their addiction to social media and the constant need for novel stimulus and dopamine hits.
While variety is a good and sometimes necessary thing, too much of it will not have you getting any form of decent result.
How do we know this?
Look round at people who attend multiple classes or hope from program to program weekly, they may have some degree of fitness however it’s a far cry from where their current potential is.
Now many will jump up an down championing “If it makes them happy leave them to it.” and these people are justified in saying that, however would you really be happy putting in what you feel is a tremendous amount of effort and not getting any real results?
Personally that is madness to me, why put in all that effort for no reward?
That’s like going to work and not getting paid.
You are by no means required to get results from your training/nutrition though, becoming strong, confident and have favourable body composition isn’t something you MUST do, yet if you’re going to put in the effort why not aim for that result?
The choice is yours on that one because that will come down to priorities.
You can train like a demon and do everything that will yield the above, yet you enjoy multiple alcoholic beverages each night so while you may build incredible fitness/strength you may still look like you don’t even train and hey, if you’re cool with that then fair play to you, fill your boots.
Fellow coaches/trainers, do you program based on what is needed of simply what you know and can fall back on easily?
Training ideally wants to focus on these three things:
- Keeping the goal the goal
- Enhancing the participants life
- Making that person better than they currently are (physically & mentally)
To do this we have many tools, these three principles will help you massively though:
- Waviness of load
- Specialised Variety
Feel free to look back on here and you’ll find plenty of programs I’ve thrown up over the years.
You’ll see my biases creeping through, all geared towards strength for the most part and of late gaining maximum benefit with minimum effort, so a high ROI (tertian on investment).
Any questions please leave them below.
Or is it dice now?
Once upon a time die was considered the singular term and dice was plural, however I think now it might just be dice for both singular and plural.
Anyway, this nifty little tool can provide some great training sessions.
All you need to is have one (you can use two, or you just roll one multiple times like a logical person would).
^^ Personally I quite like having two though as there’s nothing better than rolling two of them and getting a double 6.
If you are a person who needs structure yet finds it hard to stick to said structure then this will be a great tool for you.
Simply follow the below:
Set up 6 sessions for each of numbers on the dice.
1 – Clean & Push Press > Pull Up: Super Set
2 – Sprints (any kit)
3 – Deadlift > Kettlebell Swing >Farmers Walk> Floor Press: Giant-set
4 – Slams (any kit – think ropes, med balls, sand bags, etc)
5 – Squats
6 – Front Squat > Squat > Lunge: Ti-set
Next for the sets and reps, as an example.
On the lifting rolls form the above:
First roll (one dice) = reps you will do (1-6)
Second roll (two dice) = sets you will do (2-12)
That’s it, you may get a very easy day, or a very hard one, these don’t include warm ups though.
On the CV option from above:
First roll (one dice) = seconds of work (10-60 seconds)
Second roll (one dice) = seconds of rest (10-60 seconds)
Third roll (two dice) = total amount of rounds (2-12)
Personally I’d only preform one of the example sessions, even if it ended up being something like this:
Squats – 2 sets of 1 rep.
See it as a gift for a low volume session, the temptation would be to avoid doing more because when I’ve prescribed this in the past people have thought they’ve known better and make what would have been a very easy session stupidly hard by doing extra because of ego, then when the dice cast gave them a hard session they couldn’t perform.
Poor performance apparently happens to 1 in 5 you know.
Don’t give in to your ego, train once per day, if you have an easy session today, then train again tomorrow, if that is again super easy, train the day after that as well and keep repeating this until you get a session that takes a lot of effort and then you HAVE to rest for one or two days.
It’s a nice was to have some structure and yet still a good amount of variety because you don’t know what you will roll (unless the dice are weighted), so you could end upsetting the same session a couple of times in a row, unlikely however it might happen.
As you can see the above is super easy to plan/program.
My main advice for you would be this though; have 4 numbers with things you don’t do often and really need to be doing more of, and two that you like doing, this sill help your overall progress because we get better by doing the things we need to do (or don’t do), not what we want to do.
So go grab a die, or dice and have some fun.
P.S – if you’re really sadistic you can use D&D dice.
The clean & press (push press/jerk) is a great movement.
Whether you do it with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, odd objects or people, it yields some great results.
As far as looking for a movement that covers everything, this is pretty damn close to being perfect.
I say close to because you can’t get maximal speed/power like you could with a snatch, nor the raw pressing strength like that of a bench press, or even the leg strength from a squat, you get the idea.
That being said, it’s still epic.
If you have any of these in your list of goals:
– Increase LBM
– Lose Fat
– Increase Athleticism
– Look Cool
Then this is a movement you should be doing in abundance.
These days we have a lot of choice when it comes to training, and while this is great it’s also a problem because the level of results based on the average gym goer have gone down over the years.
Having too many options is the devil.
Back in an almost forgotten time when I would teach classes (well, small groups), the training would be simple, so much so that some used to complain and not come back.
I didn’t miss them, they didn’t have faith int he process and just wanted to have their bis appealed to and their ego stroked.
One thing with training is often the most effective stuff (once you’re past the point of beginner gains) is often a little dull and very repetitive.
To add in all the fancy and flamboyant stuff requires skill.
Not skill in coaching, although that is a necessity in my eyes, it requires skill from the participants in said training because if they can’t keep up then they need to take a step back and start at a level appropriate for them, less the don’t progress.
Anyone who’s worked with large groups will be able to give you lists of what works well and what requires some extra time/attention.
Anywho, back to the C&P.
Here is how you might apply this glorious movement to a three day per week training protocol.
This would yield Fat Loss as the primary function, LBM would be secondary and Strength as a by product.
All C/P variations done with a bar.
Day 1 –
W/U – Kettlebell Swing x15min (5/15 interval)
A1 – Clean & P/P x5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3-2
B1 – Front Squat x10-8-6-8-10
C/D – Stretching
Day 2 –
W/U – Bear Complex 3-5reps x15min (vary load as needed)
A1 – Clean & Press x1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
A2 – Bent Over Row or Pull Up x6-8
C/D – Stretching
Day 3 –
W/U – Loaded Carry (hug & shoulder, alternate) 20m x15min
A1 – Clean & Jerk x3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1
B1 – Floor Press x4-6×4-6
C/D – Stretching
Rest periods can be kept int he 60-120second mark after each wave, rest only long enough to change the weights int he way or briefly if you are going to keep the load static in a wave.
– 5 > add load, 3 > add load, 2 > add load > rest 120sec
– 5 > 20sec, 3 > 20 sec, 2 > 20sec > add load and rest 90sec
You get the idea.
This is one example, there are many more.
There are endless videos on how to do this, here is one decent one:
(Remember this, if people take the time to give you such time/feedback it’s because they care.)
I’m going to let you in on a secret held closely by those in the fitness industry.
The majority of us have no real clue what we’re doing.
Honestly, in the early days apart from knowing a few basics on from (even that is questionable) when it comes to putting together training programs we’re woefully underprepared.
This is speaking from experience.
Initially what got given to people was nothing more than copies of what had been found in books or learned in passing by those more experienced.
This wasn’t really programming, it was merely getting people to exercise and expend energy.
Don’t get me wrong, for the larger population of gym-goers all they want is to feel like they’ve done something, they care little for the details or even if what they’re doing is optimal for them.
So long as they enjoy it that’s all they care about.
Do you know what, that’s 100% cool because if it keeps people training then it doesn’t really matter if their coach/trainer doesn’t really know what’s going on, so long as the client is happy that’s the priority.
It took me years to really get a good grasp on programming.
Even then there was still a lot of gaps.
Of course, over time a deeper understanding has been gained and now more can be seen in each successful program/protocol that is out there.
Has this improved my ability to coach/plan?
Yep, without a doubt.
Has it been something I will share with my clients?
Nope, most don’t want to know. They just want to be told what to do, how hard to work and that’s it.
Sadly the only people care about the quality and details in training programs are the coaches (and a few unique clients).
Thus you don’t have to be good at the above to do well in fitness, you just have to give the people what they want, a solid business tactic.
One word of warning though, the approach of giving people methods without understanding will only really work on beginners.
This is why you rarely see a PT/Coach in a gym wh works with anyone at the intermediate level or higher (they lack the depth of knowledge to do so), and do you know what, this is a good thing because it’s almost more hassle than it’s worth.
Being someone who has gone through various stages of learning and coaching I can tell you this much, no one really cares how much you know.
No one cares that a decent program can take several hours to write, in fact, most will be just as happy with something you cut & paste from the internet (cookie cutter stuff).
The only person that will ever know is you.
If you want to delve this deep then these three books are good places to start:
– Super Training by Mel C. Siff and Yuri Verkhoshansky
– Periodisation by Tudor Bompa
– The Transfer of Training in Sport by A.P. Bondarchuk
You can also find a lot of great info online for free.
Another gem of a book is Viking Warrior Conditioning by Kenneth Jay.
The choice is yours, my friends.