Tag Archives: programming
Do you want to know a little bit about how I program for people?
Here you go –
Step 1 – Make it ultra complex
Step 2 – ???
Step 3 -They become life long indentured clients because they can’t workout what I’ve programmed 😂
A classic business trope.
Okay, on a slightly more serious note, let us look at the movement element of how I program so that hopefully you can take something away from it and apply to your own.
I base a lot off of a hierarchy of movement.
– Movement Itself (crawling, climbing, full body)
– Loaded Carry Patterns
– Hinging Patterns
– Squatting Patterns
– Pulling Patterns
– Pushing Patterns
These cover all the planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, transverse), along with bi/unilateral and rotation/anti-rotation.
^^ More on that another day.
Depending on the ability of each person things will be more or less spicy.
You can’t build a fortress on a marsh.
The focus is on the fundamentals, getting people structure locked in and allowing them to move well.
So in short, we start with a pattern.
Example: Push Isometric
Basic – Plank Hold
Intermediate – Pike Hold
Advanced – Handstand Hold
All a pushing movement bias pattern, I’d start here to build on a persons ‘feeling’ or you might say their body awareness and capability to stabilise and create the required tension/torques in their body.
The three above might not seem like much or have any where to progress to except for added time.
Or some some will think.
Here are some progression options.
– Single arm
– Single leg
– Single arm & leg (where applicable)
– Resistance band pulling towards non-based arm/leg
– Unstable surface (safe options only)
– Alternating arm
– Alternating leg
– Alternating arm & leg (where applicable)
^^ This is without even looking at classic kit such as barbells, kettlebells and other lovely items.
Oh yes, people who spam the same cookie cutter programs are being lazy.
Actually that’s not fair to say, this is why we have a niche that we find and call our own, because when you look at all the possibilities and permutations you’ll see how you can’t do it all and that picking a field to specialise in is a good shout.
Can you start to see just how much progression you truly have to play with once you look beyond the classic ‘bro’ of sets/reps/load.
Of course there is nothing wrong with bro-training, however that is merely one element of training or programming, this rabbit hole is truly a deep one.
So my strong strong friends, where do you start?
Try looking at movement patterns first because it will allow you to see what people are doing a lot of and what falls woefully short (that’s where they need to focus – average person, athletes are another story).
The above can be a checklist of needs, it will allow you to program to a persons wants wile actually getting them to do things that help in the long run.
Any questions pop them below.
“I’m not saying people are idiots, Let’s face it though, we all know at least one.”
^^ Made me chuckle this morning.
For all the best intentions in the world some are just beyond help, or at least not ready for it.
I had a discussion about strength over the weekend.
One of my favourite kinds of discussion.
We touched on many things, most importantly the ‘use it or lose it principle’.
This relates quite nicely to the way people train and what it can potentially end up costing them in the long run.
There are various types of strength, here is a nice easy way to remember some of the key ones.
– Slow Strength (grinding, integrity under load)
– Fast Strength (acceleration, jumping, throwing)
– Mobile Strength (athleticism, movement)
You will find there may be a bias in regards to they dominant type of strength you need if you play a sport, compete in something or have an ultra specific goal.
If however you’re just someone what wants to train then you’d do well to cover all the bases.
We often get very tied to a couple of specific ideas, or ways of training.
While not a terrible thing it can limit our overall progress and abilities.
I’d like you to consider the above in your training.
Can you think of a way to get all three in?
They don’t have to be in any specific order, you can go with the above, reverse it, mix and match doing 2/3 each session, or even just pick one element to focus on for an entire session.
Select a movement(s) forces and away you go.
Mobile Strength (warm up) – Loaded Carries & Crawling
Fast Strength (main lift) – Power Clean & Push Jerk
Slow Strength (accessory lifts) – Press, DL, Row, Chin
Training isn’t set in stone, it’s alright if you train something other than classic body building.
If you can crawl along the floor, climb things without support, pick up heavy -ish loads and potentially carry or press them overhead them if needed, and most importantly move without any pain, you’re on to a winner.
Remember, we’re not meant to be good at just one thing.
We have the ability to be good at many things, so why waste that opportunity.
Take a look at your current training and see what you’re missing, then perhaps consider adding it in.
It isn’t uncommon for people to ask – “What sets/reps should I be doing?”
While perhaps not that exactly, it will be something along those lines, as such I’ve found that cycling them based on a classic Heavy-Light-Medium rotation applied to a Pull-Push-Legs split.
One element to remember is that Heavy doesn’t mean hard and light doesn’t mean easy, however that is a topic for another day, for now I will give you something you can apply immediately.
- Heavy – 5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3-2 (heavy yet not hard)
- Light – 20-15-10-20-15-10 (light yet not easy)
- Medium – 5-8×1 + 1×20 – ramp to heavy single for the day, then take 60-70% of that and do one set of 20 reps
Split Options: 4 day split examples
^^ 2-4 lifts per day is often sufficient, 1 main with the rep/set scheme, the rest can be 2-3×10-15 or 4×6, your choice.
If we take the PPL and apply the rep schemes over a small cycle.
No change in lifts, only reps.
Day 1 – Pull – Heavy
Day 2 – Push – Light
Day 3 – Legs – Medium
Day 4 – Off
Day 5 – Pull – Light
Day 6 – Push – Medium
Day 7 – Legs – Heavy
Day 8 – Off
Day 9 – Pull – Medium
Day 10 – Push – Heavy
Day 11 – Legs – Light
Day 12 – Off
Many will then say – “What now?”
Once you’ve gone through this you’ll find you’re back at the heavy day being for pull, you can choose to keep the lifts the same and try to hit a higher load or you can perhaps change the lifts, pick your poison.
This allows for a constant rotation of days and keeps things interesting, if you are constrained be the working week and days you can train then you may need something a little different, in which case all you need do it ask for the answer.
Ever read Super Squats?
It’s an older book however it’s well worth a read, not to mention 6 weeks of your time following the training program itself.
Wile easy enough to understand it certainly separates the strong from the weak.
It’s brutal mentally because it’s so simple.
The original training went something like this:
Press behind neck – 2-3 x 12
Squat – 1 x 20 supersetted with Pullover – 1 x 20
Bench press – 2-3 x 12
Rowing – 2-3 x 15
Stiff legged deadlift – 1 x 15
Pullover – 1 x 20
Done 2-3 times a week.
Worth a go for the experience if nothing else, you’d also do well to have the aim of getting to 300lbs in the squat or 20, the ultimate goal in the book.
So while the above is fun it’s not the only way to utilise this style of training, you can take the basic skeleton (sets/reps) and apply it to a great many things.
Staring movement on a weak area – 2-3 x 12
Select a large compound lift (DL, C&P, SQ, etc) – 1 x 20 superset with antagonist – 1 x 20
Pick a secondary lift for adding muscle – 2-3 x 12
Pick a lift antagonistic the the one just before this – 2-3 x 15
A little something for pump – 1 x 15
The movement you did in the compound 20 rep lift – 1 x 20
Here is an example of how you can use that structure.
Weeks 1-6 the classic Super Squat routine
Weeks 7-12 (you fancy some back and arm focus)
Kettlebell Clean & Sots Press– 2-3 x 12
Trap Bar Deadlift – 1 x 20 supersetted with Barbell Curl – 1 x 20
Incline Press – 2-3 x 12
Close Grip Pull Down – 2-3 x 15
Split Squat – 1 x 15
Barbell Curl – 1 x 20
Perform 2-3 times per week, perhaps aim to hit the 20rep on TBDL with 400lbs, ala Brawn and Stuart McRoberts.
I’m sure you get the idea.
The beauty comes from the simple structure that allows you to simply plug and play, just with some exercise variations.
Obviously you don’t need to do this and the overall specificity is lacking, however for people who just want general training (strength, fat loss, hypertrophy) and some guidance it’s quite useful.
Give it some thought.