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Block insights (Foundation), May 21st - July 1st 2018 (WK21-26/2018)
Block insights (Foundation), May 21st - July 1st 2018 (WK21-26/2018)

Insights into programming, progressions and optional sessions in the training block.

Jami Tikkanen avatar
Written by Jami Tikkanen
Updated over a week ago


This section offers a short overview of the focus and progressions found across the 4 development areas (strength, weightlifting, conditioning and skill)


  • Our main focus in this block is a modified Smolov Jr. style back squat progression together with an upper body pull and push.

  • Smolov Jr style = we've spread the progression from 4 weekly sessions to 2 and added an introduction period so you can adjust to the squat volume. This is a much more reasonable variation of the original that allows for other work being done outside of lifting. 

  • You should expect the squatting to get challenging (so eat plenty and sleep well) but feel doable through the training block. 

  • There is weekly additional midline work

  • AHAFA (2 RIR) = as heavy as form allows leaving 2 reps in reserve/tank. We use the RIR concept to emphasise how hard each set should be. Hard (+smart) training is what gets you strong so we want to make sure that each set is challenging enough to cause adaptation but not so hard that recovery becomes an issue early on in the training block. RIR prescription informs you of how close to failure we want the sets to be ( = how hard we want them to be). 

  • 2 RIR (2 reps in reserve) and other variations (1 RIR etc.) with % prescriptions. Here the intent is similar as above but we want you to stay within the % range that's prescribed. As you move through the weeks, especially with the squat, we expect you to apply progressive overload ( = increase total training volume = sets x reps x load) over each week. Make sure to check each weeks RIR to see how hard the sets should be (as per above). If you find the % ranges "too easy" at first weeks, they should certainly not be that once you're few weeks in so stay patient.


  • We are keeping the weightlifting volume lower in this block and are focusing mainly on high quality repetitions (we have dialled the intensity back to accommodate for the hard squat program).

  • Snatch variations include block snatches and hang snatches


  • We are moving to shorter sport specific intervals in this block. Our progression is focused around repeatable 4-minute time domain intervals that should push your ability in continuous 12 to 16-minute pieces. As the intervals progress across the weeks, you will see variations from 6-minutes down to 90-seconds. We expect the intensity to be proportioned to the duration of the intervals (shorter = faster pace). 

  • As we are focused on developing your ability to sustain and repeat your effort, the training must reflect that = When you're doing the interval work we want you to work at a pace that is repeatable for you. Crashing and burning in the intervals would be failing to follow the program properly. That being said, we want you to go hard AND remember that you have to produce an output you can maintain across the intervals.


  • We have weekly micro-doses of skill work sprinkled in the program.

Session #5 options


  • Option to choose snatch or clean weekly as the main lift

  • Paused jerks (behind the neck and regular) to improve your balance on the dip and powerful drive for better barbell elevation. Behind the neck jerks also help developing a better bar path.

  • Different variations of the snatch pull to improve your strength and posture off the ground.


  • Higher rep deadlift progression

  • Bench press as part of upper body progressions

  • Additional upper body push and pull volume


  • Focus on gymnastics foundations


  • Same run progression as on the Advanced Competitor engine program.

  • Focused on building distance progressively through quality repeats.

  • More SPP intervals overall across the week / block

  • Friday's alternate long conditioning piece and SPP intervals

  • Short monostructural intervals weekly on Monday's

  • We've added snatch pull + snatch and power cleans on Saturdays (every other week) to add a bit more pull volume and to improve your pull mechanics (make sure you focus on strong positions and posture here). 

  • Engine and SPP streams alternate between 3 weightlifting or 3 strength parts / week


  • Option for more sports specific conditioning work and classic Metcon style sessions

Short intervals

  • Short high-intensity intervals based on RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) prescription to develop your awareness and conditioning


Hope you found this article helpful!

Let us know if you have any questions about this training block and we'll update this article with additional information.

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