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Block insights (Advanced competitor), July 2nd - August 12th 2018 (WK27-32/2018)
Block insights (Advanced competitor), July 2nd - August 12th 2018 (WK27-32/2018)

Insights into programming, progressions and differences between the streams in the training block.

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


Each training block runs for 6-weeks. You will have 10 training sessions / week.

This section offers a short overview of the aims and progressions for strength, weightlifting, conditioning and skill work in this block, as well as what you should focus on to make the most out of your training. 

Differences between the streams (Engine, Strength and SPP), and how to choose the right one for you in this block, are outlined at the end of the article.


  • The squat cycle in the previous block was hard (both in terms of intensity and volume). We are now moving into a more sustainable program for the next 6-weeks and will be using a structure similar to the Texas method.

  • Our focus remains on the back squat as an all around strength builder. We will reintroduce front and overhead squats in strength sessions in the upcoming training block (after this one).


  • Push your 5RM, 4RM and 3RM squats, strict press and bench press through the block

  • Reintroduce deadlift and sumo deadlift in the programs as a base for upcoming cycles

  • Build base strength with different carries, prowler pushes, sled drags and pulls.

  • Work towards new max rep strict pull ups and toes to bar by the end of 6-weeks


  • Deadlifts - "+" sets, meaning your final set will be as many repetitions as possible (see session notes each time) to allow you to push on the day based on your readiness. Ability to push on the "+" sets is a good indication that you're recovering properly and making progress.

  • Back squat - Each training week consist of a Volume day (Monday’s, 5x5, 5x4 or 5x3), Recovery/Practice day (Thursday’s, 2-3x5) and Intensity day (Saturday’s, 5RM, 4RM or 3RM). This means each training week is a “complete” mini-block in itself. The volume day weights are a % range based on previous weeks Intensity day results. This allows you to adjust the program to your results with an opportunity to adjust the session also based on your daily readiness.

  • Strict press / bench press - Same progression as on back squat but on alternating weeks. Sessions distributed slightly differently across the week depending on stream. Complemented with Strict dips (from volume to intensity).

  • Strict chin ups - Similar progression to deadlifts, taking advantage of "+" sets to individualise the prescription. Complemented with DB row variations to balance the pressing in the training block.

  • Single leg work - Volume progressions

  • Pull up / Toes to bar - A complex progressed weekly (in volume)

Key focus points

  • Always move well, poor reps with heavy form don't mean much

  • Push hard on the 5RM, 4RM and 3RM days but avoid grinding out too many of the reps (this will be hard to recover from)

  • Aim to work at top end of the squat % range in volume sessions (but listen to your body)

  • Push hard always on the "+" sets but stay within the maximum rep range

  • Aim to increase the pull up / toes to bar complex reps each week



  • Snatch - Reinforce balance, posture and positions on the 1st and 2nd pulls. Develop aggressive pull under the bar. Build towards a heavy single on the final week.

  • Clean and jerk - Base building for a heavier single in the next block. Opportunity to practice both the clean and (behind the neck) jerk separately as well as the full clean and jerk.


  • Snatch - 2-weeks of Hang snatch + snatch complex, 1-week of snatch for 2 cycles. Snatch pull + snatch complex (2+1, 1+1, 1+2) for 1st 3-weeks, followed by High hang snatch + snatch complex.

  • Clean and jerk - Alternating weeks of clean and clean & jerk, moving from triples to singles through the block. Similar progression for behind the neck jerks and (Strength stream only) power cleans with pause at receiving position.

Key focus points

  • Always prioritise good form in these sessions. To lift heavy, you must have good mechanics. By all means, go as heavy as you can as long as you're lifting well. Sloppy reps with poor form will have to be unlearned later at great cost.

  • Hang snatch (in complex) - Choose to either go from just above the knees or just below the knees (choose the position that is more challenging for you OR go from above the knee in the 1st 3-week cycle then below the knee on the 2nd 3-week cycle).

  • Use the hang snatch complex to reinforce good balance and positions through the 2nd pull together with an aggressive pull under the bar.

  • Use the snatch pull + snatch complex to work on strength and posture on your pull from the ground

  • Use the sessions with clean only to push heavier weights.

  • Use the behind the neck jerk to develop a strong extension with good timing and a proper bar position overhead.

  • Use the power clean with pause to reinforce your position, posture and balance n the catch.



  • SPP/Metcon sessions - Get exposure to competition style workouts. Opportunity to challenge your current capacity. 1 to 2-sessions / week (depending on stream)

  • SPP Interval sessions - Develop your ability to repeat/sustain your effort in a sports specific context through wide variety of time durations (6 to 18-minutes). 1 to 2-sessions / week (depending on stream).

  • Long conditioning intervals - Develop your aerobic base and ability to control your pace. 

  • Running (Engine) - Build towards a 3km TT (Time Trial) at the end of the block.


  • SPP Interval sessions - As per previous training block, you will see variations from 6-minutes down to 90-seconds in the interval session. We expect the intensity to be proportioned to the duration of the intervals (shorter = faster pace). 

  • Long intervals - 10-minute intervals with "fartlek" (speed play) mixed in (increase in volume through the block) with your choice of modalities (run, row, ski erg, bike). A longer continuous piece mixed in every 3-weeks.

  • Running (Engine only) - Variations of "fartlek" intervals converging to a 3km TT on the final week.

Key focus points

  • SPP/Metcon sessions - Use these to challenge yourself. Look at the workout ahead of time and make a plan how you should best approach it. Warm up well and execute your plan to the best of your ability. Reflect back on the workout afterwards, identify what went well, what could have improved and how will you do it.

  • SPP Interval sessions - 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 hard pace that is repeatable for you. (Crashing and burning in the intervals would be failing to follow the program properly.) 

  • Long intervals - Stay focused through the sessions, challenge yourself keep the efforts sustainable / repeatable. These are ideally all NASAL (nose) BREATHING ONLY.

  • Running (Engine only) - Follow the warm up well for these sessions and pay attention to surface you're running on (ideally NOT concrete). Quality of your runs more important than the quantity



  • Movement micro-doses (MMDs) - Exposure to variety of movement skills. Develop the basic mechanics of common competition movement and build capacity in them.

  • Weekly gymnastics session is aimed at building solid foundations for sports specific gymnastics capacity and general movement competency.

  • Scenarios - Study and learn to problem solve with movement and tactics in these weekly sessions reserved for SPP stream.


  • MMDs - Main focus on MMDs is providing variety in challenging your movement and maintaining exposure to practising the common competition movements. Frequency varies depending on the stream.

  • Gymnastics - Each session has multiple different movement progressions building on each other week to week.

  • Scenarios - We will study a different scenario each week.

Key focus points

  • Remember that practise makes permanent, not perfect. The basic currency of your training is a repetition. Therefore the quality of your training is determined by the quality of your repetitions. Make every sessions a new opportunity to perfect your repetitions and you will be successful. 

  • For guidance, follow the principles for deliberate practice found in each skill session.

  • Study the session notes carefully each time to make the most out each session.

Differences between streams


  • Strength the main focus with 6 sessions / week

  • Less conditioning (3 sessions / week)

  • Weekly strongman session


  • Conditioning the main focus with 5 sessions / week

  • 2 Weekly SPP interval sessions

  • Dedicated weekly running session (focus on 3km TT)


  • Main focus is sports specific skill, capacity and applications with 4 sessions / week.

  • 2 weekly sessions focused on competition style workouts. 

  • A weekly session dedicated to studying and improving on different workout/event scenarios.

Choosing which stream to follow

  • Remember that each of the streams has all the components to be a complete program.

  • We recommend you spend most of your training blocks focused on Engine or Strength and do a block of SPP every 2-3 blocks, not more often than that. This will allow you to make progress long term and keep your body healthy.

  • Choose engine - If you need to improve your conditioning as top priority

  • Choose strength - If you need to improve your strength as top priority

  • Choose SPP - If you are getting close to an important competition or if you enjoy doing more competition style / traditional metcons.


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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