Each training block runs for 6-weeks. You will have 5 training sessions / week and as A NEW FEATURE an additional OPTIONAL GYMNASTICS SESSION.
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.
Work towards new max rep strict pull ups and toes to bar by the end of 6-weeks
Push your 5RM, 4RM and 3RM squats, strict press and bench press through the block
Develop single leg movement coordination in hinge pattern
Strength stream - Work towards a heavy set of 5 sumo deadlift (1st 3-weeks) and deadlift (2nd 3-weeks). Build "odd object" strength.
Deadlifts (Engine/SPP streams) - 5x5 on alternating weeks, aiming to push heavier weights each time.
Deadlifts (Strength stream) - "+" 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) and an Intensity day (Thursday or Saturday, 5RM, 4RM or 3RM). 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 differently across the week in each stream.
Strict chin ups - Similar progression to deadlifts on Strength stream, taking advantage of "+" sets to individualise the prescription.
Single leg DL - Volume progression, KB and barbell variations
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 2nd pull. 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.
2 to 3 sessions / week (depending on the stream / week)
Snatch - 2-weeks of Hang snatch + snatch complex, 1-week of snatch for 2 cycles. Snatch pull + snatch complex, progressions and frequency vary by stream. High hang snatch + snatch (Strength stream only).
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.
SPP/Metcon sessions - Get exposure to competition style workouts. Opportunity to challenge your current capacity. 1 to 2-sessions / week (depending on stream)
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).
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).
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.
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.)
Movement micro-doses (MMDs) - Exposure to variety of movement skills. Develop the basic mechanics of common competition movement and build capacity in them.
NEW OPTIONAL WEEKLY GYMNASTICS SESSION is aimed at building solid foundations for sports specific gymnastics capacity and general movement competency.
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.
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.
Differences between streams
Strength the main focus with 4 sessions / week
Less conditioning (part of 2 sessions / week)
More weightlifting volume overall, additional power clean and high hang snatch progressions.
Deadlift / Sumo deadlift progression. The sumo deadlift is a good opportunity to focus on your setup position, good posture and as well strengthen your hips for the regular deadlift. It is easier on the back than the conventional one.
Conditioning the main focus with 4 sessions / week
More SPP intervals overall across the block
Friday's alternate between longer conditioning pieces and SPP intervals
Longer monostructural intervals weekly on Monday's with "fartlek" (speed play) intervals mixed in.
Alternates between 3 strength or 3 weightlifting parts / week
Main focus sports specific work (both conditioning and skill) with 4 sessions / week
More sports specific conditioning sessions (2x / week + 1x / week intervals)
Alternates between 3 weightlifting or 3 strength parts / week
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.