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Block insights (Competitor), August 13th - September 23rd 2018 (WK33-38/2018)
Block insights (Competitor), August 13th - September 23rd 2018 (WK33-38/2018)

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 5 training sessions / week and as A NEW FEATURE an additional OPTIONAL RUNNING SESSION for Engine stream. There is a deload (reduction in volume + intensity and additional recovery day) on the final week to allow you to recover, adapt and be ready for the next training block. We have also added a weekly active recovery session on Sunday's (so you don't need to build it up yourself via our active recovery page).

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.



  • Build a base for upcoming training with overall higher repetition sets in most movement patterns (squat, deadlift, lunge, pull and push)

  • Develop squat pattern strength and form with overhead squats and paused back squats (Strength stream only)


  • Deadlifts (Engine/SPP streams) -  Main focus on introducing variety (conventional, sumo and stiff-legged deadlifts) with some volume to develop posterior chain. "+" 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.

  • Deadlifts (Strength stream) - Similar but deadlifts distributed over two (2) separate sessions (sumo and conventional alternating on Tuesdays and stiff-legged deadlift each Saturday)

  • Back squat - Monday as a higher volume day shifting towards intensity at the end of the block (from 4x8 to 5x4 for final week). Paused back squat triples (3s) on Strength stream (only) on Saturdays with increasing intensity over the weeks.

  • Overhead squat - Focus on triples (3s) moving from higher volume to higher intensity over the weeks.

  • Upper body pressing (Engine + SPP) - A higher volume block for vertical pressing, alternating between DB (4x16 to 4x20) and barbell press (4x8 to 4x6) on Monday's. Strict dips (2-weeks) and close grip bench press (2-weeks + deload) on the 6 to 4 repetition range with "+" sets.

  • Upper body pressing (Strength) - Strict press (volume to intensity: from 4x6 to 5x2), DB bench (regular and incline) working in the 8-14 rep range, Close grip bench press (from 4x8 to 4x6), Strict dips ("+" sets in the 6 to 8 rep range).

  • Upper body pulling - Wide and narrow grip variations of strict pull/chin ups in 6-12 rep range. Different row variations depending on the stream.

  • Finishers - We'll introduce different upper and lower body "finishers" weekly to challenge you. Stay tuned for these...

Key focus points

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

  • AHAFA = Find weights that are hard for you, staying 2-3 repetitions shy of technical failure in first few weeks and then 1-2 repetitions away in the final weeks. Don't count sets that are too easy.

  • Push hard on the "+" sets but stay within the max rep range where provided.

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

  • Increase the load and/or repetitions each week to make progress



  • Snatch - Consolidate your lifting form within prescribed % ranges (75-90%). Develop aggressive pull under the bar with hang snatch + full snatch complexes. Improve your bar height with power variations.

  • Clean and jerk - Consolidate your lifting form within prescribed % ranges (75-90%). Develop aggressive pull under the bar with hang clean + full clean and jerk complexes. Improve your bar height with power variations.


  • 3 sessions / week

  • Snatch - 3-weeks of snatch then 2-weeks of Hang snatch + snatch complex with a return to snatch on the final week. Singles and doubles with a defined % range (70-90%).

  • Clean and jerk - 2-weeks of clean and jerk (1s and 2s) then 2-weeks of Hang clean + clean + jerk complex (1+1+2 and 1+2+1) @ 70-85% range. Heavy single on the 5th week.

  • Power variations of each lift in the 65-85% range.

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/clean (in complexes) - Go from just above the knees. Use these complexes to reinforce good balance and positions through the 2nd pull together with an aggressive pull under the bar. 

  • Be as aggressive/explosive as possible on each lift in the power snatch/clean. 



  • SPP/Metcon sessions - Get exposure to competition style workouts. Opportunity to challenge your current capacity and to test out some CF Games style events.

  • Interval sessions - Develop your ability to repeat/sustain/pace longer efforts in a sports specific context. 1 to 3-sessions / week (depending on stream).


  • Most of the interval conditioning in this block is of longer duration (8+ minutes/interval). There is a mix of EMOMs and AMRAPs in these sessions.

  • Long intervals (Engine) - High volume. Each week will increase the duration of assault bike intervals, maintain the AMRAP length and decrease the row interval length. You'll use the 30-minute bike and 60-minute row tests to individualise pacing to your ability.

  • Running (Engine - optional) - Variations of mixed intervals with increasing volume over the weeks to build your tolerance for longer runs.

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.) 

  • Long intervals (engine) - Hit the paces on the Assault bike and row, aim to push the AMRAP (but not at the expense of AB/row pace).



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

  • 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)

  • Weightlifting distributed differently across the week

  • More squat, pushing, pulling and deadlift volume/variety each week


  • Conditioning the main focus with 4 sessions / week

  • 3 sessions / week have a weightlifting/strength component

  • More SPP intervals overall across the block

  • Weekly long conditioning sessions

  • New optional weekly running session


  • Main focus sports specific work (both conditioning and skill) with 4 sessions / week 

  • More sports specific conditioning sessions (2x / week + 1x / week intervals)

  • 3 sessions / week have a weightlifting/strength component (same as engine)

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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