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Block insights (Advanced competitor), August 13th - September 23rd 2018 (WK33-38/2018)
Block insights (Advanced 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 10 training sessions / week. There is a deload (reduction in volume + intensity and additional rest 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, pull and push variations + lunge on Strength stream)

  • Develop positional strength with both the paused back squats and overhead squats

  • Build upper body muscle mass with movement variety and moderate to high repetition sets


  • 4 - 6 sessions / week (depending on the stream)

  • Deadlifts - Alternating conventional and sumo variations. Stiff-legged deadlifts for posterior chain development on the 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.

  • Squats - Monday is a higher volume day shifting towards intensity at the end of the block (from 4x8 to 5x4 for final week). Thursday will be an overhead squat progression (moving from more volume to more intensity). Saturday is for paused back squat triples (3s) with increasing intensity over the weeks.

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

  • 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 (barbell, DB, KB).

  • 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. Improve your posture, strength and mechanics on the pull with pull 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. Improve your posture, strength and mechanics on the pull with pull 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.

  • Pulling - Variations of snatch and clean pulls (regular, segmented and floating)

  • Aggressive pull under the bar - Hang snatch and clean variations

  • Work capacity - 3s on snatch and clean (alternating weeks on Saturdays)

  • Power - Power + hang power clean/snatch complexes and regular 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 with CF Games (style) events. 1 to 2-sessions / week (depending on stream)

  • SPP Interval sessions - Develop your ability to repeat/sustain/pace longer efforts in a sports specific context. 1 to 2-sessions / week (depending on stream).

  • Long conditioning intervals - Develop your aerobic base and ability to control your pace (based on testing from WK1). 

  • Running (Engine) - Build tolerance for longer quality runs


  • 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 - High volume sessions (60+minutes) moving from Assault bike to an AMRAP to a row. 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 only) - 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.

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

  • 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.


  • 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.

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 building volume tolerance)


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

  • 2 weekly sessions focused on competition style workouts. 

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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