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Block Insights (Advanced Competitor Engine) May 3rd -30th 2021
Block Insights (Advanced Competitor Engine) May 3rd -30th 2021

What to expect on the Advanced Competitor Engine Plan in this training block

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


The main priority for this stream is building you a bigger, more efficient engine. There is also enough strength work in the plan that you’ll be able to make progress while still prioritising your conditioning.

Now that we have established some baselines on the test week, it’s time to start building up your work capacity. The training over the next 4-weeks will be a mix of short monostructural intervals, longer mixed intervals, long aerobic pieces (one standalone and one mixed with skill work each week) and a weekly competition workout. We’ve organised the conditioning so that Monday, Thursday and Saturday are higher intensity days while Tuesday and Friday are lower intensity days, focused on building your aerobic base.

This kind of high/low organisation allows you to recover sufficiently between the sessions to hit the hard sessions with appropriate (high) intensity. Friday’s longer runs will form the base for running intervals in the next 4-week block.

The strength/weightlifting work is distributed across four days. Strength training is organised around the main lifts (squat, hinge, lunge, upper body push/pull) with some accessory work fitted in. You’ll have an opportunity to improve your snatch and jerk techniques in this training block.

The skill work is split into two main sessions. We’ll focus mainly on building your capacity on the typical gymnastics movements (pull-ups, toes to bar, HSPU etc.) and barbell cycling.

Overall these next 8-weeks will help you build a solid base of conditioning that we can develop further in the following 12-week training block.

What will the training look like?

You may change the order of sessions on Monday, Thursday and Saturday so that you do the conditioning 1st (as needed to make sure you’ll hit these hard).


Session #1 - Snatch primer focus on transition under the bar and complexes focused on improving the positions and pull off the floor. Higher repetition back squats. Strict dips and barbell rows.

Session #2 - Mixed modality Interval conditioning session. This is a key session where you should push yourself hard.


Session #1 - Blended skill/low-intensity conditioning session to build capacity on basic gymnastics and barbell cycling.

Session #2 - Higher rep deadlifts (or sumo deadlift). Strict overhead pressing (standing/seated) and lunges. Accessory strength circuit.


Active recovery / Rest day


Session #1 - Alternating weeks: 1) Snatch from blocks to develop speed/force production and snatch push press + OHS complex to strengthen snatch grip overhead and snatch receiving positions. 2) Jerk drills to improve the dip/drive mechanics and BTN split jerks to build confidence and to work on the bar path.

Each main part is followed by Power cleans/snatches to develop speed/force production for the main lifts, as well as, front squats then strict pull ups/chin ups.

Session #2 - Short high-intensity intervals on machines. This is a key session where you should push yourself hard.


Session #1 - Optional additional skill session.

Session #2 - Lower intensity conditioning with few options. If possible, do the long run here on at least some of the weeks to be ready for the run based intervals in the next 4-week block.


Session #1 - Snatch balance + OHS to work speed under the bar and the receiving position. Clean and jerk complex with emphasis on front squats. Bench press (variations) and stiff-legged deadlift.

Session #2 - Competition workout of the week. The final high-intensity session of the week, play time, push yourself.


Rest day

Key focus points


A key idea we want to cultivate in this training block is that hard training should be hard and easy training should be easy (and they both play a role in building your engine).

If you’re only “kinda” going easy on the easier sessions, you’ll most likely end up not going hard enough when it counts. A good opportunity to learn this is to really push yourself on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays conditioning pieces for these 4-weeks. If you’ll do this, you’ll appreciate the easier days in-between.

If you feel like you can always go hard, it likely means you’re never really pushing yourself.

For strength and skill, we are looking to simply put in quality work from one session to the next. Aim to build each week from the last one, whether by increasing the reps or weights (depending on the progression). Focus on accumulating excellent repetitions to lay a solid technical foundation for future training.


As your goal is to build your engine, you need to be able to hit the hard session hard and recover from them. This means eating enough overall and getting sufficient carbohydrate to fuel the high-intensity efforts. Having a carb drink at hand on Mondays and Thursdays especially might be a good idea.

A good sign that you could eat more to fuel your training is that you feel hungry. If you’re not sure, a few rough reference points for daily intake (if you’re into macros) could be:

Protein - 2.2g per kg (1 gram per lb) BW

Fat - 25-30% of daily calories or 1g per kg (1g per lb) BW

Carbs - Remaining calories or 4+g per kg (1.8+g per lb) BW

Calories - 22 x BW in kg (or 10 x BW in lbs) x (1.7 to 2 as “activity multiplier”)

Remember that if you don’t eat enough, you won’t recover and get the results you want.


The most important thing for your recovery will be to get enough (7.5-9 hours) sleep regularly. Your training (and results) will be better if you can sleep more. Aim to be in bed before 11pm latest, and sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room. If you can, get out for a short (10-minute) walk soon after sunrise (before 10am is fine) and again around sunset. This will help set your circadian rhythm so it’ll be easier to go to bed early.

All other recovery modalities will come second to this. Implementing a 10 to 30-minute daily mobility routine, split between morning, training and evening will also very likely pay off, both short and long-term.

Who is it for?

If you’re looking to build a bigger engine over the next 3 to 6-months (improve your monostructural and sport-specific conditioning) then this is the best choice for you. You will do enough strength and skill work to make progress and be ready for competitions/qualifiers but if you have a major event coming up within the next 8-weeks, you might want to choose the SPP stream instead.

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