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Block Insights (Advanced Competitor - STRENGTH) - November 15th 2021 - January 2nd 2022
Block Insights (Advanced Competitor - STRENGTH) - November 15th 2021 - January 2nd 2022

What to expect and how to thrive on the Advanced Competitor (STRENGTH) plan in this training block

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


The main priority for this stream is to help you build a solid foundation of strength. If the 2022 Open is the main competition for you, you still have time to work on your strength for these 7-weeks before shifting focus to more conditioning. If you’re not looking to compete in the next few months then investing in your strength might be a great option for you as well.

We will continue training using a similar structure as in the previous block:

- 8 main + 2 optional training sessions (90-minutes to 2-hours), an active recovery day and a full rest day (on Sunday’s)

- Two (2) main conditioning sessions (short high-intensity intervals and a weekly competition workout) and two (2) optional conditioning sessions (long EMOM(s) and longer base aerobic session)

- Weekly skill sessions (mostly on Thursday’s)

- Weightlifting and strength work spread across five (5) training sessions.

The intent with some sessions being optional is to leave you enough room to recover and adapt so you can train hard on the lifting sessions and make more progress.

As the competition season is drawing nearer, we are keeping our focus on the big lifts (squats, upper body push/pull, deadlift) but there is still room for accessory work to iron out any deficiencies and to build some more muscle mass. Weightlifting is balanced fairly evenly across snatch, clean, and jerk, building from more technique focused work in the previous block. You’ll be doing a (different) clean and jerk complex each week to build your capacity under load. These will be “fun” and guaranteed to challenge you.

The skill sessions continue to develop key gymnastics, DB and barbell capacity and movement skills for the season (details below).

Overall these next 7-weeks will help you build on a foundation of strength for the upcoming season (and beyond).

What will the training look like?


Session #1 - Weightlifting with split jerk variations (paused/regular) and snatch waves. Volume squat session of the week.

Session #2 - (optional) Longer EMOMs at threshold (hard sustainable) pace. These should be done at intensity that is repeatable across the session.


Session #1 - You’ll start these sessions with a heavy double (H2) on the deadlift in WK1, then deficit deadlifts to build your strength off the floor for the next 3-weeks. Seated strict press, combined with strict pull ups or legless rope climbs, horizontal pressing (DB bench/strict dip) and horizontal rowing variations.

Session #2 - Hard, high-intensity sport specific intervals. We’ll alternate between short (60-70s intervals) and 3 to 5-minute intervals over the next 7-weeks. This is one of the two key conditioning sessions of the week, push yourself!


Active recovery / Rest day


Session #1 - You’ll start with a secondary snatch exercise for the week (Hang snatch + OHS or snatch balance), focused on positions and transition under the bar. % based Clean and jerk then heavier (if you so choose) squats of the week. Assistance circuit.

Session #2 - Skill session.

The themes of this 4-week skill block are: 1) Continue to Improve your overhead mobility, 2) Lighter barbell cycling with a focus on EXCELLENT positions and rhythm, 3) develop your HS holds/walk and wall walk in preparation for the Open, 4) Practice key DB skills, 5) Cyclical gymnastics mixed with machines to challenge/develop your capacity, and 6) tempo gymnastics to continue to improve your capacity on strict and kipping movements.


Session #1 - Upper body strength session. Bench press and vertical pull variations. Strict dips/seated KB see-saw press and Horizontal row supersets. Assistance work circuit.

Session #2 - (optional) Lower intensity aerobic base building session.


Session #1 - Power snatch variations (blocks/hang). Weekly Clean and jerk complex (starting with the Bella Complex from Rogue Invitational). Assistance work.

Session #2 - Competition workout of the week. The final high-intensity session of the week, play time, push yourself. Our philosophy is that these competition workouts should be done at your best effort like you would in a competition.


Rest day

Key focus points


The most important principles for strength training are specificity (you must do what you want to get better at), and progressive overload (training has to be hard enough (in frequency, volume, intensity) to create a need for adaptation. This also means training has to get harder over time.

The main driver for adaptation (work capacity, hypertrophy) in this training block will be a mix of intensity and volume in main lifts. We are doing bigger sets with steady progression towards slightly higher intensity (weights) on most lifts. Your main job is to put in quality work from one session to the next ( = avoid pushing so hard in a single session that you won’t be able to complete another one). That being said, we want the sets to be challenging enough (follow the RIR guidance) to be considered working sets.

Aim to build each week from the last one, whether by increasing the reps or weights (depending on the progression). Focus on accumulating high quality (do the lifts with good form) repetitions to lay a solid technical foundation for future training.


As your goal is to get stronger and put on some muscle mass, it’s a good idea to be in a slight caloric surplus in this training block. You’ll want to show up well fuelled for the lifting sessions as even modest glycogen (stored sugar) depletion can lead to reduced session quality (which we don’t want).

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


22 x BW in kg (or 10 x BW in lbs) x (1.7 to 2 as “activity multiplier”) + 100 to 200 cals (for surplus)

Remember that if you don’t eat enough, you won’t recover and get the results you want. If you need guidance, reach out to us.


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 get significantly stronger over this season (improve your squats, deadlift, upper body strength and weightlifting numbers) then this is the best choice for you. You will do enough conditioning and skill work to be ready for smaller competitions/qualifiers but if you have a major event coming up within the next 7-weeks, you might want to choose the SPP stream instead.

You also have the option of adding the two optional conditioning sessions to each week (if you can recover and still push the strength work hard).

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