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

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

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


Our SPP (Specific Physical Preparation) stream is very similar to the Engine stream, in that it’s a balanced program, with enough strength work to make steady progress while keeping the emphasis on building your work capacity.

Specific to SPP, you’ll be doing more competitions workouts (and less machine-based work) each week, making it a great choice if you’re preparing for a competition in the next 2-months OR just enjoy hitting more “workouts” than structured intervals.

The overall intensity in this plan is the highest (provided you hit the competition workouts with appropriate effort) so we recommend you follow it for no more than two (2) consecutive training blocks, especially during the “off-season”.

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

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

- Four (4) main conditioning sessions (long EMOM(s), short high-intensity intervals, 2 weekly competition workouts)

- Optional, additional lower intensity aerobic base session (on Friday’s)

- Weekly skill sessions (on Friday’s)

- Weightlifting and strength work spread across four (4) training sessions.

We’ve organised the conditioning so that the highest intensity work is done before rest days (or an easier training day). There is never more than 2 days of intense conditioning in a row to ensure that you’re ready to hit the hard training sessions HARD and to leave room for you to adapt to the intended training stimulus.

The conditioning work from this block will flow directly into our progressions in the Open Camp.

Strength training is organised around the main lifts (squat, deadlift, upper body push/pull) with accessory work fitted in to support your progress. 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 weeks will help ensure you are in good shape when we start our final Open Preparation camp on January 3rd. Lay that foundation now and you can reap the benefits on the game day!

What will the training look like?

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


Session #1 - Longer EMOMs at threshold (hard sustainable) pace. These should be done at an intensity that is repeatable across the session.

Session #2 - Weightlifting with split jerk variations (paused/regular) and snatch waves. Volume squat session of the week.


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 a key session of the week, push yourself hard!


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 - 1st Competition workout of the week. You might have multiple workouts in a single session in some weeks. Our philosophy is that these competition workouts should be done at your best effort, like you would in a competition.


Session #1 - Skill session.

Session #2 - Lower intensity aerobic base building session.


Session #1 - Weekly Clean and jerk complex (starting with the Bella Complex from Rogue Invitational). Additional upper body push (Bench press) and vertical pull variations. Assistance circuit.

Session #2 - 2nd Competition workout of the week. The final high-intensity session of the week, playtime, 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


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 work capacity/competition performance).

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 Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays conditioning pieces. If you do this, you’ll appreciate the lower intensity days in-between.

If you feel like you can always go hard, it likely means you’re never really pushing yourself. IF you feel like you’re not quite recovering sufficiently, try taking a full rest day on Wednesday (rather than active recovery) or skipping Friday's additional low-intensity session and reading the recovery section below.

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 work capacity, you need to be able to hit the hard session hard and recover from them. This means eating enough overall and getting sufficient carbohydrates to fuel the high-intensity efforts. Having a carb drink at hand for training sessions and re-fuelling as soon as possible after 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 11 pm latest, and sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room. If you can, get out for a short (10-minute) walk soon after sunrise (before 10 am 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 getting ready for a competition in the next 2-months, SPP is the best choice for you. It is also a good choice if you simply enjoy more varied training and doing competition style workouts more often.

If wanted, you could follow the SPP stream all the way through your Open 2022 preparation but if you’ve set your sights on Quarter-Finals, Semi-finals or the Games, we recommend you focus on your opportunities (weaknesses) now (by following Engine or Strength streams) in this block first before perhaps switching over in January.

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