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Block Insights (Foundation) - November 15th 2021 - January 2nd 2022
Block Insights (Foundation) - November 15th 2021 - January 2nd 2022

What to expect and how to thrive on the Foundation plan in this training block

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



As the 2022 competitive season is approaching (The Open starts on 24th February 2022), our primary focus in the main sessions is to make sure you have a solid foundation of strength, conditioning and skills needed to be ready.

The themes of this 4-week skill block are: 1) Continue to Improve your overhead mobility, 2)) develop your HS holds/walk and wall walk in preparation for the Open, 3) Practice key DB skills, 4) Cyclical gymnastics mixed with machines to challenge/develop your capacity, and 5) tempo gymnastics to continue to build a solid foundation for kipping capacity.

Make sure to take advantage of the optional sessions to focus your training and tackle your weaknesses:

The Foundations stream allows you to bias your training in the direction of your choice with the Saturdays optional sessions. You could (for example) focus on building your engine, getting stronger or developing your weightlifting. For best results, it’s good to choose one “category” of optional sessions and stick with it for a full 4-weeks.

Weightlifting bias - Follow optional WL sessions

Strength bias - Follow optional STR sessions

Conditioning bias - You can mix different optional conditioning sessions from week to week OR focus on single session style

Competition/Sport bias - Follow optional competition workout sessions OR mix them with optional skill sessions on alternating weeks (for example)

If you have the time and are able to recover, you could even do two separate sessions on Saturdays (aim for 3+ hours rest between sessions in this case).

What will the training look like?


Weekly Clean and jerk complex (starting with the Bella Complex from Rogue Invitational). Skill work.


You’ll start these sessions with a heavy double (H2) on the deadlift in WK1, then deadstop deadlifts to build your strength off the floor for the next 3-weeks. Next up is some skill work before 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


Strength day. The session starts with snatch waves and squatting (make sure to fuel well through the beginning of the session to have good energy all the way through), followed by seated strict press and vertical pulling variations. Finish off with an accessory circuit


Skill work and main competition workout of the week. Our philosophy is that these competition workouts should be done at your best effort, like you would in a competition = challenge yourself.


Optional sessions. These sessions are your opportunity to bias/target your training to your specific needs. If you have time and can recover from it, you might even do two sessions of different optional work on Saturdays.

You can find details about each option below.


Rest day

Optional sessions

Competition workout

Another competition workout for the week. These ones tend to have more complex movements / heavier weights than the main session of the week.

Conditioning (Aero)

Easier, lower intensity conditioning to build your aerobic base.

Conditioning (EMOM)

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

Conditioning (Row/machines)

Row/machine intervals. We’ll start and end this progression with our 11-step 500m Row ladder (which is both challenging training and a great way to learn about pacing on the rower). The in-between weeks are a mix of row only and row mixed with other machines intervals. Show up ready to do WORK.


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 (build up) squats of the week.


Heavier (build up) squats of the week. Upper body strength: Bench press and vertical pull variations. DB Bench press/Strict dips and Horizontal row (standing/Pendlay) supersets.

Key focus points


With 60 to 75-minutes to train each day on Foundations, you’ll want to practice how to make the most out of every session. Developing efficient, repeatable routines at (and outside) the gym will help you establish good training habits that will carry you for a long time to come.

Make sure you review the session before you head to the gym (so you bring all the right gear with you). Follow the warm-ups on the programming or make up your own. Take at least 10-minutes to prep your body for the training. Do your best to be present in every part of training by approaching each session with the specific intent of becoming better in at least one movement/effort. (e.g. “Today I will focus on keeping the bar close on the snatch” or “Today I will push myself to keep the pace when the intervals get hard”).

Do a short cool-down at the end of each session, take a note of your results, what went well and what will you improve on next time (and how will you specifically do this?).

For strength and skill sessions, 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.


Focus on establishing good daily habits that are sustainable for you. Make sure you’re getting in 3 good real food meals each day, then build any snacks and pre/peri/post-training nutrition choices around them.

To train hard, recover and make progress, you need to make sure you’re eating enough. A good sign that you could eat more to fuel your training is that you often feel hungry. If you’re not sure where to start, 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 (body weight) in kg (or 10 x BW in lbs) x (1.3 to 1.8 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.

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