Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Evolving (and simplifying) my training philosopy

The first of the cheesy official yellow shirt presentations.
As we start our second year (see above, the start of the official yellow shirt presentations), I wanted to give a bit of an update of how our programming philosophy has evolved. I'm known for ruthlessly simplifying everything, and the programming at the gym is no exception.

Health and fitness before performance - With the exception of Randy's professional runners whose job depends on performance, everyone's main goal is to be healthy and fit. We don't need to be doing hyper-complicated training programs that maximize performance at the cost of your health. I often say that there is very little overlap between professional athletes and health. Be wary of programs that promise you elite performance - it will compromise your health and well-being.

You must be stronger than you are now - I say this so often that Melissa quoted me in an article she wrote for Transamerica. Our daily program always contains a strength component, and we focus on building muscle every day. As you age, muscle mass is a better predictor of mortality than BMI. You want to build a buffer of muscle so that it (and you) can last as long as possible.

Cost versus benefit - We stick to the boring movements - squats, presses, deadlifts, cleans, snatches, swings - that give you the most benefit for the lowest risk of injury. We stay away from the flashy Instagram-worthy movements that can hurt you if you do them wrong. If we do something kind of scary - like holding a kettlebell above your head in a TGU - we do it because it's really good for you.

Keep the variety - It's great that Isabella is excited about programming your conditioning workouts. I like boring workouts, and if it were up to me, you'd squat and row and that'd be enough. But a little bit of dopamine from the novelty is good for you and keeps you interested, so we get a little creative on the conditioning. Of course, that's after the all important strength work.


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


press 8-5-3x5


5 Bulgarian split squats between strength sets

Group Workout

3 rounds: 
3 kettlebell swing clean (left)
3 push press (left)
3 overhead squat (left)
3 kettlebell swing clean (right)
3 push press (right)
3 overhead squat (right)
Weakest lift governs weight.  
Stay organized, focused, and keep your mechanics in check.


10 max effort negative pull-ups


2 minute single kettlebell rack hold
switch arms as needed


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