Monday, October 9, 2017

Antiglycolytic version of the Strength Program

Image stolen from here.
The new strength cycle starts today. I've been inspired by what Randy learned at his Strong Endurance course a few weeks ago. It wasn't hard to convince me that the Antiglycolytic training approach is the right thing - it was the basis of my endurance program that I tried last year. If there's one thing to keep in mind when you're doing the Antiglycolytic portion of the program it is: don't be like CrossFit. You never want to be suffering, you never want to be out of breath, you never want to feel the burn of the lactate - i.e., you never want to be in the glycolytic (acid) phase. You can get better and be stronger and faster and have the glycolytic pathway ready and trained without ever going there during training - in fact, you can better train the glycolytic pathway without ever going there.

So how does this cycle work? We'll start, as we always do, with some Olympic lifting as warm-up and skill work. I'm only programming rep schemes this time around, so it's up to you to pick a sufficient weight. The bar should always be moving fast and crisp. Sloppy and slow reps don't count. Feel free to count anything over 65-70% as a work set.

After the Olympic lifts, we'll have a core strength lift. The progression here will feel familiar now that you've done it a couple of times. (For the n00bs: when you fill out the form below, you'll give me your true 1RMs from test week, but I do my calculations from 90% of that - what I call your training max - so don't be confused if my 80% isn't your 80%. I do that on purpose - I could do the math and prescribe 70% instead of 80% of your 90%, but I know no one would follow that. This helps keep your ego in check.) Between sets on your strength work, I'll have some higher-rep accessory work. Do that immediately following your strength set and then rest.

After you're done with the heavy stuff, then we get into the Antiglycolytic Strong Endurance portion. Some days will be labelled "AGT:Fast" and others will be "AGT:Slow".

Fast Days: The sets are written as EMOM and you pick a weight where you can move fast and pretty and never sloppy. For example, swings should be around 30% BW, 1-hand swings will be half that (round up if you're between bells).  I'd like you to go for about 10-20 minutes, and you can go longer if your schedule allows that. You must be recovered at the top of the next minute when you start your next set. Randy always says you need to pass the "talk test", that is, be able to talk normally without gasping. I always threaten to bring in the constitution and have you read sections of it before continuing. (Amy will require poetry readings instead.)

For example, Day 1 this week is written as

10 Swings
10 Push-ups

That means at the top of minute #1 (or #0 if you like zero-based counting), you do 10 swings as fast and pretty as possible. Then you rest. At the top of the next minute you do 10 push-ups as fast and pretty as possible. Then you rest. Rinse. Repeat. Until boredom gets you or you fail the talk test.

Slow Day: For these days, you are doing a single exercise continuously and slowly for 30 seconds - always under tension. You want to be around 2 reps in those 30 seconds. Pick a weight that means you'll fail right around the 30 second mark and before the 3rd rep. Then you wait 5 minutes and do the other exercise. Time permitting, you'll do three of each.

For example, Day 2 this week is written as:

Goblet Squat

That means start with a 30-second 2-rep pull-up. Yes, that means about 7 seconds up, 7 seconds down, 7 seconds up, 7 seconds down. Always under tension. Always moving. Rest 5 minutes, then do the same thing with a Goblet Squat. Try to get 3 of each in - that means 30 minutes, so if you run out of time, you can quit early. This is much harder than it sounds, but it's good for you, so do it.

One final note: I won't be there today, and Josh graciously offered to cover class for me. Be nice to him. Work hard and follow the program - if you don't, he'll tell me.


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


squat 5-3-3-3x3


2 pull-ups + 2 dips between strength sets

Group Workout

10 swings (odd minutes)
10 push-ups (even minutes)


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