Monday, April 16, 2018

All of the new cycles start today

picture stolen from linked article
The TSC was a huge success! Lot's of fun. More on that later this week. Right now, we need to start our new cycle. Here's how it will work:

Jeremy's Hardstyle Class

If you're doing the Hardstyle class, Jeremy decided to use the same system that I used when we did the Strength & Power class - you fill out a form and it does the math and emails you the program with your percentages calculated.

Here's the form - fill this out before you come to class so that you have the program.

Maybe later this week we'll get an article from Jeremy on his philosophy behind this cycle.

Regular S&C Class

I decided for our regular class we're going to focus on kettlebell strength this time. Later this week, I'll give you the justification behind this program - after I do the TSC wrap-up, but for now I want you to believe me that it's good.

We don't need a fancy form for this one, since you'll be going by feel this time. Here's how it works:

We start with the barbell strength movement of the day. We do this every day, and have for the last two years. Nothing new here, you know the drill.

After the barbell work, we're going to switch to focus on four main kettlebell lifts:
  • (double) clean
  • (double) front squat
  • snatch
  • press
Every day, one of the movements will be the "heavy" movement, one will be "medium", and two will be "light".  You can do this 5 days a week, but it will also work well for our 2-, 3-, and 4-day folks. Don't worry about what you miss, it will all average out in the end.

What defines "heavy", "medium", and "light"? I lightly modified this program from this article at strong first. They define medium as your 7RM for any lift, heavy is one interval (4kg) up, and light is one interval (4kg) down. I think that's a good recommendation for someone highly skilled in these kettlebell lifts. For me, 5RM worked better than 7RM (since I'm not skilled enough to lift heavy for 7 reps). Everyone here should be in that 5-7RM range - and you'll never be exact since we only have 4kg steps between bells.

Each day will start with the heavy lift at 5x2 (that's 5 sets of 2 reps). Do your double, put the bells down, shake it off and go again.

The next two lifts are the light lifts. These are at 3x5 (the article suggests 2x5, but I think you guys need more practice at these lifts, so we'll get some more reps in).  These should be easy! You are practicing exquisite form on these lifts, not getting tired. I will be picky during these - don't be offended!

The last lift is the meat of the program, it's 5x5 at your medium weight. Rest long enough that you're never out of breath - or at least you want to be back to normal before you start your next set.

If, for any movement, the 5x2 and the 5x5 are easy, feel free to move light, medium, and heavy all up one interval.  It took me about 3 weeks to dial it in for me the first time I did it.

Bonus work: If you have the time to draw out the workout a little longer, one fun thing is to pick an easy body weight movement every time you put a bell down. My favorite was 2 pull ups. If you stop to do 2 pull-ups between every set (and when you switch arms on the single-arm movements), you can get 50 pull-ups in for the whole day. Lots of easy volume!

Every third day is AGT. The original program suggested just doing Simple & Sinister. That's what I did when testing out the program, and it worked really well for me. I just thought that it may be a bit too boring for you to do S&S every third day, so we'll modify the AGT work. It's all in the same spirit: move explosively, rest, and recover before you start your next set. Absolutely no Crossfit-glycolyitic-sweat-angel-acid-bath here! These should not be killer workouts!

Since this is a long post, and I still need to do a TSC wrap-up, you'll need to wait a few days for the "why" behind this program, so until then, just trust me.

Today's Workout

with a barbell:

clean 5-3-2-4x2
5 heavy swings between sets

then, with kettlebells:

double front squat 5x2 heavy
half snatch 3x(5+5) light
double clean 3x5 light
press 5x(5+5) medium