So the question that needs to be asked with any programming is what is the goal? Is it to deadlift big, press big, run longer, jump higher, etc….. Yes, it is possible to have more than one goal but defining and prioritizing these goals are huge. Also, are all the goals you have complimentary. Meaning I can easily program a strong military press, deadlift, and improved midsection strength (I really hate the word core) while still having a very impressive amount of conditioning. On the other hand, If I am seeking to hit my first 500lb deadlift and I want to run a sub 3 hour marathon all in one swoop, I may just create more confusion than clarity, and really no program can be realistically designed for these results to be successful. Either goal is fine to have, but together the create a debacle.
Periodization has become a dirty word in many circles. I myself have been guilty of turning away from classic models of strength and conditioning. Why? well it can be perceived as really boring. Well, I have since realized that getting stronger and better at something isn’t boring at all. I have also realized that to common folk it isn’t boring either. This past week at Evolution Fitness I was so happy watching a group of ladies in class giving each other high 5s as they hit personal records in strength. In my mind if you don’t like periodization than just replace it with the word organization. I don’t necessarily follow text book models of it all the time either but usually always look at a few things while organizing. Hell one of my favorite programs is the Dan John and Pavel 4o day program, and that really doesn’t have tons of percentages of loadto follow, but it pays attention to a few things, mode (5exercises performed daily), volume and intensity. Lots of volume over time with moderate load and intensity of the same 5 exercises. Guess what the results were pretty amazing. Not training to failure with tons of volume allowed daily training and excellent results.
In our classes at Evolution we usually program in cycles of 6-8 weeks. Over 6 weeks we have a set of 2-3 strength/power goals that we will want to achieve. Conditioning is what happens as a result of a workout rather then generally being the purpose (though sometimes we will really challenge it). And accessory work is planned around the main lifts. As a generality most people come to class 3 x week. Each class starts with the strength goal of the day and depending on the intensity we may finish up with 5-10minutes of some anaerobic conditioning. If the workout is primarily a double kettlebell complex then no additional conditioning is necessary. If you have ever done them you will know exactly what I mean.
Here is a sample program Goals, Deadlift , press,Squat, Other goals, Single leg strength, overall strong.
Deadlifts work up to a heavy 5 reps, Each week go up 5-10 pounds each week for 4 weeks then go lighter. Kettlebell Presses 1,2,3,4,5 superset with Pullups(weighted for advanced) 1,2,3,4,5 x 2-3 rounds.(each week we try to do more reps or more weight).
Conditioning: 5-8 minutes, Sled Pushes or swing intervals.
Wed: Heavy Kettlebell Squats 3×5, Push Presses 3 sets of 5, Crock rows 3×10, Bulgarian Split Squats, 3 x 8. Farmers walks, Waiter walks, Rack walks, Uneven Rack walks.
Friday: SLDL 5×5, Pushups 10(elevated or clapping) x 5, Weighted Walking Lunges, Walkouts to planks.
Longer Conditioning Circuit: Either VO2 protocol swings 20minutes or a circuit training group that gets everyone involved Usually this last about 15 -2o minutes. Work to rest can vary in intensity based on the level of the group.
To Be Continued..Part 3 the biggest mistakes I see in Group Training Programs