Programming notes


Happy Fall!! Can we say that now?! I suppose the first day is coming up (9/22). As always, new season calls for new schedules, and at this point, we’re also getting into newer programming. Before we dive into it, it can be helpful to understand what’s behind the programming. In other words, why do we do what we do. Yes, it’s nice to come in and have someone tell you what to do, but it’s also helpful to know why you’re doing it. Broadly speaking, we’re developing general physical preparedness. We do this by getting you well equipped to work across various time domains with various movements and parameters. Within general physical preparedness, we have several characteristics to develop: speed, accuracy, power, stamina, endurance, flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, and agility. Each one is a helpful characteristic to have in your arsenal life requires it every day. From a programming perspective, some characteristics may be more emphasized than others, but generally, they’re all wrapped up together. 

Programming often varies based on the season that we’re in. For example, we know we will be outside more often in the summer compared to the winter. Generally, when were outside in the summer, we do more running, more mountain biking, more walking, more swimming, more climbing, more free play (i.e. throw the frisbee, play catch with the dog, play tag) etc. Often, many of these activities require aerobic endurance, single leg control, power (think jumping), and agility. Hence, our programming revolves around this (remember the single leg weighted step ups, rear foot elevated split squats, calf raises, single leg weighted deadlifts??). 

So, what’s for fall then? Well, in short, fall season is to prepare for winter season. Winter season involves the most “competition” (who has the best Christmas workout outfit?!!!). When we speak about competition, we’re mainly referring to our famous main event. We’ve not previously held our full main event due to COVID, but the purpose of it always stays with us: growth.

Growth through challenge, growth in community, and growth in yourself. The main event is one way of emphasizing this growth. Because of the level of fitness activities we immerse ourselves in during the main event, we do need to prepare for these types of activities because they can get intense and complex. Thus, the fall months will be used to emphasize this preparation. It will look like building the capacity and technique to handle complex movements in challenging body positions. This translates into: “hey, how does it feel to squat snatch?”. Instead of having everyone just start squat snatching, how about we first look at where were at for a behind the neck snatch grip strict press, overhead squat, snatch balance, power snatch, etc. This is just one example, but the idea is that our bodies can handle the demands we place on it by developing movement competency before adding intensity. This begins with building the layers of the movement, practicing the skill of the movement, then placing the movement within a high intensity context. At this point, it’s possible that you might be thinking about how some of these complex movements apply to real life. Well, truthfully, they don’t. No one ever sees someone doing a squat snatch or handstand push-up in real life. However, I’ll bet you that if someone can squat snatch 135 lbs, they probably have a degree of the following: adequate wrist, shoulder, spine, hip, knee, and ankle flexibility, power, accuracy, coordination, and balance. Is this the only movement that expresses these traits? Absolutely not, but because of its technicality, it requires a lot of practice and refinement. This is where our fall programming comes into play. It may look like something like this:


A Pull-up/MU skill
Straight arm strength

Threshold capacity. Low skill, high
Oly. lifting: C and J, J, or complex

Monostructural conversational
pace. Consider part B before A
as it gets colder.
Barbell cycle intervals

Accessory Olympic lifting:

Long; frontal plane/transverse
plane trunk movements.

Accessory gymnastics
Oly. lifting: C, C complex, or
C and J

heavier hinge or squat
B Oly lifting: clean or snatch

Monostructural conversational
Moderate time domain circuit
with “easy” skill movements.
Failure should be avoided
at all costs

Scapular endurance.
End range Shoulder control
Repeatable intervals accumulating reps of progressively higher skilled movements

Olympic lifting accessory
Oly. lifting

Heavier barbell intervals.
Long; frontal plane/transverse
plane trunk movements.

Accessory gymnastics
C Oly lifting: C and J, J, or complex

Monostructural conversational pace
Pull-up/MU skill

Threshold capacity.
Low skill, high rep
OHS; front squat

Repeatable intervals accumulating reps of progressively higher skilled movements

Oly. lifting: snatch

Conversational pace EMOM
“Easy skill” circuit; no failure

Accessory oly. lifting
Scapular endurance.
end range shoulder control


So, in essence, we will see a lot of lifting and progressively more complex gymnastics. For our lifting, we will start by breaking down the movements (we’re doing this now), refining our technique, then adding more and more load towards the end. After this, we will practice these movements in the context of conditioning beginning with battery work. For gymnastics, we’ve already been doing this through our push-ups, strict pull-ups, and now dips. We will follow a similar progression with our gymnastics as with our lifting. For our conditioning, we will only have 1-2 workouts per week that puts you in the red-line zone. All other conditioning pieces will be at or slightly above conversational pace or at a threshold pace. The threshold may be more geared towards your cardiovascular threshold or your muscular endurance threshold in an effort to make movements and contractions more aerobic. 


Hopefully, this helps you feel out where we’re going. If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out. Yes, there will be benchmarks along the way on multiple fronts. Yes, we will tell you when they are! Are you ready? Let’s do this!