PROGRAM BREAKDOWN: Strength & Movement, Cycle 5, 2018

Is it cycle 5 already? Man, this year is moving quick

So a quick breakdown for any first time readers here – we offer some crazy number of different programs in our gym, around 7 or 8. I program three of these: Strength & Movement, Jungle-Nastics and Grappling

The purpose here is to break down my intentions behind the current S&M cycle… It’s super relevant to our members, who are grinding it out in these classes, but also to anyone who is perhaps watching from the sidelines and want to know more about what we do at JB

I’ll jump right into it –

Cycle 5 (5 weeks)

Given it’s winter right now, the gym is cold, so we’re putting more time into a thorough warm up and joint preparation (0-15mins) and generally shortening the rest periods throughout the class

After the warm up we have Part 1 – the Strength & Movement piece. We’re focussing on 4 movements this cycle, with 1-3 being more strength heavy, and 4 being more movement heavy

  1. Single Ketllebell Overhead Squat
  2. Rope Climb
  3. Ring Dip
  4. Figure 8 Ape Swing

We’re generally spending 15mins working on 2 of these elements per class, and those elements are chosen to compliment each other well ie. KB overhead squat (lower body combined with upper body push) and a rope climb (upper body pull)

My basic thinking in the S&M programming piece is to increase base level strength and movement capacity across the whole tribe

So, upper body pushing, upper body pulling will always feature in some variation, as well as some big compound lower body movements (squatting, hip hinging etc). It’s important to keep consistency to these movements, but the specific exercise choice can change to keep things from getting boring… As an example in the last cycle we had a bunch of jumping work – broad jumps, depth drops, precision jumps etc which did a great job of lower body development. Similarly for pushing work we had weighted push ups, and for pulling we had rope pull ups

The other consideration here is that we offer traditional weightlifting in our Lift program, so we’re already ticking the box for heavy compound barbell work in those classes…. This leaves me with some freedom in the S&M to explore less conventional patterns

Back to this cycle… and why i’ve chosen the movements that are in there

SKB Overhead Squat: This is a mobility masterpiece. Squatting, while keeping a weight pressed up overhead is no easy feat. For the majority of our members this will aid in developing whole body mobility… For the mobile ones, it will be more of a strength emphasis. Everybody wins

Rope climb: Who doesn’t want to climb a rope? The beginner progressions are using an S-hook or J-wrap with the feet, which teaches an individual how to scale a rope without huge amounts of upper body strength. An essential skill in our eyes. Once that skill has been mastered, it becomes about a few legless variations which will forge huge amounts of upper body strength. Also essential. Grip strength and forearm development are big wins here too

Ring Dip: A nice variation of a bodyweight fundamental, though still very challenging (to do it ‘well’). Not all the tribe will be on these – some will start on less complex pushing variations and build strength there. Moving on from the last cycle i wanted to find a different variation of push work, offering different vectors and loadings so as to keep the strength development broad. The added instability of the rings does great things for the upper body extremities. Like most of what we do, there’s a crossover between programs, so Ring Dips could very easily be found in the Jungle-Nastics program too

Figure 8 Ape Swing: This is all about shoulder mobility and grip strength, as well as being one of the coolest movements you do on a pull up bar or branch. This one i particularly like, as it seems so out of reach for a lot of newbies, but once they get a few weeks practice in, the gains really come along

Part 2 of the S&M class is the Metcon, or conditioning component of the class. The idea here is to keep things varied, fun, hard work, and well suited to the S&M piece in Part 1. This is where the lungs get a good working, along with plenty of reps to get that motor running at full capacity… Sweat time

This varies seasonally, as i am always trying to keep it fresh. The duration in this cycle is generally a little longer 14-18mins as it’s cold out so better to stay moving

If you’d like further explanation on any of these please just hit me up. I would be more than happy to discuss my methods in order for you to understand better what it is we do in our gym

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  • June 19, 2018
  • Blog