A+A and Strength block training

DavThew

More than 500 posts
Has anyone run alternating 2 week blocks of A+A training and strength focused work?

I am considering running this kind of thing when I am back in a position to run something more strict than my current training schedule.

I can't see many downsides and it could work as a nice all round program.

Here's my example:

Block A: Conditioning - Snatches and clean and jerks

Block B: Strength - Double Front squats, Double press, pull ups, Farmer's walk

I am sure the only way I can see if this will work well is by trying it, but was wondering if anyone was already ahead of me.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I've been adding strength work before A+A and it's been working well for me these past few weeks. Typical 60-90 min session:
  • Warm-up/movement prep (goblet squats, mobility get-ups, windmills, Cossack squats, etc. - whatever I need that day)
  • Strength (bent presses, military presses, barbell back squats, barbell deadlifts, hardstyle planks or sitbacks, push-ups -- usually 2)
  • A+A (repeats of heavy swings, snatches, C&J, etc.)
  • Finisher - sometimes (5-min continuous snatch, "Simply Sinister", 50 C&J w/ light bells, etc.)
  • Cool-down (stretching, unweighted get-ups, easy jogging or rowing)
 

Ivan Merl

Triple-Digit Post Count
I have been block cycling since January. I love it. I cycle PTTP and S&S. Progress is a bit slower for me on PTTP, but it could just seem longer as I am only pushing for two weeks a month. I may switch to Justa's singles routine blocked with....I have no idea( looking for suggestions). I feel like it is a great way to make progress and stick with a routine for a long time.

I think you have a solid plan. I would be interested to know how well it works for you.
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
I can't remember which book it is Pavel discusses this (was it PTTP, cycled with the old program minimum?). The way I see it:

Pro - hits conditioning aspect that may suffer during a pure strength program
Con - likely slower progress on both counts with bi-weekly switches

I like your initial set up. I could see S&S directly in your Block A, or as you have swings, C&J, snatches, maybe even push presses as @Pavel Macek has described instead of TGU in S&S. Following the "same, but different" approach every few weeks on your Block B (as described in easy strength) would probably have great benefit.

To be totally honest, I would alternate snatches and heavy swings unless you are specifically training for a snatch test. Otherwise, I would add in deadlifts every cycle or so in the strength block to really hit that hinge pattern.

Another thing - If you do want both aspects....if you can do a 4 day a week program, combining Geoff Neupert's "Strong" and "One" programs
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
Happened to be reading Naked Warrior last night, and it was in that book that Pavel mentioned doing alternating blocks. 2 weeks NW, followed by ETK program minimum. He mentioned long term it would be good to add deadlifts when doing NW, but only 2-3x a week at a 5x5.
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
Yes, good call. Almost like the "long course" method of strength building, slow and steady.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Has anyone run alternating 2 week blocks of A+A training and strength focused work?

I am considering running this kind of thing when I am back in a position to run something more strict than my current training schedule.

I can't see many downsides and it could work as a nice all round program.

Here's my example:

Block A: Conditioning - Snatches and clean and jerks

Block B: Strength - Double Front squats, Double press, pull ups, Farmer's walk

I am sure the only way I can see if this will work well is by trying it, but was wondering if anyone was already ahead of me.
I'd ask what you're trying to accomplish; and then, why?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
I can't remember which book it is Pavel discusses this (was it PTTP, cycled with the old program minimum?).
It's talked about in Return of the Kettlebell - the program is two-week blocks of grinds alternated with two-week blocks of ballistics. I believe it's also mentioned in something earlier but I don't recall what.

-S-
 

Oscar

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@DavThew thats a good question. I´m planning on doing something like this in the future, but I was thinking on 3 month blocks rather than 2 weeks.
 

Bro Mo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I´m planning on doing something like this in the future, but I was thinking on 3 month blocks rather than 2 weeks.
I was doing 4 week blocks for almost a year and didn't like it as much as 2 week blocks. Just felt like I was spending the whole block getting back to where I just was. Now my favorite cycle for 12 weeks looks like:
  1. Strength
  2. Strength
  3. Endurance
  4. Power
  5. Strength
  6. Endurance
  7. Strength
  8. Power
  9. Endurance
  10. Strength
  11. Strength
  12. Stamina
Alternatively if I were to do 2 or more week blocks, I would probably follow the more traditional
  1. Endurance/Hypertrophy (2-8 weeks)
  2. Strength (2-6 weeks)
  3. Power/Speed (2-4 weeks)
 
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