Back to basics

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Level 4 Valued Member
Background: 27 year old with a little mileage. No significant injuries at present and moving well.
Started Tae Kwon Do 3 months ago and really enjoying it. Prior to this I was lifting for the sake of lifting (health, strength etc.) , but I was having difficulty sticking to any single program.

Since starting a sport I realised my recovery is not the same with two martial arts sessions a week. I therefore reviewed a few old favourite resources (Easy Strength, The Cost of Adaption and a few others) to find out where I should pitch my training.

The main message I got was that it is okay to lift less, and lift more simply that I have been to achieve my goals of being strong enough for martial arts. In fact the 80/10/10 guideline in Easy Strength is high in my mind.

I am taking the advice from the above resources. I will be doing block training with Power to the People and S&S. Blocks will be 2 weeks, starting with PTTP, lifting three times a week. I am going right back to the start with both these programs to make sure I have all my technique dialled in. After doing an SFG user course recently I saw there were a few faults in certain techniques, and I want to regress to progress.

So I will be starting S&S with 24kg for swings and 16kg for getups.
I will be starting PTTP with 64kg DL and 16kg one arm KB military press.
My PTTP will be a step-wise progression as I don't have access to a barbell at the moment, but can get up to 92kg with KBs. With each step taking 3 sessions, which equates to a full week of training, I am not worried about running out of weight too soon. I have given very little time to the deadlift over the years so this will hopefully be productive.
If I exceed my 92kg of KBs with DL I am sure it would not be the worse excuse to buy a barbell.
I have had to check my ego a few times recently, attempting to lift things that I could lift badly a couple of years ago. I am focusing on perfect technique now.

Alongside 2 weekly TKD sessions (plus supplementary practice at home), and my strength program I will be doing a weekly LSD rucking session, which I have been doing for a while. I like hiking in hills (and hopefully will get back to them soon). This covers my aerobic needs well I think, or at least it seems to in TKD. I will also be doing an occasional jump rope session to help keep my light on my feet for martial arts.

Finally I have some flexibility and mobility issues to target, and would be very happy to work up for a full split before I hit 30.

1. Move well. Be strong and well conditioned enough for TKD and hiking.
2. Hit the "solid" standard of S&S i.e. the standards using a 40kg bell. I have been here before so would be keen to get back to that.
3. Improve flexibility to be able to competently sit in the groin straddle from RIS without lying to myself that I am doing it correctly.
4. Be content with the slower progress that simplified block training might deliver.
5. Keep the goal (Number 1 specifically) the goal.


Level 4 Valued Member

Day 1 PTTP. Technique drills day, proper weights next session

Warm up:
3 way next rotations
Half kneeling halo
Ankle rotations
Prying cobra
Prying goblet squat

48kg DL - 5,3,2
1H KB MP 16kg- 5,3,2

Felt odd doing so little.

This is practice. Working out is for chumps (I was very recently, and often become a chump).


Level 8 Valued Member

Looking good ! I see you are very carefull with your health and have clear goals ;)
Friend of mine uses S&S for combat sport and it does a great job !

Best of luck and lift well !

Kind regards,



Level 4 Valued Member
Quick calculations for my DL weights. I have 29 weeks of DL weights before I need to exceed 92kg (which is a 40kg and 48kg KB), plugging that into a 2 week block template means that I have 58 weeks. Plenty of time to save up some money!


Level 4 Valued Member
Thanks @Bonkin. It took me a while to realise how much I was overtraining/trainig inefficiently. I have printed out a couple of motivational strongfirst quotes and stuck them above my kettlebells to keep me on track. You seem to be making good progress with S&S too!


Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks, slowly but surely.

Printing the quotes is a good idea. I'll be stealing that!


Level 4 Valued Member
PM - Tae Kwon Do. Tough session, made sure to keep nose breathing and as loose as possible through the warm up and cool down. Had to reassure a new starter that not all of the sessions are that hard!

Weekly ruck. 2.17 miles in 35minutes with 16kg pack. Average HR 125bpm. Went a bit lighter with my pack after TKD last night, and went for a shorter distance as my girlfriend decided to come along today (she is recovering from an ankle injury so is keen to get back to aerobic work). Very enjoyable session, had to keep mindfully checking in on my posture. I usually listen to an audiobook on my rucks, but it was nice walking with someone else.

Swann 1

Level 7 Valued Member
It's an interesting way to cook PTTP without a Barbell. I'll be following to see how this works, and maybe crib some ideas.


Level 4 Valued Member
@Swann 1 my idea regarding PTTP is that with a step cycle (3 sessions per step) and going 12 sessions then backing off to 1 weight above my previous starter I can get a lot of time out of my KBs on DLs. The same can't necessarily be said for my military press as I will get to 32kg quite a bit faster. However PTTP does suggest switching to different varieties of lift at the end of some cycles so I might switch to the bent press once my pressing weight gets too high.
I'm really hoping that by the time I am at good going weights for the deadlift (my previous 1RM was 120kg...that was not great quality and was with fairly unfocused training) I will be living somewhere with ample space for a jbarbell....and my girlfriend will hopefully be happy to help house it!
Hopefully this idea will pan out and help others who are so sadly deprived of a barbell :)


Level 4 Valued Member

Warm up

DL 64kg 5,3,2
MP 16kg 5,3,2. Move up to 20kg next session. Going to have to move to the bent press within a couple of months.

Mobility work: I've done a couple of RIS sessions this week, but finally picked up a copy of Deskbound yesterday. I can see far tok much of myself in those poor postures and it resonates a bit too strongly with me. So I've decided to give the 14 day mobility challenge a go. Basically this is a fortnight of the various mobility routines in the book. I don't own a peanut tool or a softball so I started with upper legs today.
Day 1/14 done. Felt good. Foam rolling is brutal sometimes.

Also built a standing desk out of all my board game boxes and cookery books. One pile for my laptop, and another for my bluetooth keyboard. Wrote for about an hour on that today and it felt pretty comfortable. Went straight into PTTP after and felt fresher than normal :)


Level 3 Valued Member
Love the standup desk! We have several people at work that have made standup desks from boxes and books. One guy even uses an old tower computer as the standup desk for his laptop. Yours is far more interesting though and gives the option of an impromptu game!
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