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Programming Improv Block Training Thread

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
Just for reference, here is @JamesPTA 's report of alternating phases of KSK (Snatches) with The Giant (Dbl C&P):

Great work!
 

jroberts1187

Level 3 Valued Member
I think your type of questions are exactly why StrongFirst has added Programming Improv to the mix. Conflicting goals, conflicting timelines, limited resources. How to resolve all that?

In your specific context, at least I would say that heavy/low volume tapering would be good during your glycolytic peaking phase.
I started playing around with high-rep Iron Cardio and More Kettlebell Muscle to see what type of glycolytic work I want to do (I've got to do higher reps I've only got access to 40lb bells), and 2x days after my quick glycolytic play around, I PR'd all 3 of my lifts for that day as well as my conditioning mode. So I love the glycolytic peaking phase during the taper idea, and I'm going to run high-rep MKM along with some probably rowing and assault bike workouts into the mix as well.

P.S. Throwing the lighter Double KB Front Squat into the mix and going ATG was really some awesome light work that opened up my hips and definitely contributed to my PRs
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
Forgive the dumb question, but what's IC?
Iron cardio

 

Sam Goldner

Level 5 Valued Member
I just finished my intro blocks: 3 weeks of snatching (generally used 16k because I wanted to make sure my right shoulder could handle it and so I could concentrate on form nuances for that shoulder) and then 3 weeks of Double Long Cycle of Death with D24k (again for shoulder).
I feel a tad beat up right now but haven’t been sleeping well and my variety days have been harder than what I should have done (lesson learned). Shoulder feels no worse for wear.

Plan for the upcoming week is to get a bit of a deload and RM test the following:
-Snatch (to see which weight I can use for King-Sized Killer and have no shoulder symptoms)
-Deadlift, One-Arm Press, and Zercher Squat (estimated 1RM; testing these because I have standards for my firefighters based around these and other exercises so I want to test the carryover/maintenance effect of my program)
-Weighted Pull-up (5RM; included in my firefighter standards)

I’ll retest DLCCJ also when I get back to it in about 4 weeks to see if the D24s are going to be my working weight or were just for the intro block. Then the plan is no more testing until 18 weeks later after finishing 3 phases each of KSK 1.0 and LCOD 1.0.

Thanks,
Sam Goldner, DPT
 

serjetto

Level 2 Valued Member
If I remember, Pavel said it works with alternating blocks of strength and endurance. I did this for several months alternating Naked Warrior and S&S Swings, it worked very well. Less fatigue and more variety
And an important detail, alternation is not a variety of programs, but choose two strength / endurance and stick to them for a long time
 
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Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
Thanks @Sam Goldner and @serjetto for the reports.

Personally, I am still progressing nicely (currently in week 11).

This time around I triy to integrate "postconditioning hormesis" that Pavel wrote about in a recent newsletter.

For example, I did 10x1 BU-Presses with an 8kg bell on off-days between C&P sessions.
And then I did 6x2 LCCJ @ 16 kg (timeless) on Saturday after my last heavy pressing session. The latter also served as a technique refresher. I feel that this light practice has made it easier to return to my LCCJ block two days later.

Another observation: I have programmed it in a way (following ROTK), that the first week of each block is a easier. This also means that I usually do less cardio during those easier weeks - and more cardio during my heavier weeks. This is a bit surprising for me, but I guess it makes sense. Two rather packed weeks per month -- and two rather easy weeks, focusing more on maintenance and stabilization of gains, and not pushing too much.
 
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SUOMI-PUKU

Level 6 Valued Member
I just finished my intro blocks: 3 weeks of snatching (generally used 16k because I wanted to make sure my right shoulder could handle it and so I could concentrate on form nuances for that shoulder) and then 3 weeks of Double Long Cycle of Death with D24k (again for shoulder).
I feel a tad beat up right now but haven’t been sleeping well and my variety days have been harder than what I should have done (lesson learned). Shoulder feels no worse for wear.

Plan for the upcoming week is to get a bit of a deload and RM test the following:
-Snatch (to see which weight I can use for King-Sized Killer and have no shoulder symptoms)
-Deadlift, One-Arm Press, and Zercher Squat (estimated 1RM; testing these because I have standards for my firefighters based around these and other exercises so I want to test the carryover/maintenance effect of my program)
-Weighted Pull-up (5RM; included in my firefighter standards)

I’ll retest DLCCJ also when I get back to it in about 4 weeks to see if the D24s are going to be my working weight or were just for the intro block. Then the plan is no more testing until 18 weeks later after finishing 3 phases each of KSK 1.0 and LCOD 1.0.

Thanks,
Sam Goldner, DPT
Very interesting program, do you have a log here?

I plan to also combine a couple of Geoffs programs a block at a time for a while going forward (The Giant for C+P/FSQ, KSK for snatch, LCOD for LCCJ).
 

Sam Goldner

Level 5 Valued Member
Very interesting program, do you have a log here?

I plan to also combine a couple of Geoffs programs a block at a time for a while going forward (The Giant for C+P/FSQ, KSK for snatch, LCOD for LCCJ).
I write it in a physical training journal but was considering doing a log on the forum. Do people actually read them or will I just be typing into the void?

Thanks,
Sam Goldner, DPT
 

Sam Goldner

Level 5 Valued Member
I bit the bullet and made a training log. Hopefully it will be helpful for people.
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
As promised, here is my current setup, inspired by ROTK:

Basic idea: Alternating Clean & Press with Clean & Jerk, both single bell, every two weeks. First week of both a bit easier, second week finishing "heavy", as per ROTK. Ideally, both lifts support each other, focusing on different qualities of overhead work.

STRENGTH BLOCK
  • 3 sessions per week
  • ROP 2.0 (experimental plan), C&P with a 20 kg bell (4-5RM)
  • About 10 minutes of low volume A+A work with Swings or Snatches before C&P (30-60 reps, medium to heavy bells)
  • Some high tension presses and overloads sprinkled in during lower rungs
  • Some easy to medium squats during the warmup (Split Squats)
  • 1-3x easy aerobic training per week on off-days (running or cycling + additional cycling during daily commutes etc.)
POWER BLOCK
  • 3 sessions per week
  • KBSF Plan A and Plan B, single bell LCCJ (or seperate Cleans + Jerks) with a 20 kg bell (10RM)
  • MHM-HMH structure. Heavy days are "to stop signs". Medium days are 60-80% of max. duration OR deload days (-4 to -8 kg)
  • 3x3-5 Goblet Squats and 1-3 TGUs during the warmup (both with medium weights)
  • 1-3x easy aerobic training per week on off-days (running or cycling + additional cycling during daily commutes etc.)
So far I feel that my body adapts more strongly to each block, as promised. The first one or two sessions of each block feel a bit heavyish and rusty, but I hope to get used to switching exercises over time. And so far, it helps to get my priotities straight and focus on the C&P during my strength block, as I get plenty of power and conditioning work during power blocks.

Next week I will start my third C&P block and am curious if I will continue to progress faster than usual. I guess I am progressing a bit more slowly with the LCCJ as my clean tetchnique needs some cleaning up.
Short update after 3 months in (training each exercise for 6 weeks):

ROP 2.0: I have been able to go from 5x3 to 5x4 ladders with my 4-5RM bell
KBSF Plan A: Went from 30xCJ to 30xCJCJ with my 10RM bell
Steady progress in both blocks.

Today I started my fourth strength block and had my best pressing session in months. On Saturday I did a light techinque session (10x1 one-legged presses with by 15RM bell) and I believe that this type of session speeds up the process of getting into the next block. (Before, my first 1-2 sessions of each block felt a bit too heavyish and rusty for my taste).

So far I have been able to follow my plan to the T and am happy about my steady progress.
 
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Sam Goldner

Level 5 Valued Member
Short update after 3 months in (training each exercise for 6 weeks):

ROP 2.0: I have been able to go from 5x3 to 5x4 ladders with my 4-5RM bell
KBSF Plan A: Went from 30xCJ to 30xCJCJ with my 10RM bell
Steady progress in both blocks.

Today I started my fourth strength block and had my best pressing session in months. On Saturday I did a light techinque session (10x1 one-legged presses with by 15RM bell) and I believe that this type of session speeds up the process of getting into the next block. (Before, my first 1-2 sessions of each block felt a bit too heavyish and rusty for my taste).

So far I have been able to follow my plan to the T and am happy about my steady progress.
What did you test before you started this whole process? CP, CJ, anything else?
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
What did you test before you started this whole process? CP, CJ, anything else?
Not much.
Just my bells for the process.

But I can compare my rate of progress with my last "pure"ROP 2.0 cycle (where I progressed more slowly).

And I have some rough notes on how certain sessions felt (12x5 Snatched @20 kg, etc.), that I could use for comparison in the future.
 

Anth

Level 4 Valued Member
This is a great thread. I'm actually looking forward to reading all of the responses in depth.

I just want to put in my two cents (I just brought this up in another thread but it's relevant here too).

I was doing Geoffrey Neupert's kettlebell WOD, which is awesome, but it's 5 days a week for 12 months, and I need a break from that grind, so I'm going to do a minimalist block of LCCJ. The great thing about WOD is that it's actually 12 4-week blocks, so you can organize it that way, and it's got a lot of variety, so you can use it in a way where you block the frequency and variety.

For example:
Block 1:
1-3 blocks of WOD for variety and progression, 5 days a week
Block 2:
8-12 weeks of minimalist programming (S+S, The Giant, DFW, etc.), 2-3 days a week.
 

guardian7

Level 7 Valued Member
This is a great thread. I'm actually looking forward to reading all of the responses in depth.

I just want to put in my two cents (I just brought this up in another thread but it's relevant here too).

I was doing Geoffrey Neupert's kettlebell WOD, which is awesome, but it's 5 days a week for 12 months, and I need a break from that grind, so I'm going to do a minimalist block of LCCJ. The great thing about WOD is that it's actually 12 4-week blocks, so you can organize it that way, and it's got a lot of variety, so you can use it in a way where you block the frequency and variety.

For example:
Block 1:
1-3 blocks of WOD for variety and progression, 5 days a week
Block 2:
8-12 weeks of minimalist programming (S+S, The Giant, DFW, etc.), 2-3 days a week.

I like the idea of having a core program or goal in a year such as S&S or C&P or TSC prep but then adding other programming blocks for variety when you plateau or get a bit burned out or want to maintain other movement patterns. And then going back to your main program.
 

Sam Goldner

Level 5 Valued Member
Finishing up my final week of KSK 1.0 Phase 1 with the 24. Getting ready to start my DLCOD block; I plan to test on Sunday to figure out if I’ll continue to DLCOD 1.0 Phase 2 with the D24s or bump up to 24+32 or D32 and repeat Phase 1; just depends on how my shoulder feels when I test.

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is lowering the jerk back to the rack. I’ve always just let them drop and I dip to catch them, but a recent video that @Geoff Neupert sent out regarding his RMF promo shows him doing a controlled press eccentric. That got me thinking about the pros and cons of each approach. As an aside, I’m just sharing what got me thinking about the topic, not saying @Geoff Neupert recommends one way or the other.

If I was alternating a DCJ block with a DCP block I definitely would do drop and dip for the CJ and leave anything that remotely looked like pressing to the CP block. In my case, though, I’m alternating DCJ with Snatch, which means I have room to sneak the press work into my DCJ block by doing the controlled press eccentric method of lowering. I’ll probably stick with the drop and dip method because that’s what I’ve been doing until now, but it’s an interesting thing to consider. I like the rhythm of the drop and dip method, but, on the other hand, I have a secondary goal of increasing my press (which has already gone up with my current method so I’m not worried if I stick with it) and doing the controlled press eccentric would slide this block a bit closer to strength instead of power, which would make it contrast better with the speed block of KSK snatches.
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
If I was alternating a DCJ block with a DCP block I definitely would do drop and dip for the CJ and leave anything that remotely looked like pressing to the CP block. In my case, though, I’m alternating DCJ with Snatch, which means I have room to sneak the press work into my DCJ block by doing the controlled press eccentric method of lowering. I’ll probably stick with the drop and dip method because that’s what I’ve been doing until now, but it’s an interesting thing to consider. I like the rhythm of the drop and dip method, but, on the other hand, I have a secondary goal of increasing my press (which has already gone up with my current method so I’m not worried if I stick with it) and doing the controlled press eccentric would slide this block a bit closer to strength instead of power, which would make it contrast better with the speed block of KSK snatches.
That's a really interesting idea, and I like your considerations. I think it could also be a variation for repeating a block.
IIRC, Geoff once recommended something like this for the Giant: Start with Push Press, then repeat with Push Press + Active Negative, then Press.

Not sure if this helps, though.
 
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guardian7

Level 7 Valued Member
Finishing up my final week of KSK 1.0 Phase 1 with the 24. Getting ready to start my DLCOD block; I plan to test on Sunday to figure out if I’ll continue to DLCOD 1.0 Phase 2 with the D24s or bump up to 24+32 or D32 and repeat Phase 1; just depends on how my shoulder feels when I test.

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is lowering the jerk back to the rack. I’ve always just let them drop and I dip to catch them, but a recent video that @Geoff Neupert sent out regarding his RMF promo shows him doing a controlled press eccentric. That got me thinking about the pros and cons of each approach. As an aside, I’m just sharing what got me thinking about the topic, not saying @Geoff Neupert recommends one way or the other.

If I was alternating a DCJ block with a DCP block I definitely would do drop and dip for the CJ and leave anything that remotely looked like pressing to the CP block. In my case, though, I’m alternating DCJ with Snatch, which means I have room to sneak the press work into my DCJ block by doing the controlled press eccentric method of lowering. I’ll probably stick with the drop and dip method because that’s what I’ve been doing until now, but it’s an interesting thing to consider. I like the rhythm of the drop and dip method, but, on the other hand, I have a secondary goal of increasing my press (which has already gone up with my current method so I’m not worried if I stick with it) and doing the controlled press eccentric would slide this block a bit closer to strength instead of power, which would make it contrast better with the speed block of KSK snatches.

Isn't the purpose of the clean and jerk to enable the use of greater weight and volume than even the push press? As Steve Friedes mentioned in a recent post on another thread is that it spreads out the load in the body. If you can do reps with a controlled eccentric that would seem to be leaving potential on the table with regard to what you could do with a heavier or greater volume clean and jerk alone. I wonder if the difference you noted and I have as well is the difference between a hardstyle clean and jerk and a kettlebell sport clean and jerk that might account for some differences. The KB sport rack is clearly different.
 
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