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Kettlebell "Giant 1.0"

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
Has anyone else had terrible workouts on Easy Day?
I don't really think in terms of easy, medium, or hard days on The Giant, just low rep, medium rep and high rep.

The weight is the same so there's no light, medium, and heavy, and my total volume tends to be pretty close on all three days in a given week with a constant session length. Depending on the day, how I feel, how hard I push, and where my RM happens to be relative to the program, I will often do a higher volume on the low rep days, because I recover faster between sets and can go at a faster pace. I'm built more (or my training history has conditioned me more) to crank out lots of short sets with less rest.
Or just being 52 being 52.
Brian, I look at it like this...we're in our 50s....most guys at this age won't make the effort at all.....so even a bad workout is better than nothing!
Fellow 50 something here. Yeah, there are always ups and downs, good days and bad days. I try to take the long view and not stress over how a single day's training might go.

I think the autoregulation of The Giant makes you a little more conscious of the ups and downs. With a fixed volume program, you might feel better or worse, but you still do the same work. With the Giant, the amount of work you do goes down if you're not feeling on top of your game.

I think it's a strength (pun intended) of this approach, but it's taken a mental adjustment for me. In fact, I regularly start a session with the intention of making it an easy day and going at a very relaxed pace, even if my volume is less than I've done before, or less than I would be capable of that day if I pushed harder.
 

John Grahill

Level 7 Valued Member
What I truly enjoy about the Giant as opposed to Strong Phases 2 and 3 (I do love the Strong program too!).... is the autoregulation. In phase 2 of Strong the rest periods are structured. In the Giant they can be whatever you need. Sometimes a hard set of 5 or 6 is going to need more than 2 minutes recovery between sets! Especially as you get stronger and start in with heavier poundages! I have found that when I try to push the density too much I get injured.

With the Giant I try to find a comfortable work pace which I define as a pace that allows me to maintain solid form but still get the benefits of the program and feel like I've been adequately worked. For me another game changer has been the 20/25/30/25 template. when I first started last year I did strictly 30 minute sessions not including warm ups and tried pushing the volume/density every time out. With this template i pick a good solid pace for weeks 1, 2 and 3 and push it on week 4. Psychologically it helped me big time and it's how I plan to continue to proceed in any future Giant Journeys!
 

Geoff Neupert

Level 7 Valued Member
Beast Tamer
Has anyone else had terrible workouts on Easy Day? I was running 1.0 and remember the 4 day being pretty rough. Even with a complete day of rest the day before. Yesterday doing 1.2, on the 7 day, I had absolutely NOTHING. Did 4 sets of 7 and called it a day. I was worried at popping my SI joint (common injury for me) if I did a 5th set. Easily a top 3 WORST workout of the year.

I don't know if it's mental. I ate enough or the time of day. I did it late afternoon and was stiff from work. Or just being 52 being 52.
Probably that SI thing combined with the 52-thing.

Shake it off. Keep going. Remember, something by default has to make that top 3 list.
 

bris78

Level 4 Valued Member
Hi @Geoff Neupert

What breathing method do you use/recommend for the clean and press on the giant.

Do you use a single breath taken during the downswing, with a partial exhale at both the clean and press
OR
A double breath method with inhaling at downswing, then exhaling after clean, then another inhale after the clean, just before pressing?

Thanks
B
 

John Grahill

Level 7 Valued Member
Hi @Geoff Neupert

What breathing method do you use/recommend for the clean and press on the giant.

Do you use a single breath taken during the downswing, with a partial exhale at both the clean and press
OR
A double breath method with inhaling at downswing, then exhaling after clean, then another inhale after the clean, just before pressing?

Thanks
B
Not Geoff so I don't know if it's "official" but I often take double breaths "behind the shield "......especially when the weights become "challenging" and my system is getting hammered
 

ImMrAdam

Level 3 Valued Member
Hi @Geoff Neupert

What breathing method do you use/recommend for the clean and press on the giant.

Do you use a single breath taken during the downswing, with a partial exhale at both the clean and press
OR
A double breath method with inhaling at downswing, then exhaling after clean, then another inhale after the clean, just before pressing?

Thanks
B
I stumbled upon using two partials - a partial exhale after the clean and another partial exhale after the press, followed by a partial inhale on the way down to the rack and another partial inhale in the first part of the clean.

I don't recommend it or anything (I'm on my first run of 1.0), but I'm interested whether anyone does it the same.
 

HUNTER1313

Level 6 Valued Member
Just out of curiosity, how does the Giant compare to the TTC? I've taken a little time off to deal with some issues, but when I was doing the Giant i was doing squats that matched the press reps. I know it wasn't the Giant per say, but i enjoyed it. I'm just wondering if maybe I'd be better served just doing the TTC.
 

zjmc

First Post
Any thoughts on using one of Geoff’s barbell bolt ons with the Giant? I think it would be manageable with 1.0, not sure about the others
 

Geoff Neupert

Level 7 Valued Member
Beast Tamer
Hi @Geoff Neupert

What breathing method do you use/recommend for the clean and press on the giant.

Do you use a single breath taken during the downswing, with a partial exhale at both the clean and press
OR
A double breath method with inhaling at downswing, then exhaling after clean, then another inhale after the clean, just before pressing?

Thanks
B
Inhale before hike pass.

Snap hips and exhale.

Inhale while bells are in the rack.

Exhale through sticking point of press finishing in lockout.

Inhale at lockout and then pull bells down into the rack while exhaling through active negative.

Inhale for hike pass/backswing while in rack.

Backswing and repeat.

Hope that helps.
 

Geoff Neupert

Level 7 Valued Member
Beast Tamer
Any thoughts on using one of Geoff’s barbell bolt ons with the Giant? I think it would be manageable with 1.0, not sure about the others
If you haven't done 1.0 or any other of 'THE GIANT' programs, I'd run those 'as is' and put your entire focus on them.

Then see what your results are and whether your barbell lifts have decreased, if that's important to you.

Hope that helps.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Total Tension Complex? I'm probably not the best to answer (I ran TTC once, I ran Giant ~3 mo). They are very different programs. It is almost like comparing a snatch-only A&A style program to ROP.

TTC is great because the volume is sneaky (I got up to 8, so that's like 63 reps, which is about what some of my Giant sessions were); the TTC is "easier" than the Giant because you don't clean before every press, and for me my shoulders felt more "pumped." The TTC is great because it gets squats in, and it also accounts for snatches and swings. I don't like renegade rows (blech). Part of me wants to criticize the lack of pulling (no clean or row ladders), but part of me also says "bro, you were snatching." TTC is a fun generalist program - you got goals, but they're broad. I want to press more, I want to snatch, I want to swing, and I want to squat - boom, program made for you.

Giant, on the other hand, is laser focused. You will clean and press. It is simple. It is auto-regulated. It is - or can be - very punch the clock. It can also be brutally demanding on your hands - LOTS of cleans! Especially when you're dealing with sets of 10. It allows/accomodates for strength-focus (Giant 3.0), hypertrophy focus (I'd say the first two Giant), and conditioning (the sets of 10 - not saying they aren't hypertrophic). It is phasic. You could just keep cycling through it. But with the laser focus is also the reason I only did 3 months of it - I wanted to do other things too. I wanted to squat. I wanted to pull-ups. I wanted to snatch. I wanted I wanted I wanted. I tried to modify it for a 4th month and it was too much. I'm sure someone better at life could've done it better, but my attempt to modify it failed miserably and I moved on. To be fair I think if I had been more modest with my changes/additions it could be made to work (what could go wrong, C&P for 20 min + Snatches for 20 min?!), but my point more here is the comparison - the Giant is not a Kitchen Sink program, the TTC is designed for it. Start monkeying around at your own risk.

So I don't know how well the Giant and the TTC compare to each other. Both will get you better at pressing. Both will develop the mystical quality called "conditioning." Giant is periodized so you could basically keep using it, the TTC is designed as a one-shot program. If you want or like the simplicity of JUST cleaning and pressing and you don't have a handful of "add-ons" then the Giant is fantastic; if you find yourself thinking "hmm... Only clean and press? Maybe I could add..." Then the TTC might be a better option. Other thing - I think the real benefit of the Giant starts to show in month 2 and month 3 (assuming you run the 1 series and or 2.0).

Hope that helps boss. Maybe @Geoff Neupert or @John Grahill (the Giant OG!) could weigh in better, but I didn't want your question to get lost.
 
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