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Kettlebell How to adjust the ETK schedule when needed

aikanaro79

Level 3 Valued Member
Hi everyone,

I have a question that I have yet to find a good answer and I apologize if this topic has already been addressed elsewhere (I wasn't able to find it).

Imagine you are running the ETK program according to the book with a 3 sessions a week plan.
Now imagine that your work sometimes does not allow for 3 sessions a week, some weeks you might be left only with 2 days to practice or, at worst, only 1.
How would you factor that into the plan?
Would you rank "session priority" according to heavy - medium - light and choose the heavy day in those weeks where there was only 1 practice day available, heavy and medium in weeks with 2 available days and so on? If not, what would your criteria be?
I reckon that during these weeks it would make no sense to even think of increasing the load (whether we were talking reps, sets or even kg).
The question here is really how to adjust to life's constraints in the best possible way (most productive)?

I had no such issue when I ran S&S because of it's simplicity in planning.

Thanks in advance for any input you might provide.
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
Hi everyone,

I have a question that I have yet to find a good answer and I apologize if this topic has already been addressed elsewhere (I wasn't able to find it).

Imagine you are running the ETK program according to the book with a 3 sessions a week plan.
Now imagine that your work sometimes does not allow for 3 sessions a week, some weeks you might be left only with 2 days to practice or, at worst, only 1.
How would you factor that into the plan?
Would you rank "session priority" according to heavy - medium - light and choose the heavy day in those weeks where there was only 1 practice day available, heavy and medium in weeks with 2 available days and so on? If not, what would your criteria be?
I reckon that during these weeks it would make no sense to even think of increasing the load (whether we were talking reps, sets or even kg).
The question here is really how to adjust to life's constraints in the best possible way (most productive)?

I had no such issue when I ran S&S because of it's simplicity in planning.

Thanks in advance for any input you might provide.
Heavy and medium are fine for twice per week.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Elite Certified Instructor
Hi everyone,

I have a question that I have yet to find a good answer and I apologize if this topic has already been addressed elsewhere (I wasn't able to find it).

Imagine you are running the ETK program according to the book with a 3 sessions a week plan.
Now imagine that your work sometimes does not allow for 3 sessions a week, some weeks you might be left only with 2 days to practice or, at worst, only 1.
How would you factor that into the plan?
Would you rank "session priority" according to heavy - medium - light and choose the heavy day in those weeks where there was only 1 practice day available, heavy and medium in weeks with 2 available days and so on? If not, what would your criteria be?
I reckon that during these weeks it would make no sense to even think of increasing the load (whether we were talking reps, sets or even kg).
The question here is really how to adjust to life's constraints in the best possible way (most productive)?

I had no such issue when I ran S&S because of it's simplicity in planning.

Thanks in advance for any input you might provide.
When I've had to confront that, I've simply continued to do the planned sessions in the planned order but let the days change, e.g., one "week" might end up taking 10 days, and thus everything would happen 3 days later. Further on, if things are going well, you could have a 6-day week or several 6-day weeks until you're back on schedule. I'll give you an example of something quite similar that I've done in my own training - it's not the ROP but you'll get the idea, I think.

A 4-week block of constant volume but increasing weight - that's the premise. (Almost the opposite of the ROP's constant weight and increasing volume, but the idea here is the same.) The original plan was

Heavy Day #1, easy - Saturday
Heavy Day #2, a little harder - Saturday
Heavy Day #3, pretty hard - Saturday
Heavy Day #4, just about all I have effort - Saturday

Instead of keeping it by the week, I did this:

Heavy Day #1, easy - Saturday
Heavy Day #2, a little harder - Thursday - not a problem because last week and this week are pretty easy
Heavy Day #3, pretty hard - Friday - 8 days before this tough workout
Heavy Day #4, just about all I have effort - Saturday - 8 days before this really tough workout

The extra rest day before the two hardest workouts lets me have a better recovery before the hardest sessions.

So in your case, you could play some 6-day weeks of the ROP when you have the time to do them, and it would be like putting recovery days in the bank, and then you could stretch things out when your schedule demands it. And in an ideal world, you'd stretch things out when it would be most beneficial to your continued progress and success, but even if how you do it isn't perfect, it's still a good approach.

Make sense?

-S-
 

oab

Level 5 Valued Member
Pavel Tsatsouline has written about "tactical periodisation" used by military etc. They have to be ready for battle and training in blowing things up as well as keeping strength and conditioning going. "Weekend warriors" have to be ready for life constraints that get in the way of training. As long as a person is doing basic mobility\flexibility\alignment most days and Strength and conditioning 2-3 days a week then progress will occur. A good dose of LISS several days a week will help general aerobic conditioning as well. So, a week with few interruptions mean 3 days training. A week with a lot of interruptions means 1-2 days or even a "rest week" with mobility etc. One can learn to plan this out and it works well.

Another related approach is to have your training plan laid out and also a backup plan for if things get to busy. For example, ETK is the training program and on busy days you might swap an ETK variety day in or you might go for bodyweight work, mobility\flexibility and some walking or even rest. I have a BW travel program I use when travelling and it is also my backup plan. Also, I reserve new variations of movements or training ideas for those times and try these out so it is a light variety day. There is nothing like experience helping to decide whether to look at making use of such things in my main training etc.

Effective periodisation does not know if it was completely planned prior to being implemented or if some random factors ("life got in the way") are involved in intelligently moulding the plan. Would be worth reading some of Pavels articles on the topic to help provide a feel for tactical periodisation. I think there was one in Beyond Bodybuilding book and he has written others on this topic.
 

aikanaro79

Level 3 Valued Member
Thank you for your ideas on this topic @Bauer, @Mark Limbaga, @Steve Freides and @oab.
Each of you came up with a different idea and gave me a lot to think about.

Thank you for the confirmation on the medium and heavy days choice @Bauer.

To answer the questions you asked me back @Mark Limbaga, I can usually manage a 1h30 session at the gym. Presently I have no way of practising at home, so a trip to the gym is the best I can manage.

@Steve Freides if I understood your idea right, you suggest stretching it out over the days I have available. Even if it takes me almost 2 calendar weeks to complete 1 "planned week", is that it?
It is very interesting, somehow, I thought that this approach might defeat the purpose of the ETK programming, but it actually makes sense. It's just a matter of maintaining the stimulus, and the added rest days might help to reinforce all the body structures for more demanding times ahead.

@oab I've gone back to a lot of those articles you mentioned on the Strongfirst website. I ended up concluding that programs such as ETK or others like it and "tactical periodisation" were not compatible, i.e. they would work well together simultaneously. A person would need to choose either one. Because, to my understanding, those approaches answer the same questions following very different guidelines. Again, this was my take on it, and I might be wrong, of course.
However, you did touch on a topic that I could (and probably should) figure out as well: a backup plan for situations such as travels and others. And that one I don't have.
What can you recommend to me regarding an alternative (preferably BW) plan?

Thank you once more for all your inputs!
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
Thank you for your ideas on this topic @Bauer, @Mark Limbaga, @Steve Freides and @oab.
Each of you came up with a different idea and gave me a lot to think about.

Thank you for the confirmation on the medium and heavy days choice @Bauer.

To answer the questions you asked me back @Mark Limbaga, I can usually manage a 1h30 session at the gym. Presently I have no way of practising at home, so a trip to the gym is the best I can manage.

@Steve Freides if I understood your idea right, you suggest stretching it out over the days I have available. Even if it takes me almost 2 calendar weeks to complete 1 "planned week", is that it?
It is very interesting, somehow, I thought that this approach might defeat the purpose of the ETK programming, but it actually makes sense. It's just a matter of maintaining the stimulus, and the added rest days might help to reinforce all the body structures for more demanding times ahead.

@oab I've gone back to a lot of those articles you mentioned on the Strongfirst website. I ended up concluding that programs such as ETK or others like it and "tactical periodisation" were not compatible, i.e. they would work well together simultaneously. A person would need to choose either one. Because, to my understanding, those approaches answer the same questions following very different guidelines. Again, this was my take on it, and I might be wrong, of course.
However, you did touch on a topic that I could (and probably should) figure out as well: a backup plan for situations such as travels and others. And that one I don't have.
What can you recommend to me regarding an alternative (preferably BW) plan?

Thank you once more for all your inputs!
I think in essence, the C&P part of ROP is about the following:
a) To press a lot you must press a lot
b) Accumulating volume without burning out by using ladders
c) Waving the load from session to session

These principles also apply to the Giant (at least to 2.0) by Geoff Neupert, which proposes a fixed workout time and flexible volume.

You could use the principles to make it work for you. Use a different ladder or format each training day, waving the volume, different session length, always to a comfortable stop.

That bein said, Q&D is more robust against infrequent training, I believe.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Foe discussion purposes.. what rep and set scheme at you currently at for heavy day and how long does it take you to complete the session??
 

aikanaro79

Level 3 Valued Member
Foe discussion purposes.. what rep and set scheme at you currently at for heavy day and how long does it take you to complete the session??
@Mark Limbaga this week my heavy day was 5 (1,2,3,4,5).
However, I didn't feel like I owned it so I will stay at this point until I feel more confident on the heavy day (next time I might even not make it). I didn't clock it but I reckon that, at the very least, the C&P part took me 45 min.

@Bauer I can use the principles indeed, I have dabbed at it previously. This time I was trying to follow a proved program, hence the question with the schedule. Because, as @oab put it, "life happens".
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
What I've done (and generally adopt now to most thing) is to do a moderately hard session.....based on ish, sort of, no need for a light day if there is no heavy day. The way I factored it was based on previous medium day and repeat it or add a couple reps, or more if feeling good about it.
Or do a longer A&A style snatch day....
And then pick up from where you went off piste.
It is a press and snatch thing....so add a bit of practice where you may need it. Or do 20 minutes strength aerobics, rather than ladders, for a change/break. Plenty options.
 

aikanaro79

Level 3 Valued Member
It is a good idea, in fact, to maybe consider something as Iron Cardio for those weeks where available days are most constrained.
Thanks for the suggestion @ali
 
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