Looking for advice designing a program with incorporated GTG

Training for Life

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
Greetings,

I recently started doing training after a few years of couch potato life and am quite interested of how to incorporate GTG into training. I did a bit over three months of bodyweight training up to this point with five sessions per week (Mon Lower Body, Tue Upper Body + Core, Wed Yoga + Mobility, Thu Full Body, Fri Core). While I did see results in terms of muscle growth and some improvement in strength and mobility, it feels like it's not hitting the goals.

What I have been planning is a bit of a revamp to the training program to better focus on my goals:

1. Strength. I want to get stronger and be able to perform more difficult variations of exercises. Here's where GTG comes in as shown below. The plan is to change up the exercises every 3-4 weeks or so to add some rotation.

2. Mobility, agility and durability. I want to be able to use my body effectively and make sure I can keep training. Here's where mobility exercises and yoga step in.

3. Conditioning. I want to improve my conditioning to prepare for other activities such as martial arts and hiking. This is where I believe KB work would get the job done. In addition I am also doing light morning runs to improve aerobic capacity about 4-5 times per week.

Here's the program as of now with 5 sessions per week:


MONDAY

Mobility
15-20 mins of overall mobility training doing some of the following (was thinking about a 3-4x 5min circuit with 30-60 sec per movement): Dead Hang, Scapular Push-Up, Lizard Walk, Hollow Rock, Plank, Good Morning, Side Plank, Pike Compression Training (YouTube video), Leg Mobility Training (stand with one leg and move other leg in maximum positions front, side, back), Lunge, KB Halo, Slav Squat Hold, Bird Dog, Dead Bug, Upward Dog (Pavel's ETK variation), Glute Bridge, Wall Sit... The list goes on, but the point is to train whichever seem to be my weak points while getting the body warm and active.

Yoga
30-40 minutes of Yoga practice.

GTG (done separately from other training)
Hanging Leg Raise progressions
Pistol Squat progressions


TUESDAY

Mobility
See Monday.

Conditioning
100x KB Swings
10x Turkish Get-Ups
(lighter variation of S&S with two-handed swings and TGU progressions until I have the form and strength required to do S&S)

GTG (done separately from other training)
Ab Wheel Rollouts
Handstand / HSPU progressions

Grip Work
Some grip work with a grip strength trainer.


WEDNESDAY

Mobility
See Monday.

Yoga
30-40 minutes of Yoga practice.

GTG (done separately from other training)
Hanging Leg Raise progressions
Pistol Squat progressions


THURSDAY

Mobility
See Monday.

Conditioning
100x KB Swings
10x Turkish Get-Ups
(lighter variation of S&S with two-handed swings and TGU progressions until I have the form and strength required to do S&S)

GTG (done separately from other training)
Ab Wheel Rollouts
Handstand / HSPU progressions

Grip Work
Some grip work with a grip strength trainer.


FRIDAY

Mobility
See Monday.

Yoga
30-40 minutes of Yoga practice.

GTG (done separately from other training)
OAPU progressions
Pull-ups


SATURDAY

Challenge
Saturday's my "Challenge Day" meaning I try challenge myself to do something new or out of the ordinary most of the weekends. This could be something such as doing climbing, obstacle courses, hiking, swimming... Hell could be anything, it's about having fun ;)


SUNDAY

Rest
Couch day.


Thanks for taking the time and reading this. Does this plan make any sense to you? How would you improve it to hit my goals better?
 
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Training for Life

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
I can't seem to be able to edit my post, so here's a bit more info.

About sessions and GTG. The GTG is not part of the session, but instead I was planning on doing each exercise pair around 10-15 times per day outside the daily training session. The idea is to first do GTG of about 5-7 sets on both exercises with one set each 10-15 mins, then do the actual session (mobility / yoga / conditioning) and then do another GTG of 5-7 sets of both exercises with 10-15 mins between each set again.
 

Training for Life

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
About GTG exercise selection and rotation.

I am a bit unsure about how should I rotate the exercises that I do with the GTG method. For example, my program above has three different exercise pairs with two pairs done twice per week and one pair done once per week. I am wondering if this is an effective way of doing it, or should I instead have only say one exercise pair that I repeat all five days per week and then change the exercise pair to another next week?
 

Training for Life

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
Correction to Mobility-part of the training session on days with kettlebell work.

I mistakenly or lazily just wrote "see Monday". What I was thinking about was that the mobility exercises done on kettlebell days consist mostly the mobility exercises listed in the S&S book.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
First off... welcome to the forum.

You have all of the right components. But in all honesty, for someone just starting out I think you have too many moving parts. I would encourage you to reflect upon your goals and see what you can do to minimize. Once you get some more mileage, then consider adding components. (But even then less is usually more)

It would be helpful for you to also provide some more personal history in order to help frame a more appropriate answer. Age. Weight. Injury history. Prior training history. Sports participation. Do you have a physical job. Stuff like that.

Additionally... goals are a little vague... you might want to seek clarity on those.

Again, welcome... this is a good place, and people are more than willing to help out.
 

Kyle Kowalczuk

Triple-Digit Post Count
I agree with @offwidth . It’s great you have a plan a are seemingly motivated. The GTG works great with a minimalist approach. Less is more. An inch wide and a mile deep. For example pick a push(push up) a squat (air squat) and a pull( pull up) and cycle them every day. Over the course of weeks build volume
 

Training for Life

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
For example pick a push(push up) a squat (air squat) and a pull( pull up) and cycle them every day. Over the course of weeks build volume
Do you mean that I would do push on Monday, pull on Tuesday, squat on Wednesday and then push again on Thursday and so forth? Or that I should do one of each group each day and then cycle to another three exercises the next day?
 

Training for Life

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
First off... welcome to the forum.

You have all of the right components. But in all honesty, for someone just starting out I think you have too many moving parts. I would encourage you to reflect upon your goals and see what you can do to minimize. Once you get some more mileage, then consider adding components. (But even then less is usually more)

It would be helpful for you to also provide some more personal history in order to help frame a more appropriate answer. Age. Weight. Injury history. Prior training history. Sports participation. Do you have a physical job. Stuff like that.

Additionally... goals are a little vague... you might want to seek clarity on those.

Again, welcome... this is a good place, and people are more than willing to help out.
Thanks for the welcome. You are right, I was not providing enough information in the original post. Here's some clarification, maybe that helps.

About my history: I am in my early 30s, am a bit over 190 cm tall and weigh in at bit less than 200 pounds. My job involves sitting in an office in front of a computer, so nothing physical, and my training happens late afternoon to evening. As of my history, I have played different sports and I used to train martial arts combined with regular bodyweight practice for years. I am familiar to training, but like I said in the original post, I have been a couch potato for a few years now. Prior to couch years, I was able to perform some reps of weighed push-ups, OAPUs, HSPUs, pistols, standing ab wheel roll-outs and was working towards one-arm pull-ups. Besides BW practice, I used to also do some KB work (Swings, TGUs mainly). I'd call myself a person with somewhat moderate prior training experience, but maybe I am overreaching in that statement compared to people on this forum.

Injuries: No nagging injuries, but I do have some muscle imbalances, namely my left QL is tight & weak and my left oblique is much weaker than right (so much punching in a fixed stance did that I suppose). Also have some challenges with proper core, glute and upper back activation, though I am feeling definitive improvements after doing mobility & yoga work.

Now: When I began training again last December, I was able to do a couple of pull-ups and some push-ups, squats, lunges etc, but was in quite a poor condition. During the last months I did improve in terms of being able to do more repetitions, my work capacity increased and I gained a bit of muscle mass, but I don't feel like I was getting stronger. I believe my main areas of lack we're and still are "strength as a skill" and body control. Even when I was able to perform some intermediate exercises years ago, I felt like and still feel like I don't know how to generate as much strength as possible due to poor body control and lack of skill.

About this plan: I'd like to add that the program I was on prior to this for the last few months did include most of the same mobility exercises a few times per week and yoga practice (1 full session + short cool down work after BW training sessions), so I am getting familiar with those movements already. I also did some GTG work on some days when I didn't have the time (or energy) to put in a full session. Compared to what I am used to, the program is not overly complex for me. That said, I understand if you think I should stick to something simpler and I am ready & willing to change up my initial plan upon feedback from more knowledgeable people on this forum such as yourself. If you think that I'd be better off to go and say, do the S&S program, I am willing to listen.

About goals, let me try to elaborate a bit (in order of importance):

1. Strength. I want to learn strength as a skill and get stronger. I enjoy doing bodyweight training because of the variation by progressively changing to more challenging exercises.

2. Mobility and durability. I want to gain better muscle activation and do maintenance work to stay mobile & agile. I feel like this is what I also need to fix my imbalances and to learn using my body better as a unit.

3. Conditioning. I want to improve and build some overall work capacity.
 
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Training for Life

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
@Training for Life, if you just do S and S, with the warmups as recommended, you’ll improve in all areas.
Thank you Steve, offwidth and Kyle for getting my feet back on the ground. I have now done S and S for a month and I feel great. It truly is helping with all the trouble areas. I added in a once per week yoga session and have been doing some chin-ups away from the workouts whenever I have been feeling fresh. I have really started to notice large improvements in my muscle activation and hip mobility. Plus the simplicity of the S and S program makes it really fun to do.

Thanks!
 

Pavel Macek

More than 2500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
Way too complicated. I suggest:

- Select 2 exercises
- Select a 5-6 RM variation
- GTG sets of 2-3
- practice 2-3 days I a row, then have an off day
- retest your RM after about month of practice, and possibly switch to more difficult progression (again about 5-6 RM)
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Just follow S&S.

If this is not to your taste, get out and walk as much as possible, but for at least an hour at a time (my regular walking route takes 75 minutes) at least 3 times a week (ideally every day of course). Take two moves you like to do like chinups and dips (I like these a lot) and do several sets of several reps when you feel up to it, maybe every second day or every day with some days off when you want. Try to increase reps and sets over time. Try to walk faster over time and over longer routes. If/when you're up for it, incorporate a few minutes of running.

These are two examples of things I've done/am doing to stay in shape.
 
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