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[THE LATEST ARTICLES] Iron Monkey - Deep Six Challenge

@Fabio Zonin, am I missing something or is there an error/omission in the article?

This chart below of Alice's example appears to be repeated twice, but I don't see a generic chart with rep schemes for each RM, which would presumably have rows for each RM between 8 and 12. So from Alice's example, I can see the rep schemes for 8, 9, and 11, but not for 10 or 12.

cruiser-alice-tests-results.jpg
I just noticed it. There is one table missing and one duplicated. I have asked the person who uploads the articles to fix the issue.
Thank you for catching.
 
@Fabio Zonin :

Can you elaborate the difference between The Cruiser program and your Built Strong programs? When to chose which one and why?
 
@Fabio Zonin :

Can you elaborate the difference between The Cruiser program and your Built Strong programs? When to chose which one and why?
The differences can be inferred from the programs' descriptions and the rationale given in the article. Here's a quick summary:

The Cruiser uses 4 movement patterns, the same as BTS4. BTS3 does not include a hinge, although hinge-based ballistics can be done on off days. BTS6 splits the upper body push and pull drills into horizontal and vertical.

BTS3, 4, and 6 use three different RM ranges for each pattern, and, optionally, different exercises for each range (potentially 9, 12, or 18 different drills). The Cruiser uses one RM range and one exercise for each pattern (4 total drills).

BTS3, 4, and 6 have three options for overall volume. The Cruiser has no specific options for overall volume, although there is variability introduced by the dice rolling.

BTS3, 4, and 6 have fixed durations. The Cruiser is flexible as to duration and when you retest RMs.

So The Cruiser is more streamlined in terms of the load used, and has fewer options for exercise variety and overall volume.

As stated in the article, the criteria for The Cruiser were that it be:
  1. Time-efficient
  2. Simple
  3. Flexible
  4. Entertaining
I'm doing BTS3 right now, and it arguably meets the same criteria. IMO, the choice of programs depends mostly on logistics and the specific exercises and amount of variety you want, and if you want to do some work at higher loads, which the BTS products provide.

The Cruiser plan, the two published BTS products (which include three plans), and the two Simple Strength for Difficult Times plans all seem like different variations on the same Built Strong theme remixed in different ways.
 
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@Fabio Zonin , in your latest article, in the video you have a full gym. There is a squat rack and plates.
The movements that you have chosen are non-ballistic. Why kettlebells?
Why not deadlift/press/squat/chinup with the barbell? Programming would be easier, and for muscle and strength gains results would be undeniable.
Why did you choose for kettlebells?
 
The differences can be inferred from the programs' descriptions and the rationale given in the article. Here's a quick summary:

The Cruiser uses 4 movement patterns, the same as BTS4. BTS3 does not include a hinge, although hinge-based ballistics can be done on off days. BTS6 splits the upper body push and pull drills into horizontal and vertical.

BTS3, 4, and 6 use three different RM ranges for each pattern, and, optionally, different exercises for each range (potentially 9, 12, or 18 different drills). The Cruiser uses one RM range and one exercise for each pattern (4 total drills).

BTS3, 4, and 6 have three options for overall volume. The Cruiser has no specific options for overall volume, although there is variability introduced by the dice rolling.

BTS3, 4, and 6 have fixed durations. The Cruiser is flexible as to duration and when you retest RMs.

So The Cruiser is more streamlined in terms of the load used, and has fewer options for exercise variety and overall volume.

As stated in the article, the criteria for The Cruiser were that it be:
  1. Time-efficient
  2. Simple
  3. Flexible
  4. Entertaining
I'm doing BTS3 right now, and it arguably meets the same criteria. IMO, the choice of programs depends mostly on logistics and the specific exercises and amount of variety you want, and if you want to do some work at higher loads, which the BTS products provide.

The Cruiser plan, the two published BTS products (which include three plans), and the two Simple Strength for Difficult Times plans all seem like different variations on the same Built Strong theme remixed in different ways.
Excellent summary.
I'd just add that the progression on Simple Strength for Difficult Times is linear whereas the BTS products are wavy. The waviness variations are themselves staggeringly numerous.
 
@Fabio Zonin , in your latest article, in the video you have a full gym. There is a squat rack and plates.
The movements that you have chosen are non-ballistic. Why kettlebells?
Why not deadlift/press/squat/chinup with the barbell? Programming would be easier, and for muscle and strength gains results would be undeniable.
Why did you choose for kettlebells?
How would the programming be easier with barbells...?! It would be identical.
Barbells are an option from the BTS family of programmes.
The author has selected double kettlebells.
My current BTS4 is barbells, single KB, double KB plus bodyweight.
 
Want a detailed plan you can follow? Here you go:

Love this. Thank you Fabio.
 
How would the programming be easier with barbells...?! It would be identical.
Barbells are an option from the BTS family of programmes.
The author has selected double kettlebells.
My current BTS4 is barbells, single KB, double KB plus bodyweight.
Sets, reps and volume stays the same. And weight changes. That's how. You can adjust the weight on the barbell.
You can make the barbell heavier.
You can back squat the barbell.
If you use kettlebells, the volume and density are mostly the variables.
I did not see the reason to choose for kettlebells in the video. That's why I have asked.
 
@Fabio Zonin , in your latest article, in the video you have a full gym. There is a squat rack and plates.
The movements that you have chosen are non-ballistic. Why kettlebells?
Why not deadlift/press/squat/chinup with the barbell? Programming would be easier, and for muscle and strength gains results would be undeniable.
Why did you choose for kettlebells?

Fabio does address these issues in the article.
For tools, I opted for kettlebells. Considering the four main features of the plan, I can’t think of anything that is more time-efficient, simple, flexible, and entertaining than kettlebells. And to make it even more time-efficient and entertaining, I decided to use double kettlebells across the board.
Remember that this is a program for a specific person whom Fabio knows very well. But you can do the program with any drills that fit the four movement patterns and can be loaded within a 8-12RM range.

Sets, reps and volume stays the same. And weight changes. That's how. You can adjust the weight on the barbell.
You can make the barbell heavier.
You can back squat the barbell.
If you use kettlebells, the volume and density are mostly the variables.
I did not see the reason to choose for kettlebells in the video. That's why I have asked.

Regardless of tools, it's mostly a fixed weight program with periodic resets. You could do the program with all barbell exercises, but the programming wouldn't change.
The Cruiser is actually a simplified version of another plan I have designed recently called the “Battleship.” After Programming Demystified was announced and opened for registration, I received many inquiries requesting information about one of the templates we will be sharing, the BTS-RND algorithm. The BTS-RND is the foundation for the Battleship plan. BTS, of course, stands for Built Strong and RND is an acronym used in computer science that stands for random.

Although it may seem that this strategy breaches any rule dictated by the logic of progression and simply assigns a series of random practices, this is not so. First, unlike most western training strategies which comply with the principles of progressive overload, Built Strong and its father Plan Strong™ comply with the principles of variable overload. Second, rather than random I would define the BTS-RND strategy as “random within railroad tracks.” While there is a random component, the way the grid is designed and the rules for applying the results of the die rolls ensure that the ongoing sessions comply with all the principles of the Plan Strong and Built Strong systems.

BTW, the correct rep scheme table for each RM, which was missing when the article was first published, is now there.
 
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I would choose the barbell. He, apparently, knows something I don't. I would like to know it as well

Regardless of tools, it's mostly a fixed weight program with periodic resets. You could do the program with all barbell exercises, but the programming wouldn't change.

I largely use step loading (keeping the weight the same for a period of time) despite mostly training with barbells. It allows me to make consistent progress and operate within my “recovery ceiling.”

An example for our dancing friend - you’re squatting 100 kg. Dancing like a fiend. No worries. Feels great. Then you go to 105 … 110 … 115 … all the sudden you’re exhausted all the time and your dancing is sluggish and you feel like crap. You can think - I can’t back squat and dance - or you can think - I felt fine with 100kg, not with 115. Your body had not finished adapting to 100kg and you made the jump “too soon” for you ability to squat + sport. Kettlebells force you to do this. Barbells don’t. But often, especially in context of life and sport, step loading is still a good idea.
 
@Fabio Zonin :

Can you elaborate the difference between The Cruiser program and your Built Strong programs? When to chose which one and why?
@Steve W. Provided and excellent and very detailed explanation, which I'm quoting below.

The differences can be inferred from the programs' descriptions and the rationale given in the article. Here's a quick summary:

The Cruiser uses 4 movement patterns, the same as BTS4. BTS3 does not include a hinge, although hinge-based ballistics can be done on off days. BTS6 splits the upper body push and pull drills into horizontal and vertical.

BTS3, 4, and 6 use three different RM ranges for each pattern, and, optionally, different exercises for each range (potentially 9, 12, or 18 different drills). The Cruiser uses one RM range and one exercise for each pattern (4 total drills).

BTS3, 4, and 6 have three options for overall volume. The Cruiser has no specific options for overall volume, although there is variability introduced by the dice rolling.

BTS3, 4, and 6 have fixed durations. The Cruiser is flexible as to duration and when you retest RMs.

So The Cruiser is more streamlined in terms of the load used, and has fewer options for exercise variety and overall volume.

As stated in the article, the criteria for The Cruiser were that it be:
  1. Time-efficient
  2. Simple
  3. Flexible
  4. Entertaining
I'm doing BTS3 right now, and it arguably meets the same criteria. IMO, the choice of programs depends mostly on logistics and the specific exercises and amount of variety you want, and if you want to do some work at higher loads, which the BTS products provide.

In addition to that above I would add that, while the BTS plans use multiple intensities (AKA training weights), but leading to an average relative intensity that settles around 70%1RM, the Cruised is based on one intensity only, (8-12RM).

Also, while in BTS plans heavy, medium and light refer to the intensity, in the Cruiser they refer to the volume and also to the effort. Heavy days are high volume, medium days medium volume, and light days low volume. Also, in heavy days the reps range from 1/3 to 2/3 of RM, in medium days from 1/3 to 1/2 of RM, and in light days they settle around 1/3 of RM. Of course the reps are rounded to the closest integer (e.g., RM=8; 1/3 RM = 2.67 —> 3)
 
The Cruiser plan, the two published BTS products (which include three plans), and the two Simple Strength for Difficult Times plans all seem like different variations on the same Built Strong theme remixed in different ways.
Actually, the two Simple Strength for Difficult Times plans do not qualify as Built Strong Plans, as their volume progression is linear, while in Built Strong the volume follows the delta-20 principle of variable overload.
 
@Fabio Zonin , in your latest article, in the video you have a full gym. There is a squat rack and plates.
The movements that you have chosen are non-ballistic. Why kettlebells?
Why not deadlift/press/squat/chinup with the barbell? Programming would be easier, and for muscle and strength gains results would be undeniable.
Why did you choose for kettlebells?
I'm pasting below the reply I posted in the article's comments.

The short answer is: “because my wife wanted a kettlebell-only program”.

Ti expand a little bit more, Alice was looking for a “plug and play” plan that allows her to simply pick up the bells and do the work without needing to spend time setting up the rack, loading the bars, etc. She needs the ability to do her sessions whenever she has 30-45 minutes of spare time between her appointments and housewife commitments, without being tied to a set schedule. The gym and the rack may be busy at certain times of the day, as me or other may be training or coaching in-person or online, while the kettlebells and a corner are always available. And, in the worst case scenario, she can pick up the bells she needs and got to train in our living room or in the back yard of our house.

Finally, what I outlined in the article is her strength and “rock-hardening” training plan. In addition to the Cruiser, Alice also does her swings
 
Regardless of tools, it's mostly a fixed weight program with periodic resets. You could do the program with all barbell exercises, but the programming wouldn't change.
Exactly.

I actually designed the same plan, but with barbell lifts, for my wife's hairdresser. She has a power rack in he home gym and wanted to use a barbell. I designed the exact same progression, always based on 8-12RM weights, but on the following barbell lifts:
  1. Back Squat
  2. Pendlay row
  3. Sumo deadlift
  4. Bridge floor press
She is enjoying the plan and it seems to be working like magic. She is on week 8 now and she will probably run some 1RM and RM tests in the next couple of weeks to to assess the results and eventually adjust the training weights.
 
I'm pasting below the reply I posted in the article's comments.

The short answer is: “because my wife wanted a kettlebell-only program”.

Ti expand a little bit more, Alice was looking for a “plug and play” plan that allows her to simply pick up the bells and do the work without needing to spend time setting up the rack, loading the bars, etc. She needs the ability to do her sessions whenever she has 30-45 minutes of spare time between her appointments and housewife commitments, without being tied to a set schedule. The gym and the rack may be busy at certain times of the day, as me or other may be training or coaching in-person or online, while the kettlebells and a corner are always available. And, in the worst case scenario, she can pick up the bells she needs and got to train in our living room or in the back yard of our house.

Finally, what I outlined in the article is her strength and “rock-hardening” training plan. In addition to the Cruiser, Alice also does her swings
Thank you very much for clarifying that. “because my wife wanted a kettlebell-only program” is good enough, but I appreciate the following paragraph as well.
 
This program has me thinking about a easy way to add an intensity variable to it with a die roll as well.

Take a rep max for other two additional rep ranges.
Light 12-15, Medium 8-11, Heavy 4-7.

Then roll a die for the intensity.
Roll (1=L, 2-3=M, 4-5=M, 6=H)

keeping both volume and intensity variable to some degree.
 
Exactly.

I actually designed the same plan, but with barbell lifts, for my wife's hairdresser. She has a power rack in he home gym and wanted to use a barbell. I designed the exact same progression, always based on 8-12RM weights, but on the following barbell lifts:
  1. Back Squat
  2. Pendlay row
  3. Sumo deadlift
  4. Bridge floor press
She is enjoying the plan and it seems to be working like magic. She is on week 8 now and she will probably run some 1RM and RM tests in the next couple of weeks to to assess the results and eventually adjust the training weights.
Call it coincidence but I used the other dice roll plan you wrote which uses double bells for a student but used barbell lifts (back squat, pendlay row, military press) so far so good.. as you said in a podcast "the principles are universal"
 
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