Two-Lift Programs, a Conversation Starter

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@David S, I was unfamiliar with this program so I had a look. For me, it's far from minimalist, and my purpose in this thread was talking about two-lift programs that are far less complex to understand. It's two lifts at a time but changing lifts, changing rep schemes - no doubt it's worked for many because there are many fine lifting programs out there. For my own purposes, it falls into a different category altogether, however.

Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

-S-
 

David S

Level 5 Valued Member
@Steve Freides , point taken but I don't think it's as complex as it sounds. I got to week 11 before covid19 struck and I changed up my training, however I found it really simple:

Weeks 1 & 2 - squat and pull up
Weeks 3 & 4 - squat and tgu
Weeks 5 & 6 - squat and press
Weeks 7 & 8 - deadlift and pull up
Weeks 9 & 10 - deadlift and tgu
Weeks 11 & 12 - deadlift and press
Etc

So to maybe frame it better in the context of this thread, i think block training is a great way of trying out minimal combinations to see what works.

I think there are some great 2 lift combinations right there!
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@David S, of course you're entitled to your opinion, but this isn't Reddit and I have no need to "try out minimal combinations to see what works." Q&D works. S&S works. PTTP work. The ROP works. NW works. A+A snatches works, and we might even call that a one-lift program. Each is minimalist, each has been practiced and that practice documented by many here, each is designed to be done for a long period of time. A program that features 5 different main lifts - did I count right: squat, press, deadlift, getup, pullup? - in 12 weeks isn't a two-lift program, in my opinion. I prefer to follow the guidance of our school of strength's experts in how to "program programs," if you will, and find thinking about "what works"distracting, for me, to the process of getting better at one or two well-chosen lifts.

Our minimalist programs do have other lifts and stretches but those other lifts are the warmups and cool-downs, the appetizers and desserts and not the main course.

To each his own, of course, and if for you, what works is seeing what works, more power to you and I wish you success and strength. Let us know what you think when the 12 weeks is over, please, both about what works and the experience of following the program you've outlined.

-S-
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
What I've found interesting is how much benefit I've gotten from two lift programs (ETK, S&S and PTTP) and yet, since my goals have changed from 'general strength/physical preparedness' to aiming to excel at two lifts (barbell snatch and clean & jerk) my training has featured considerably more variety than ever before.
 

Tim Randolph

Level 6 Valued Member
Balance is overrated. The idea that a lifting program must touch on all the "basic human movements" is fundamentally flawed. One should move in as many, varied ways as possible, at least from time to time, but that doesn't mean heavily loading every possible movement pattern. A lifting program can do what a lifting program needs to do and only contain two lifts. A lifting program doesn't need to be balanced - a life does. Train flexibility. Walk. Eat well. (We all could, and should, add to that list.)
This is one of the smartest things ever posted here and was a voice in the wilderness when Steve posted it a couple of years back. Unfortunately, the mentality of "I need to work all five (or six or eight) movements" every workout or at least program is still with us and even close to the norm. I really don't have. much to add, but I didn't want us to lose site of this thread's original insight: for most amateurs, the combination of simplicity and effectiveness of minalamist programs is a really compelling. We aren't missing anything by pursuing a well-designed two-lift program.
 

DaveS

Level 2 Valued Member
Two-Lift Programs, a Conversation Starter.

I will start with a couple of assumptions.

Adherence is more important than design. The brilliant program that gets tried but quickly put aside is like the tree that falls in the forest and no one hears - does it make a sound, and did that program actually accomplish anything? A program can't be termed "good" if it doesn't do "good" for a significant portion of the people who attempt it.

Balance is overrated. The idea that a lifting program must touch on all the "basic human movements" is fundamentally flawed. One should move in as many, varied ways as possible, at least from time to time, but that doesn't mean heavily loading every possible movement pattern. A lifting program can do what a lifting program needs to do and only contain two lifts. A lifting program doesn't need to be balanced - a life does. Train flexibility. Walk. Eat well. (We all could, and should, add to that list.)

My favorite two-lift programs:

Deadlift with two hands, standing overhead press with one hand. (PTTP)

Swings, getups. (S&S)

Squat, bench press.

-S-
Two-Lift Programs, a Conversation Starter.

I will start with a couple of assumptions.

Adherence is more important than design. The brilliant program that gets tried but quickly put aside is like the tree that falls in the forest and no one hears - does it make a sound, and did that program actually accomplish anything? A program can't be termed "good" if it doesn't do "good" for a significant portion of the people who attempt it.

Balance is overrated. The idea that a lifting program must touch on all the "basic human movements" is fundamentally flawed. One should move in as many, varied ways as possible, at least from time to time, but that doesn't mean heavily loading every possible movement pattern. A lifting program can do what a lifting program needs to do and only contain two lifts. A lifting program doesn't need to be balanced - a life does. Train flexibility. Walk. Eat well. (We all could, and should, add to that list.)

My favorite two-lift programs:

Deadlift with two hands, standing overhead press with one hand. (PTTP)

Swings, getups. (S&S)

Squat, bench press.

-S-
The more i think about it, the more i think how comprehensive yet minimalist the combo of kettlebell snatches and OAPU/OAOLPU is. Only 2 movements but hits upper body push,/pull, overhead, hinge and rotation/anti-rotation in only 2 moves! If squatting positions are covered in a joint mobility warmup or strength flexibility style cool down you get best of both theories. If the snatches are done Q&D style you get really ‘wide’ GPP base covering all components of fitness simultaneously too 😎
 

Sauli

Level 7 Valued Member
The more i think about it, the more i think how comprehensive yet minimalist the combo of kettlebell snatches and OAPU/OAOLPU is. Only 2 movements but hits upper body push,/pull, overhead, hinge and rotation/anti-rotation in only 2 moves! If squatting positions are covered in a joint mobility warmup or strength flexibility style cool down you get best of both theories. If the snatches are done Q&D style you get really ‘wide’ GPP base covering all components of fitness simultaneously too 😎
I made pretty good progress doing q&d snatch and few sets of banded pushups after that. Really good progress actually. I gained also decent size gains which does not happen easily for me.
 

DaveS

Level 2 Valued Member
I made pretty good progress doing q&d snatch and few sets of banded pushups after that. Really good progress actually. I gained also decent size gains which does not happen easily for me.
Interesting you've found good results from a similar combo Sauli
 

Deleted member 5559

Guest
Does anyone have any experience with KB Snatch+Ring Muscle-up?
The muscle up does seem like it should be a more of a StrongFirst staple. Personally, I don't find the snatch as utilitarian though.

Get the heaviest thing you can from the ground over head: Clean & Push Press

Get yourself up over something: Muscle-Up
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

For a while, I ran a minimalist routine with L-Sit muscle-up (on rings) and pistols, done bodyweight only. I did 1 MU, then 1 pistol each side, then repeat for X amount of times.

It could be even more strength oriented if one uses a weighted vest for instance.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

rwleonard

Level 6 Valued Member
The more i think about it, the more i think how comprehensive yet minimalist the combo of kettlebell snatches and OAPU/OAOLPU is. Only 2 movements but hits upper body push,/pull, overhead, hinge and rotation/anti-rotation in only 2 moves! If squatting positions are covered in a joint mobility warmup or strength flexibility style cool down you get best of both theories. If the snatches are done Q&D style you get really ‘wide’ GPP base covering all components of fitness simultaneously too 😎
I agree. I plan to add OAOL/PU back into my snatch/ruck routine once I get a shoulder ding fully rehabbed.
 

DaveS

Level 2 Valued Member
I made pretty good progress doing q&d snatch and few sets of banded pushups after that. Really good progress actually. I gained also decent size gains which does not happen easily for me.
Yes the Q&D snatches done 10/2 is making me gain muscle quick too as is the OAPU done 5x5 style but the moves could be done 5/4 and more 2 sets 5 PTTP style for those wanting strength without the muscle gain. The fat loss benefits seem to be there too if the diet is correct with it all.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
What I've found interesting is how much benefit I've gotten from two lift programs (ETK, S&S and PTTP) and yet, since my goals have changed from 'general strength/physical preparedness' to aiming to excel at two lifts (barbell snatch and clean & jerk) my training has featured considerably more variety than ever before.
Curious:

Are you spit jerking or power jerking?
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
Curious:

Are you spit jerking or power jerking?
Split. Most coaches don't advocate working on power/squat jerks until you've spent a decent amount of time split jerking and I'm still something of a beginner having been lifting for a little over one year.

You?
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Split. Most coaches don't advocate working on power/squat jerks until you've spent a decent amount of time split jerking and I'm still something of a beginner having been lifting for a little over one year.

You?
I switched from split jerk to power jerk and squat jerk about 3 years ago.

It's basically a benefit of being in the Masters brackets that change every 5 years -- the numbers that are competitive now in my "old man" bracket are weights I can power jerk / squat jerk.

If I had been split jerking since my teens (like some of my peers), I'd probably never switch.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Why would one embark on a minimalist program if one have access to equipnent/space/whatever to cover the whole body/movement patterns/whatever?
  • Elegance
  • Focus
  • Simplicity
  • Clarity of progress and results
I say this being currently on the other end of the spectrum... I have a full home gym set-up and have spent time in the past developing a wealth of skills, so I have endless available options. Right now the only program I'm following is the Daily Deadlift Dose Plan, which leaves room for much more training, and the rest of my training is pretty random right now. It's OK for the moment and I'm sure I will move to something more structured soon, but from here I can really feel the pull of the simple and focused training programs where you know exactly what to do each session, you can really focus on the development and execution of just two skills, there is minimal mental strain figuring out what to do in your training session, and you can clearly see how the training is affecting you day to day and whether you are making progress.
 
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