Winter programming goals advice needed

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by guardian7, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. guardian7

    guardian7 More than 500 posts

    As a college instructor, I am fried with work during December finals but have a significant amount of time Jan and Feb where I develop classes and elearning etc. to prepare for the term in March.

    The campus has a gym with pairs of KB up to 20KG. There is a lack of space to deadlift and it takes a while to set up in a busy gym with the flood of people who sign up in the winter and then disappear in Feb.

    I did the power to the people program last year. It was effective but I am 5 kg short of my bodyweight bench at 75 KG. I carefully followed the program and was set to retest my PR in the DL on my last gym day when I had sudden family commitments, so I don't know my current max. I never trained barbell bench before and lack a workout partner. Almost everyone at the gym is literally 25 or more years younger.

    My goals are as follows but I don't know how to put them together or prioritize.

    1. Gain some muscle with double KB squat and press. I built a base of goblet squats this past few months and the benefits are declining. I really like the double KB movement. It is very challenging without the need for barbell equipment.

    2. Maintain my deadlift double bodyweight.

    3. Get my bodyweight bench.

    4. Dial in my swings, learn to snatch. They have lighter bells than my standard press bell at home if I need them to learn.

    Tentative plan

    - Bench two sets of five, 2-3 days a week like PTTP.
    - Deadlift heavy once a week on Friday when the gym is less busy. I was unable to do this as planned this term in the free gym at school. I don't have space to deadlift at home.
    - A light KB swing day each gym visit maybe four-five times a week. A few minutes of snatch each gym visit as pure practice of technique, swing, high pull, snatch combinations and regressions. They only have hardwood dance floors and yoga mats in the area that is not crowded with weights. Not optimal for getups. I want to do the TSC next year in the novice master's category.
    - As much double KB work as I can tolerate two days a week after the bench.
    - Hanging leg raises, pullup singles practice, face pulls, triceps and bicep work to finish. They have a nice cable station.

    I normally do Muay Thai for fitness spring and fall, I only have uneven bells at home that are a bit too demanding for double KB work. This is my only window and access to equipment for hard work. I am 50 and work on the computer most of the day when I am not teaching.

    How would you program or if necessary prioritize these goals? I like to have a focus, double KB; a learning goal, snatch; and a maintenance goal, deadlift/bench.
  2. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    A few thoughts, as I read what you wrote

    I would say do 3 sets of 5 of only 2-3 days/week. (2 sets of 5 if, like PTTP, 5 days a week). 2 sets of 5 twice a week might maintain, but it's unlikely to drive any strength gains.

    This could work, but would work even better if you can do another deadlift variation one other day per week. Halting, deficit, snatch grip, rack pull... all but the last one would be at a lesser weight than your regular deadlifts. If you can't do deadlifts more than once a week, then your swings and/or snatches may suffice.

    Once you get the snatch technique down, just snatch. Don't worry about the combos and high pulls. Swings also is a good idea, but swing heavier than your snatch weight, if so.

    I would select an amount for a targeted adaptation and skills practice... i.e. challenging 5 sets of 5 cleans, or squats, or a combo of these. Don't keep going until you're worn out.

    That could work, but you might want to prioritize the pull-ups more. Depends where you are with these relative to where you want to be for the TSC.

    Me too, except will be 52 this month. Computer ALL day long at work. Stand-up desk, walking breaks, and occasional GTG exercises help a lot!

    What days are you likely to go to the gym? M-Tu-W-Th-Fri? Rest on the weekends?
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  3. Kate Hardy

    Kate Hardy Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I would second everything @AnnaC said, especially because I don't have any experience with barbell or TSC. However, I can speak to your kettlebell training.

    Swings: I would focus on 1-arm swings with a heavier bell (the power will translate to your snatches). Depending on how much time you have, get in 10 swings (on one arm) either EMOM or top of the 30s. Alternate arms each set.

    Snatches: You mentioned wanting to get these in every workout and I agree (again) with @AnnaC that once you get your technique down, don't worry about the regressions. My two favorite snatch drills are:
    - 15 sec snatches on one side, 15 sec rest, 15 sec snatches on other side - repeat for a total of 5 min (10 sets total)
    - 1 snatch at the top of 30s (or 1 min), hold in overhead press for remainder of time; re-rack bell before switching sides - repeat for a total of 3-5x on each side

    Doubles: A couple of ideas on these workouts (building in rest where you need it and not working to exhaustion).
    - 3-5 double cleans, 3-5 double front squats, 3-5 double presses; for 3-5 sets
    - 1 double clean, 1 double front squat, 1 right-arm press, 1 double front squat, 1 left-arm press, 1 double front squat, 1 double press; 3-5 sets
    - or just stick to one drill at a time: 3-5 double cleans for 3-5 sets, 3-5 double front squats for 3-5 sets, 3-5 double presses for 3-5 sets

    You didn't mention where you're at as far as pull-ups go but I've had good results with the Fighter Pull Up Program, if you're looking to increase volume.

    I'm a fan of multitasking and might combine my work into one drill like this:
    - 3-5 pull ups
    - 5 double cleans
    - 10 1H swings (alt arms) EMOM for 10 min
    *Repeat the drill but replace the double cleans with double front squats, then replace them with double presses on the 3rd round

    Super curious to see what others suggest and how you decide to plan your training.

  4. Bunn

    Bunn Triple-Digit Post Count

    Just an observation, have you considered the possibility that you have too many goals for such a short period of time? You may want to consider dropping down to just one or two and making as much progress in that area as you can, vice spreading yourself all over the place.

    In my line of work we like to say that "if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority".
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  5. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    If I were you I would probably try something like this:

    Fighter or Operator template from Tactical Barbell (2-3x per week, similar to PTTP, ) with Zercher Squat, Bench Press and some Pullup Work. One session per week skip the pullups and do 1-3 sets of Deadlifts.

    On inbetween days practice some snatches and swings. Maybe some light extra practice as a warmup before your strength work.

    Maybe a ruck/run on the weekend.

    Warmup: Probably Goblet Squats, maybe TGU.

    Please note that I have never done any BB work and this is just a setup that I have saved for the future. I also like the weekly templates from Tactical Barbell Conditioning, except for the sample workouts. I think any conditioning plan from SF would be better (especially A+A, QnD or S&S).

    Here are two articles that might also be of interest to you, at least for ideas of how to structure your training week.
    Total Package Weekly Kettlebell Training Template | StrongFirst

    No Distractions: The Occam's Razor Training Plan | StrongFirst

    And for exercise selection:
    The Best Squat Exercise | StrongFirst
    The Best Press Exercise | StrongFirst
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  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @guardian7, get some instruction on your bench press.

    Jason Kavanagh likes this.
  7. guardian7

    guardian7 More than 500 posts

    Yes, prioritzing is part of my request. Keep in mind that pullups and making progress in deadlift etc. are not the focus. I can focus on those in the spring. I have a window of free time to recover and equipment options only in the winter.
  8. guardian7

    guardian7 More than 500 posts

    I took the SFG barbell course and read Starting Strength, PTTP and Reload. I think it is just that I haven't trained it except for last winter. I forgot to mention that I didn't test 1RM max. I am thinking of sets of five as my goal. Training would help of course but this lift is not my priority. I don't have a spotter. I just ask kids in the gym after observing their bench. Disposable income and weekends are spend on my child's extracurricular activities these days. Otherwise, I would be at a SF gym across town on the weekend.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  9. guardian7

    guardian7 More than 500 posts

    Pullups PR is ten
    TSC standard probably 7 as PR
    Now, probably only five. The university is rebuilding the stadium so my outdoor pullup station where I used to GTG my pullups on the way to class is gone this term.
    Fighter pullup would probably be too difficult for me. I have bookmarked it. GTG pushups and pullups seemed to work for me.

    I can focus on them in the Spring when I can get outdoor pullup stations easily. I already have too many goals so it is more something like strict, explosive TSC standard singles I am thinking about.

    Developing a circuit with the KB seems like a great idea.
  10. guardian7

    guardian7 More than 500 posts

    Click on quote to expand. This could be an easier format for people to reply to posts.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  11. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    I see the replies but the method doesn't work as well with the forum functions...

    Yeah if 20kg is your only available kettlebell you can really work that for snatches.

    I like the idea of BU KB holds in the office! I need to bring in a bell...

    Laundry service? Sweet!

    Yes, that's me, TSC Masters. Thanks!

    So, let us know what your daily/weekly plan looks like based on the feedback so far and we could have another look at it...
  12. Kate Hardy

    Kate Hardy Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Just wanted to address this really quickly... not too difficult at all if you're starting at 5. I started at 3 a few months ago... repeated a couple of weeks here and there and just finished a week with 7 as my max. I approach the pull ups one of two ways:
    1. Spread them out over the course of the day.
    2. Build them into one workout. Typically I will start a "circuit" with the number of pull ups I need and then continue on with bodyweight and/or kettlebell work as I have it planned. It gives me enough of a rest between each round of pull ups and allows me to get them all in one workout. And honestly how long to a few pull ups take anyway? ;)
    guardian7 likes this.
  13. guardian7

    guardian7 More than 500 posts

    Just found out that the bodyweight SFG course will be coming Jan. 12. I will reread the Naked Warrior and do GTG bodyweight for the rest of Dec. and then decide what to do in Jan. Thanks.
  14. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    Btw: I just wanted to make it clear that with "Fighter Template" I did not mean the Fighter Pullup Plan, but the Fighter Template from Tactical Barbell. This is a 6 week barbell plan with 2 waves (both going from, I think, 70-90%1RM), with 2 sessions per week. 3-5 reps in 3-5 sets, if memory serves. 2-4 exercises.
  15. guardian7

    guardian7 More than 500 posts

    Yes, I was confused. I think PTTP is good enough for my level. As Dan John said, The program was working so well, I decided to change it!
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