The Basics

Before I post any workouts, I want to give everyone a basic outline of some of the things we'll be doing. Some of it will be new, some of it will downright foreign.

1) Warm-ups: For the time being, stick to the warm-ups Jesse posts for the Primal WOD. On certain days, I may post a specific warm-up, but for now, don't worry.

2) Percentages: At the beginning of this program, I'll be having you find your 1RM (one rep max) for various lifts. From there, we will work with percentages of that number i.e. 75%, 80%, 90%, etc. One-rep max attempts are good every now and then, but the stress on the CNS (Central Nervous System) makes recovery a lot tougher. Working with percentages allow us to lift more volume and recover quickly.

3) Skill Work: Before metcons and heavy lifting, there will be a Skill Work section. Some days it will be specified, while other days it will be specific to the individual. For instance, I may write "Double-unders" and therefore, I want you to work on double-unders. Other days I may write "Weakness" which means I want you to work on one of your major weaknesses. This will require some careful thought on your part. If you want to work on handstand push-ups, but the lift for the day is heavy shoulder presses, then you might want to work on a different weakness that day.

4) Rep tempo: Some people who've frequented the Saturday classes will recognize numbers like 41X0 or 3232 and so on. These are designated speeds at which you must complete your reps. The first number is the eccentric or lowering phase, the second number is the pause in the middle, the third number is the concentric or lifting phase, and the fourth number is the pause before the next lowering phase. Let's use Back Squat 41X0 as an example...

4 = Four seconds lowering the bottom of the squat
1 = One second pause at the bottom
X = Explode to the top
0 = No rest between reps

For a movement like the pull-up, you would actually start with the third number since you are already at the bottom of each rep. In other words, a pull-up begins with the concentric contraction; squats begin with the eccentric contraction. So, even though it would be written as 41X0, pull-ups would be performed like this:

X = Explode to the top of the pull-up
0 = Immediately begin lowering phase
4 = Four seconds lowering the the bottom of the pull-up
1 = One second pause before beginning the next rep

I will further elaborate on all of this jargon in a later post. If it's still confusing, read OPT's explanation here.

5) Schedule. I will post workouts for Monday through Friday. I am not expecting anyone to workout five days in a row. In fact, I'd rather most people didn't workout five days in a row. Either way, due to differing schedules, some of you may regularly miss Mondays or Tuesdays or Wednesdays, whatever. That's fine. What's most important is trying not to miss the days involving barbell/strength workout. For instance, say we do heavy back squats on Monday and handstands/rowing on Tuesday. If you miss Monday, I'd definitely prefer you just did your back squats on Tuesday and skip the handstands/rowing for the day. This will obviously vary from person to person, but it may help if people decide exactly what days they plan on working out (if possible, of course). Post your proposed schedule in the comments of this post if you like. It might make it easier for me to organize that way.

Alright, that's it for today. Stay tuned as I'll be posting about essential mobility drills to use in your warm-ups. I'm sick of seeing people do some arm circles and leg swings and think they're done with mobility work.


  1. I plan on having an off day during the weekend and one midweek. My days off I will spend practicing my arm and leg swings.
    I'm thinking of the following schedule -
    On - M, T, W, F, Sat or Sun
    Off - Th, Sat or Sun
    I'm out Fri-Mon of next week for a level one cert in Golden, CO (long story). Word.

  2. I'm thinking that my typical schedule will be:
    Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri or Sat, Sun team workout

  3. My schedule will probably be: Mon (am), Wed (am), Thu, Fri and Sat or Sun. Tue/Thurs might get flip flopped. This is all, of course, once we get back from Australia! :)

  4. Sounds like a very short story, Eric: you're going to Golden, CO for a Level 1 Cert. The End.

    Thanks for the info, ladies. Although mentioning Australia was completely unnecessary, Randi.

    Everyone else who plans on following Affiliate Team programming, please keep me informed on your proposed schedule.

  5. Monday through Friday. I know it's not ideal not to have a rest day in the middle of the week, but that's how my schedule works out once Rasha leaves, because weekends are when I can talk with her more.

  6. Fair enough, Nils. Two suggestions...

    1) On either Tuesday or Thursday just take it a little easier than usual. Still get the skill work in, but don't go too hard on anything in particular. At least for now. You just need to ensure you're getting sufficient recovery from the heavy lifting days.

    2) Make Rasha move to the U.S. and A already!