WED: “Behind the Whiteboard” — Sides of the Board

A quick reminder that tomorrow (Thanksgiving) we will be on a consolidated schedule through Friday. Be sure to check the online schedule for class times at your preferred gym. 

In case you missed our Instagram post last week, we scratched the surface on the purpose of progressions. Make sure to read the caption.

In any given workout, our primary objective is to give your body the right amount of stress to yield adaptation (ie, less fat, more muscle, stronger). Think of Goldilocks, here. Not enough, and you’re bored and under trained. Too much, and you’re body will be distressed and overdosed. Like any medicine, the efficacy is in the dose so it’s our job to get that right for you.

Hence, sides of the board representing different levels.

None of this information is new, but sometimes it helps to re-huddle and look at it from a thirty thousand foot view, not the fine details. We’ll also be illuminating how we can improve it’s labeling system for you, and what to expect.

Phase 1

The goal here is quite simple. Develop basic motor skills. We’re trying to establish your positioning, prepare your joints, strengthen your core, and build very basic skills. The name of the game here is injury prevention. We are building you from the ground floor up.

As such, loads typically don’t increase above 60%, we introduce only the first part of a complex movement (think, hang muscle clean not clean and jerk), and we keep things very doable and repeatable. Here, the goal is simple execution (not easy challenge).

Near the end of one’s Phase 1, demand should be increased through more challenging load culminating in the preparation for the 5′ squat test. In an ideal world, the squat test is challenging, but completed without too much strain. This would indicate someone who is truly ready to advance into all level.

All Level

The goal here is general fitness. We term it All Level because it is beneficial fitness for everyone with the purpose of creating a state of General Physical Preparedness (GPP). Here, we take our time and develop both proficiency and resiliency. It’s important to understand the definition of proficiency since many misuse it: “a high degree of skill; expertise.” It doesn’t mean that you learn and then move onto performance. It means you become a near expert in the movement. All of them. That process takes absolutely no less than two years.

We primarily focus on the 5R lifts for a number of specific and scientific reasons, namely that it achieves a combination of strength, muscle, and conditioning. Loading fluctuates between 60 and 80% depending on where you are with your movement pattern, and conditioning demand and intensity are kicked up a notch to make sure that we can continue to drive adaptation.

It’s also absolutely critical to state that there is no need for advancement from this phase. Here, we can stay and instead focus on all the ways to develop and improve within the context of GPP. Most of our most successful long-term members train the All Level side of the board for years on end without a care in the world for the Advanced side.

However, some decide to take the next step, which is a decision to pursue performance, not fitness and general health.


Here, the goal is performance. Nothing less. Health is no longer the primary objective, it’s very, very important to understand that. This doesn’t mean that by nature, to train specifically for high end performance is NOT healthy, it simply means that the loading schemes prescribed are more concerned with driving your maximum output from a task.

Timed workouts under challenging load and position.

High percentage lifts (85%+) in the 1-3R range.

This is another form of labeling that we have come to dislike. “Advanced” almost infers a challenge to how you see yourself, often times causing us to drift into this category out of pride and bravado when really, we just need to have a discussion on what we’re after. General fitness? Or performance?

Those interested in developing their highest level of output would eventually end up here after a few years.

In summary, each side of the boar has the following objectives:

  • Phase 1: Development
  • All Level: General Fitness
  • Advanced: Performance

The reality is that we can and will do a better job of labeling these. We don’t like how they force us to pinpoint our ability level. Instead, we want you to tie an outcome to them. Expect that update to occur as we close out the year.


Wednesday, 11.21.18

First. For Strength.
5 Push Jerks @60-75%
8 Oblique Pendulum Swings
Complete 1 set every 4′ for 20′

Then. For Conditioning
Push Press
Plyo Skaters
Double Shoulder Taps
RDL Power Jumps
100m Run