Man in Black

Focus: Balanced Work Capacity and Strength 

Cycle Overview:

This 8-week cycle is a bit of a departure from our normal programming style. It’s the first ‘balanced cycle’ where we will train equal parts strength and work capacity, instead of a focus on one performance attribute while maintaining the other. Also, we’re only going to train 4x/week during this cycle. Wednesday is programmed as a rest day due to the intensive nature of the strength days on Tuesday and Friday. 

The strength progression includes some classic hypertrophy work, focused on the posterior chain via the deadlift. The progression has two 4-week blocks in this cycle, and will continue with a final 4-week block in the cycle which will follow Man in Black.

The first block of the progression starts with 5x15 rep scheme on Tuesday’s and Friday’s, building load incrementally. The second block lowers the rep scheme to 5x10, but increases the load. 

The loading is percentage based - you’ll see an assigned percentage for each lift. This percentage should be based on your last 1 Rep Max, or a approximation of your 1RM. Use the first week to play around with the loading. We rarely use strength rep schemes this high, so the end-state is to use a weight that challenging, but still able to complete all rounds and reps with perfect form. 

We’ll use a similar rep scheme for our upper body work with varying exercises to continue to develop our upper body pushing and pulling strength. 

The work capacity assessment is based on the Devil Press and Touch Jump Touch’s. You’ll assess at the beginning and the end of the cycle. The other work capacity efforts will focus on developing the traits of the demand of those movements. This is a tough assessment - we assigned a 15lbs dumbbells for females and 25lbs dumbbells for men, but scale the weight according to your capabilities. 

As always, we’ll grind through Trunk Strength circuits following the Work Capacity efforts. These are great accessory movements to develop your pulling strength throughout the strength progression. Don’t skip them!

Weekly Break Down:

  • Mon: Work Capacity + Trunk Strength

  • Tues: Strength

  • Wed: Rest

  • Thurs: Work Capacity + Trunk Strength

  • Fri: Strength

Quick FAQ’s

  • All exercises are linked to demo videos. Click and watch if you’re unfamiliar.

  • Equipment: This is a gym plan. You’ll need access to a squat racks, bumper plates, barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, etc.




Big L (Revised)

big l.jpg

Big L - Gym Based Aerobic Endurance

The focus of this cycle is to develop aerobic endurance beginning at the 40 minute mark, and progressing to 60 minutes of constant work. The aerobic system is the main driver for our body, and is the most forgotten component with the rise of interval style training. We’ll use a combination of movements in multiple 15-20 minute blocks in order to achieve the goal time domain for aerobic endurance. Even if you are a experienced endurance athlete, the nature of the gym-based aerobic endurance work will be very challenging.

Remember - always form over intensity. Every rep should be perfect.

The strength component of this cycle will focus on improving Pull Ups and unilateral lower body strength (single leg). You’ll assess a max set up of pull ups at the start and end of this cycle, as well as a 10RM Walking Lunge. The Pull Up progressions can be found in the chart below on the last page - they are based on your pull up strength for appropriate individual scaling.

Additionally, we’ll introduce some short sprinting and agility drills on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. Start slow with these and make sure you do the entire warm up. Build competence and confidence, and then start to increase speed/intensity.

Week 5 re-assesses our strength work, and the remainder of the week is total rest. I highly encourage you to take the week off after the assessment. This will be a challenging cycle - let your body recover.

Weekly Break Down

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Gym Based Aerobic Endurance work ranging from 40 to 60 minutes. Get right to work on these efforts at a moderate pace that you can sustain for the entirety of the training session.

Tuesday, Thursday: Sprinting or Agility work, Pull Up progression, Lower Body Unilateral work. Make sure you do the entire warm up before hitting the sprint/agility work!