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The Whats, Whys and Hows of Successful Programming, Part IV

Get-Ups With Shoe at RKC San Jose

This is the fourth in a series of articles about successful programming by Master RKC Dan John. Click here to read the first article of the series.

I have a simple model for training most people: Life.

This training program is based on our movement history:

We start off rolling around and crawling.
Then, we get up on one knee—then we get back on the ground.
We finally stand up and go after it for a while.
We stumble and get back up.
We stumble again, lay back down—and stay there.

This is also a great template for training as seen in the example session below:
  • Naked get-ups (no weight) and ground-based mobility work
  • Half-kneeling presses a few reps with both hands (alternate with both knees down)
  • Bird dogs
  • Humane burpee or variation (see below for examples)
  • Mobility movements from six-point position and half-kneeling
  • Naked get-ups
  • Easy foam rolling or correctives
The goal of the example session was to "get sweaty" and build some strength. But, most importantly the session will allow you to leave the gym feeling better than when you got there.

This training session can be expanded or contracted as appropriate. For ideas on how to train a typical trainee, try this template:

Classical Conditioning Weight Choices:

A = Light(50%) / B = Medium(75%) / C = Heavy(100%)

For this program, the weight is based on what you can do for ten repetitions, not for a single lift. Choose a load that you can do "sometimes" for eight reps and sometimes for twelve, depending on the situation. Never miss a lift.

Workout 1: Simple Strength

Getting stronger is the foundation of all fitness goals. Stretching during rest periods keeps the intensity up (including heart rate). Strive to increase "C" over time.

Push: One Arm Press
  • A x 10
    • Hip Flexor Stretch R
  • B x 5
    • Hip Flexor Stretch L
  • C x 10
Pull: One Arm Row
  • A x 10
    • T-Spine Mobility Work R
  • B x 5
    • T-Spine Mobility Work L
  • C x 10
Hinge: Kettlebell Swings
  • A x 30
    • Bird Dogs
  • B x 15
    • Bird Dogs
  • C x 30
Squat: Goblet Squat
  • A x 10
    • Pump Stretch (Cobra and Downward Dog)
  • B x 5
    • Pump Stretch (Cobra and Downward Dog)
  • C x 10
Plank: Push Up Plank for 2:00 or Less

Carry: Farmer or Suitcase Carry

Coaching the Get-Up At RKC
 
Workout 2: The Cardio HIIT Workout

For the past few years, mixing the dynamic swing with the grinding squat has been an interesting way to increase heart rate. Adding a stretch between sets will keep the heart rate high but will also add some heart rate variability (a good thing). Don’t hold the stretches for more than 30 seconds before popping up for another set of swings.
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • Hip Flexor R
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • Hip Flexor L
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • T-Spine Mobility Work R
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • T-Spine Mobility Work L
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • Bird Dog
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • Bird Dog
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • Pumps (Cobra and Downward Dog)
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • Pumps (Cobra and Downward Dog)
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • Push Up Plank
  • 15 Swings / One Goblet Squat
    • Suitcase Walk R/L
Workout 3: Tonic Recharge Workout

This is a workout for following a Tabata day. Yes, this is an easy day, but always focus on the long-term goal and the journey.

Push: One Arm Press
  • A x 10
    • Hip Flexor R
    • Hip Flexor L
Pull: One Arm Row
  • A x 10
    • T-Spine Mobility Work R
    • T-Spine Mobility Work L
Hinge: Kettlebell Swings
  • A x 30
    • Bird Dogs
    • Bird Dogs
Squat: Goblet Squat
  • A x 10
    • Pump Stretch (Cobra and Downward Dog)
    • Pump Stretch (Cobra and Downward Dog)
Plank: Push Up Plank
  • 1:00
Workout 4: Bi–Monthly Tabata

We only use a ten-second rest, so remind your client to be ready to go again at seven seconds. Please use a Tabata timer, available for free on the web.

We go for twenty seconds, rest for ten, and then repeat the sequence for another seven times. The total of eight rounds is just four minutes of working out. Stay focused.

Remember, it is only a ten second rest, so be ready to go again at seven seconds. Get after it today!
  • Time #1
    • Tabata Goblet Squats for 4 Minutes
  • Time #2
    • Tabata Swings for 4 Minutes

Workout 5: The Mobility Workout

Hold each position for thirty seconds.

People under thirty years of age, go through the movements for two circuits (do every movement once, finish the list, repeat). Ages thirty to fifty: go through the movements for three circuits. If you are over fifty, complete at least three circuits, but strive to do four or five.
  • Hip Flexor R
  • Hip Flexor L
  • T-Spine Mobility Work R
  • T-Spine Mobility Work L
  • Bird Dog
  • Bird Dog
  • Pump Stretch (Cobra and Downward Dog)
  • Pump Stretch (Cobra and Downward Dog)
 

Dan John thumbnailMaster RKC, Dan John is the author of numerous fitness titles including the best selling Never Let Go and Easy Strength. Dan has spent his life with one foot in the world of lifting and throwing, and the other foot in academia. An All-American discus thrower, Dan has also competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, an event in which he holds the American record.

Dan spends his work life blending weekly workshops and lectures with full-time writing, and is also an online religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri. As a Fulbright Scholar, he toured the Middle East exploring the foundations of religious education systems. For more information visit DanJohn.net
 

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