….the Nuts and Bolts
Why BLOCK Training? Our strategic, safe, and sustainable training is designed to help you become leaner, healthier, higher performing individuals. What's wrong with admitting we want to feel sexier or be desired? Or that we want to eradicate what are often self inflicted, lifestyle related health issues such as excess body weight or obesity, high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and orthopedic issues from sheer size? Furthermore, don’t we want to play with our kids or grandkids with zest and vigor, work on a landscaping project, or play recreational sports like basketball, volleyball, or softball, all without the constant fear of pain or injury?
What is BLOCK Training? In a nutshell, BLOCK Training is a comprehensive weekly training program that is designed to be repeated for 3-4 consecutive weeks (in most cases), with intensity (for example, the amount of weight you lift) generally increasing from the first week to the last week within that period of time. After adhering to a BLOCK of 3-4 weeks, a new weekly training program is then started, building upon the gains made from the first BLOCK, as well as introducing new stimuli to challenge us. This 3-4 week BLOCK is then adhered to closely, again with intensity often increasing week to week. This BLOCK program is repeated every 3-4 weeks, with a new “Stimulus” (aka strength, power and reactive exercises) being introduced at the start of each new BLOCK, while simultaneously building on the movements we've become familiar with and improved upon. After a few months of BLOCK training, we begin to see a foundation of strength, power, mobility, and aerobic conditioning forming with our bodies, similar to a solid and trusted block foundation of a home. In other words, this BLOCK program essentially results in "building BLOCKS" of our body's foundation.
Why start slow in week 1 of each BLOCK? At the onset of each BLOCK, many of the movements that are programmed are challenging (and in some cases foreign) to us. Therefore, the first week is often seen as an introduction phase, where we get accustomed to the names of the movements, their description, rep and set ranges, the related videos in the ALLTRAIN Movement Library, what other movements are to be performed in a group, and of course actually performing these new movements. As we enter into the second and third weeks’ of each BLOCK, we are more familiar with the movements and our bodies are also adapting to the stressors, which allows us to work harder without a high risk of injury.
When should BLOCK Training be performed? The ALLTRAIN BLOCK Training program is generally designed for three days of Stimulus training each week (ideally either on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday, or a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday), and two additional days of General Conditioning (often called "cardio" or "aerobic" training). As an example, if you are performing a Monday/Wednesday/Friday split, General Conditioning could be done on Tuesday and Thursday. Weekends in this scenario would be a nice time to recover from the BLOCK demands, but still live an active lifestyle by doing things such as a local trek, recreational activities, or physical maintenance in the house or out in the yard.
How to interpret BLOCK Training, Part 1? The ALLTRAIN BLOCK Training program is divided into four major sections: Movement Prep, Stimulus, General Conditioning, and Recovery. We will discuss these sections in more detail below, but essentially the Movement Prep and Recovery will be your "go to" whether you are training a Stimulus Day, or simply a General Conditioning Day. Put another way, you will begin with your Movement Prep and end with your Recovery each day you train.
Movement Prep: Where we start to get the body primed for action, and may include myofascial work, ground based mobility, muscle activation, dynamic mobility, and low level skips, jumps, etc. Movement Prep remains the same throughout the entire BLOCK, where it becomes very familiar, and thus much more likely to be adhered to.
Stimulus: The "meat and potatoes" so to speak, where the bulk of our time of the session will be spent, with movements aimed at improving strength, power, function, and aerobic as well as anaerobic capacity. There are three separate Stimulus programmed during the week, generally performed on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday or a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday split.
Recovery: Generally 4-8 minutes of static or light flow stretching that provides an environment to calm down the CNS (Central Nervous System), an opportunity to increase flexibility further, and time to reflect on our accomplishments of our training as well as our peace of mind and well being.
General Conditioning: Most often recognized as "cardio" or 'aerobic" training, General Conditioning is programmed to help improve aerobic capacity, metabolic rate, and overall health. General Conditioning is scheduled to bridge the gap of the Stimulus days, such as a Tuesday and Thursday (if performing Stimulus on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday), and may be a 18-minute ride on a stationary bike at 65-70% of your APMHR (Age Predicted Max Heart Rate), or a 25-minute walk outside at 60-65% of your APMHR. Of course, weekends do not mean we live a sedentary lifestyle, as we should be recreational during the weekend as well.
How to interpret BLOCK Training, Part 2? The letters and numbers associated with each movement are easy peasy to grasp! Let's start with Movement Prep and the A series.
Simply perform A1) Quadruped Cat/Cow for 6 reps, then proceed to A2) Quadruped Thread the Needle for 6 reps each side, then to A3) Quadruped Bird Dog for 6 reps each side, and so on thru A8) Crawl, Bear for 15 yards. When we proceed to the A9.1) thru A9.4), you simply perform 1 set each of A9.1) Skip-Ankle, Forward, Low Level for 15yd, A9.2) Skip-Ankle, Backwards, Low Level for 15yd, A9.3) Skip-A Forward, Low Level for 15yd, and A9.4) Frog Jumps, Low Level for 15yd. Then perform a second set of each movement in this series, for the 2x indicates it's 2 sets of each.
Now let's move onto the B series, using Week 1 as an example. You'll see the number of sets and reps under the week column programmed for that week. In this scenario, it's 3 sets (i.e., 3x) of each of the three movements in the B series. Therefore, you'll perform B1) Squat, Body Weight, 5s Ecc. for 8 reps, B2) KB Good Morning for 10 reps, and B3) Broad Jump, 25% for 4 reps. You'll then take a short break and flow through these three movements a second time, and then finally a third time. After this is completed, you would move on to a "C" series and so on if they are programmed.
Video Access to BLOCK Training movements. Remember all movements that have been programmed have a video associated for reference on the ALLTRAIN LLC website: [Click Here to View]. It's always a good idea to review all of your movements prior to the start of new BLOCK in order to familiarize yourself with them. And of course you’ll want to be able to reference back to these videos throughout the BLOCK.
Does BLOCK Training take effort? Absolutely! Not only does this program take physical effort, it also requires some mental due diligence on your part in taking the time to learn how to navigate this BLOCK Training program in advance, to ensure long term success. And there will also likely be a small financial investment (either by investing in a gym membership or a small home equipment package...and no excuses here, cut down on the cell phone plan, the cable plan, or the dining out and you'll easily cover the fees). A few dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, a foam roller, and a couple of weighted plates are going to be a must. ALLTRAIN is not going to try and fool you with "we'll design a program where only your body weight is needed." Sure we could do that, but guess what-life can get “heavy'' at times, where external objects need to be lifted and placed, so we will design our training for ALLTERRAINS of life.
BLOCK Training in Closing. The ALLTRAIN BLOCK training might seem daunting at first. However, with proper planning, preparation, and conviction, you can be done with the false promises of so many infomercials, high intensity fitness programs, and run of the mill fitness center franchises. And in turn, finally embrace a strategic, safe, and sustainable training program that will help lead you to a leaner, healthier, higher performing body FOR LIFE!
WEEK 5 QUIZ:
1.) What are the four major sections of the BLOCK training program?
a) Movement Prep, Stimulus, General Conditioning, Recovery
b) Movement Prep, Stimulus, Long distance running, hot yoga
c) Spinning, Running, Biking, Swimming
d) None of the above
2) The videos to all movements in the BLOCK training are found?
a) on the ALLTRAIN Facebook
b) on the ALLTRAIN Instagram
c) on the ALLTRAIN LLC website
d) all of the above
3) The Stimulus portion of the BLOCK is designed to be followed how many days per week?
a) 2 days per week
b) 3 days per week
c) 4 days per week
d) 5 days per week
4. The letters and numbers associated with each movement help indicate movements that should be performed together (or in order)?
Once you've taken the quiz, click here to see how you did.