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The Titan Challenge- part 2

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by , 02-07-2009 at 08:31 PM (6014 Views)
Brett Jones, Mark Cheng, and Gray Cook have further divided the getup into seven steps: 1. Roll to Press, 2. Press to Elbow, 3. Elbow to Post, 4. Post to High Pelvis, 5. High Pelvis to Bend, 6. Knee to Half-Kneeling, and 7. Half Kneeling to Stand. I think this is a very good idea and better than my break down. It might seem senseless to break the initial halfup into three different steps, but I have stand by it. When you try jumping right into the halfup with your bodyweight, try to tell me that it's a bad idea to break it into three different steps. Now we have solidly defined steps.

To implement it into training, simply work it as ratchet ladders. I prefer this to 1,2,3,4,5 as it helps manage cumulative fatigue as you do not spend as much energy on steps you have already mastered and I really don't feel like doing a seven rung ladder. What's a ratchet ladder? It is a three rung ladder that progresses two steps forward and one step back. So it begins as 1,2,3. Then 2,3,4. If you work 1,2,3, there is no real point in repeating 1 as it is the start of every rep for the rest of your training and will have more that it's share of work. The next step is 3,4,5. Then on to 4,5,6, and finally 5,6,7. This is the ceiling ratchet.

I ran my idea by Senior RKC David Whitley and he mentioned a drill he uses in his bootcamps called ratchets. When one performs a getup, they will go through the sticking points multiple times in the same repetition. Inspired by this, I found an answer to a question that had been bothering me. Is it better to use standard ladders or reverse ladders? My answer: Yes. Now you can go up a standard ladder (stages) while climbing a reverse ladder (repetitions). On a given So 1,2,3 will mean 1=roll to press x 3 reps, repeat with the other arm, 2=press to elbow x 2 reps, and 3=elbow to post x 1 rep. Now we have a means of super-charging your high volume training.

My view of strength training was changed when I read Kenneth Jay's article Training for Maximal Strength with Russian Kettlebells. His article explained why volume should be the cornerstone of your training, encouraging as many as 200 presses in a given workout. He also explained that it is only half of the training equation. You must also train with weights close to your limit. The body must be exposed to a heavy weight if you want to lift it. Pavel explained why this is in detail in Power to the People, devoting an entire page to it. So, guess what. I'm going to be a jerk and make you check it because I don't feel like typing it. It's kind of like what Peter Griffin said: "Is says so in the Bible. Where? I don't know because the Bible's really long and I don't like to read!" Just trust me. It is highly recommended to perform your getups for high volume on one day and heavy, low rep (1-3) sets on the other.

Casey "Oldboy" Campbell made a chart to make it easier to tell what weights to use on your volume days and what to use on your intensity days.
48kg - 32kg
40kg - 24kg
36kg - 20kg or 24kg
32kg - 20kg
28kg - 16kg or 20kg
24kg - 16kg
20kg - 12kg
16kg - 8kg or 12kg
12kg - 8kg

Standing on the Shoulders of Ice Giants

For your swings, I had initially thought it would be a good idea to use ladders. But after consulting with Kenneth Jay I had to reconsider. He said that during a swing "there is not enough movement of the upper body. The muscles of the upper body do not have a dynamic contract-relax-contract sequence hence the muscle blood perfusion is limited which has a negative impact on VO2. The difference between swings and snatches are not huge though and if you for some reason can't snatch then swings are a good substitute. On the other hand if you won't snatch then the gods of the high north might not be so forgiving....."

This gave me an established protocol to base integrate into my training. Simply train the VO2Max protocol with the swings. Progress through all five protocols. Your first goal is 80 sets of 15:15. Then 35 sets of the 36:36 protocol. The MVO2 BOOST, LaT, and MSLaP protocol have yet to be released. Buy Viking Warrior Conditioning when it is released. In the meantime, work on the first two protocols.

Why not just perform snatches from the get-go? For the same reason that the VO2Max protocol is taught at the Level Two RKC instead of the Level One RKC: beginners suck at snatches. When people still haven't mastered the swing, their snatches look like hell. As Kenneth said in the previous statement, swings are not ideal for training one's VO2Max. But the "difference between swings and snatches are not huge though and if you for some reason can't snatch then swings are a good substitute." So as to not incur the gods of the North's wrath, you will snatch when you have mastered the swing. But not until then.

Putting it All Together

When you put it all together, you have a brutal and straight-forward program. Week one looks like this for someone using the Beast on their intensity days and 32kg on their volume.
Monday: 48kg getup-3 x (roll to press x 3)
Tuesday: VO2 Max swings
Wednesday: stretch
Thursday: 32kg getup-3 x (roll to press x 5, press to elbow x 4, elbow to post x 3)
Friday: VO2Max swings
Saturday: stretch

Add one series of getup per week until you hit seven series. Then cycle back to three series and progress to the next ratchet sequence. Repeat this for months or even years. For example:

Monday: 48kg getup-3 x (press to elbow x 3)
Tuesday: VO2 Max swings
Wednesday: stretch
Thursday: 32kg getup-3 x (press to elbow x 5, elbow to post x 4, post to thigh pelvis x 3)
Friday: VO2Max swings
Saturday: stretch


These are two goals that will not be something you can do overnight. It will take a lot of practice and a lot of time...exactly what you need in order to become master of these movements. When you have achieved this title, there is no robbing you of it. You have earned it. The movements will have become reflexive, as natural to you as breathing. You will be on your way to becoming a true Titan.

Updated 04-07-2009 at 10:59 AM by Josef



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