Programming:Rhyme and Reason


Transformation is what we all love to see! Whether it’s a home makeover or your body, there is a definite blueprint to get there. At Parable, this is summed up in meso, macro, and micro- cycles. There will be strength cycles, skill cycles, technique cycles, and accumulation cycles that focus on specific building. For the last 5 weeks, we have been focusing on three main lifts: Snatch Deadlift, Push Press, and Front Squat (with specific tempos). In addition to these 3 lifts, you’ll see that there is a fair amount of strongman skill pieces (odd object, braced caries, loads overhead), tempo work, and of course, bulletproofing. The Macro Cycle we are currently in is called an “Accumulation” Phase. The underlying purposes of this phase is to provide (1) Capacity for Load (increasing weights), (2) Structural Balance (push vs pull imbalance corrections and unilateral vs bilateral), and (3) Joint Integrity. Think of this phase as the “reinforcing your body” phase.


There is a rhyme and a reason for these specific lifts. Let’s break it down. Two things to remember when considering the 3 lifts here:

  • “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”–take time to FEEL the positions. Own them. Master them. THEN add speed, force, intensity, and load.
  • “Practice makes myelin. Myelin makes perfect. Myelin doesn’t care who you are, it only cares what you do.”—so practice!

Snatch Deadlift—every barbell lift has a trajectory. The direction of the snatch starts with the pulling from the floor to the knee. Think of it like shooting an arrow or a gun. If your scope is off, or your posture is off just a few degrees, the entire trajectory will lead to a missed target. It’s similar with weightlifting. We want to FEEL the snatch deadlift in a few ways:

  • Root the feet so there’s a masterful PUSH into the floor
  • (2) Spread the lap so that the bar SWEEPS into the hip and BRUSHES up (we don’t want bump thrusts and horizontal barbell paths)
  • (3) Upper back needs to learn how to ENGAGE and hold its position. This is often the difference between hitting the bar too early on the leg and hitting the “sweet spot.”

Push Press—we are adding 33% power onto your strict press, with just the shallow dip down (3-6”) and snappy hip (triple extension that DEMANDS full glute squeeze). The push press is one of the best developers of both strength and power. You’ll see exercises like a “tall box jump” that demands full extension of hip and will carry over into every single Olympic lift, as well as kettlebell swing, GHD, etc.

Front Squat (with tempos)—time under tension allow tendons, connective tissues, and muscles to respond with a much higher rate of growth, which staves off injury and develops ownership of each spliced segment of the squat. Sticky points will show up with tempos, and this provides an opportunity to strengthen them so as to eliminate weak links in the armor now. Struggle bus at 90 degrees? Work on single leg wall sits. Struggle bus in the hole? Work on weighted duck walks. You get the point.

Bulletproofing—there is a lot that we cover in our programming, from unilateral imbalances to functional bodybuilding, and the aim is to create immense amount of tendon strength and joint integrity that the muscles then are free to grow at a healthy rate. Muscle grows faster then tendons, so often the tendons are left behind and then you’ll see things like tendonosis or tendonitis. We create a bulletproof segment for your body so that any holes that are not filled in throughout the week during class can be addressed in a concentrated dose of motion lotion. These have included isolated movements such as bicep curls for hypertrophy, complex movements such as prisoner lunges for weighted mobility and posterior chain strength, and skill development pieces such as hollow box press ups to create straight arm joint integrity.


In the next two weeks you will start to see elements of the Snatch Deadlift, Push Press, and Front Squat with tempo progressing into their more complex cousins: hang snatch, push jerk, and heavy front squats. Keep in mind, these movements take a lifetime to become virtuous in, so trust the process, keep the consistency, and commit to the virtuosity that you’ve started. Stay tuned for our next strength-skill cycle, which begins in 3 weeks: Snatch Pulls, Clean Complexes, and Strict Press with tempos.


Ye ‘Ol Coach