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Old 10-15-2009, 01:17 AM   #1
Sean J Hunter
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WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

We too have been asking what a lot of people have been asking on the boards...
  • “How do I program my own WODs…?”
  • “When I have Specific goals (SPP) vs General goals (GPP) or want to program AROUND strength stuff (like CFWF or SFSB) how do I do it…?”
In regards to WOD programming something we're been doing here that's working real well for us so far is what we have cheekily coined the Kiwi Method.

The description below may get a bit technical but we found the learning curve was really only a few weeks before we started producing what we felt where some damn excellent WODs (at least a lot better then we we're producing previously).

By better I mean...
  • WODs stopped clashing with themselves
  • Created a WOD mixture that was more balanced and better focused
  • Mitigated cherry picking
  • Better allowed adequate rest for better gains (i.e. Generally only working Pecs every other day -kinda thing)

All this in regards to...
  • Our goals
  • Our current attainment of those goals
  • Need to program for these goals will still staying balanced
  • Need to program around our specific strength choices each cycle

There are no set rules, and we fiddle with the principles a lot depending on a whole bunch of things.

What we hope is that you get the concept and play with it. We are far from PT experts so constructive corrections, thoughts, improvements very very welcome. This is one of the reasons we decided to post it.

We also hope that the discussion generated helps some of our PT brothers to move forward in their own programming knowledge etc. as well as giving us better ideas for our programming. This is just the start in a road towards quality self programming.

NOTE: Now I know some of you are going to hate what we’ve done here, just chill out and go with the flow, look at the principles not the specifics. **** maybe I’m wrong, I probably am. Just take out of this what you like and throw away what you don’t.

As far as I can tell I haven’t yet read a thread that explains WOD programming well, apart from the specific CFJ article. And it still left questions (as it should).
Article found here: Theoretical Template for CF Programming

What we’re hoping is that we will get what Bulletin Boards generally are intended for…constructive thought and argument that enrich all of our goals and knowledge. It seems to us that a hell of a lot of people are asking the question. I know we were.

Honestly if you just want to slam it, shut up it doesn’t help anyone, if you think it’s completely wrong then say so and give us your version of it. If you disagree with a bit of it offer a better option. Basically what I’m saying is contribute or shut-up…can I say that?...well I just did.

Enjoy…we sure are.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:25 AM   #2
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

THE KIWI METHOD
There will be an excel document attached to the last post that helps explain a lot and you can use to start your own template

1) Select Macro / Micro Structure For The Cycle
“6 weeks on” / “1 week down” cycle
“3 days on” / “1 day off” / “2 days on” / “1 day off” styles
This is just what we’re doing.

From my understanding, it can be anywhere from 4-6 weeks cycles with 1-2 weeks off (or scaled down intensity). I don’t know all the rules here; figure out what’s best for you in light of your uniqueness and goals.

BTW: We benchmark stuff on the down week. more details discussed later.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:29 AM   #3
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

2) Select Limit Strength Lift Focuses For The Cycle

We tend to pick 4 lifts to focus on during the cycle.
  • Our 2 weakest upper body lifts
  • Our 2 weakest lower body lifts
When I say “lift” I mean 1-5RM focused stuff - Limit strength stuff…if you like.
We always try to focus our programming on ourweaknesses.

“SPREADSHEET -TAB 1” - attached
This shows the 10 core lifts and the CF-Standards in a way where you can punch in you’re current 3RM of each lift and it will graph were you’re at strength and weakness wise helping you choose what weak lifts to select for your upcoming cycle.

This generally is our “lift” schedule
M = Upper Body
T = Lower Body
W =
T = rest
F = Upper Body
S = Lower Body
S = rest

As we are currently generally around "Intermediate to intermediate+" on CF standards on most lifts we either do a linear gain program (i.e. 5 x 3 or similar) or a mild periodization (i.e. 5 x 3 wave method or similar or CFSB ramp-up method)

This depends on weather we’re hitting the wall with linear gains on that specific lift or not. Others can comment far better then I can in this area...still learning.

Educate yourself and workout what type of lift program you want to do. From what I’ve learned so far...
A) You need to do just 5 x 3 or 3 x 5 kinda thing until you stop gaining strength every time you lift
(I think starting strength is like this?...dont know.)
B) Then move into light periodization, like the 5 x 3 / 3 x 5 wave method or perhaps the CFSB ramp up wave method (I think that’s what it is….whatever.)
C) I guessing if your toping out on even these i.e. you're at "Advanced+" levels it might take something like Texas method.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:47 AM   #4
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

3) Macro Program In WODs

Next WE program in 7 x 10min (+-) WODs
Yes the number of WODs depends on your goals. This is what we do.

M = Upper Body / 1 x WOD
T = Lower Body / 1 x WOD
W = 2 x WOD
T = rest
F = Upper Body / 1 x WOD
S = Lower Body / 2 x WOD
S = rest

Saturday we have a lift AND 2 WODs as we tend to find we have more time on a Saturday, we watch out for a too-long workout though.

No longer then 1:30 hrs from warm-up to stretch down. We can’t afford to stuff around on this one, we push thru pretty quick.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:57 AM   #5
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

4) WOD Programming Overview

So this leaves us with 7 x WODs to program.
Our main goal here is to make sure they are:
  1. Well Programmed
    i.e. achieve the desired stimulus for each specific WOD and allow adequate rest to maximize gains.
    This requires a clear goal for each specific WOD (either MetCon or Stamina) and making sure there are adequate breaks between full fatigue usage of a specific movements / muscle group to allow full recovery. (i.e. leaving a day between Bench Press and Push-ups kinda thing)
  2. Balanced
    i.e. broad and rounded
    This requires a system that ensures good over all broad GPP movement selection in a way that also creates SOME focus in view of your goals and current ability in those goals. i.e. what weaknesses do you want to focus on in the coming cycle.
Just an obvious note here: Weaknesses are defined in view of your goals. I actually like Steve Lows website, the first thing he says about programming is "set some very clear broad specific goals otherwise everything else is a **** around" (paraphrased and butchered)

So we use four steps in WOD programming
  1. Base Movement Frequancy Choice – balanced and focused
  2. Base Movement Placement / Mix Choice
  3. Movement Upgrading - Variations, Progressions, Combinations
  4. WOD Specific Focus and Rep & Weight Selection
Now here’s something to think about that were going to explain better later on.

Something we have found that really works for us is we actually program the same identical WODs (kinda) for 6 weeks straight (1 cycle). There are a couple of reasons we do this and they will be explained in a bit.

But just so you know you’re really only programming 7 WODs (kinda thing) for the whole 6 weeks cycle. We just find it saves a hell of a lot of time when you’re programming just for yourself or a few buddies.

I know this seems to break some rules but bear with us and it might make sense in a bit. We’re still relatively new at this and perhaps after a few more months we can program so quickly that we can change every week, but right now we just don’t have the time. It’s a cost / benefit thing, something that we feel anecdotally is well worth it. Sure maybe it's better to mix it up always, but is it worth the time taken to program every week, especially when you're new to it.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:10 AM   #6
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

5) Base Movement Frequency Choice – Broad Balance with Focus

Let’s choose what areas we want to focus on in this cycle, while still making sure we've got a GPP balance as well.

So far we have programming 7 WODs + 4 lifts.

We generally put 3 movements into each WOD (I know the article says some should have 2 and others 3, but hey this works for us, experiment do what you like.)
(Oh and BTW read that CFJ article on programming.)

So there are 21 movements + 4 lifts

So essentially we have "Room" for 25 movements each week.

OUR first step is we list out the basic muscle groups that govern a balanced program.

WARNING: Yeah I know some of you are going to rip your nighitie at this concept. It works for us, if you don’t like it suggest a different way but otherwise just get over it.

WE work off 10 basic muscle groups
  1. Tris
  2. Front & Mid Delts
  3. Pecs
  4. Lats
  5. Posterior Chain
  6. Core
  7. Lower Back
  8. Glutes / Quads
  9. Flexors
  10. Calves

Yeah I know...“flexors”?
That’s just a little SPP for us, do what you like, you get the picture.

REFER: to TAB 2 on attached excel Spread Sheet

Next we either choose to do
1 movement per week for maintenance
2 movements per week to build
3 movements per week for a lot of build
With the core we do 2-4-6

Now I know….I know! We’re not freaking PT guys so some of you might have a better way, but hey just grab the concept here. If you have a better way explain it, believe me we want to learn and so does everyone else.

You’ll notice there is no MonoCardio in there, we personally separate the Mono out and do some split programming, that seems good for us and our SPP goals. Hell put it in if you like. Don’t be a lazy ***, make your own list in view of YOUR GPP and SPP goals.

Now on TAB 2 of the attached excel spreadsheet I’ve listed the Muscle groups vs Base Lifts / Base Movements and put in what we selected for this coming Cycle. You’ll notice it’s balanced with focus and stops us from cherry picking.

Red are areas that we are weak in, in view of our goals and yellow is stuff we are strong in view of our goals.

Remember these are just what we call “Base Lifts / Movements” Pretty much every other move you see is a Variation, progression, or combination of these Lifts / Movements. Later on you can upgrade and **** with these “Core Movements” but right now one step at a time.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:15 AM   #7
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

6) Base Movement Placement / Mix Choice

So no we have selected a balanced focused set of movements for the coming cycle. Now let’s figure out where to put them and how to mix them.

Essentially we follow two basic rules here
  • WOD mixture = 1 lower / 1 upper / 1 core
  • Allow adequate rest between selecting the same muscle group again (i.e. generally 1 day between each) i.e. we’d do Bench Press and then wait at least a day before we did Push-ups or Bench Press again…that kinda thing. We don't leave any breaks for Abs stuff obviously.

This is where it can get a little complicated but if you look on TAB 3 of the attached excel document you can see how we do it. Explanation follows.

I have left the template open at the top for you to change and use for your own ****.

Here are the steps I use to place and mix the list of balanced focused base movements we have already selected.
I) Add in Strength choices
II) Add in Base Movement frequency choices
III) Choose base movement placement

This is the complicated bit. After it is pretty easy once you’ve got a few weeks under your belt.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:22 AM   #8
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

I+II) Add in Strength choices and add in Base Movement frequency choices

I) Pick you 2 weakest upper body and your 2 weakest Lower body lifts.
Let’s say we picked
  1. Bench Press (BP)
  2. Pull-up Weighted (PLUw)
  3. Dead Lift (DL)
  4. Back Squat (BS)
You’ll see I have added those to the second Template on TAB 3


II) Next we add in our movement choices – balance with focus
Basically I copy in what we decided on in TAB 2 kinda thing – fiddle with it
Again I’ve added that in to Template 2

Remember we count a Limit Strength lift as a movement – so I greyed out those choices already leaving only 21 movements to mix into 7 WODs

Generally in the WODs themselves we try to mix a balance between High Rep Lifts (i.e. 10-15 rep DL or Squats kinda thing) and body weight movements.

Also remember again these are just the base movement choices later on we will develop each movement by selecting it's Variation, Progression, or combination movements.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:33 AM   #9
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

III) Choose Base Movement Placement

III) So now we have the Limit Strength stuff programmed in and the Movement choices programmed in.

Now we “colour-out” stuff we’ve already programmed

Basically I apply the rule that for everything but core we have to NOT use the same major muscle group the
  • Same day
  • The day before
  • The day after

Look at TEMPLATE 3 and you’ll see I’ve coloured some stuff out. Black for same day, Brown for day before or after.
I’ve also coloured in green the days off.

A bit of a note here if you split program you need to mark that in and colour stuff out. i.e. I wouldn't BJ and run distances on the same day, that might not be correct but you get the drift.

Start at Monday and pick an upper and lower and a core (Lets say BE-OHS-SU) and colour them out.
Why Black and Brown
"Brown I try to never choose, but red sometime I"....will kinda thing.

I had to fiddle with this concept for about an hour before I got the hang of it – perserver it’s now really working for me when I program and it really feels like we’re leaving enough room for proper recovery and developing balanced WODs that don’t clash with themselves.

Look at Template C to see to outcomes

This can get a little messy and again just fiddle with it for a bit. It may seem a little highfalutin but it gave us three benefits as a newbe to this kinda programming
  1. Stopped us cherry picking
  2. Stopped lousy WODs that didn’t work
  3. Allowed adequate area specific rest to maximize gains
  4. Provided a logical way to develop a balanced yet focused movement mix
  5. Provided a structure to critque and learn

And honestly after an hour of fiddling I got the hang of it.

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 10-15-2009 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:42 AM   #10
Sean J Hunter
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Re: WOD programming - “THE KIWI METHOD”

7) Movement Upgrading

Now you can start to mess with the actual exercises themselves.
TAB 4 in the excel doc has the various Variations, Progressions, or Combinations of movements out there. There are some that need to be added in but you get the point.

WE don’t do a lot of combinations, but if there happens to be lets say Squats and Shoulder press or Ammo press in the same WOD, we might turn it into a thrusters…you get the idea.
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