How to Read Programs


  • Programs consist of a variety of workouts.
  • Types of workouts include Total Body, Lower Body, Upper Body, Circuits, and Conditioning.
  • Workouts are 60-90 minutes including warmup and cool down (scaleable to suit your timeframe).
  • Exercises within a workout have a specified number of set and reps.
  • Sets x Reps: Sets refer to the number of rounds (the number of times you’ll repeat an exercise). Reps refer to the number of repetitions for that exercise. e.g. 3x8 means 3 sets for 8 reps.
  • Warmup sets don’t count as a set.
  • Exercises are grouped into blocks.
  • Perform all exercises in a block, back to back. Complete for all sets before moving on to the next block.
  • Blocks A-C are most important.
  • Extra blocks are optional and consist of bodybuilding and finishers.
  • If an exercise has a left/right component, the reps usually mean per side (e.g. Split Squat 3x8 means you’d do 8 reps on one leg, then 8 reps on the other leg).
  • Some exercises may be abbreviated (e.g. DB for dumbbell, BB for barbell, KB for kettlebell, MB for medicine ball, etc.).


A program is a series of workouts designed for a specific outcome. Workouts that are part of a program fit together like pieces of the same puzzle.

Program Structure

Our typical program features:

  • Up to 5 different workouts
  • Repeated for 4 weeks
  • Progressions built in every week

Program Phases

Our training programs have 3 phases. Each phase is 4 weeks long in which we focus on certain variables. This gives our athletes a balance of strength and a high capacity for work (aka work capacity).

  • Volume - More reps.
  • Load - More weight.
  • Density - More work in less time.

Types of Workouts

Within programs are workouts. Our programs consist of these types of workouts:

  • Total Body/Lower Body - Most effective workouts because they cover every muscle group.
  • Upper Body - Let them legs rest.
  • Circuits - Primarily aerobic and muscular endurance.
  • Conditioning - Relative to your sport or lifestyle.

More about programs later.

Workout Structure

Each workout has a certain structure and a way of reading the workout. Stick with us, it will all make sense by the end.

  • All workouts start with a warmup (5-15 minutes).
  • Most of our workouts are 60-90 minutes including warmup and cool down.
  • Exercises are grouped into sets called blocks (aka supersets, trisets, circuits, etc.)
  • Each exercise has an assigned number of sets and reps and sometimes the load and rest period.
  • Cool down after a workout by foam rolling and stretching (less than 5 minutes, but as long as you want).


  • Blocks can have single exercises or a group of exercises.
  • You don’t need to complete every block.
  • Blocks are listed in order of most important to least important.
  • The goal is to get thru Blocks A-C.
  • Blocks A-C typically cover power, strength, mobility, and core. As long as you get thru these blocks, you’ll receive the full benefit.
  • Exercises that are grouped together in a block are performed like a circuit; you’ll do one set of each exercise back to back then rest and repeat for the specified number of sets before moving on to the next block (explained more in the sample workout below). For example, if Block A has 3 exercises (called a triset), you would do all 3 exercises for 1 set then start back over with the first exercise. We are over explaining this because a common mistake is for people to do all of the sets for a single exercise, which is ok, but not optimal.

Extra Blocks

Extra blocks (D and above) allow you to do more work if you want. Extra blocks consist primarily of bodybuilding (isolating muscles) and finishers. They are completely optional. These are for people who want to train to max, have time for longer workouts, or are just fast exercisers. They also give you more exercises to choose from in the event you had to skip exercises.


Done at the end of a workout.

  • Core - Abs and functional core training, but mostly abs.
  • Conditioning - Endurance exercises to challenge the aerobic system.
  • Bodybuilding - Make muscles sizzle a little extra, mostly for arms.

How to Read Workouts

Sets x Reps

  • Exercises are listed as sets x reps (repetitions). For example, 3x8 means you’ll do 3 sets for 8 reps of that exercise.
  • If you see something like 8-8-6-6, that would mean do 8 reps for set 1, 8 reps for set 2, 6 reps for set 3, and 6 reps for set 4.
  • If an exercise has a left/right component, the reps usually mean per side (e.g. Split Squat 3x8 means you’d do 8 reps on one leg, then 8 reps on the other leg). Sometimes it might say per side or appear like 3x8e (each). If not sure, do what makes the most sense to you.
  • Warmup sets don’t count as a set. Sorry.
  • Sets listed like 30:30 is a work to rest ratio (i.e. work 30s:rest 30s).

Sample Workout

In the sample workout shown, Block A, you would do a Box Jump for 8 reps, followed by a Bird Dog for 5 reps per side, then rest as needed (if not specified), and repeat until you’ve completed 3 sets total of both exercises before moving on to Block B.


Note about Online Workouts: Some of our programs and workouts have both online and printed versions (PDF) available. On our website, weekly progressions are listed for each exercise (e.g. Push Ups 3x8 / 3x10 / 3x12 / 3x15 with Week 1 is 3x8, Week 2 is 3x10, and so on). If no additional weeks are listed, it stays the same for all 4 weeks (e.g. Lat Stretch 3x30s would stay the same for every workout).

Load and Rest

  • Load is the amount of resistance (e.g. weights). Very important.
  • Rest is self explanatory. Don’t overthink this one, just rest as needed.

Load and Rest are covered in-depth in the Workload lesson.

Exercise Key

We try to limit exercise abbreviations, but some abbreviations you may see:

  • BB = Barbell
  • DB = Dumbbell (2DB means two dumbbells)
  • TB = Trapbar (aka Hexbar)
  • KB = Kettlebell (2KB means two kettlebells)
  • MB = Medicine Ball
  • SB = Stability Ball
  • SA = Single Arm
  • SL = Single Leg
  • OH = Overhead
  • WG = Wide Grip
  • RG = Reverse Grip (underhand grip)
  • NG = Neutral Grip (palms facing each other)
  • AMRAP = As many reps as possible
  • BW = Bodyweight
  • BOR = Bent Over Row
  • RFE = Rear Foot Elevated
  • RDL = Romanian Deadlift
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