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Fitness Plans FAQs

What does A1, A2, B1, B2, mean?

We will use a typical multi-facet resistance training workout that would be prescribed on this Blog:

 A1. High Bar Back Squat @ 30X0, 4-6 reps x 5 sets, rest 120 sec
A2. Chest to Bar Chin-ups, AMRAP x 5 sets, rest 120 sec
B1. KBS – 2 pd, 21 reps x 4 sets, rest 30 sec
B2. Ring Dips, 21 reps x 4 sets, rest 30 sec
In this workout you move through exercise A1 at the rx’d tempo, for the rx’d reps, you then rest for the rx’d amount of time (exactly) after the set is completed. Following the rest you do exercise A2 at the rx’d tempo, for the rx’d reps, you then rest for the rx’d amount of time after the set is completed. You then proceed back to A1. This alternation continues until the rx’d number of sets are completed for each exercise. For the above, this would mean 5 sets through A1/A2, with 120 seconds rest between each set.
Once you have completed the A1/A2 series, you move to B1. You start B1, 120 seconds after your last set of A2. This style of workout can go into C1/C2, D1/D2, or A1/A2/A3/A4/A5/A6. Nothing changes, you simply following the rx’d order of exercises, the rx’d tempo, the rx’d reps, the rx’d sets.


What do some common abbreviations mean?

AD - AirDyne machine
FLR - Front Leaning Rest - plank position at the top of the push-up with scapula retracted, belly contracted towards spine, glutes active, and chin towards chest
COVP - Chin Over Vertical Plane - chin must travel over the bar to break the plane created by the pullup bar that is perpendicular to the floor
CTB - Chest To Bar - chest makes contact with the bar at or below the clavicle on every rep
EMOM - Every Minute On the Minute - perform the work, and rest until the top of the next minute
TnG - Touch and Go - no pause between or during reps
STO or S2O - Shoulder to Overhead
OHS - Overhead Squat
UB - unbroken - completed in a single set. depending on the movement, there may be pause between reps in an appropriate resting position, for example, front rack position or hanging from the bar.
BWT or BW - bodyweight
CCP - Coaching Certification Program
GHD - Glute-Ham Developer machine
KB - kettlebell
DB - dumbbell
AMRAP  - as many reps/rounds as possible during the specified timeframe or set.  this may be written as AMRAP (-x) for a set, indicating to go x reps short of failure for that set.
AFAP - As Fast As Possible
HSPU - Handstand Pushup, performed with feet against a wall
MU - Muscle-up on rings
DU - Double Under - jump rope passes under the feet twice with each jump
PC - Power Clean
PS - Power Snatch
PJ - Push Jerk
SJ - Split Jerk
HBBS - High Bar Back Squat - Barbell rests on top of the traps, as opposed to the Low Bar Back Squat, in which the barbell rests on the rear delts
Deficit - add additional range of motion to the movement
Man Maker - With DBs in hands, drop into a push up on the DBs, push into the top of push up position, and perform a 1 arm row per hand where the elbow travels much higher than the back.  Then pull legs in and perform a squat clean thruster with DBs to complete one rep.


What the hell does 50X0 mean?

It signifies a certain tempo. There are many examples like this – 21X0/1010/5010/etc. You simply have to take the exercise and correlate the timing (i.e. the numbers – 30X0) to it.
For example, if a bench press or back squat is rx’d at 30X0, it means that from the top of the movement, you should take 3 seconds (1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, etc.) to reach the end point of the exercise (bar to chest in the bench press or full depth for the squat). So, the first number signifies the lowering portion of ANY exercise. 
The second number signifies if there is any PAUSE in the bottom position. Because this example says 0, it means that it is simply 3 seconds down, 0 pause, and then back up. If the tempo was 31X0, then you would have to pause for 1 second at the bottom of the movement. If it was 32X0, then you would have to pause for 2 seconds, and so on.
The third number signifies the time in which to raise the load. When it says “X” as the third number, it means to accelerate the load as fast as possible – regardless of how fast the weight is actually moving; intention to accelerate is most important. If the number is 2020, as sometimes rx’d for GHD sit-ups or back extensions, then you have to take 2 seconds to lower fully, 0 pause in the full stretch position, then take 2 seconds to come back to the top (you are capable of going faster, but that is not what is being asked, so follow the numbers), with 0 sec rest before going into the next rep.
There is also a case when you could be asked to do a 3010 tempo - on the bench press for example (because it is simple). When it says 3010, the third number is critical, because it means that for whatever the rep range is, you MUST take the rx’d time to raise the load, which would be 1 second in this example. This type of tempo does not allow for maximal efforts within sets, as you HAVE TO MAINTAIN a certain cadence for the reps.
The last number, as you may have guessed, signifies any pause at the top of the movement. If it says 30X1 for a weighted chin-up (or pull-up, same thing), then you have to hold your chin over the bar for one second before lowering for 3 seconds to full arm extension.
Also, you have to LEARN to read the number, then apply it to the given exercise. Chin-ups, for example, are a special case - there are other examples as well (i.e. deadlift). Chin-ups begin with the raising portion first, not like a back squat or bench press. So, if the tempo is 30X0, the first thing you look for is NOT the 3 second prescription, but the X, meaning that you begin with the third number for this exercise, not the first one.

Why do we Rx Tempos?

We do it dependent on what the Coach wants the training response to be from the workout. It is done to control intensity, overload certain areas of a movement/body part, improve technique on movements, ease the load on the joints, variability, transfer to sport (i.e. back squat - 1,1,1,1,1 is MUCH different than high bar back squat @ 40X1 - 2-3 reps x 5 sets...and side note, endurance on the squat at that tempo is one thing that WILL take an athlete to another level as it carries over to so many things.)