T Nation

Athlete Lean Users?

For those of you running athlete lean athlete strong for bodycomp, I have a couple detail questions as I get started:

  1. Box jumps - are you jumping down off the box or stepping down? I was jumping down last night, but my left knee is popping when I bend it today.
  2. Alternatives to a rowing erg? I was thinking I’d pull a sled on a rope, hand-over-hand.
  3. Alternatives to battling ropes - any ideas? I was thinking I’d try sandbag clean-n-presses as part of that complex
  4. For day 5 and day 6, strength circuit, doing deadlifts in the same weight range (80-90%) for reps, on consecutive days - are you doing the same DL variation both days? Are you taking that 80% as an RPE, or as 80% of 1RM?
  5. Load for farmers walks and other loaded carries for time - are you all going as heavy as possible, or are you “getting the work in” with a moderate weight?
    I am guess I am still trying to figure out where to push my limits and where to be more “controlled” within this plan.

You step down. It’s a max effort jump up but you do not jump back down

That is the best possible alternative, could do rope climbs too.

Why not. It doesn’t replicate it but it keeps the spirit of the program alive

The loads are just a suggestion. Make it a fairly demanding effort, but not maximal.

As heavy as possible in good form for the prescribed distance/time

Wow, Thanks! Very helpful.

Might take the chance and ask a few questions if you don’t mind :slight_smile:

Im using the 5/2 diet for lifters alongside this program and I have my low calorie days on wednesday (sprint day) and sunday (Active recovery, Abs).

I was wondering when I should do my training on these days: Right after my first meal (30-60mins after eating), in between the first and second meal or maybe prior to the second meal ? I also take 3-4 doses of bcaa, 10g each on these days ( too much?)

As always thank you. and orchrist: sorry for using your thread for my questions ^^

For the overhead carries and farmers, do you expect that the athlete’s heart rate to get up into the anaerobic zone?

I’m guessing you are not targeting any specific heart rate on this program. But, through 10 sessions with carries, my heart rate has not gotten above ~130 (<75% of HRmax).

Prior to this year, HR training for me was grasping handles on a cardio machine out of curiosity. But from what I’m reading on EPOC, an athlete needs to get close to peak VO2 to achieve the training effect.

To get to a higher HR, would you suggest longer durations, shorter rests, more sets? I am already using BW+ for farmers, and my grip gives out before my conditioning does. Should I switch up and drag a sled?


EPOC really is overrated, especially with loaded carries… and the fact that you are handling weights make it more like strength work than cardio and adapting from strength work also boosts caloric expenditure.

Anyway, you should focus on improving performance when doing loaded carries, not reaching a certain heart rate.

Got it. Sorry for the misapplication.
I’m stronger and leaner, so I’ll go back to trusting the process.

Exactly! Don’t try to turn a hammer into a screwdriver!

Please accept my thanks for doing what you do. I’m in week 4 of this program and wow!

  1. I am at my narrowest waistline since high school, at age 42, with previously unseen veins in lots of places.
  2. I hit an all-time PR in both clean and push press
  3. I hit a deadlift triple w 2xBW, most since my PL days a decade ago.

I did make a couple adjustments to the program, mostly so I could autoregulate better. On strength lifts, instead of straight sets I did a ramp to a single heavy set at the prescribed reps, then did one or two more sets at 90%, same reps.

I also did not do the strength circuit day (I tried the first two weeks, but after 4 other lift days, I never made it past a few warm ups). But instead I made that a heavy-NEPA day, with yard work or volunteer labor projects.

I’ve been training consistently for 25years, and your programs have been, by far, the most effective stuff I’ve tried.

With all the misinformation about fitness out there, thanks for turning us toward the light!