Tier Question ( Big Martin, Silverback??? )

I’ve been “playing” with the Tier system lately and just ordered the “Coach’s Strength Training Playbook” by Kenn to gain more knowledge about it. Should get my copy next week…

Anyway… What do you think, instead of Total, Upper and Lower tiers, would it be ok to use tiers of Lower, Upper push and Upper pull? I plan to include oly lifts and variations in also, but as a first exercise for speed and power development. Deadlift and it’s variations would go under Lower instead of Total as in the original template. I’m trying to train for strongman and it just feels ( for me anyway ) that there’s maybe too little upper back work in the original template. I could be wrong… And that’s why I would like to hear your opinions on the subject.

In the book Kenn demonstrates how to allocate upper back work into the upper tier. I’d keep the oly stuff where it is. You could always add in back during the 10 min posterior chain segment. That’s what I generally do

Anti- The best thing about the Tier system is that it can be modified to fit your needs and coaches needs…i understand what your getting at and what i would do if i was you is do like sq600 says and add in extra upper back work like shrugs and such in the assccory work and in the post chain work…you can keep the deadlifts in the total body this way and break up the workouts depending on how many days a week you plan to train by breaking up the total body section with a oly lift daya nd a deadlift day…this way both lifts can be in the rpogram and compliment each other…i feel that adding the deadlifts into the lower body section would take away from some great lower body moves that will help in strongman like walking lunges, step ups, good mornings and various squats…all these work well in the lower body section becuase there max %'s are way off each other and they compliment the intensity…this is why the deadlift fits weell into the total body section also…bm

You can do shrugs and neck as part of your warm-up, which is what some coaches do with their football players. Check out Coach X and 62 on elitefts.com. Upper back can also be done with posterior chain work or in extra workouts.

Thanks (again)…

I would’ve had a follow up question also, but it seems that Big Martin already answered it. I had actually thought about training 4 times / week, but not the way Big Martin suggested. But Big Martin’s way is a lot better than mine…not surprisingly. Could you post an example what might the weekly schedule look like if one is training 4 times / week and splitting up the total body work like you suggested? I know you’ve written a lot about tier-system here and I’ve read it all, but I think this hasn’t come up before… I mean this “4 times a week TIER”…thingy…or whatever…

4 times a week…well i would try soemtyhing like this …a 2 body part tier per day spread out through 4 days…

day 1 monday
total body - latic acid conditioning
upper body- maximal strength

day 2 wensday
lower body - latic acid conditioning
total body - maximal strength

day 3 friday
upper body - dynamic speed
lower body - repetition method

day 4 sunday
lower body - dynamic speed
upper body - repetition method

or you could do the 3 day tiers sytems with a rep day for the lower and upper body as a 4 th day…bm


Anything I would have added, BM has covered. The kid is really good, huh? I have talked with him, and he is wise beyond his years… a well of knowledge. I am glad he lives close by, and we may have to work on some projects together.

The tier system has worked well for the kids who train under me, and just like BM, I have removed some of the MaxS work for repetition work. This is especially true for less advanced kids.

I personally go the other way, though, and remove the MaxS work from the Total body, and keep it for lower. But, this is just preference, and may even be cycled from time to time…it’s up to you.

Also like BM, I feel lactic acid training is vital for kids in sports that require grit. So this is an area I use often also in the form of finishers, or straight in the second or third tier.

That is all I have for now. Thanks BM, you have been working this forum like it was your job for a few months now. We all appreciate it.

Lil’ Coach H

I have to agree with Silverback about BM… Not only is he a great source of quality information, but motivation as well. Makes me want to learn more all the time.

Anyway… no questions at the moment, just wanted to thank everyone for responding ( for this one and all my previous questions as well ).

Big Martin,
Reading this post got me thinking…when using the tier approach with High school athletes who haven’t learned or athletes who do not o-lift, what other moves do you use for the total body tier besides the deadlift. Do you just try and teach the o-lifts, even though the form and technique might be off or do you just use different forms of the deadlift?

there yea go there is a list of all my ex pools for each bp tier…bm