T Nation

Tier Training Log

There are a bunch of training logs up here but there are none that are based on Joe Kenn’s Tier System.

Big Martin has spoken very highly of this method and uses it with different types of athletes.

I use this system with an influence from the Westside method and some other things, including BM’s suggestions that I have picked up along the way.

I use it to train for rugby. My goals are to build and keep a solid base of muscle mass for injury prevention and to increase my strength. I work on my speed and conditioning in my practices which are (right now anyways - summer rugby) twice per week with a game on the weekend. Depending on how I feel I will add some speed work or conditioning when I can, which I will post here as well. As for the practices they are usually a bunch of drills involving ball work, running and hitting. Aside from the drills which are very demanding in themselves we do about two 10-15 minute bouts of fitness during practice that are usually sprints with some sort of and GPP exercises in a circuit.

So let me know what you think and I hope people are interested in this.


i would love to see this…i am very interested in this…the thing that i love about the tier is that there are so many thing an athlete or a coach can do with it…i would love to see yours and learn from the things your doing…bm

Monday, May 10, 2004

A1) Swiss Ball Knee Tucks 4 x 15
A2) Shrugs 4 x 15 @ 185lbs
A3) Back ext GH Raises 4 x 10
B1) Med ball soccer throws to ground 3 x 15
B2) Lunge Jumps 3 x 15
B3) L-lateral raises to ext rotation 3 x 10 @ 15lbs

Deadlift off 4 inch box 3 @ 275, 3 @ 295, 3 @ 315, straps 3 @ 335, 3@ 355, 3 @ 375
Good Mornings 5 x 5 @ 185lbs
Incline Press 4 x 5 @ 205lbs

Pull-ups 2 x 8
Neautral Grip DB Press 2 x 10 @ 75lbs

Hammer Curls 2 x 15 @ 35lbs
Bent over raises 2 x 12 @ 20lbs


Looks good…It is always nice to see what other people are doing.

Had practice tonight.

Wasn’t a typical practice, it seemed the coaches really hadn’t planned anything so we just ran most of the time.

We did about 1 hour of fitness out of the 1:45 practice.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

A1) Med Ball Side throws 4 x 10
A2) Burpees 4 x 15
A3) Single Leg Ham Balls Curls 4 x 8

B1) Leg Raises 3 x 20
B2) Body Rows 3 x 15
B3) Back Extensions 3 x 15

Step-ups 2 x 3 @ 185, 4 x 3 @ 205lbs
Pin Press 5 @ 185lbs, 4 x 5 @ 205lbs ? pins set so elbows are about 1 inch below bench, start on pins, rest on pins btw reps
Hang Clean 4 x 5 @ 176lbs

Cut out the rest of my accessory stuff, practice was draining yesterday and I can?t control how hard that was so I reduced my volume for today

Practice tonight.

Wasn’t as tough as tuesday but had wuite a bit of fitness and it was hot here today so that payed a bit of a toll.

Thinking about going to a bit of a more upper/lower split going three sessions a week if I feel this run down again next week. Might need the extra recovery time.

First game is on Saturday so we’ll see how the trianing will pay off. I’m expecting some solid hits, hard running, and better acceleration.


Where could I get more info on the Tier system as well as the Westside?

Read this article for info on the Tier system:


And Read this thread:

For info on the Westside Method read the articles called “The Eight Keys” and “Periodization Bible Part 1 & 2” both by Dave Tate and both here on Tmag. For additional info go to elitefts.com and read the articles and go through the Q&A.


Didn’t train today cause I feel kinda run down.

I need to rethink my training right now, the fact that I don’t plan my conditioning sessions (practice) kinda screws me up.

What I’m thinking is one of the following:

A reduced Tier System using the total body workouts.


What I’m favoring right now is an upper and lower/total split. My legs get a bit of a beating at practice so I kinda need to cut back on this stuff a bit. Also this will enable me to keep up with my upper back/shoulder work to keep them strong and injury free for the rugby season. Additionally this will give me a chance to maybe do a little conditioning at the end of some of my upper workouts.

At this point for me the added strength helps as it improves my speed and hitting, but its not my strength that will give me the biggest payoff in games right now. I feel that I’m at the point where I can focus a bit more on conditioning and continue with strength work as well in order to improve as an athlete.


so your in-season right now??..this tier program your using is a offseason program…for inseason what i do is have 1 tier work out a week full body based of a athletes weakness…and then the day after a game do a circuit training workout consiting of the rep method…this work out is a very basic circuit training session of high reps for the entire obdy using low intensity movements using around your 15-20 rep max but you only do between 8-12 reps…it fells the enite body with blood helps recovery and actually i have found it give the athletes nenergy for the up coming week and games…bm


Let me kinda clarify this.

I play rugby in Ontario, Canada. My main focus is our University season which runs from September to November and this is very demanding. 5 practices epr week higher intensity, etc. But right now I’m playing summer club rugby which is only two practices per week.

So my goal during the summer is to practice my skills and get into games but also get as much trianing in to be fit to play in the fall.

So basically I’m reluctant to go to a system as you suggested BM. Any other thoughts?

Jordan- If i was you then i would go ahead and keep the training program as is…just let you body tell you when to back off…right now going to into a overtrained state is not such a bad thing…it will allow you to raise your work capacity way beyond that off any one else in your league come fall…your work capacity should begin to come up to a high state around week 3 and it will become much much easier…just pick movements of low intensity on the days you feel run down…bm

Played my first game today and was kinda chippy, so it wasn’t that tough fitness wise. But when it was rucking and mualing I noticed that my new found strength has helped me.

I will probably take BM’s advice and flirt with a slightly overtrained trait and closely monitor it bit I am really looking for a way to put more running ointo my program.

Monday, May 17, 2004

A1) Single leg twisting swiss Ball Knee Tucks 4 x 8
A2) Back ext GH Raises 4 x 10
A3) Shoulder Pendulum swings forward-back, L-R, clockwise, counterclockwise
B1) Swiss Ball Sit-ups 3 x 20 @ 30lbs
B2) Lunge Jumps 3 x 15
B3) L-lateral raises to ext rotation 3 x 10 @ 15lbs

Deadlift off 4 inch box 3 @ 275, 3 @ 295, 3 @ 315, straps 3 @ 345, 3@ 365, 3 @ 385
Good Mornings 5 x 5 @ 185lbs

Bent Over Raises 3 x 15 @ 20lbs
DB Extensions 3 x 9 @ 35lbs

Banged up my shoulder a bit in my game on Saturday so I stayed away from some stuff, it hurt a bit during the workout but nothing major. It has gotten a lot better since Saturday so I?ll see how it goes this week.


Tuesday, May 18

Practice tonight.

Lots of running as usual. Starting to feel quite a bit fitter.

Shoulder is coming along but will probably take the rest of the week.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

A1) Med Ball Side throws 4 x 10
A2) Burpees 4 x 15
A3) Single Leg Ham Balls Curls 4 x 8

B1) Leg Raises 3 x 20
B2) Body Rows 3 x 15
B3) Back Extensions 3 x 15

Step-ups 6 x 3 @ 185 ? didn?t want to go up in weight cause having the bar on my shoulder kinda bothered it.

DB Shrugs 5 x 12 @ 80lbs

Did some mobility work on my hips cause they?re starting to act up a bit.

My shoulder is still being a bitch. Pretty sure it?s my rotator cuff cause it?s fine on flexion and abduction, but hurts in the last half of external rotation.


Friday, May 21, 2004

Shoulder circuit x 2

Bench Press 3 x 15 @ 135lbs
DB Rows 5 x 10 @ 65lbs
A1) Tate Presses 3 x 12 @ 30lbs
A2) Bent Over raises 3 x 12 @ 20lbs
Hammer Curls 3 x 10 @ 40lbs

As you can see this week has been messed up, but I am going to make some changes for the future as well. I will post something explaining all of this.


I’ve been rethinking my training and I think I will change it for a few reasons. For one I alwyas like to do different things and rotate my methods a bit, I’m getting a bit tired of the total body workouts so i’ll go to and upper/lower split. I will continue to train 3 days per week. I will use a basic Westside template but will modify it so it looks like this.

ME Lower

1)Work to max 1, 3 or 5 in a squat, deadlift, GM or olympic lift.
2)Single Leg Work - step-ups, bulgarian squats, single leg squats, reverse lunges, lunges. With these may go with heavy sets of 5 or go a bit higher, depends on how the rest of my workout looks.
3) P-chain - GH raises, back extensions, pull throughs, single leg swiss ball leg curls, RDL’s. Will do 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps usually.
4) Abs - full contact twists, pulldown abs, side bands, straight leg sit-ups, leg raises, med ball throws. 3-5 sets of 6-20 reps.

Will add in some upper back work in between sets.

ME Upper

  1. Work up to a max 1, 3, 5 in a board press, floor press, incline, etc. Occasionally I might put a chin/pull-ups in place of this.
  2. Vertical pulling - chin/pull-ups 5 sets of 5-10
  3. A DB Press of some sort. 3-5 sets.
  4. A bi/tri superset of some sort.

Work some shoulder work in this day too, most likely in a circuit at the start.

Will finish this day with some running and GPP exercises for conditioning.

DE Lower

  1. Box Squats or and Oly lift. 10 sets of 2.
  2. Single Leg work. Higher reps than ME day
  3. P-chain
  4. Abs

Upper back work mixed in

DE Upper

  1. Speed bench 10 x 3
  2. Heavy Rows 5 x 6-8
  3. DB Press of some sort
  4. A circuit of some upper back and triceps work

Finish up with some conditioning.

I will just rotate all these workouts through going three times per week. This enables me to get a bit more conditioning in and try something different for a bit cause I have been doing the Tier thing for about 5 months now. I will keep adding in upper back and shoulder stuff whenever I’m standing around in the gym, it helps keep me healthy plus a big back is cool.



Had Practice tonight, nothing special, just tonnes of running.

Didn’t lift yesterday, gym was closed for a holiday, total horseshit but what can you do.