Sample Game Plan for Vastly Different Dual-Track Programs
Written by Kirsten Ahrendt
I coached a dual-track class recently that had snatches programmed for the Performance track and Turkish get-ups programmed for the Fitness track. Dual-track classes allow us to offer greater variety in fitness options for our membership base. However, they require thoughtful and consistent communication from coaches to aid clients in understanding the purpose and intended stimulus of each track.
Here’s where my mind went in making a game plan for balancing the timeline and technical needs of that day of two vastly different movements for members to choose from and for which coaches to create a unified group warm-up for.
A) Can I find any similarities in the movement patterns, muscles, or joints between the two programs?
B) Can I effectively use movements from the fitness track to physically prepare as well as teach in the warm-up (pull double duty).
C) How many people will likely want to perform the Fitness VS Performance track (*caveat: is this because they actively want snatches or because they don’t understand the TGU)? If the latter, how can I educate what movement might best align with their goals?
D) What am I excited about teaching and instructing?
Digging Deeper into the Plan
I love when TGU is paired with a press day or a snatch day in Performance. This is an oversimplification, but the TGU and snatch have a lot of overlap in muscle, joint, and skill demands. Both take weight from the ground to overhead. Both require balance, coordination, skill and understanding of positioning of weight in relation to the body. Both require overhead prep and shoulder/thoracic mobility, as well as utilize lower body posterior strength.
B) Using Fitness movements in the warm-up
In the past for TGU day, I have done a 5-minute general prep alternating between various crawls, carries and lunges, then moved immediately into teaching/drilling the TGU as the next phase of the warm-up. This particular session, I incorporated ab intervals with mobility prep instead to prepare for Part B.
How I teach Turkish Get-Ups
– Visually demo 1 complete rep.
– Lead people through 1-2 reps with 2-3-second pauses at every “stop/transition” of the TGU.
– roll to the shoulder > up to forearm > up to hand > side bridge > 3-point tripod > bottom of OH lunge > top of OH lunge >all reversed.
At this point, depending on what else is programmed, we might all move back to some CNS prep or any last review of fitness movements. Then I break and let the members choosing the Fitness track start to gather all the equipment they need (it’s often a lot) and start to load up. During that time, I’ll take the Performance through a brief barbell prep. (Yes, I let Fitness go first > they have so much stuff they often need to gather and load up).
I think it’s important to note that a lot of members don’t understand the benefits of the TGU (or even know what it is). So I remind people (tongue in cheek) at the whiteboard brief that if they want boulder shoulders and 6-pack abs, they should learn to love the movement, which usually catches people’s attention. I might also remind them that it (or a variation of it) can be an excellent movement if you are lacking the mobility for full snatches.
D) Coaching interest
Our coaching passions are legitimate variables to consider when constructing our warm-ups. I love TGUs and train them regularly, so I get stoked when they’re programmed in class and prioritize them in warm-ups according to that. But I am likely in the minority of coaches in that regard, so I imagine my warm-up looks different from others.
Fitting it all in…
Sometimes on TGU day, I will remove the third movement (usually a core accessory) from the Fitness track (or just put it in parenthesis). Inviting people to focus on only two movements done very well, with an option instead to perform an extra round to build proficiency and more strength. So last week it was TGU + Snatch grip RDL and I made the L-sit optional or offered it as a cash-out to everyone. Members often take me up on this.
I’d love to hear other’s insights or concerns that they have as they evaluate the TGU day’s programming or with creating buy-in for the TGU.