Performance Progression Pyramid
"Checked a box yesterday. Double beast 'strict press.'"
I got this message from one of my colleagues in StrongFirst leadership the other day. It was a video of him pressing a pair of 48kg bells (AKA: the Double Beast Press).
Said he attempted this feat ~15 years ago at his level one RKC in 2007. I hit my first double beast press in 2014 and that's why I'm writing you today.
In case you're looking to build a bigger press?
Or better yet.
You're chasing your first 1/2 body weight press. Here are 4 steps you gotta take to head in the right direction.
Why build a "big" press?
- (... I put big in "" because a "big" press is relative. For one guy it's pressing the 24kg for other nailing their first 1/2 bodyweight press.)
3 quick reasons:
- The obvious reason is... who doesn't like putting something heavy overhead?
- The volume which goes into the press allows you to build life-long strength. And opens opportunities to build muscle in all the right places.
(Like: the traps, shoulders, forearms, biceps, triceps, and pecs.)
- In my opinion, next to the deadlift, it's the FIRST kettlebell exercise you should learn.
(Not the swing. I'll get into WHY another day.)
It allows you to navigate the 'Performance Progression Pyramid' (PPP)
The green represent pure strength work (the bulk of your training).
As you can see... there's a specific 'performance progression' to navigate:
- A strength stability cycle: (using one kettlebell) to build crossbody stabilization (this is your foundation).
- A strength-endurance cycle: to build your volume where you can leverage tactics like 'set pacing.' This is something working great with my private clients.
(... it also 'primes' them for muscle-building.)
- Muscle-building: With enough volume under your belt, you can start training to pack on muscle to:
[+] Support your metabolism.
[+] Possess more capable body.
[+] Build a wide base for maximum strength.
[+] ... and Look like you workout 😉
- Maximum strength: Here's where the magic happens and you get to leverage the muscle you built in the previous cycle.
It's also a cycle where you get to double the load (and your results) with two kettlebells.
- Power Endurance: The last phase is power training. It's where you gain access to "the long cycle clean and press" (LCCP). Cycling one clean in between each press. Most people [unknowingly] start here: swings, snatches, etc.
It's kinda like... sprinting the track before you've got your walking and jogging miles in first.
Can you see why this is essential?
And how you could possibly shoot yourself in the foot by training backwards?
Once you understand the Performance Progression Pyramid...
... you can start building a BIG press (or whatever fitness goal you have).
4 steps to a BIGGER Press
[Step 1: Follow a “Accumulation Cycle” (AC)]
Build your volume and strength base across the PPP.
Linear overloading is a common tactic for AC and works well for beginners in their first 6-12 months of kettlebell pressing.
- (Linear Loading: adding volume [and weight] to your previous week’s numbers.)
It's why you can go from pressing a 16-32kg in about a year on a program which focuses on weekly linear progress.
But here's where the problem lies.
You can’t keep adding weight and volume for the rest of your "pressing career." Nor can you remain in one particular stage of the PPP for too long.
Once you've squeezed all the juice from your newbie gains... you eventually smash into the wall of diminished returns.
Which leads me to...
[Step 2: Volume Distribution]
It's defcon 9 critical you distribute your volume of the accumulation cycle across the following intensity zones:
and 91-100% zones.
Depending on the bells you have available.
Average intensity should range between 67-77% and 75-81%
This is important to understand because... when you get this right you come back fresh and stronger from the previous session.
[Step 3: Peak Cycle]
After 4 to 8 weeks of accumulation, run a 4 week peak cycle to boost/test your strength. The key thing in this cycle is to make sure your avg. intensity from the previous cycle increases by 1-5%.
Anything more or less and can comprise your results.
[Step 4: "Transition/'Synergy' Phase".]
Essential for recovery, clean up asymmetries, and solidify your gains.
... plus it addresses mobility/flexibility to prep you for the next phase of training. These are the 4 steps I've been following and teaching the private clients at my gym the last 12+ years.
If you're trying to build a stronger upper body. There's no better way to do it than through the kettlebell press.
If you need a step-by-step process on HOW to build a stronger press aligned to the PPP.
(... and how long to train in each stage to solidify your results.)
I'm opening some spots in our High-Performance Men's Coaching Program where I'm helping men 35+ build a stronger, leaner, and more capable body in ~ 2 hours per week.
(... starting with the kettlebell press.)
So they can: 1.) Move like they did in their 20's and 30's. 2.) Be more present with their wife and kids... and still having time for themselves (without going to a gym).
The exact coaching I've been providing our students here in Corpus Christi the last 12+ years.
In order to accomplish this... you’ll need a High-Performance Strategy built around these 3 Upstream Strength Strategies:
- T.R.T Training System: to help you navigate the Performance Progress Pyramid.
- Recover Accelerating Mechanisms: to keep you mobile, flexible, and resilient so you can see consistent progress.
- "Bucketing System": A step-by-step system to gain control over your mind, thoughts, and stories so you can become a high-performance man.
I also hand you the keys to a done-for-you eating strategy to help you eating in a non-restrictive way to not only support your training. But also help you achieve your physical goals––you know, to "LOOK" the part too.
Here's how it works.
I build you the 7-step road map:
- Accumulation Cycle.
- Volume Distribution.
- Peak/test cycles.
- Transition phases.
- Mobility/flexibility and recover mechanisms.
- Eating Strategy: How to navigate the 4 stages of a high performance body.
- Mindset work to conquer the stories which have been holding you back for years.
From there, all you gotta do is show up and get results.
My coaching does the rest.
If this sounds like the results you'd be opening to attracting to your life. Here's what you need to do next:
After completion I'll be in touch within 48 hours. And if it makes sense to work together, we'll set up a quick time to chat and discuss the enrollment process.
If you're in a place where this is an urgent problem for you to solve... do this today because. My time is limited (between my family and the time devoted to my current clients) which means... and I only take on a hand full of clients at a time.
... and join the ranks of other HARD men (and even women) of Hardstyle.
hec "the builder of high-performance men" g.