CONCEPT: This program builds on a decent strength base, a next step after Phoenix if getting back into the lifting groove. It is designed for a slightly more advanced lifter/athlete with multiple days of training per week with more than one major lift. Sisyphus features the all major lifts (back/front squat, cleans, presses) and significant commitment to cardio (sprints, tempo runs, alternate equipment). There is a significant amount of volume gained throughout the program with building to heavy singles and doubles at the beginning of most strength sessions. High end strength capacity builds over time in working sets progressing from 60% 3×8 in the first week and the last as 95% 2×1, 90% 3×2, 80% 3×3, 70% 2×5. The program finishes will 5-mile tempo runs, 2.5 miles of hard sprinting, and intense METCONs. No rucking prescribed, but could easily be incorporated on active recovery days if desired. Written in the COVID era, this program can be easily executed in a decent garage gym.
INTENT: Increase pure strength while maintaining cardiovascular endurance.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Squat rack, barbell, plates (bumper preferred), dumbbells, kettlebells, alternate means of cardio (rower/assault bike)
LENGTH/FREQUENCY: 8 weeks, 5-6 days per week
DESIGN: 3-2 split, Thursday and Sundays for active recovery or rest.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Advanced
NAME SIGNIFICANCE: In Greek mythology Sisyphus was the king of Ephyra. He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for eternity.
There are many elements of life that take on Sisyphean characteristics, be it making your bed in the morning, going to work each day, or even being a good spouse or parent. fitness is no different in that your work is never done. Everyday you have to embrace the struggle and find meaning in it.
It is a lifetime battle against negative inertia, where the struggle against resistance is always present, and it is commitment to constantly fighting your own internal resistance where greatness can be achieved.
NOTE ON PROGRAMMING
Please pay attention to the recommend Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). When it is a heavy single with a RPE of 9, this does not equate to a max. If the program calls for a max (extremely rare), then it’s a max with a 10 RPE.
The same as when a car completely red lines, it is at risk for blowing the engine. When you go all out, especially when you haven’t been lifting heavy for a while, you are inviting a high probability of injury. The intent of training is to prepare to fight, not get injured.
DO NOT SKIP ON THE MOBILITY WORK. Always take time to stretch prior to any session and incorporate a daily stretching practice for longevity. Readiness is a thing, but so is arthritis.
CHECK YOUR EGO, FORM OVER NUMBERS
DO IT RIGHT, DO IT LIGHT
DO IT WRONG, DO IT LONG
BE SMARTER THAN THE BARBELL
Duration: 8 weeks
Frequency: 5-6 days per week
Monday (D1): Front Squat + Sprint
Tuesday (D2): Clean + Press
Wednesday (D3): Cardio + Core
Thursday (D4): Active Recovery
Friday (D5): Back Squat + Conditioning
Saturday (D6): Bench + Deadlift
Sunday (D7): Rest or Active Recovery
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SISYPHUS WEEK 1
Front Squat + Sprints
Lower body + Back
Run 1 mile / Row 2 km / Bike 120 Cal
Stretch our your hamstrings and quads and then progress to your shoulders. Hang each arm on a pullup bar and stretch out each shoulder. Conduct 10 PVC pipe pass throughs and narrow your grip width as it becomes easier. Practice locking into your front squat with the bar racked. Start with each arm individually and exaggerate the movement – elbows as high as you can. Once these feel “looser” practice locking in with both arms.
Bar only 2×5, pay attention to your form: butt down, chest up, lower than 90 degress
Then build to a heavy double (8 RPE)
Reduce weight to 60% of your double and do 3×8
Back Squat: (use same weight as your 60%) 3×10
DB Calf Raises: 3×15
Run: 6 x 400m
Row: 6 x 500m
Bike: 6 x 30 Calories
Rest time = iteration’s sprint time
100m total walking lunges
5 minute stretch
Clean + Press
Stretch out lower body and back. Continue to stretch between sets throughout the workout
4 Round Grind⠀⠀
10 Air Squats⠀⠀
10 Pushups ⠀⠀
Kneeling band pulls (both knees on each arm), PVC rotations, Afghan squat sit – flair each hip out while seated. Practice locking into a front squat with the bar racked. ⠀
W/U: Bar only x 2 x 5 focusing on form
Build to a heavy single (9 RPE)
Reduce weight to 60% of your single
Working Sets: 3×5
W/U: Bar only x 10 x 2⠀
Build to a heavy double (8 RPE)
Reduce weight to 60% of your double
Working sets: 3×8⠀
Barbell Upright Row: 3×8
Deadlift (light): 3×8⠀
Pullups: 3x Max
10 DB Thrusters⠀
+ Choose 1:⠀
Run 400m / Row 500m / Bike 30 Cal⠀⠀
/ 20 Burpees / 20 DU / 60 SU ⠀
Stretch 5 minutes⠀
Cardio + Core⠀⠀⠀⠀
Spend a few minutes breaking the rust off of the legs.
Run 400m, Row 500m, Bike 30 Cal
STRETCH x 2
Spend 5 minutes getting a deeper stretch throughout your legs and back
Run 3 miles at a set target pace
Review your 1 mile time and try to stay within 30 seconds of that time for each mile. Start off on the slower end and build speed with each mile.
Record times for each mile.
If injury precludes running, conduct 30 minutes total of low impact cardio. Switch machines only if you have to, but switching will introduce a psuedo rest break which is not the goal.
Record calories/distance distanced covered for each effort.
4 Round Grind⠀⠀⠀
20 Leg Raises
10 DB/Plate Side Oblique Raises (E/S)
Stretch 5 minutes⠀