What is move strong gym?

Move Strong Gymnasium is a private strength and conditioning facility based in Devonport, Tasmania specialising in constantly varied high intensity functional training.

We are a school of strength and fitness. A place where warriors are made and athletes are developed. Inside the crucible of our gym, elite performance is forged and weakness is purged. Through temporary pain and suffering comes fortitude and grit that only the initiated can comprehend. Our bond is iron and our loyalty is as steel. With honour and respect for our comrades, we learn, we endure and we conquer.

Join the brotherhood of fitness.

Where is move strong gym located?

We are located at 32 Don Road, Devonport Tasmania 7310 (opposite Beck’s).

Check out the map HERE

What type of training do we do?

We are a functional performance training gymnasium. Our training is constantly varied, highly intense and extremely functional. We combine Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman training, gymnastics, hardstyle kettlebell training and athletic strength and conditioning. We would like to highlight something important. We are not a bodybuilding gym. We have no interest in training for aesthetic enhancement. We couldn’t care less if you are tall, short, male, female, skinny or fat. All we care about is improving your health and fitness across a broad range of fitness modalities and energy systems. You’ll be as fit and healthy as you’ve ever been when you train with us. Most of our members started out with little to no experience with the type of training we do. That is fine. We will teach you just as we taught them.  In short, we press heavy things overhead, we lift heavy stuff off the ground, we push and pull things, climb things, throw stuff and run, jump, skip, cycle, row, punch and kick! As Bruce Lee said, we “absorb what is useful, and discard what is not”. We work hard and smart at our gym. We move strong!

I’ve never done anything like this ever, how will you teach me?

Great question! You’ll do our beginners program. Regardless of your fitness level, if you haven’t got the skills to safely and effectively perform the types of movements we do at our gym, you will need to do some learning. This may mean you’ll suck at a bunch of stuff at first. That’s ok. You’ll get better. You might have a whole boatload of weaknesses, imbalances and suckiness that we need to help you overcome. Great! Each session is designed to teach you something new, and improve on things you already know. We’ll make sure you get the mechanics down pat first, then check to see if you can be consistently accurate while we add a bit of load/resistance. Then when you’ve proven your mettle, we add a dash of intensity to the porridge and see if can swallow it! But, patience my young padawan. Let’s take our time and get you on the right path. Think training, not workout when you come here – the goal is to master movement in as many different aspects as possible.

How do i get started?

Each new member must complete what we call an initiation first. In an initiation we give you an extended tour, discuss the gym rules, fill in paperwork and take a photo of you to put on our wall. We’ll also screen you and test you to see if you have any glaring incapacities that will make it difficult to deliver a successful training session to you in a group environment. Our initiations are not held regularly, so you will need to contact us to find out when the next one is. It is compulsory to attend and graduate an initiation before you are allowed to train at our gymnasium. Due to the fact that we have limited spaces available, you may be placed on a waiting list to train at our gym. Them’s the breaks. We are a destination facility and our trainers are in high demand. We are a colosseum of strength and fitness where athletes are forged. To avoid being left behind call us to book in for an initiation…yesterday!

Who can do this type of training?

Seriously, anyone can join Move Strong Gym. We have training programs for complete beginners all the way to elite athletes. We specialise in getting people to understand how their body works, moving better and developing true usable strength.

Yes we do hard work. And yes you’ll probably suck at first. But that’s ok. Together we will develop a fitness camaraderie that will keep you motivated and constantly progressing. If you stagnate or go AWOL for a period of time, not only will your coach personally harass you (and perhaps nag you to DEATH!) but your comrades will recognise your absence. And because of the bond you develop and the competitive drive you will feel, you get your butt back into the gym and you keep coming over and over and over again.

At Move Strong Gym, everyone knows your name from the moment you walk through the door. Your picture is on the wall along with everyone else’s. Your personal records are marked up on the wall. They are celebrated no matter how modest or freaking awesome. You are on your journey just like everyone else. Sure you will compete with your comrades, and sure you will banter and carry on. But when the going gets tough we stick together. Like ancient Spartan warriors and the gladiators of old, we train to improve and to succeed. Our battlefield is personal, but our journey is shared.

Our training is especially beneficial for the following:

  •       Athletes (especially AFL, Rugby, Basketball, Netball, Boxing, MMA)
  •       If you want to participate in CrossFit games or complete the HKC/RKC certifications
  •       Peeps who want to look smoking hot in the nud!
  •       Females aged 45+ where bone density is a concern
  •        Adults aged 60+ where falls and accidents are a concern
  •       Office workers who are stuck staring at computer screens all day
  •       Kids looking to excel at sports, improve self confidence
  •       Arthritis, heart disease, stroke, heart attack or diabetes
  •       Post natal strengthening, pregnancy preparation strength programs
  •       Humans in general :o)

Who can’t do this type of training?

If you have significant orthopaedic injuries or illnesses or other debilitating medical/mental issues, our type of training might not be right for you. You might want to consider personal training with one of our trainers so that they can really take you under their wing and help you. If you have radical self confidence issues you can really see improvements at our gym. However, please note. It’s not the type of gym where you get molly-coddled and cushioned in a little precious bubble. Our trainers want you to become the best you can be! We probably know what you have the potential to achieve better than you do. Our vision for you is of an athletically confident and physically fit individual who operates regularly outside their comfort zone. You will probably dislike being taken to this place in your mind. That’s ok. You get your butt down here to the gym and walk through those doors. We’ll take care of the rest. However, if you’re constantly negative, repeatedly AWOL and consistently underperforming, we might ask you to leave. We don’t want our gym polluted by negativity and unhealthy attitudes. We do hard work here. We need support from our friends and MSG family members to help us get through. Please don’t make it harder for us than it needs to be! If you can’t promise to be a positive and motivating leader within our community of members, and if you can’t agree to never put anyone down, or act in a degrading, demeaning or derogatory manner – well, our gym just isn’t for you. Please go elsewhere to complain while we train :o)

Why you need Move Strong Gym!

I know that isn’t a question, but anyway, perhaps you were thinking it.

Anyone can make you red faced and sweaty for an hour.

We are specialists in corrective exercise, technical correction, safe training and scalable intensity.

Train with someone who knows what you are doing wrong and can fix it. Train with someone who can take you from where you are to where you want to be. We aren’t going to hold your hand and do the work for you, that’s up to you! But we actually have the knowledge you need to succeed. We train many military, law enforcement, emergency and tactical response clients along with athletes across a broad range of sports and at various competitive levels. We also specialize in training mums and dad’s, office workers and regular Joe’s. We all train side by side and cheer each other on. It’s the most exciting and motivating and social way to train. It’s a whole different way to train and we’d love to have you join us 🙂

You have the potential to be freaking awesome, so come and do some serious training with us and achieve some real results.

How do i follow MSG programming?

First you need to be initiated. You’ll be screened and then required to attend our 8 introductory workshops with a test at the end. After this you’ll follow one of our 3 programs:

  •       Rite of Passage
  •       Open
  •       Mongrels

Our Rite of Passage (ROP) program is where most people start their journey with us. You’ll learn techniques, improve your fitness and develop life-long fitness habits. You’ll ease yourself into training with us and progress towards being a well rounded beginner.

When you have achieved a set standard of fitness and demonstrated a competency in a broad range of physical tasks, you can join our Open group programming. This is an invitation only programming structure and you’ll be advised when you’re ready to follow this program. For more information about what the Open Program Standards are, read this.

Our elite competitive athletes are called the Mongrels. This is an elite group of clients who have proven that they are freaks of nature, with capability and competency to achieve what less than 0.01% of the human population can do. The work capacity of these athletes is huge, the technical proficiency is immaculate, their dedication is proven, their elite status has been forged after years of soul wracked consistency. Our Mongrels compete in the sport of fitness. They sometimes hate it, but they always love it! Wanna be a Mongrel? Join us and start your journey :o)

What do workouts consist of?

Our workouts consist of the following blocks:

  •       Movement Preparation
  •       Strength Training
  •       Conditioning Training

To get you exposed to the plethora of skills, movements and abilities that our training system consists of you need to practice – regularly. We want you to be great across all the modes of fitness, namely:

  •       Strength
  •       Endurance
  •       Stamina
  •       Speed
  •       Power
  •       Agility
  •       Flexibility
  •       Mobility
  •       Accuracy
  •       Coordination
  •       Balance

We are trying to get you strong. We are trying to get you fast. We are trying to create work capacity at its highest level. This is done by combining strength training with metabolic conditioning.

How will i know when i should move from rop to open and if i’m a mongrel?

We’ll tell you when you can do Open stuff and if you’re a Mongrel. Everyone is ROP unless otherwise stated.

How can i become a mongrel?

You’ll need to have a chat to Bigdog, the head coach of this gym. You’ll need to achieve a bunch of physical tasks and movement competencies. Tough stuff but you may be ready, who knows?

Where do i find the wod?

Go our Homepage. The WODs are found there. You can search for past WODs on the right.

What kind of kb swing is the standard for move strong gym?

The Russian Kettlebell Swing (RKBS) is the standard for MSG. The American Swing is a skill/specialty exercise that we teach to open level athletes. We use the swing as a tool to generate violent hip extension and gas our athletes. The RKBS accomplishes this for us. We’ll teach the American Swing as a skill, but for the most part, people who kick butt with the RKBS can do the American version. It’s usually not the case the other way around.

How do you read the workouts?

What does A1, A2, B1, B2, mean?  How do I follow the sets?  What does the rest portion mean?  What do some common abbreviations mean?

We will use a typical multi-facet resistance training workout that would be prescribed on this Blog:

A1. High Bar Back Squat @ 30X0, 4-6 reps x 5 sets, rest 120 sec

A2. Chest to Bar Chin-ups, AMRAP x 5 sets, rest 120 sec

B1. RKBS – 2 pd, 21 reps x 4 sets, rest 30 sec

B2. Ring Dips, 21 reps x 4 sets, rest 30 sec

In this workout you move through exercise A1 at the rx’d tempo, for the rx’d reps, you then rest for the rx’d amount of time (exactly) after the set is completed. Following the rest you do exercise A2 at the rx’d tempo, for the rx’d reps, you then rest for the rx’d amount of time after the set is completed. You then proceed back to A1. This alternation continues until the rx’d number of sets are completed for each exercise. For the above, this would mean 5 sets through A1/A2, with 120 seconds rest between each set.

Once you have completed the A1/A2 series, you move to B1. You start B1, 120 seconds after your last set of A2. This style of workout can go into C1/C2, D1/D2, or A1/A2/A3/A4/A5/A6. Nothing changes, you simply following the rx’d order of exercises, the rx’d tempo, the rx’d reps, the rx’d sets.


AD – AirDyne machine

Ass – Assisted, as in Ass Pullups w/ band, etc

FLR – Front Leaning Rest – plank position at the top of the push-up with scapula retracted, belly contracted towards spine, glutes active, and chin towards chest

EQ – Equalizer – a yellow high parralette that we use in our gym

COVP – Chin Over Vertical Plane – chin must travel over the bar to break the plane created by the pullup bar that is perpendicular to the floor

CTB – Chest To Bar – chest makes contact with the bar at or below the clavicle on every rep

TTB – Toes To Bar – flex at the hips and touch the bar with your toes

HKR – Hanging Knee Raise – flex at the hips and touch your elbows with your knees

EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute – perform the work, and rest until the top of the next minute

EOMOM – Every Other Minute On the Minute – as above but you get a minute rest between rounds.

TnG – Touch and Go – no pause between or during reps

UB – unbroken – completed in a single set. depending on the movement, there may be pause between reps in an appropriate resting position, for example, front rack position or hanging from the bar.

BJ – Box Jumps

BW – bodyweight

GHD – Glute-Ham Developer machine

RH – Reverse Hyper machine

KB – kettlebell

RKBS – Russian Kettlebell Swing

AKBS – American Kettlebell Swing

DB – dumbbell

DBSn – dumbbell snatch

KBSn – kettlebell snatch

KBC – kettlebell clean

DBC – dumbbell clean

AMRAP  – as many reps/rounds as possible during the specified timeframe or set.  this may be written as AMRAP (-x) for a set, indicating to go x reps short of failure for that set.

RFT – rounds for time. Meaning you must complete x sets of the workout as fast as possible.

RFQ – rounds for quality. Meaning, there is no time component to the workout, just do it with strict, world class, immaculate, you-little-beauty technical accuracy…or at least to the best of your ability.

HSPU – Handstand Pushup, performed with feet against a wall

MU – Muscle-up on rings

DU – Double Under – jump rope passes under the feet twice with each jump

HBBS – High Bar Back Squat – Barbell rests on top of the traps

LBBS – Low Bar Back Squat – barbell rests over the posterior deltoids

Man Maker – With KBs in hands, drop into a push up on the KBs, push into the top of push up position, and perform a 1 arm row per hand where the elbow travels much higher than the back.  Then pull legs in and perform a clean-squat-press with KBs to complete one rep.

RXd- As prescribed. When we prescribe a load or exercise we shorthand this to RX.


Largely, we will allow a bit of time at the start of each session to get the body ready for training. If you have corrective exercises that you need to do then you are expected to do them before training. A general rule of thumb is that for every issue or injury you have, you need to spend around 5minutes getting loose and mobilising that area. So if you’re busted up and broken with a sore shoulder, knee, hip and wrist, you’ll spend about 20minutes each session getting loose. You’re expected to do that prior to the class starting.

Each warmup is training session dependent. You will not warmup the same way if your training session is a 5,000m Row or Run vs. a 5-20 min training session for as much work as possible involving a variety of movements vs. if your training session is a A1/A2/B1/B2/C1/C2 vs. if your training session is Clean and Jerk 1 rep maximum. The warmup can vary depending on many factors. We will give example warm-ups for each of the above examples, these are merely guidelines, as each individual will have different needs during their warm-up.

5,000m Row or 5,000m Run – if you are running for your training, you must run in the warm-up, if you are rowing for training, you must row in the warmup. A 10 min row or run @ 50 % effort with some short (30 sec) pacing effort would be appropriate a few times during this 10 minutes. Following this, practice of breathing through the belly, stretching of needed areas, foam rolling of needed areas, doing the major bodyweight movements – lunge, squat, sit-up, chin-up, push-up – and some 60-180 sec moderate efforts of row or run would be fine as a warmup. Ensure your breathing is ready for the demand you intend to place on the system by completing a thorough warmup. If you need more time to feel comfortable to complete your training, take it.

5-20 min training session with variety of movement – again, 10 minutes @ 50% effort of run/row/bike/skip would be beneficial if breathing will be high during the training. Stretch and foam roll the necessary areas. Perform the movements that you have to complete during the training session in the warm-up. Try a few reps of each movement in correct sequence of the training session to prep your brain and body for what is to come. Ensure your breathing is ready for the demand you intend to place on the system by completing a thorough warm-up. If you need more time to feel comfortable to complete your training, take it. Most of our best athletes get to training 10-15minutes early to warmup.

A1/A2/B1/B2/C1/C2 – Begin with the movements related to the training session, then add more load to the first 2 movements, rotate though a few reps, add a little more load until you get close to your starting weight for set # 1. Prior to the first working set of the session (the first one you are counting) ensure you perform any necessary stretching, foam rolling, or dynamic ROM exercises.

Clean and Jerk for maximum load – this example will suffice for any low repetition weightlifting training session (i.e. bench press, weight chin-ups, back squat, front squat, deadlift, olympic lifting). The key is to ready the Central Nervous System (CNS). This is what is being trained. As per your feeling on that day, stretching, foam rolling, and any supplementary movements (skill transfer exercises, posterior chain, anterior chain, rotator cuff, dynamic ROM, etc.) for the training session should be completed in the warmup. The focus early in the session should be on potentiating (realizing potential) the body for the remainder of the training session by performing any movements in a powerful, but controlled, manner. Speed and technique are necessary components of these sessions and therefore should be touched on in the warmup. You should ensure you get a bit of ‘time under the bar’ performing light, fast and accurate movements before completing your work sets. Experiment with what feels best for you.

What the heck does 50×0 mean?

It signifies a certain tempo. There are many examples like this – 21X0/1010/5010/etc. You simply have to take the exercise and correlate the timing (i.e. the numbers – 30X0) to it.

For example, if a bench press or back squat is rx’d at 30X0, it means that from the top of the movement, you should take 3 seconds (1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, etc.) to reach the end point of the exercise (bar to chest in the bench press or full depth for the squat).

So, the first number signifies the lowering portion of ANY exercise.

The second number signifies if there is any PAUSE in the bottom position. Because this example says 0, it means that it is simply 3 seconds down, 0 pause, and then back up. If the tempo was 31X0, then you would have to pause for 1 second at the bottom of the movement. If it was 32X0, then you would have to pause for 2 seconds, and so on.

The third number signifies the time in which to raise the load. When it says “X” as the third number, it means to accelerate the load as fast as possible – regardless of how fast the weight is actually moving; intention to accelerate is most important. If the number is 2020, as sometimes rx’d for GHD sit-ups or back extensions, then you have to take 2 seconds to lower fully, 0 pause in the full stretch position, then take 2 seconds to come back to the top (you are capable of going faster, but that is not what is being asked, so follow the numbers), with 0 sec rest before going into the next rep.

There is also a case when you could be asked to do a 3010 tempo – on the bench press for example (because it is simple). When it says 3010, the third number is critical, because it means that for whatever the rep range is, you MUST take the rx’d time to raise the load, which would be 1 second in this example. This type of tempo does not allow for maximal efforts within sets, as you HAVE TO MAINTAIN a certain cadence for the reps.

The last number, as you may have guessed, signifies any pause at the top of the movement. If it says 30X1 for a weighted chin-up (or pull-up, same thing), then you have to hold your chin over the bar for one second before lowering for 3 seconds to full arm extension.

Also, you have to LEARN to read the number, then apply it to the given exercise. Chin-ups, for example, are a special case – there are other examples as well (i.e. deadlift). Chin-ups begin with the raising portion first, not like a back squat or bench press. So, if the tempo is 30X0, the first thing you look for is NOT the 3 second prescription, but the X, meaning that you begin with the third number for this exercise, not the first one.

Why do we rx tempos?

We do it dependent on what the Coach wants the training response to be from the workout. It is done to control intensity, overload certain areas of a movement/body part, improve technique on movements, ease the load on the joints, variability, transfer to sport (i.e. back squat – 1,1,1,1,1 is MUCH different than high bar back squat @ 40X1 – 2-3 reps x 5 sets…and side note, endurance on the squat at that tempo is one thing that WILL take an athlete to another level as it carries over to so many things).

repetitions – what weight do i start at for each exercise of the workout?

Loads are often prescribed as a percentage of your 1RM records. We put these records on the board. Sometimes this may feel to heavy/light for you and so you should learn to adjust your loads accordingly. We can’t see what is inside your head or know what your body is feeling. Use a bit of common sense and have some chutzpah. Set a new record if you’re feeling like you’ve got your mojo on that particular day.

When loads are not stipulated, common sense is advised as well. For example consider the following workout:

A1. High Bar Back Squat @ 30X0, 4-6 reps x 5 sets, rest 120 sec

A2. Chest to Bar Chin-ups, AMRAP x 5 sets, rest 120 sec

B1. RKBS – 24kg, 21 reps x 4 sets, rest 30 sec

B2. Ring Dips, 21 reps x 4 sets, rest 30 sec

Well, for this example, there is only one exercise you need to choose a weight for – the back squat. So, we will use the example of someone who can back squat 300 lbs for 1 rep (1RM). The loading percentages will depend on many things for a given exercise – training age, training status, gender, muscle group, exercise, etc. For our purposes, this person would warm-up to a weight they either knew would be challenging for 6 reps, or a weight they thought would be challenging for 6 reps (depending on their experience). This persons’ numbers for 5 sets should look something like this – 230(6), 240(6), 245(6), 250 (5), 250 (4). For this workout, the goal is to train the squat at a given tempo, not to go for PB’s.

*Notice that once the top of the rep range was achieved, the load MUST INCREASE. When the top of the rep range is not achieved, then the load MUST STAY THE SAME for the next set. When the bottom of the rep range is not achieved, the load MUST STAY THE SAME for the next set (unless you are in warm-up, and you know you cannot do this weight for the rx’d reps once you have tried it for one or two reps). You MUST understand these principles, as progression is dependent upon this for this style of workout.

Repetitions – how should i progress if the workout calls for…?

Depends on the workout, for example:

Jerk, 5,5,5,5,5

In these workouts, you warm-up to challenging load for 5 reps of the given exercise. If you know your 1RM (repetition maximum) or 5RM for the Jerk, it will be easier. The reps could be any number with this style of workout, the rules will still apply. For this workout, you could have a loading sequence that looks like this for the Jerk workout – 145/150/155/160(4)/160. Each set has to be hard, with the next set being harder than the previous.

If the workout is:

Deadlift, 5-4-3-2-1

In this workout each set is VERY hard. You may even fail on a certain set, this is not a warm-up to try a 1 RM. A PB may occur with this, but each of the sets 5/4/3/2/1 should be maximal efforts for those sets. If your best Deadlift is 400lbs, then your sets may look like 340(5)/350(4)/360(3)/375(2)/390(1).

If the workout is:

Press, 1 RM

You are being asked to find a 1RM, your best possible lift. Then you do not do gruelling sets leading up to this as you would with the previous workouts. If your PR is 160 for the Press, then your set scheme would look something like this, following a good warm-up – 95(5), 115(3), 135(1), 145(1), 155(1), 160(1), 162.5 (1), 165(f), 165(f). The goal is to get up to a heavy weight quickly, with the fewer sets the better, as for most people, this will allow lots of nervous system function for the important sets.

Sets – the ins & outs

Maintaining the correct rx’d tempo, and following the rules with the reps (see above), is imperative to getting the appropriate response from the workout. Progression from set to set, usually determined by load, is priority. However, when there is numerous sets prescribed within a workout for a given exercise, if you are using the correct methodology, then those muscle groups will be screaming for vengeance by the last set. And, depending on how you have been eating, sleep, relaxing, training, etc., can affect your performance on the latter sets. If you are to perform a Push Jerk workout like the one above:

Jerk, 5-5-5-5-5

If your best 5 RM is 160 for the Jerk, then the optimal loading would be 145/150/155/160(4)/160. If the follow happens to your loading, 145/150(failed at 3)/150(failed at 2)/XXXXX. Then shut’er down there. You are not being productive. This is the point of Critical Drop-off.

If you are to perform the Press within an A1/A2/B1/B2 style workout, for 5 sets of 4-6 reps each set, and your best 6 RM Press is 130, then the following loading should occur – 120/125/127.5/130/132.5(4). If the following happens – 120/125(5)/125(3)/125(2)/XXXX. Then you are done after set 4, shut’er down. You DO NOT DO SET number 5. Arguably, you should stop after set 3.

Being able to judge when the Critical Drop-off occurs may be difficult. It can depend on the order of your workout, and many other things…live and learn.

What is z1, etc?

Recommended %’s and zones as per prescription

Target Zone Suggested Intensity
Z1 65-74%
Z2 75-84%
Z3 85-90%
Z4 91-96%
Z5 97-100%
pre-workout fueling rx’d

This is VERY individualized, VERY. Depends on your schedule, your digestion ability, the workout, etc. But, for “general” purposes, I will give some scenarios.

A – your workout is Fran (or any high power output/gassy workout), and you are doing it at 5 pm. I would suggest eating your last meal around 1 pm to 2 pm at latest. Between this time, you only consume fluids (caffeine anyone?), and supplements if you so choose. You get to the gym at 4-4:30 pm, begin warm-up and anticipate the oncoming pain. The empty gut will benefit you immensely for these high power output workouts. Pretty much if the workout is going to kick your ass, then you had better make sure that you are running light on the food (3hr+ post)and heavy on the motivation.

B – if you are doing the same workout at 6 am. Wake-up, warm-up, and get’er done. Fluids, such as Ultima, or some kind of electrolyte may be beneficial to YOU. If you are eating, make sure it is not much more than what you could pick from your teeth following a handful of cashews, as it will only be coming right back up – if the workout is done correctly. At this time, warm-up is even more important.

C – your workout is Deadlift, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. Bring your lunch pale and do as you please. Whether done in the AM/PM, eating food will not affect your performance, as this is a CNS workout.

D – if the workout is A1/A2/B1/B2 style, with short rest times, moderate (or more) amount of sets and reps,then you would want to follow the advice from Scenario’s A & B (shown above).

Scaling & substitutions

The only workouts that will need to be scaled are the ones in which there is a movement involved that has a progression. For example, a bench press does not have a progression, the weight just changes. A push-up has a progression. From kneeling to from toes. A deadlift does not have a progression, the weight just changes. A chin-up has a progression, from angled with a barbell, to assisted with weights or a band, to the free-weight version These type of movements may require a substitution.

Okay, so how do I scale or make subs?

Chin-ups – Use a band or elevate your feet/foot on an equalizer

Chin-ups (strict) – Negative chin-ups for the same amount of reps are an option (4-5 sec lowering). If you can do them, but not as well as needed, then do what you can, but ensure you take your sweet time with the lowering portion, i.e. using a 50X0 tempo.

Chest to bar Chin-ups – Do regular kipping chin-ups if you cannot manage these in the rx’d quantity.

Dips – Use an exercise band to assist you.

Double Unders – There is no acceptable substitution, so stop reading the FAQ and learn Double Unders.

Front Squat – If you cannot do a front squat, do to flexibility, then become more flexible – simple. Also, sub back squats instead or DB squats.

Loads – This will likely be the most common substitution. When the load in a workout is too heavy for you to use, or if that weight will make the workout 2 times longer than it should, then the load should be reduced to a manageable amount. Or if the workout calls for unbroken reps, and you know that you cannot do that many reps at that weight for that movement – reduce it. Example – You are suppose to do Fran, and your best Front Squat is 45kg, then the 42.5kg rx’d weight for males will not work for you. When Fran is rx’d on here, it is done for high intensity. But, if it is your first time with a workout like Fran, and you want to use it as a benchmark, then go for it. But, there is a huge difference between doing Fran in more than 8 minutes with 42.5kg, and doing it under 4 minutes using 30kg. The under 4 minutes would be a better option. However, there are circumstances when you should grind through a workout. Those kind of workouts will probably assert themselves upon Coach’s instructions, or just the layout of it.

L Pull-ups – Raise your knees until thighs are parallel to the floor, and hold this position. If possible try to keep your thighs at this position and extend your knees as much as possible. The issue will either be strength or flexibility, what is your issue? Work on it.

Muscle-ups – Substitite 3 Chest to Bar Chin-ups/3 Ring Dips per muscle-up. Or, 4 chin-ups/4 bar dips per muscle-up.

Overhead Squat – If you cannot do an overhead squat, do to flexibility, then become more flexible – simple. Also, sub back squats (as front squats will likely have the same problem as the overhead squat) instead, and practice HSPU’s to develop OH strength/stamina.

Rowing – If you can’t row, then run the same distance as rx’d. If you can’t run or row, then do 10% of the rx’d distance for reps of a SDLHP (20kg barbell). So, for a 500m row, then you have to do 50 SDLHP with a 20kg barbell.

Running – If you are suppose to run for the workout, and you just can’t, then row the same distance if you have access. If you can’t row, then sub 10 Box Jumps (20 inch/14 inch) for every 100m rx’d. If that is not possible, then sub 15 Double Unders for every 100m rx’d.

Training frequency, double days, triple days

Double Days & Triple Days – When these days are rx’d, they are done so for a reason. If you are a casual follower, and are into the MSG workouts for fun, that is fine. I would suggest trying one of the workouts that would seem most beneficial for yourself, not all at once. Or, try to merge all of the workouts into a single session. However, most people will not know how to do this, but try your best. Ask if needed.

For the serious MSGers, you know who you are. If you are intent on competing, then you had better plan out your days to get the best from the programming. Are you posting that you did the first workout, rested 10 minutes, then did number 2? If so, you are not doing what is rx’d. You should be resting at least 4-6 hrs between these workouts. I know circumstances may not permit this all the time, but try your best to do it this way. Resting between these workouts gives your body time to recover enough to give a high output on the next workout. Not resting the 4-6 hrs, ensures that you are giving 97% on each workout, at best. Not the 100% needed to get you to the next level, which is the point of high volume training. You may think you are giving everything, but by consciously knowing you are doing another workout in 10 minutes will not allow you to give your all – you just won’t do it. Following the high volume weeks, the weeks with double/triple days, will be lower volume weeks, to allow optimal recovery, and subsequent performance improvement – greater work capacity across broad times and modal domains! So, hit the higher volume weeks hard, and as rx’d.

Running & rowing percentages

If you do not know what it means to run or row at 80% or 85% for a certain distance, then continue reading. If it says to run or row 400m @ 90 % x 4, with 2 min rest in between, this means that the work times should be consistent. They should not be continuously slower and slower. You are being asked to show accuracy in your intensity of running or rowing effort. This will be much easier on a rower, as it gives second by second feedback. You should be able to know when you are running at a 1:15 400m pace or running at a 1:20 400m pace – not kidding!

With that said, here are some “suggestions”. If you are rx’d to run 400m @ 90%, and you know your best 400m run is 70 sec, then you should be aiming for 77-80 seconds. 80% would be approximately 90-95 sec. 70% would be approximately 100-105 sec. This would also be applicable for the same distance in rowing. These are very general suggestions as these percentages will change based on your running skill and work capacity.

You are not taking a known time such as your best 400m and using math to get the answer. You are looking for a percentage of a known performance (intensity), which is the certain % of effort, and NOT a certain % of time numerically.