Our next block of Team Sustain for the competative sport of functional fitness is going to be an accumulation block of strength mixed with some lactic endurance, active recovery, and aerobic base building.

Here is breakdown of what “The Basics of Sheiko & Post Tetanic Facilitation Block” will include.

Upper Body Strength:  Post Tetanic Facilitation

Upper body strength can often be an ongoing challenge to improve.  We often reach plateaus in out upper body strength and advanced measures need to be implemented to facilitate progress.  Post titanic facilitation is one such principle that is very effective in building breaking upper body strength plateaus.  

How it works: If you perform a maximal isometric contraction it recruits core muscle motor units which can then be trained in a subsequent dynamic full range of motion (ROM) exercise targeting the same muscles.  For example:

A1. Iso Ring Chin-up 90* Hold 6 x [6-8sec hold], 20x8, rest 10sec

A2. Pronated Narrow Grip Pull-ups 6 x [3-5], 40x0, rest 3min

Lower Body Strength: Boris Sheiko the double up

Boris Sheiko, powerlifting coach extraordinaire, who put Russia on the map with over 40 gold medals in World Championships.  Boris Sheiko, one of the most successful powerlifting coaches in the world.  

“A highly coordinated group of muscles translates into superior performance.” ~ Boris Sheiko

The neuromuscular coordination required for strength movement patterns takes time to develop and is essentially a learning process. The ability to coordinate specific sequences of muscle activation during the performance of a lift, which involves multiple muscles, requires precision that can only be acquired over a long period of repetition-based training.

In other words, practice makes perfect.

A good program is the one, that works on your limiting factors and eliminates them, no matter if these are weaknesses in your technique, muscle groups that are lacking behind or even psychological issues, such as little confidence to lift heavy

If you accept this to be true, which you should, then we now have a requirement for repetition-based training. However, as things often turn out, there’s more to it than that. For example, when doing a set of 10 squats, it is of great interest whether a specific motor pattern is repeated 10 times or if 10 slightly different variations are only done once each.  The variability between repetitions typically increases as the set progresses and the lifter approaches limit strength. 

Tracking the barbell path and/or muscular activity over the span of multiple repetitions shows a clear loss of motor precision as fatigue accumulates. The variability between repetitions typically increases as the set progresses and the lifter approaches limit strength. Figures 1 and 2 show the general relationship between the intensity of an exercise and the variability of the repetitions performed.


With that in mind we can go back to the example above with 10 repetitions of the squat and we can structure the execution of these reps in such a way as to minimize the variability between repetitions by reducing the number of repetitions in each set, while increasing the number of sets. Suppose the objective is 20 repetitions with a moderate weight. Table 1 shows two ways this could be structured.


Total variability is lessened in option number two since intra-set fatigue doesn’t accumulate to the same extent. Thus, there is a greater stimulus towards developing a single motor pattern and consequently greater strength adaptation from the same volume.

An additional benefit of stable motor patterns is that they scale better under load. Sheiko refers to this as “extrapolation”. Put an unstable pattern under stress and it won’t go very far until it breaks down since it’s already “broken”. Meanwhile, the stable pattern can be stressed much further until it deteriorates. One of the questions people usually have about Sheiko’s programs is why the programs rarely go above 85% of 1RM. Extrapolation is part of the explanation.

One of Sheiko's important training characteristics is the double up of the same lift in the same sessions. This is because once the required lifts are completed everything else is fair game, so long as it improves one’s results. Bodybuilding style work is a common approach to additional exercises. The intention of splitting the sets into two is to shorten each and allow for recovery between the sets. The underlying logic is the same as for reducing the length of each set — to minimise fatigue and its effects on repetition quality. So instead of one long session, one does two shorter sessions and as a result, performs the same number of overall repetitions except with less variability between each. Once again, the stimulus and adaptation that occurs are more significant.

A. Deadlift to Knee 7 x [4,4,3,3,2,2,2], 30x3, @65%x2,75%,80%x3 of 1RM DL, rest :2min

B. Strict Press 5 x [6-8], 30x1, rest :2min

C. Clean Grip Deadlift 5 x [4,4,3,3,3], 40X0,  @55%,65%,75%,85%x2 of 1RM DL, rest :2min

In this block of TSTM training we will be performing Box Squats.  While the use of partial repetitions may seem unusual to some, it is very common in the training of weightlifters, where the goal is to target specific components of the lift for improvement. 

TSTM Gymnastics

Our primary focus in this block of training will be to increase toes-to0-bar efficiency and endurance, improve mobility and continue to work on handstands.

Friday will see us working on toes-to-bar endurance, followed by posterior chain mobility and core compression work.  

Saturday is our pure gymnastics day, and it will focus on shoulder, spine, hamstring and adductor mobility and ongoing handstand work. 

TSTM Conditioning:

This next 5weeks is going to have a heavy focus on anaerobic lactic endurance, active recovery, and aerobic capacity.  We are focusing on building a bigger aerobic base and improving work capacity.  The increase of aerobic training will drive up cortisol and oxidative stress, we recommend increasing antioxidants in the diet (fresh fruits and vegetables), supplementing with magnesium, considering beetroot juice before aerobic sessions, and following the prescribed breathing cool-down exercises to help speed up recovery.

SUNDAY: Aerobic Capacity - building the aerobic base

TUESDAY: Anaerobic Lactate Threshold Active Recovery After High-Intensity Interval-Training Does Not Attenuate Training Adaptation

Objective: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be extremely demanding and can consequently produce high blood lactate levels. Previous studies have shown that lactate is a potent metabolic stimulus, which is important for adaptation. Active recovery (ACT) after intensive exercise, however, enhances blood lactate removal in comparison with passive recovery (PAS) and, consequently, may attenuate endurance performance improvements. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the influence of regular ACT on training adaptations during a HIIT mesocycle.

Conclusion: Interestingly, we found that the active recovery group obtained a significantly higher anaerobic lactate threshold following the training program compared to the passive recovery group. This could be because active recovery allows a continuation of the training at a low intensity and may activate specific adaptive mechanisms that are not triggered during passive recovery.

WEDNESDAY: Team Sustain Lactate Threshold & Maximal Oxygen Uptake: Blood lactate clearance during active recovery after an intense running bout depends on the intensity of the active recovery

Objective: High-intensity exercise training contributes to the production and accumulation of blood lactate, which is cleared by active recovery. However, there is no commonly agreed intensity or mode for clearing accumulated blood lactate. We studied clearance of accumulated blood lactate during recovery at various exercise intensities at or below the lactate threshold after high-intensity interval runs that prompted lactate accumulation.

Conclusion: Our results show that the decrease in accumulated blood lactate after treadmill running at 90% of VO2max is more effective when followed by active rather than passive recovery, and that active recovery at 80–100% of the individual lactate threshold (i.e. at or just below the lactate threshold) is more effective than active recovery at lower exercise intensities. Active recovery at 60% of lactate threshold was also more effective than at 40% of lactate threshold. Thus, blood lactate clearance during active recovery displays a dose-response relationship between lactate threshold and passive recovery, and the active recovery intensities at or close to lactate threshold are preferable for blood lactate clearance.

FRIDAY: Team_Sustain HIIT Aerobic Power:  High-Intensity Interval Training Leads to Greater Improvements in Acute Heart Rate Recovery and Anaerobic Power as High Volume Low-Intensity Training

Objective: 4 × 4 min at 90–95% of HRmax with 3 min active recovery - the study was done with a mix of endurance athletes (either cross-country skiing, cycling, triathlon, middle- or long-distance running) who all used bikes for training.  

Conclusion: Only a training regime that includes a significant amount of HIIT improves the neuromuscular status, anaerobic power and the acute HRR in well-trained endurance athletes. A training regime that followed more a low and moderate intensity oriented model (CG/HVLIT) had no effect on any performance or HRR outcomes.