The intent of our program...

Mental conditioning




Physical conditioning

Work capacity




Mobility and range-of-motion (ROM)




Mental conditioning


Energy Systems Development (ESD)

ESD training is specifically focused on developing the following energy pathways:

  • A-lactic (phosphagte)
  • Lactic (glycolytic)
  • Cardio (aerobic)

ESD protocols

Cardio ESD sessions like Endurance >90/Endurance <60 (including Cardio Club and Ruck Club) and to some extent Power-endurance, were introduced because of the impact this training will have on achieving the overall fitness goals for our members - namely increased quality work-capacity. The Cardio ESD sessions are a very important part of a holistic training program for a number of key/vital reasons. From decreased recovery times, to increased power-output, cardio sessions (when coupled with the GAC) makes for a more well-rounded athlete.

The sessions are scheduled as 'purely cardio' sessions which mean they are to be conducted according to cardio training protocols. ie. sub-maximal effort for sustained (>20min periods). The reason for this is because we already train the other energy systems extensively during the GAC.

The training protocol for Cardio ESD is: 

  • Duration: 20 to 90+ minutes
  • Energy Systems Worked: Aerobic
  • Intensity level: Average low to moderate (60 to 75% your MHR)

The benefits of this protocol are well illustrated in the following article:

I've quoted the most relevant passages below:

"The oxidative system is vital to producing ATP for long periods of time. Developing a more efficient aerobic system will aid in recovery for more intense bouts of exercise by making your body’s ability to transition between different energy systems more efficient. Also aerobic capacity training helps develop cardiac output. Keeping intensity low will drive a maximal amount of blood through the heart and make a more efficient left ventricle. Thus moving more blood with each beat and making for a more efficient heartbeat."
"Aerobic work assists the autonomic nervous system composed of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. It helps by calming the sympathetic nervous and reducing that “on” feeling that we get when performing any HITT or heavy rep maxes."

Our overall goal is to increase our work capacity and to complete the work with quality. Therefore in the past, we have spent a lot of time training the a-lactic (phosphagte) and lactic (glycolytic) energy systems as part of our normal GAC programming. Relying on the volume of work (and rests) to provide aerobic benefits. But one area which will vastly improve our work capacity is to conduct regular specific aerobic training. Low-intensity cardio-training minimises stress on the CNS and body, and limits any detrimental effect on our bodies due to the already high-workload. Especially if you are doing multiple GAC's per week, have a family and working full-time, etc.

Increasing the workload without overly taxing the CNS increases our threshold tolerance for work and helps to 'normalise' operating at higher workloads. If we were to try to achieve the same outcome by increasing the frequency of high-intensity interval or anaerobic workouts it would take us longer to recover and would diminish the quality of the actual workouts themselves in a short time - negating the benefits.



Strength and power protocol

Work capacity

Endurance protocols




General Physical Preparedness (GPP)


The benefits of consistent regular training

Sub-maximal intensity and volume

GPP domains

  • Strength
  • Power
  • Cardio
  • Endurance
  • Recovery

Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID)

Progressive overload

  • Volume
  • Intensity
  • Density
  • Scaling
  • Training planning for individual athletes


Absolute volume = reps x sets x weight (kg)

Absolute volume assumes same barbell speed in the movement so force production is the same. Adding force (F=ma) to the equation complicates our measurement which is not necessary when comparing like with like workouts.

The volume of a particular DL strength/power workout => r x s x kg => 5 x 5 x 120kg = 3000kg. Therefore we can compare the amount of work when compared to similar DL workouts.


=> Av. HR/time

OR (for the purposes of comparison between like workouts) We could even add duration into the mix to get a comparison on different DL workouts - Volume/time

For example DL workout #1: 3000kg in a 25 minute workout (5 x 5 x 120 / 25) => 3000/25 = 120kg/minute.

Then if we compare it to a different DL workout we will get an idea of comparative workloads.

DL workoutFor example DL workout #2: 3 x 8 x 75 in 30 minutes => 1800kg/30 minutes => 60kg/minute. Which denotes a comparatively lower intensity DL workout.


planning your training


Specific Physical Preparedness (SPP)


GAC phase-cycles

  1. Strength & Power
  2. Power-endurance
  3. Endurance <60 & Endurance >90 
  4. Foundation

Both Endurance <60 and Endurance >90 are scheduled at the same set times and days throughout the cycle. These are the Cardio ESD and Ruck sessions. During the Endurance phase these sessions will be made longer and follow the phase-structure described below.

Power-endurance and Endurance (<60 or >90) are 28-day cycles (4 weeks).

An example Power-endurance phase:

  • Power-endurance - 16/28 days
  • Strength and power 4/28 days
  • Endurance - 4/28 days
  • Recovery and mobility - 4/28 days

This structure is the for Endurance:

  • Power-endurance - 4/28 days
  • Strength and power 4/28 days
  • Endurance - 16/28 days*
  • Recovery and mobility - 4/28 days

*Additional to the scheduled Ruck and Cardio ESD session. For example a Wednesday and Friday session would be scheduled from 0530 to 0700 (Cardio ESD + Endurance GAC). Here you can elect to do <30 cardio, <60 endurance or >90 endurance training. Saturday's GAC schedule would be 0600 - 0900 (Ruck + Endurance GAC).

Strength and power takes the most focus and the longest time to develop. Therefore the standard for a strength and power is a 42-day cycle (6 weeks). Here's an example of a standard strength and power phase/cycle:

  • Strength and power - 24/42 days
  • Power-endurance - 6/42 days
  • Endurance - 6/42 days
  • Recovery and mobility - 6/42 days

Foundation Phase. 

28-day cycle:

  • Power-endurance - 7/28 days
  • Strength and power 7/28 days
  • Endurance - 7/28 days
  • Recovery and mobility - 7/28 days

To allow our members to plan their training and work weeks we schedule specific movements to set-days.

  • Monday - hinge/squat (+ ruck)
  • Tuesday - upper body push/pull
  • Wednesday - push, drag, pick-up and/or carry  (+ Cardio ESD)
  • Thursday - GTO/GTS + STO
  • Friday - hinge / swing / lift (+ Cardio ESD)
  • Saturday - Endurance >90  (+ ruck)

The composition of the individual sessions will depend on the bias/cycle. If we're in a power-endurance phase then the Monday hinge/squat session will follow the power-endurance protocol described above.

Annual structure

  • Foundation - 4/52 weeks
  • Strength - 6/52 weeks
  • Power-endurance - 4/52 weeks
  • Endurance - 4/52 weeks
  • Strength - 6/52 weeks
  • Power-endurance - 4/52 weeks
  • Endurance - 4/52 weeks
  • Strength - 6/52 weeks
  • Power-endurance - 4/52 weeks
  • Endurance - 4/52 weeks
  • Foundation - 4/52 weeks
  • Rest and recovery - 2/52 (annual holidays)


Training metrics

Measuring progress

Progressive intervals:

Interval training

  • High Volume Interval Training (HVIT)
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Variable Intensity Interval Training (VIIT)
  • Progressive Interval Threshold (PIT™) training and testing