Training Curriculum: Main Indicator Lifts + Accessory Movements

Main Indicator Lifts


Squat To Box – Resistance Band Squat To Box – Goblet Squat – Front Squat To Box – Barbell Back Squat To Box – Take Away 

Front Squat

7 Reasons You Need To Front Squat

Reason 1 : Front squat builds more quadriceps that back squat

Reason 2 : It is a true measure of athletic strength

Reason 3 : Front squats are easier on your back and knees than back squats

Reason 4 : Front squats are safer than back squats

Reason 5 : Front squats can improve your back squats

Reason 6 : The front squat improves your flexibility

Reason 7 : Front squat has a high transfer to Olympic lifting

Improving Squat Form with Hip Internal/External Rotation

“Improving lateral core stability helps with your hip internal rotation, like when your doing a side plank variation. If the lateral muscle of your core are strong and stable that will allow your hips to move more freely with more internal rotation at the hip. On the other end, regular anterior core stability (plank / RKC plank) helps with hip external rotation. So if your anterior core is strong that will aid in allowing your hip to externally rotate more freely. By activating and lateral AND anterior core musculature of your spine we’re freeing total hip rotation which will help you squat with better form and less restriction. 2 sets x 15-30sec (pre squat)

Bulgarian Split Squat

Goal: 1.5 x BW

Charles Poliquin On Squats

General Indicators:

Feet rotate out as they squat = tight hip rotates / poor ankle mobility

Heels raise of the ground = poor ankle mobility / tight hip flexors

Knees Valguas (collapse inwards) = tight adductors / weak hip rotators / Weak VMO (Vastus Medalis)

Can’t keep their spine neutral = tight hip flexors / weak core

Upper back rounding can’t keep chest up = weak upper back / tight pecs


“How wide should your feet be in the deadlift to train for a maximal load?

The answer is simple: it has to fit YOUR best leverage mechanics.

How do you determine that? Very simple.

Set yourself like if you were going to jump vertically for a maximum effort.

Your body never lies. You will set yourself up naturally to exert a maximal effort. Now notice the width between your feet. That is your maximal drive position! Your stance will be with the feet turned slightly outward. From this position you would simply bend the knees to grasp the barbell.

The deadlift starting position has now been set to individualize your training process. That is your preferred stance to do the maximal loads. It will be the best position you can use as you cycle through your training program.” (Source) 

Read: The Subtle But Essential Role Of The Triceps Brachii In The Deadlift

Bench Press

Chin Ups / Pull Ups

From Deadhang 




Extended Max Pullup Circuit: 

Starting with the most difficult – wide grip pronated until chin can’t reach bar

Max pullups > Rest 15 sec > Max neutral chinups > Rest 15 sec > Max supinated

Video: Improve chin up performance with extended sets for hypertrophy development by Charles Poliquin.

10 Yard/Metre Sprint

Broad Jump / Vertical Jump

Loaded Carry’s / Farmers Walk

Posterior chain development.

Upper back hypertrophy and strength: Muscles in the upper back comprise mostly of slow twitch fibres, which means they grow best under high TUT.

Shoulder health: Loaded carry’s force your shoulder’s blades to sit back and down helping people out of internal rotation.

Core strength: Force the body to create stability throughout the superficial and deep muscles of the abdomen.

Grip strength: Training grip has a direct carry over to nearly all movement’s and exercises. Few exercise’s train grip as well as loaded carry’s.

How to determine the balance between strength training and plyometrics when training vertical jump?

Use this test to design a more effective specific program for the individual.

Static Jump: 1/4 squat position, hands slightly behind hips in that ready position. Hold for 5 seconds. Explode up. Perform 2-3 times.

(This is done to negate the effects of the stretch shortening cycle which removes the elastic dynamic component in order to jump based on pure strength) 

RULE: Don’t dip down further before the jump.

Vertical Jump With Counter Movement: Normal vertical jump that you would perform in any sport. Just dip down and up in one explosive movement.

Compare the difference between your static jump to a normal vertical jump with a counter movement.

Most should be able to jump higher with the counter movement because you’re exploiting the elasticity and momentum of your musculature.

If there is no difference between the heights of the jump OR it’s only a couple inches difference you are somebody whose strength dominant. Therefore you most likely need to work on that elastic explosive component of your jump by training more reactive work of jumps and plyo’s.

 Accessory Movements

Accessory lifts are designed to assist the main indicator lifts. They act as synnergists for the indicator lifts.

Anti-Rotation Movement’s 

Adding anti movement pattern’s (anti-flexion, anti-extension, anti rotation) forces the core to stabalise under changing loads (sometime’s chaotic: therefore having a higher transfer rate to sport) in order to prevent movement in the body. The main functioning of our core is not to flex the spine, that we see a lot of the time’s people doing endless crunches. It is to protect and stabalise the spine while our appendicular skeleton move’s. AKA sprinting and changing direction.

E.G. Stability Ball Stir The Pot or Anti-Rotation ‘Alphabets’


Push Up

(Perfect pushup example here)

  1. Start on all fours
  2. Place your hands slightly narrower than your shoulders (this is more shoulder friendly)
  3. Focus your eyes on your fingertips while gripping the ground
  4. Extend both legs out straight with feet approximately shoulder width apart
  5. Point your belly button toward your face (posterior pelvic tilt)
  6. Make a “Tssss” sound via tension breath to tighten your whole body
  7. Corkscrew your shoulders into their sockets and visualize making an “X” on your back
  8. Row your body toward the floor while moving as one unit, with zero sagging or hunching
  9. Keep your elbows in fairly close to your rib cage—no chicken winging allowed!
  10. Pause momentarily at the bottom
  11. Visualize sending compressed air from your belly out through your palms as you power back up
  12. Approach your setup and each single rep with intent


Weighted > Rings > Parallel Bars > Bench

Military Press / Push Press

Bulgarian Split Squat

Straight Leg Heel Raises

Shift hips back. STOP doing endless reps of those old-fashioned “Donkey Kicks” and start doing these! Great glute activation exercise.

Glute Bridge

BB Arabesque (RDL) (BW / DBL / BB)

BB Curl

Sled Dragging / Prowler Push

Loaded Carry: Farmers Walk

Don’t have to go super heavy. Upright posture (neutral spine) and a slight shrug (like a isometric half shrug to protect the shoulders)

Band Pull Apart

(warm up/accessory movements for shoulders) 3-4 sets of 10-25.

Iso Hold YWT

Reverse Lunge + Optional Twist

Safer alternate to front lunges. 

Low Box Heel Touches

“(Great closed kinetic chain [rehab/prehab] exercise that can/should replace the Leg Extension)”

Step Up (Plate / DBL)

Fillers / Limber 11

Foam Roll IT Band
Foam Roll Adductors
SMR Glutes
Bent-knee Iron Cross (knees together side to side)
Rocking Frog stretch
Fire Hydrant circles
Dynamic Striders
Cossack Squats
Seated Piriformis stretch
Rear Foot Elevated Hip Flexor stretch (Couch stretch)



  3 Basic Lower Body Strength Templates To Improve Speed

Box Squat + Deadlift Variation

 Bulgarian Split Squat + Reverse Lunge + Step Up + Prowler Push + Sled Drag

(Unilateral Movements)

Reverse Hyper Extensions / Kettle Bell Swings / RDLs / Glute Bridges

(Hip Extention Movement)

Movements To Ignore

1. Leg Press

Adding muscle to your legs without stability and a natural range of motion is like building your life’s savings, in foreign currency. 

Your bank account is swole, but you have nowhere to spend the cash. Not to mention that you’ll probably still have to pay taxes on it (especially if you’re a “free” American).

Even if you’re not into functional exercise, you want to at least support your ability to stand, walk and run like a human being.

Showboat leg press muscles may look cool, but walking like Frankenstein ain’t.

2. Pec Deck 

When I played college football, my Freshman year I beat out a Junior for the starting spot. He was about 50 pounds heavier than me and had the biggest chest on the team. 

In the gym he’d spend several minutes every single day pumping his chest up with the pec deck machine, but on the field he was a limp dick.  
Unless you are competing in the “Hardest Hugger” competition, I see no point in this weird exercise.  Besides most dudes already have poor posture, and this exercise only increases the amount of rounding in the upper back. 

3. Smith Machine (anything) 

Again, training within a fix range of motion and no movement variance suppresses your stabilizer systems.  

Some dudes don’t care about stability… until it’s ALL they care about.

When the surgeon explains that he needs to slice him open or give him pills for his problems, then all of a sudden he becomes a student of movement. 

But hey, one of my mentors told me this…”Pain is the best teacher.”  And Professor Smith has no problem giving you an “F” for f*cked up mechanics. 

Ideas inspired by World Class Trainer Joe Defranco + Podcast #27 + Elliott Hulse Email Newsletter (Exercises To Ignore)