Progressions Enable Progress

Regardless the population (children, general, tactical, athletes, or adaptive), every human should have capacity to safely, effectively, and efficiently perform basic, functional (i.e., compound, multi-joint) exercises. Proficiency and mastery of the basics (e.g., running, jumping, squatting, deadlifting, pressing, etc.) enables greater and more applicable expressions of functionality, fitness, and athleticism. Therefore, it is essential that coaches and trainers design and implement foundational (i.e., block zero, elements, on-ramp) programs that utilize basic progressions and linear periodization to cultivate mechanically sound technique and baseline fitness.

Overhead Press Progression: Shoulder Press, Push Press, Push Jerk

The format and application of foundational training programs may vary depending on the setting, population, and allotted time. However, the content within the programs should remain consistent. Similar to the Nine Foundational Movements of CrossFit, emphasis should be placed on the following exercises:

These movements are safe, mechanically sound, and facilitate superior expressions of muscular endurance, strength, power, and speed. Furthermore, these exercises train movement patterns that are found in life, thus likely to enhance individuals’ competency to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).

Pictured below is a variation of the foundational program that I utilize with my athletes and clients. As previously stated, the design and implementation of the program will be dependent on multiple factors including: facilities, population, time, equipment, injuries, etc. Thus, it is important to evaluate the program and make the necessary modifications to better serve your athletes/clients.