Persist Highlights: All Three Tracks

Persist Highlights: All Three Tracks

Road Map to Persist – Upcoming Training Themes

If you are new to Functional Bodybuilding, you can jump into a training cycle any time – but one of the hallmarks of this style is that there is a long term plan. Every 6 week cycle is a building block that can stand alone, but over time you’ll also see themes that carry over from previous training and feel the longer-term progressions that are in place. Our next cycle starts Monday, March 1!

New Functional Body Composition Track Highlights

Training Split: Upper, Lower, Core & Shoulders

In our first block starting Monday you’ll see a training split of 2 upper body days (Mon. and Sat.), 2 lower body days (Tues. and Fri.), and a Core + Shoulder day on Wednesday.

This is the first time I’ve included direct core exercises inside Functional Body Composition supersets in a training program. Because this style of training works so much structural change, it can be a lot of volume to do 5 days of this style of lifting. Having one day a week that doesn’t hit the major muscle groups and focuses on the core and isolated shoulders is a fun break that still gives you lots of time under tension.

  • C1 Half Kneeling Barbell Press
  • C2 Hanging Oblique Raises
  • C3 Kettlebell Horn Curls

Common Thread: Recovery Workout

In all 3 program tracks, Thursday will be an Aerobic Bodybuilder Recovery Session. This style of workout gets your breathing up sustainably, and mixes in quality movements for a little extra volume that gets you built without burnout. Or you can take the day off.

Managing Intensity with High/Low Days So You Can Thrive

In designing training I really don’t believe that every day can be HIGH INTENSITY. As a matter of fact, this is the one variable that really needs to be manipulated most. We work closely with Individual design clients to get the balance between High and Low Intensity days right so they can thrive. One way this cycle is going to be DIFFERENT than the Functional Body Composition ebooks is that there will be HIGH/LOW days. The higher intensity lifting days will feature slightly lower rep ranges so you can push your Mechanical Loading more. The lower intensity lifting days with feature slightly higher rep ranges that will use lower weights and build more volume on progressively shorter rest periods.

  • Intensive Days – Mechanical Overload on Monday & Friday
  • Volume Days – Time Under Tensions Limits on Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday

Progressive Overload: Intensification for Building Strength

Last month I wrote about and gave a webinar on Progressive Overload, and you’ll see these themes in the upcoming track. From rep ranges, to cluster sets, to drop sets, the week over week progressions are designed to allow you to continue to lift hard even while set volume increases!

Rep range and Cluster Set Progressions

  • Week 1 – Wide Grip Bench Press; 51X1; 4-6reps; rest 30sec x 3 Sets
  • Week 3 – Wide Grip Bench Press; 51X1; 2.2.2; rest 15sec/rest 30sec x 4 Sets
  • Week 5 – Wide Grip Bench Press; 31X1; Drop Set 1.2.3; rest 15sec/rest 20sec x 5 Sets

Progressive Volume w/ Repetition Drops 

  • Week 1 – Deadlift From Blocks; 2110; 10-12reps; rest 60sec x 3 Sets
  • Week 3 – Deadlift From Blocks; 2110; 8-10 reps; rest 50sec x 4 Sets
  • Week 5 – Deadlift From Blocks; 2110; 6-8reps; rest 40sec x 5 Sets

New Movements in Functional Body Composition

I’m excited to bring some of my favorite training exercises to the FBC track that haven’t formerly hit the PERSIST or Functional Bodybuilding programs before. These new moves have been great additions to my programming and training as they really have proven to be effective at targeting specific areas of the body – and it’s fun to challenge your loading patterns in new ways.

  • Futures Method 
  • Farmers Press
  • KB Horn Pallof Press
  • Bradford Z Press

Low-Intensity Conditioning

With a focus on resistance training as the predominant method for changing body composition, this training track will still showcase conditioning pieces, but the intensity will be kept low very intentionally. There will be a handful of different formats that utilize CONTROL POINTS that are classic inside our Functional Pump Conditioning workouts to keep the focus on muscle contractions rather than HIGH EFFORT BREATHING. Come try these satisfying conditioning pieces such as: Fatigued Abdominals, Simple Couplets, Barbell Chippers, Fatigued Push and Pull, and more.

Midline Madness and Fatigued Abdominals

Not For Time – Steady Pace
100m Dual KB Rack Carry 53/35lbs
50 Hollow Rocks
80m Dual KB Rack Carry 53/35lbs
40 Anchored Feet Sit-Ups
60m Dual KB Rack Carry 53/35lbs
30 Tuck Ups
40m Dual KB Rack Carry 70/53lbs
20 Anchored Feet Sit-Ups
20m Dual KB Rack Carry 70/53lbs
10 V Ups


Overview – As we head into the second Meso Cycle of 2021, we continue to build on the FOUNDATIONAL elements that were heavily represented in Meso Cycle 1. The movement pattern and training split will remain fairly similar to the first phase of training we went through as I believe this is useful to keep consistent for at least 12 weeks to get some deeper adaptations. But again, if you are new to Functional Bodybuilding you can join in any time.


  • Monday & Friday – Lower Body Squat 
  • Tuesday & Saturday – Upper Push and Pull
  • Wednesday – Hinging Biased Lower Body

Building Progression

  • Unilateral Strength and Structural Balance
  • Aerobic Sustainable Power Conditioning Progressions
  • Strength Endurance Barbell Lifting Builds
  • Volume accumulation in accessory work get priority over Intensity work

Accessory Work with Minimal to No Rest – Progressing towards Grinders

One area that will start to evolve as we move through this training cycle is that you will see some of our classic Giant Sets of accessory movements start to have very minimal to no rest. They might even start to look like pseudo AMRAPs. This is one way to progress our accessory work and give you exposure to some fatigued based lifting without pushing the intensity too far.

Week 1

3 Sets

  1. KB Suitcase Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat; 30X0; 4-6/leg
    rest 60sec
  2. Wide Grip Strict Pull Ups; 11X1; 4-6 reps;
    rest 60sec and back to 1
    *Load your Wide Grip Pull Ups if you feel very strong here. 

Week 4

Not For Time
Dual KB Rack Step Up 20/16″ 53/35lbs
Strict Ring Pull-Ups

Barbell Heavy Wednesdays – 3 Speeds for Lifts

Wednesdays are going to feature the barbell heavily. I recognize that the barbell isn’t everyone’s favorite tool, but a large percentage of FBB athletes love some barbell work. We are going to take a similar movement pattern and explore it with 3 different speeds of contractions. Fast, Medium, and Slow. Remember, if you’re not a barbell fan (or don’t have one) you can hop into the Minimalist track any time.

Barbell Speed Strength

Power Clean Positions and Endurance

2 Slow Pull Power Clean

rest 30-45sec x 8 sets

Barbell Strength Speed

Segment Clean Pull; 4,4,4,4; rest 90-120sec

load at 100% of your best Power Clean

Barbell Slow Hinging

Clean Grip Deadlift ; 2121; 6,6,6,6 rest 90-120sec between sets

Power Work One Day A Week -Sprint and Accessory Work

While the focus still remains on base building, a single day each week will highlight some SPRINT work in a conditioning format to express POWER. These will be done in work rest formats that will allow you to be powerful without getting into too much fatigue and poor movement patterns.

3-4 sets:
8 Hang Power Clean below-knee
10sec Bike @95-97%
rest 45sec
8 Right Leg Goblet Cossack Squat
6 Alt Single Leg Strict Toes to Bar
8 Left Leg Goblet Cossack Squat
6 Alt Single Leg Strict T2B
-rest 90-120sec-

Dynamic Loading – Brain Work in the Push and Pull Saturday Giant Sets

On Saturday, we will be doing dynamic loading using bands to get some variable resistance, instability, and even some RNT work in new ways. Bands can be a great tool for progression in loading.

4 Sets

  1. RNT Single Arm DB Row; 3112; 4-6/arm (band pulls wrist forward)
    rest 45sec
  2. Elevator Bar Dip (pause 2sec top, 2sec halfway, 2sec bottom, fast press to top) x 3-5reps
    rest 45sec
  3. Banded KB Pull Over; 2010 x 12 reps
    rest 90sec and back 1

KB Flow Skills and Aerobic Fatigued Gymnastics Practice

Because they serve as a great tool to continue to help you develop your coordination, get you warmed up well, and enhance your movement complexity, there will be more KB Skill Flows and even some fatigued handstand skill practice coming every week. Use these as opportunities to slow down on the intensity and work your brain. Just like learning a new skill (ie juggling a soccer ball) this might not look pretty at first but stick with it!

3-4 Sets
6 Split Stance Switch Snatch/side
6 Rotational Snatch/side
6 Low Swing Rotational Clean/side
rest as needed between sets and movements

Row 10mins @ Easy Pace
Every 2:30 get off and perform
3 Handstand push up Negatives
10 Tall Plank Shoulder Taps

Try Persist Free – 3 Tracks Included

With a Persist subscription, you get all of the above – the new Functional Body Composition track for aesthetics, the Persist Classic track for athleticism and movement exploration, and the Minimalist track. Jump into Minimalist any time you need a great workout with a low equipment or bodyweight setup. Many of our participants have found these to be deceptively hard!

With Persist you will also get daily coaching notes, short on time options, athlete support, select program discounts, and educational opportunities for the Thinking Athlete.

Learn more about Persist and get a 2 week free trial – new cycle starts Monday, March 1!