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In a little more than a week, the Kill Cliff Granite Games will kick off the 2016 season with their Online Qualifier. You can’t hate me for this next statement but you need to hear it…That time frame does not allow for improvements in overall capacity or fitness. If you are trying to get tangibly better at this point you are not focusing on the right places

The best “bang for your buck” logistical items which will tremendously help your scoring potential through the four weeks of qualifying events are:

  • Setting your schedule
  • Creating and executing your “themes” during the week
  • Strategy and Game situation scenarios

Set your schedule

Pick the day each week that you want to attempt the qualifier events and stick to it.

For my clients, the standard competition day is on Saturday morning. This generally allows the most recovery going into the event. And it generally allows the least stress from other life commitments tugging at your time resources. Furthermore, Saturday best helps getting athletes on the same page to compete simultaneously amongst each other.

In terms of Masters competitors, that crew might just like Sunday attempts. Sunday attempts do not typically get a lot of ‘air time’ in terms of their positivity. However, Sunday (mostly) ensures an added day of rest after the workweek. And if other folks in the gym did the event on a Saturday, you can hopefully get some tips on best pacing strategies from them.

The final word in terms of choosing your date: Know with high certainly when you tend to feel the best and get the most out of your performance. This is not a guess. This is from weeks/months/years of awareness around what you have done, what has worked, and what hasn’t so that you can KNOW what works the best for you.

Themes during the week

If you are serious about your Qualifier scores, these are the themes I would stick with throughout the week:

  • Work backwards from the date you designate as the qualifier – that’s the center of the programming now
  • Maximize your energy rhythm throughout the week – I prefer a High/Low method for this where the sessions alternate intensity levels; this ensures patterns of consistency for game-day
  • The initial weeks of programming during an online event ought to be very bland – once movements have appeared in events then you can start adding back volume to them with confidence they will not accumulate further fatigue
  • During a competition phase, only the competition matters; do not aim to make significant progressions on your fitness levels – a 5-10% decline in linear fitness metrics (1RM, time-trials, ect) are perfectly acceptable during this phase

OPEX Training Week Sample:




  • Create rhythm here as a ‘tough’ day in the case of a redo
  • Challenging BB complex
  • 7-12 min capacity

Sample: Male 1-3 years sport

A. Sq Cl x1 + Hang Sq Cl x1 + FS x1 – One complex every 75 sec until failure – Load from 155lb adding 10lb per round

B. For time: 10-to-1 Toes to bar – 30x DU EMOM starting at 0:00 of the clock + 8 min AMRAP – Game pace 3,6,9,12,15,18..etc
Snatch 75lbs
CTB pull-ups



  • Very easy day
  • Develops patterns of High/Low in the training week
  • Mostly cyclic work

Sample: Male 1-3 years sport

Row 350m
(rest 60 seconds)
(rest 5-8 minutes)

-Reads as 20 sets total
-Start from 1:58/500m opening set
-Drop 1-2 sec per 500m per round
-Reset back to 1:58/500m for the second block



  • Consistent day in the week
  • ‘Priority’ day
  • Far enough from qualifiers to work continued weaknesses

Sample: Male 1-3 years sport

A. Drop Sn – Double @50% Sn1RM every 75 sec x6

B. Sq Sn – 6× – Drop and quick reset @70-85% – rest 3 min btwn sets

C1. Sn High Pull – 5×5 TNG – build from 85% Sn – rest 60 seconds

C2. CTB pull-ups – 5× cluster AFAP – rest 3+ minutes

D.. Ghd raise @40X1 – 4×4-6 – load with plate against sternum for added difficulty – rest 120 sec





  • CNS heightening
  • Low volume
  • Moderate intensity
  • Some lactate

Sample: Male 1-3 years sport

A.BS @20X1; 2,2,1 @70-85% – rest 2-3 min

B. PC; 2,2,2,2 – all TNG from 75% 1RM– rest 90 sec
+ 3 sets – Sprint
5 Burpees AFAP
7 DB thrusters 30lb ea. AFAP
9 Assault calories AFAP
(rest 4-8 min)



  • Qualifier event
  • Expected TOUGH session in the week

Sample: Male 1-3 years sport

Kill Cliff Granite Games Online Qualifier 2016



Enjoy the summer outside!

Sample: Male 1-3 years sport

90 minute hike over McDowell Mt. Preserve

Strategy and game planning

When an athlete has a plan, they have confidence. Confidence is so influential in this sport because often times the separator of good-from-great is an athlete’s belief in what they know they can do.

Suffice it to say, after each Thursday evening event announcement, the coach ought to make themselves aware of all the rules and details of that event to best support their competing athletes.

OPEX is well-known for the producing industry-leading strategy guides for events. Each week of the Granite Games Online Qualifiers you can expect a thorough strategy guide from OPEX, detailing items such as: equipment considerations, specific warm-ups, pacing schemes, and nutritional considerations around the event. Tune into the Granite Games or OPEX Fitness Facebook pages every Friday morning to see these guides.