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Krypteia Redux: Training for Size, Strength and Athletic Dominance

Krypteia Redux: Training for Size, Strength and Athletic Dominance

This version of the Krypteia program was developed for a team training session. This is much more efficient for large groups of athletes (20-70+) who are being trained by 1-2 people.   This style of training is what we have used the past year at London H.S. for the football team. Understand that the examples below are only examples. Like every coach in the world, I program the training. And like every coach in the world we adjust the training day-to-day. The adjustments are generally based on readiness (fancy word for “are you ready to kick ass or are you worn out?”)

 There are thousands of variations that can be done with the programming; below is the most basic.

 The following training program is done after a proper warm-up is done. Everyone has their own way of prepping themselves before training thus there is no need to go into this. We also do a series of jumps and gymnastics after the warm-up.

 After all the rolling and moving, we move on to the main lift of the day. At London, we only do ONE main lift/workout. Personally, I think this is smarter, more efficient and works better than doing multiple main lifts/day.

 The main lift is either done for a PR set, a capped set or for 5 reps. The reps are all based on the programming and the readiness. The difference with the original Krypteia program starts here; we do not superset any of the main lift with assistance work. I have found that in large group settings, it’s important to really focus and tackle one thing (or one lift) at a time. There is no mistake of what is expected from the athletes: kick ass on the main lift.

 The main lift is done with a time limit; I would advise you to do the same with your athletes. Don’t rush them; make sure they understand the importance of strength work. However, it shouldn’t take someone 30 minutes to work up to a PR set.

 After the main lift, we begin our supplemental and assistance work. This is done in a circuit fashion; every set is done “every minute, on the minute.” The most basic form of this circuit combines the First Set Last of the main lift and two assistance movements (3 movements total). We generally do 5 sets of each exercise. This may change based on the time of year/readiness and goals.


  • On the days we squat or deadlift as a main lift, our assistance work consists of a push movement and a pull movement.


  • On the days we bench press as a main lift, the assistance work is a single leg/core movement and a pull movement.


A complete list of movements in each category is listed in the 5/3/1 Forever book and fairly easy to understand.

 Again, this basic template is only the beginning. You can begin twisting, pulling and shaping variations; this is where you can use your imagination and begin adjusting the training based on the athletes.

 Here are some basic training templates for the off-season.




Main Lift: Squat (sets/reps are up to the coach)


  •  Squat – FSL x 3-10 reps
  • Press – 10-20 reps
  • Kirk Rows with Trap Bar – 10-20 reps




 Main Lift: Bench Press (sets/reps are up to the coach)


  •  Bench Press – FSL x 3-10 reps
  • DB Squat – 10-20 reps
  • DB Incline Row – 10-20 reps



 Main Lift: Deadlift (sets/reps are up to the coach)


  •  Deadlift – FSL x 3-5 reps
  • DB Incline Press – 10-20 reps
  • Curls – 10-20 reps


Each circuit is done so that each movement is done five times. The reps on the supplemental work (FSL) are based on your programming. This is up to the coach.

 I have found that the strength/hypertrophy gains are as good/better than what we were doing before. However, our training is much more efficient and takes much less time. We can get all of our training done (including warm-up/jumps/mobility/conditioning) in 75 minutes. The only time it takes longer is when we use the Prowler; the set-up/break down time takes much longer.

 In the world of athletes, results and efficiency are king. This variation of the Krypteia program, when done correctly, checks both of those boxes. Final note: at NO TIME is the circuit done with improper form. The coach must observe the athletes and make a judgment call on the rest time. The coach must adjust the rest times, reps, exercises and/sets based on the performance. Just remember the principles, apply them and things magically work out.

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