The Why Behind The 98 Program. - 98 Gym
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Kev Toonen

The Why Behind The 98 Program.

“Why are we doing this again?”

We have been hearing this question/statement a bit of late, and I like when people ask questions about training, programing and lifting here, it shows you want to know more.

So I’ll run down as to the “why” of one of our sessions, so we are all aware of the benefits and reasons.

5 min easy work (walk/run/bike/row/ski)
2 rounds
Mini band walks
10 x banded pull aparts
5 x glute walk outs
10 x hamstring squats
Ankle flexion

3 x 8 Bench Press
+ 5 pull ups (or isometric pull up hold for 20 seconds)
2 mins rest between sets
5 x 10 DB Squat and press (use a weight that you can maintain form with 12-20kg)
20-1KB Ladder (10-1 for beginners and use a weight that you can maintain form with.)
3 rounds
15 DB floor press
10 DB bentover row
15 banded tricep push down


Warm Up

A well designed warm up can mentally and physically prepare your athletes for the demands of training and sport. Done correctly it can boost athletic performance, reduce injury and lessen the potential for muscle soreness after training. Dynamic warm ups help develop kinesthetic awareness and maximize active ranges of motion.
The idea is to Warm up – increase body temp, Activate – priming the neuromuscular system, and Motivate – psychologically prepare yourself for the demands of the session. Keep in mind that if you need more of a warm up or specifics done for you then YOU should turn up earlier and do this. On time is 5 mins before the start of the session.

Main Body

Principles are what anchor program design, principles, science, biological laws of training. These help us wade through the amazing amount of shit that everyone has pushed on them. The way I put the program together is based 100% on fact, I don’t place things in their that won’t illicit a positive result on your strength or conditioning, this would be cheating you.

So going back to the above example we always do a main lift, a squat, deadlift, bench or some sort of press. We do this as these lifts take the most effort, require the most focus and neuromuscular coordination. Now after a press of any movement I want to even it up with some sort of pull, something that involves the back. So this time we have pull ups or a iso hold. A stronger back, makes a stronger chest and shoulder. From there we move into our lower body movement which is a dumbbell squat and press, this I picked because of the multi-joint movements involved. Done correctly and with a weight that suits your strength (STR) you will use your legs, (lower back, glute, hamstrings, calves and quads), trunk ( I call the abs, midline, mid section lower, mid back the trunk because I cant stand the words abs and core), shoulders and arms. The most talked about 10mins of your session the last few weeks…the kettlebell swing ladder. This is simple, volume in your lower back, glutes, hamstrings, calves and trunk. Teaching you to hip hinge (deadlift movement) with a light weight. If you feel it in your lower back then lower the weight (ego issue) or ask for a coach to check your form. Most of the time its minor corrections in form and a focus on technique. This movement will load the posterior chain and improve your strength and technical movement under fatigue and load. We don’t do random workouts here, we deal only in facts and what works. Emotion should be for romantic comedies.
The finishers or circuts at the end are to add volume into the areas that need more work but are unloaded or light weight with more intensity. This serves two purposes, one to increase overall conditioning with raising your heart rate and two, to have you increase volume on the smaller muscle groups that we have to catch up on. We need to do this until the movements become second nature, we want you to lunge well, push, pull, twist and breath under control. We want to make your weak areas stronger.

Cool Down/Recovery Work.  

There are various ways and techniques to enhance recovery, it is important to understand how to use these before during and after training. What works today may not work tomorrow.
1. Active Recovery – 10-20 mins of easy work post lactic training…stretch/roll
2. Complete rest – Eight – ten hours sleep
3. Massage
4. Hot and cold therapy
5. Diet/supplementation
6. Psychological recovery

The biggest takeaway for you after all this is… I look at every session as a way to enhance your strength, conditioning, endurance, coordination, stability, recovery and movement. Doing something 8 or 9 times over a period of 4 weeks means you’ll have a better chance of improving one of the numerous areas that we need to focus on.


If you ever have questions, any of the coaches will be happy to answer you or point you in the right direction.