Persist April 2023 Highlights

Persist april Cycle Highlights

It is April and springtime is here in the Northern Hemisphere. We are getting some more sunshine between bouts of rain out in California and you can almost feel that the warmer weather is on the way. That always gives me a little training boost. Coming out of the winter and into the warmer and brighter days has me motivated to dive back into training with great focus and intensity. How about you?

If you are like me then this upcoming cycle of PERSIST is going to feature the continued evolution of our main training tracks. PUMP, PILLARS, and PERFORM are the foundation of how anyone can experience Functional Bodybuilding. Depending on how you like to emphasize the Look Good Move Well training philosophy, we have you covered.

Persist PUMP - Build Lean Muscle

PUMP is your place to emphasize resistance training with an emphasis on building muscle and sculpting your physique. If you still want to get your cardio in, don’t worry. PUMP doesn’t neglect work capacity. We curate the best conditioning formats to complement your muscle gains.

Persist PILLARS: Foundations in 1 Hour

PILLARS is where we blend the concepts from PUMP and PERFORM. The goal is to deliver all the foundations of Functional Bodybuilding in a very precise 60min workout session. Each day in PILLARS will feature the training elements that we believe to be the “Pillars” of FBB. A thoughtful warm-up, strength intensity, strength balance, and conditioning. We will leave you with a short recovery/cool down to wrap your day in under an hour.


Don’t forget MINIMALIST! If the COVID-19 Pandemic taught us anything it is that the ability to train with minimal equipment, just about anywhere, can be a game changer when life is uncertain, unpredictable, or tight on time. The problem with minimal equipment programs is often that they are not very thoughtful and just ask for you to do endless burpees and squats every single day. Not with FBB. Each training cycle we offer you a chance to perform the best FBB has to offer in the way of training programs with limited equipment options. Expect to see workouts from PUMP, PILLARS, and PERFORM, all thoughtfully planned and adapted to a 5 day a week schedule with not much more than a set of dumbbells.

what to expect in this cycle

For you long-time members, here are some things I’m particularly excited about this coming April training cycle that our Persist Testing Group has also given feedback on to corroborate.


Monday – Upper Body Horizontal Push Pull
Tuesday – Lower Body Quad Biased
Wednesday – Tricep Bicep Shoulder Core
Friday – Lower Body Posterior Chain Biased
Saturday – Upper Body Vertical Push Pull

Pump Training Format Highlights
  • Upper Body Giant Set Monday – A three movement strength superset that will destroy the upper body.
  • Suitcase Walking Lunge Sets Friday – 2 sets of 24-40 Lunges that you have the option to progressively load and intensify each week.
  • Agonist Bicep SuperSet Wednesday – Curls in two positions to target lengthened and shortened positions.
  • Reverse Pyramid Box Squats Tuesday – Heaviest set first. Then decrease weight and increase reps with the following sets.
  • Metabolic Stress Arm Finisher Saturday – A six minute AMRAP of light weight max rep biceps and triceps to make your arms explode.


Monday – Lower Body – Back Squat & Hamstring Strength Focus
Tuesday – Upper Body – Overhead Strength Push Press/Jerk Focus
Wednesday – Full Body – Conditioning Bias w/ Hinge Focus Power Clean/Deadlift
Friday – Lower Body – Snatch and Split Squat Strength Focus
Saturday – Upper Body – Pulling Focus Pull Ups and Rows

Perform Training Format Highlights
  • Monday Back Squat Back Off AMRAP Sets – Pressive build to heavy sets of 3-5 reps in the back squat with a back of set for max reps every week.
  • Tuesday 3 Movement Alphabet Soup Conditioning – Our classic alphabet soup conditioning format reimagined with only 3 movements.
  • Wednesday Touch and Go NO HOOK GRIP Deadlift – An overhand grip deadlift without a hook grip or straps to push your grip and upper back.
  • Friday Knee Over Toe Split Squat – Building on past cycles of split squat work with a focus on range of motion and hip/knee/ankle mobility.
  • Saturday Chest Press Interval Weight Training – Interval weight training with a CHEST focused exercises right into a cardio high aerobic pace.
  • Saturday Upper Body Pulling Giant Set – Three back to back pulling exercises to overload the upper back for strength.


Monday – Upper Body – Push Press and Barbell Row Strength Focus
Tuesday – Lower Body – Front Squat Focus w/ Quad/Hamstring Balance
Thursday – Hinge & Push – Single Leg Hinge & Bench Press
Friday – Squat & Pull – Strict Pull Ups & Split Squats

Pillars Training Format Highlights
  • Monday Arm Pump Finisher – A five minute AMRAP of light weight max rep biceps and triceps to make your arms explode.
  • Tuesday Pause Front Squat Progression – A simple progression for 6 weeks of Pause Front Squats, starting at 8 reps and making our way down to 3 reps.
  • Thursday B-Stance Deadlift Strength and Balance Build – Unilateral hinge work with a barbell to develop hip strength and balance.
  • Friday Conditioning Chipper Challenge – A four Movement Chipper that has challenged our testing group each week to finish under the 15min time cap.


Monday – Upper Body – Upper Body Power + Upper Body Strength Focus
Tuesday – Lower Body – Single Leg Hypertrophy Focus, Quad/Hamstring Balance
Wednesday – Sprint, Rehab, and Long Cardio Focus
Friday – Hinge & Push – Single Leg Hinge + Shoulder Emphasis
Saturday – Squat & Pull – Strict Pull Ups & Advanced Split Squat Variations

So how do you make sense of all of this?

Identify the training track that lights you up the most when you read about it. Both the description of what the track goals are and the training highlights. You should feel connected to what you are doing and the WHY behind the program.

Next, these notes are here to help you better understand what is ahead in your training for the next 6 weeks. I use a preview of my training ahead to orient my focus and energy to the places that present the best opportunities for me to grow. For example, when I see that there are Pause Front Squats coming in Pillars for 6-weeks, I get focused and excited to build these weak point in my squat. Or when I see a that there will be Reverse Pyramid Box Squats I know I’m going to be able to bring some extra intensity to Tuesdays in PUMP.

Lastly, you don’t have to stay in one training track forever. I highly encourage you to stick to one track for a full 6-weeks to allow the progressions to do their thing and help you get better. If you miss a day here or there no big deal. If you swap out a few workouts over these next 6 weeks, also not a big deal. But try if you can to avoid program hopping inside a training track once you’ve found your groove.

I’ll be back Friday with some specific examples from each track to can help you visualize what sort of training you will see starting Monday.

a taste of what’s to come

The hallmark of a training day in PERSIST is that from start to finish it feels like a focused and thoughtfully scripted dance. Each part leads to the next and the theme of the day is clear. However, to get you excited about the upcoming cycle, I present to you the PERSIST MASH UP. I’ve pieced together segments from different days to showcase some of the highlights of a PERSIST workout in a single day look.

If you see something that looks fun and want to give it a crack this weekend in preparation for the start, then by all means have at it!


Intensity Absolute Strength (Tuesday)

Front Squat 21X0; 8,8,8,8; rest 90-120sec between sets
*Ensure you pause for 1 second at the bottom of each and every rep

Strength Balance (Monday)

Every 75sec x 6 (3 sets per side)
1st – Half Kneeling Landmine Press Right @ 20X0 x 8-10reps
2nd – Half Kneeling Landmine Press Left @ 20X0 x 8-10reps

Conditioning (Friday)

For Time 50 Back Squats 45/35lbs
40 Barbell Curls 45/35lbs
300m Run
60 Back Rack Reverse Lunges (30/leg) 45/35lbs
300m Run
40 Barbell Curls 45/35lbs
50 Back Squats 45/35lbs
15min Time Cap

Arm Pump Finisher (Monday)

Finisher Arms
2:30 – AMRAP DB Hammer Curls (20/10lbs)
2:30 – AMRAP Supine Tricep DB Extension (20/10lbs)

PUMP Mash Up Day

Pre-fatigue (Monday)

2 Sets:
10-15 Bench Dips @ 20X0
10-15 Seated Zottman Curls @ 20X0
10-15 Seated DB Reverse Flyes @ 20X0

Strength Intensity (Tuesday)

Every 2:30 x 4 Sets
Barbell Hip Thrust
Set 1 – 6 reps @ 20X1 RPE 6/10
Set 2 – 6 reps @ 20X1 RPE 7/10
Set 3 – 6 reps @ 20X1 RPE 8/10
Set 4 – AMRAP @ 20X0 TEMPO using 75-80% of set 3

Rest as needed

Every 2mins x 3 sets
Box Squat
Set 1 – 6-8 reps @ 21X1 (TOUGH SET 7-9/10 RPE)
Set 2 – 8-10 reps @ 21X1
Set 3 – 10-12 reps @ 21X1

Conditioning (Monday)

Every 3mins x 4 Sets
8-12 Dual KB Floor Press 21X0 53/35lbs
25/20 Calorie Row

Arm Pump Finisher (Saturday)

3 mins max reps 
Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curl (20/10lbs)
Rest 1min
3 mins max reps Supine Tricep DB Extension (20/10lbs)


HOT START (Monday)

4 Rounds Continuous
12 Alternating Cobra Step-ups 24/20″ (6/leg)
12 Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High Pull 53/35lbs
Bike 12-20 Cals

Absolute Strength (Wednesday)

3 Working Sets
Touch and Go No Hook Grip Deadlift; 10-10-10; rest 2mins between sets

Strength Intensity (Saturday)

3 Working Sets
4-6 Weighted Pronated Strict Pull Ups or Bodyweight Pronated Strict Pull Ups
6-8 Pendlay Rows 40sec Farmers Carry Heavy (use straps)
Rest 2-3mins between sets

Conditioning (Tuesday) 

Every 3mins x 5 Sets
A – 14-20 Calories Bike
B – 8-12 Burpee Over Rower
C – 3-6 Bar Muscle Ups or 8-15 Kipping Pull Ups
Rotate the order of every set:


Intensity Absolute Strength (Friday)

Every 75sec x 4 Rounds (12 total sets)
1st – Right Leg Split Stance Romanian Deadlift; 11X1 x 10reps
2nd – Left Leg Split Stance Romanian Deadlift; 11X1 x 10reps
3rd – Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press; 11X1 x 16 reps (8/side)
*All Sets 7-8/10 RPE

Strength Balance (Saturday)

Every 75sec x 6 (3 sets per side)
1st – Suitcase Knee Over Toe Split Squat Right Leg @ 20X0 x 8-10reps
2nd – Suitcase Knee Over Toe Split Squat Left Leg @ 20X0 x 8-10reps
*All Sets 7-8/10 RPE

Conditioning (Tuesday)

For Time
Jump Lunges (R+L = 1)
Hanging Knee Tucks
2 Shuttle Runs Each Round
*15min Time Cap

new cycle starts mon. april 3rd!

Get started today by signing up for your 2 week free trial! Get access to all four tracks of Persist to find what works for you, your goals, and your lifestyle. Click the link below to get started!

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