How to Conquer the Dreaded Deep 6
by Jon Engum
Several years ago I designed a practice based on an idea I got from Maxwell's omelet workout , the difference being where the omelet served up a bit of everything my Deep 6 focused on only the 6 core lifts in the SFG level I curriculum. My purpose was threefold, first I wanted to get conditioning benefits without messing with high reps or light weights, second I wanted a deep skill practice on all 6 Basics, third I wanted to really stress-proof my Getups. The Deep 6 delivers all of this and more ...but as I worked with students I quickly realized the ones who where strong enough to finish the Deep 6 really did not need the Deep 6 and the ones who really could benefit from it...failed to complete. The short answer to this problem was, be strong first! Easily said, a little more complex in reality.
So what follows is a practice/plan to take your group class on a guided tour of the Deep 6 , ensuring that they have and keep stellar technique as well as stay together as a unit. Before I reveal the guided session plan let us have a look at the original plan in case you are not familiar with it. Remember this is for someone who has a firm grip, pun intended, on the Basic 6. Be warned, the Deep 6 looks easy on paper but it is a whole other beast in reality.
The plan goes like this:
All lifts are done right-handed without setting the bell down between moves.
- 5 Swings
- 5 Snatches
- 5 Clean and Presses
- 5 Front Squats
- 1 Get up * from the top down ala Shawn Cairnes "the Get down"
- After the last Squat, Press the bell to lockout and do the down phase of the Getup until you are at the firing range position and then get back up.
- Now switch hands and repeat the sequence on the left. Try for 5 rounds.
Beginners: Rest 30 seconds after every hand switch, rest 1 minute between rounds.
Intermediate Level: Rest after you have competed both right and left. 30 seconds to 1 minute
Advanced Level: No rest, go through all 5 cycles.
Suggested weight: 24k for men and 12K for women. For people with masochistic tendencies use a 32k or 16k respectively.
Now that you have seen the original Deep 6 let's look at the plan to progressively implement it into a group setting.
Let's start with weight selection. Have your students grab a kettlebell that they can strictly press for about 8 reps, we want this to be heavy but they need to get 5 presses with that weight. I use the press to determine the kettlebell selection because if they can press it five times they should be able to do the other lifts no problem...if not they are not ready for this practice. One more word about weight selection, choose your "sport weight" not your"game weight". What does that mean? One humorist said if you can do an activity while chewing tobacco, it is a game not a sport. Choose a sport weight!
Have the students form a big circle. You are standing in the center of the circle. Make certain the students have plenty of room between each other; they will need to be able to have enough room to do a Getup safely.
Do 5 one arm Swings with your right arm. Put the bell down and do fast and loose until everyone finishes.
Do 5 Snatches with your right arm. Put the bell down and do fast and loose until everyone finishes.
Do 5 Clean and Presses with your right arm. Put the bell down and do fast and loose until everyone finishes.
Clean the bell with your right arm, keep the bell in the rack and do 5 Front Squats. Put the bell down and do fast and loose until everyone finishes.
Press or Pushpress the bell to the overhead lockout position and perform one Reverse Getup. Put the bell down and do fast and loose until everyone finishes.
Have the class walk around the outside of the circle twice for recovery.
Repeat the above sequence on the left side.
Have the class walk another 2 laps around the circle for recovery.
Round 1 is very easy; it has plenty of recovery built in. It gives you a chance to make adjustments in techniques or weight of the bell. It also gives the students a chance to learn the sequence of moves...it is a great start of the Deep 6 Tour.
Do 5 one arm Swings on the right and without setting the bell down immediately do 5 Snatches on the right. Set the bell down and perform fast and loose shakeouts until everyone is done.
Do 5 Clean and Presses on the right, leave the bell in the rack when finished and immediately do 5 Front Squats. Put the bell down and perform fast and loose shakeouts until everyone is finished.
Get the bell overhead in any safe manner and do one Reverse Getup. Set the bell down and do fast and loose until everyone is finished.
Jog 2 laps slowly around the outside of the circle doing shakeouts as you go for recovery.
Repeat the above sequence on your left side.
Round 2 takes up the intensity a bit by pairing the exercises and cutting down the rest period. It is a good intermediate step.
Do the whole Deep 6 on the right side without putting the bell down. After you finish the Reverse Getup, set the bell down and do fast and loose until everyone is done. Jog one lap around the outside of the circle for recovery.
Repeat on the left.
Round 3 is a good stopping point for most students. It is hard and they may need to spend some quality time at this level which is fine.
Do the full Deep 6 on your right side, swing switch and do the full Deep 6 on your left side, set the bell down and do shakeouts until the group finishes. Jog around the outside of the circle for 3 laps, progressively getting slower with each lap until they are finally just walking and things have simmered down to normal.
It will take about 45 minutes or so to get a large group through the whole lesson plan. It progressively gets more challenging with each round and of course, you can always stop at whatever round you deem appropriate. This is tried and true and I hope your classes will enjoy it. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or ping me on the StrongFirst forum and let me know how it goes.
Jon Engum is a 7th Dan Kukkiwon
Certified Taekwondo Grandmaster
and in addition holds Master rank
in Hapkido and Kumdo. He is the
author of Flexible Steel, owner of
Jon Engum's Extreme Training
and a StrongFirst Master Instructor
who teaches Workshops, Course
and Certifications worldwide.