Telos Group Classes 101

In previous blogs (Click Here), we discussed the conjugate method and how we structure our group classes at Telos. We will be revisiting that topic with more information and tips on how to optimize your training with the structure. 

Group Classes Overview

As our name implies, we work on both strength and conditioning. Our classes start off with a 10-15 minute warm-up, 20-25 minute strength piece, followed by conditioning work that lasts anywhere from 10-20 minutes. 

  • Strength focused work typically requires a barbell/weights. The exercises you’ll find are the ones listed above.

  • Conditioning work is focused on getting the heart rate up; we use lighter weights (using kettlebells or dumbbells) as well as cardio equipment like rowers, jump ropes, and bikes. 


Before we dive into the details of our structure, here is a list of strength exercises/compound lifts you will find in the strength piece of our group classes. After a few weeks, you will become familiar with these lifts and will realize we do them often. 

  • Upper body:

    • Flat Bench Press

    • Incline Bench Press

    • Decline Bench Press

    • Strict Press

    • Push Press

  • Lower Body:

    • Conventional Deadlift

    • Sumo Deadlift

    • Elevated Deadlift

    • Deficit Deadlift

    • Back Squat

    • Front Squat


Conditioning includes a variety of exercises, and acronyms. Here are a few acronyms to be familiar with:

  • AMRAP, X minutes: As many rounds as possible in X minutes

    • 2x 7-minute AMRAP 

      • 12-Push Ups

      • 20 Banded Rows

      • 12 Kneeling Med Ball Slams

    • What the above conditioning piece entails: Perform as many rounds of the 3 exercises for 7 minutes; repeat 2 times. There will be a break after the first 7 minutes before you repeat it again. 

  • EMOM, 10: Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes

    • 16 min EMOM

      • Minute 1: 10 gorilla rows 

      • Minute 2: 40s plank

      • Minute 3: 30 banded tricep extension

      • Minute 4: 10 Z-Press

    • In this EMOM, you have 4 different exercises that you will complete, each one starting at a different minute. For example, on minute-1, I will complete 10 gorilla rows. After I finish those, I rest for the remainder of the minute until the next minute starts. On the second minute, I’ll perform 40s of a plank…and so on. Once you get through all 4 (after 4 minutes), you go back to the top and repeat until 16 minutes is completed.


As shown below, we alternate between upper and lower body exercises, and maximum and dynamic effort. What does that mean? 

  • Maximum effort (ME) is the “heavy” work. These lifts are usually “rep maxes”. For example, 1-rep max bench (1RM Bench), 3RM deadlift, 5RM squat, etc. ME rep ranges typically go from 1-5 reps. 

  • Dynamic effort (DE) is aimed to improve speed. You’ll do similar lifts that you do for maximum effort days however your focus is not to lift as heavy as possible but instead to work on speed. We assign percentages to these lifts. 

  • An example of a strength piece throughout a week:

    • Monday (ME, Lower body): 1RM Front Squat

    • Tuesday (DE, Upper body): 4 sets of 6 repetitions of Strict Press at 65% of your 1RM

    • Thursday (DE, Lower body): 5 sets of 5 repetitions of Back Squat at 65% of your 1RM

    • Friday (ME, Upper body): 1RM Bench Press

Further, we include 3 days of non-strength training; these are the conditioning days. This allows our members to get proper recovery from strength work and allows the body to repair itself. It is not a good idea to lift weights 7 days a week without recovery, therefore we take care of that and include it in our plan. 


For our classes, we follow a specific structure that has been proven effective for strength and fitness progression. We don’t just randomly put exercises together; instead our percentages and rep-ranges are carefully chosen to follow a structured plan. The percentages for DE days and the rep-ranges for ME days are selected carefully. 

In addition, we follow 3-week cycles. This means that you’ll often see similar exercises for 3 weeks and the goal is to progress within that cycle (either by going heavier, or doing more repetitions). After 3 weeks, we change the exercises and follow a new cycle. This is part of the progress structure we have found effective. 

Optimize your training

How can you optimize your training? Here’s a list of things we recommend:

  • Consistency!

    • Try to make 5 days of the week if possible (Monday-Friday). 

    • If you’re limited on time, we recommend at least one upper and one lower body day. From there, you can adjust appropriately and add in more days as you see fit. 

  • Don’t neglect Wednesday’s conditioning and mobility day

    • As Coach Matt has highlighted– “motion is lotion”. Give your body a break from the heavy lifting and get movement in the body. This is an effective active recovery day. 

  • Track your numbers and record your progress 

    • We have been emphasizing this a lot because it is so important. We designed a Telos Log Book to help with this, and we’re happy to see so many of our members  utilizing it!

    • Remember that progress does not always come in the form of bigger numbers/heavier lifts. It can also be: improved technique, increased body awareness, better recovery…these are all things to pay attention to as well. 

  • Ask a coach to review your form! 

    • There is always something to work on. Even seasoned athletes have their form critiqued/analyzed. We are here to help and give advice on how you can improve.