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Strength building. A simple approach. Part 2

For the second part of Strength building. A simple approach, we look at some of the exercises involved in the program in more detail.

Squats:

Choose a weight that is ridiculously easy, if that means only a bar or even lighter, so be it. If you can’t do back squats safely, choose front squats. If you can’t hold the bar in the correct position because of wrist/lat mobility, choose the bodybuilder style grip or a goblet squat until you have sorted your mobility issues.

You are going to do 20 reps, thats it. It should seem easy, it should seem too light but as the weeks progress, it will become harder. You are going to complete this squat set twice a week. You will add 5 REPS to the set every Monday. You will complete the same set on the Friday, until you reach 50 reps. Then you will simply add between 5-10kg, drop to 20 reps and repeat the process.

For the other day we are going to add kilos each week. This is why we start with approx 50-60% of your one rep max as by the end of 12 weeks you will be squatting 60kg more for 5×5. I will say it again, just because you aren’t lifting close to your 1rm doesn’t mean you aren’t improving it.

Bench:

Possibly the best known strength program there is, 5×5. 5 sets of 5 reps. Choose a weight you can press SEVEN to EIGHT times and do 5. The first two sets are warm ups that increase in weight each set. You will have your working weight on the bar for the third set and keep that weight on the bar for the following two. The weight should never go beyond feeling comfortable. Stick with this weight until it feels easy, then increase the weight to one that feels comfortable (usually between 2.5-5kg) and repeat the process.

Pull up ladders:

Ladders are one of the simplest ways of increasing strength. This workout is based on the assumption you can do at least 5 pull ups (if you can’t then follow our tutorial on how to achieve your first pull up, following the above pattern with the appropriate exercise) This will be done 3 days a week. Monday/Wednesday/Friday. You do 1 rep, drop down, have a short rest, then complete 2, another short rest, then 3, take big rest (approx 3-5 minutes) and repeat 3 times. The pattern you use is as follows.

Day 1: 1.2.3 x 3 total 18

Day 2: 1.2.3 x 4 total 24

Day 3: 1.2.3 x 5 total 30

Day 4: 1.2.3 x 6 total 36

Day 5: 1.2.3 x 7 total 42

Day 6: 1.2.3 x 8 total 48

Once you have done six sessions, you drop back to 3 sets but add another rep set in so it will be

1.2.3.4 x 3 total 30 reps

1.2.3.4 x 4 total 40 reps

1.2.3.4 x 5 total 50 reps

1.2.3.4 x 6 total 60 reps

Now drop to 2 sets and add a 5th rep/set in

1.2.3.4.5 x 2 total 30 reps

1.2.3.4.5 x 3 total 45 reps

1.2.3.4.5 x 4 total 60 reps

Once you have finished this set, you can repeat the whole process with added weight or a harder version of the regressions found in our tutorials.

Wood chops:

A great exercise that for some reason many overlook. It can be done many ways but the most popular would be using a cable machine or resistance bands. For this particular drill I like to use a tempo so that you really feel the movement. The key is use the trunk to rotate the body while keeping the entire body locked in place.

Swing:

I LOVE the kettlebell swing. It is a simple and effective way to get the heart raised and get a bit of a sweat on. If you don’t know how to do the swing properly then look into ways of regressing it, from the Bulgarian goat bag swing all the way down to the chop and pop.

Pick a weight that is comfortable and set a timer for 10 minutes. Do ten swings, then set the bell down and shake your limbs loosely. At the beginning of every minute, repeat this process, 10 swings then fat loose. This works out as a total of 100 swings. As we progress through it, it will double in number so trust me when I tell you to start with a bell that feels like it is almost too easy.

In part 3 we will continue looking at the exercises that will make up this program.

Pól

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