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Strength building. A simple approach. Part 5

So its the final day. Hopefully you are understanding the plan so far but today is the most important part, the key to making a program successful is knowing how to manipulate the numbers (sets, reps and weight) so that it works. This is what differentiates a boot camp from a programmed session. This is why when you follow a program you get better results in a faster time frame. Nothing is random, everything is done with a purpose behind it.

Now, everyone is different. Different shapes, sizes, lifestyles, discipline, eating etc. This is not a one size fits all program.

Will it help you lose some weight? Yes, if you watch what you are eating.

Will it help you build strength? Yes but there are also hundreds of other programs out there that will do the same.

Will it help you build some muscle? Yes but not as much as a bodybuilding specific protocol.

Will it cure every known disease to man? NO. BUT it may just help you avoid some of them through getting you moving more, building strength, changing your mindset and helping you focus on better quality foods. These types of things can have a domino effect.

The squat is going to accumulate reps over a longer period of time. It should feel easy, say a weight you would fail at around 35 reps but you will only do 20. Remember each rep should be controlled and deliberate, so no dropping into the squat, instead, pull yourself into the hole, pause and drive out of it.

Week 1 = 20 reps with 35rm

Week 2 = 25 reps with 35rm

Week 3 = 30 reps with 35rm

Week 4 = 35 reps with 35rm

Week 5 = 40 reps with 35rm

Week 6 = 45 reps with 35rm

Week 7 = 50 reps with 35rm

So we started with a weight you could do 35 times and HOPEFULLY in 7 weeks have brought you up to  managing 50 reps but always having it feel comfortable, i.e. without too much stress on your body which is key for anyone living a normal, 9-5, 2.4 kids, 1 dog family lifestyle.

Bench Press

For the bench, choose a weight you can press an ugly eight reps with as your guide for the working sets. Take two sets to work up to these 3 top sets. Only do 5 reps with the working weight. Stick with this weight until you feel it is easy. A guide for easy means you can do a strict 10. Add between 2.5-5kg (what ever takes you back up to an ugly 8 reps) and repeat the process.

Pull up

To increase your pull ups, you don’t need to focus on high reps, in fact doing so may hinder you. Instead I like to use ladders as they allow for the reps to stay low but the total volume to increase through increasing sets before the reps. By the time you go through a ladder cycle you will find your max rep attempt should have drastically increased from what it was. This can always be repeated with added weight.

Rotation

The rotational exercises, wood chops, paloff press barbell Russian twist etc a slow tempo is used. Choose a band resistance that is comfortable but stimulating, i.e. you can comfortably control it but it still causes your muscles to noticeably react. Use a 4 second in and out count along with a 4 second hold in the the most challenging position. Once this becomes easy, increase the resistance by with stepping to further to stretch the band more or add another band (if using the KO8) but remember you will need to step in a bit closer to the anchor point.

Swing finisher.

For the swing finisher I use a wave program. We complete 3 days of swings each day increasing by 2 swings a minute.

Week 1

Day 1 = 10 swings

Day 2 = 12 swings

Day 3 = 14 swings

Week 2

Day 1 = 12 swings

Day 2 = 14 swings

Day 3 = 16 swings

Week 3

Day 1 = 14 swings

Day 2 = 16 swings

Day 3 = 18 swings

Week 4

Day 1 = 16 swings

Day 2 = 18 swings

Day 3 = 20 swings

Once I reach 20 reps a minute, I drop back to 10 reps but increase the bell by one size.

Again, there is no set rule that you must start with 10 reps, if you only have access to one bell and 10 is your max, there is nothing to stop you beginning with 6 or 8 a minute and building from there.

Shoulder Press

For the shoulder press, its the same as the bench. Choose a weight you can press an ugly eight reps with (without losing form/structure) as your guide for the working sets. Take two sets to work up to these 3 top sets. Only do 5 reps with the working weight. Stick with this weight until you feel it is easy. A guide for easy means you can do a strict 10. Add between 2.5-5kg (what ever takes you back up to an ugly 8 reps) and repeat the process.

Inverted Row

The inverted row is the same as the bench only this time we use a steeper angle as the way to increase the load. Use some sort of mark on the floor to help you find the correct angle and aim to get yourself completely horizontal. Once you can do this, place your feet on a stool and continue. Placing weight plates on to your chest is another way this can be progressed.

Turkish Get Up

For a lot of people reading this, the Turkish Get Up will be done without a weight for quite some time. Thats fine. Do it without load until it becomes natural. Once you have that you then focus on doing it with a shoe balanced on the knuckles of your closed fist (no thumb for balance). Only then should you use a weight. A 12kg for men and 6-8kg  for women is a goal to start with. When 5 sets of 1 each side feels comfortable, look to do 2 in a row per arm for the first two sets. Each week aim to get 1 more set with 2 in it. Once you can do 5 sets of 2. Add a third to the first set and repeat the process. When you have managed  5 sets of 3, increase the bell by one size and begin at 1 rep again.

KO8 T’s

The KO8 T’s are there as an assistance exercise. Do sets of 10 at an angle you can do between 12-15 with. Once it becomes ridiculously easy, step in a bit closer and continue.

Farmer Walks

With the Farmer walks finisher all you are going to do is carry the bells as far as you can for as long as you can, trying to increase the distance or length of time carried. When you can carry them for 2 minutes without setting them down, increase the weight.

Squats and Deadlift

The squats and deadlift on day 3 will follow the same pattern. Begin with 50-60% of your 1rm. Do 5 sets of 5 reps. It should feel very easy and that is what you want for some weeks. Eventually as you continue adding 5kg each week the weight will get to the point that you can’t get 5 reps with good form. When this happens, it is time to drop down to 50-60% of your NEW 1rm and repeat the whole process.

So that is it. A simplified method to build a strength program. Like I have already said, it is not going to be perfect and some of the movements or rep ranges included are not going to suit everyone but then, what do you expect for free? This is a general plan aimed at the masses. Our programming for individuals and group sessions allows us to go much deeper into individual requirements as we can see first hand what that person needs. Hopefully you found this helpful and even if you never attend one of our programs, it will at least have shown you that strength training does not have to be complicated.

If you are interested in finding out more about any of our programmed sessions, or take advantage of our week long FREE TRIAL, then get in touch. https://lisburngym.co.uk/about/#contact

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