Just like with anything when I comes to the fitness industry, it’s a bloody mind f*ck.
But after this article, you’re going to have all the fundamental knowledge you need to start strength training and get results from it.
Hold tight, you’re in for a treat.
“You’re a treat Ali alone”
Behave yourself. Keep your pants on.
Rule 1 of 6 - Do 3 sessions per week.
Doing 1 session per week, will get you nowhere. If you want to see amazing results within the next 12 weeks. You need a solid 3 sessions per week for it.
I’d look at doing a Mon, Wed, Fri – training days. Having a rest in between each session and having the weekend on. But obviously if you can’t do that format, make one work for you. Tue, Thurs, Sat – works too.
Over them 3 sessions there’s 2 ways you could go about it, here they are
Mon – Lower Body Workout
Wed. – Upper Body Workout
Fri – Full body
Mon – Full Body Workout 1
Wed – Full Body Workout 2
Fri – Full Body Workout 3
Both work. You can alternate programs, do option 1 for 4 weeks, then swap to option 2 for 4 weeks. Rotate the program to save yourself getting bored but still provides the consistency you need from a program.
Not sure what to put in your workouts? – At the bottom of the article is a link to a FREE 4 Week Plan for both options to help you out. 🙂
Rule 2 of 6 – What Exercises Are Best & How many to do?
These are personal preference. Everyone will argue what is better…
so here’s my take:
I believe doing 3 Compound Exercise to start each workouts
What is a Compound Exercise?
It’s a exercise that recruits more than one body part during the lift.
The 3 main ones I’d get you to focus on,
Squats, Deadlifts & Bench Press.
I believe them to be the best, good movements to build up on.
So my workouts over the 3 days would look like
Mon – Lower Focus – Squat (1st exercise)
Wed – Upper Focus – Bench Press (1st exercise)
Fri – Full Body Focus – Deadlift (1st exercise)
After them I’d do between 3-4 exercises to complete afterwards out of the following…
Lunge, Front Squats, Step ups, RDL, Single leg RDL, Leg press, Prone hamstring curls, Hip thrust, Glute bridge, Split squats, Walking lunges, Push ups, DB Chest press, Floor press, Shoulder press, Single arm shoulder press, lat pull downs, inverted rows, pull ups, chin ups, cable rows, bent over rows.
Try not to pick more than 2 exercises that use the same muscle.
For example: If Monday I’m doing Squats (that uses the thigh muscle mostly), I could do a Step Up after the squats, which uses the thigh muscle mostly too. Then after the step ups, I wouldn’t do anymore that uses the thigh muscle mostly.
Only because anything after 2 exercises your intensity will drop, so you won’t be doing it properly and no one likes walking like they’ve sh*t their pants for a week.
Still struggling to put a plan together for yourself? – At the bottom of the article is a link to a FREE 4 Week Plan so you don’t need to think 🙂
Part 3 of 6 – What’s The Best Footwear?
The best shoes for strength training is…
flat platform shoes, with hardly any cushion. Plimsoles most people would know them as.
Converse, Vans, Metcons.
You don’t want big cushion trainers (like running trainers) because when you’re lifting you want your feet flat to the floor and plus when you lift heavy, you need as much contact to the hard floor as possible to get the most out of the lift. You having big cushions, will just waste energy for you.
Part 4 of 6 – Start Light, Master Form
Never jump in with a heavy weight.
I’m a powerlifter and every new block I start which includes new exercises, I start around 40-60% of my max EVERY TIME.
At this current time of writing I have a 250kg deadlift, I’m starting a new block next week, and on plan I’m hitting my first week with a 150kg deadlift. (yes it’s still a lot, but it’s 100kg under my max).
Start with a weight that might be too light on week 1,
but get comfortable with the new plan.
Then push on week on week after that.
Part 5 of 6 – Film Yourself Send To A Coach
The only way you get better is by asking someone who knows to help.
Simple, lift, review, get answers, learn, put into action – process.
If you feel you’re not doing something right, or you just want to check if you’re doing it right
film yourself doing it and send it to a coach.
I’m sure any coach will be happy to help.
Make sure it’s a clear video of yourself and just ask myself or a coach you like and say
“hey, I’m doing a Squat the other day, I just want to make sure I’m doing it well or if there’s anything I need to take on board and do better, please could you take a little look. thank you”
No coach will turn away a chance to help someone get better. Well, I wouldn’t.
They only way to get better is by self review and have expert help you. An extra pair of eyes can help you pick out something you might not be able to see.
Part 6 of 6 – Progressive Overload & De loads.
“Progressive overload training is a type of strength training that involves gradually increasing the intensity or difficulty of workouts over time. The goal of progressive overload is to maximise results by regularly challenging the body.”
That is essential part of strength training in order to progress.
Here’s my top 4 ways of Progressive Overload.
- Increasing range of motion. If you squat to a 24 inch box, so you sit back onto the box and do that for 10 reps. Week 1, that’s difficult, week 3 you find it easier. So now, I’ll get you squatting to a 20 inch box. You’ve then increase the range of motion by 4 inches.
- Increasing reps. 6 reps of goblet squats with a 10kg kettlebell, will feel tough on week 1 but week 3, you’re finding it easier. So to make it more challenging, instead of 6 reps, I might get you do 8 or 10 reps.
- Increasing sets. If you were doing 3 sets of 6, goblet squats. When they get easier, I might get you to do an extra set (4 sets of 6) so you’ve increased to another set of 6.
- Increasing weight. You might be doing 6 reps of 70kg deadlifts. Week 1 feels tough, week 3, feels easier… so we can put either up it to 75 to 80kg for 6, to progress on.
Every 1 to 2 weeks, look to progress in one of the 4 ways.
Then every 5/6 weeks, you’ll need to Deload.
Deload – “A reduction in the intensity of one’s physical training, as a short recovery period.”
Your body has a tolerance level & a stress level
If your tolerance level is a 60%,
week 1 of your strength program, your body’s stress is at 45%
by week 4 & 5, if you’re progressed every week.
Your stress level will have gone up, because you’re lifting heavier or doing more work
so it’s naturally rises, and by week 4 & 5 you’ve probably surpassed your tolerance level
Stress level is probably hitting 70-90%, so in order to make sure your body doesn’t feel too fatigued and over trained. You need a deload week, a week of going back to below week 1’s weights and just doing that for a week.
So your stress levels and drop back below under your tolerance level.
It’s good your stress goes ups, it’s builds on your tolerance, but you just need to make sure you don’t take it too far that your body can’t full recover.
I know there’s a lot,
but I really hope this helps.
If you want a FREE 4 Week Training Plan, link below to receive yours: DOWNLOAD HERE