Strength Training Program One

  • Level: Beginner.

  • Focus: General, foundational strength and muscle gain.

  • Duration: 12 weeks.

Strength Training Program 1

The following strength training program is a periodised 12 week programme for developing strength and muscle size. This program will help develop a solid foundation for further strength and conditioning work.

Exercises

Over the course of 12 weeks you will need to master a few exercises. These exercises can all be performed with a barbell and dumbells and do not require further equipment, even a bench. Some of the exercises are pictured and described in our exercises section, others are common exercises that you can learn by either getting professional instruction or looking for them online on sites like you tube.

Please note that this strength training program, like all others on this site, utilises only compound exercises, never isolation.

Before starting the program please ensure you learn the exercises properly.

The Exercises

  • Squat: Back squat, front squat and bodyweight squat.

  • Lunge: Barbell, dumbell and bodyweight.

  • Bent over row: Barbell and dumbell.

  • Pull-up: Wide, underhand and overhand.

  • Push-up: Wide, narrow, feet elevated, chest elevated, single arm.

  • Upright row.

  • Overhead press: Dumbell and barbell.

  • Leg lowers/leg raises.

  • Russian twist.

Parameters

Any strength training program should be undertaken in stages, you need to walk before you can run and there is no point trying to start beyond your capabilities. The intensity for all strength training that we prescribe is high, the workouts are brief and they are frequent.

  • Lifting speed: 4 seconds up, 2 seconds down. There is a reason for the positive (concentric) portion of the lift being longer than the negative (eccentric). Just trust that it has a purpose.

  • Intensity: High. Being high intensity, this program needs to be brief in order to maintain the intensity and allow for adequate recovery. To give you an idea, high intensity is almost muscle failure. What this means is that you should get to the point where you could barely perform another repetition.

  • Rest Between Sets: 30 - 60 seconds phase one, 2 -3 minutes phase two, 90 seconds phase three. While developing foundations you need rests to be short to stimulate the body’s ability to recover quickly. Phase two is a maximum strength phase and requires long rests to get the most from each and every set. Phase three is higher reps and is designed to build muscle size and requires an intermediate rest period.

  • Volume: Low. Low volume means that you are not training for hours at a time, this is pointless and defeats the purpose of using the high intensity protocol. More is not better, only do what is prescribed, no extra.

  • Frequency: Moderate. Frequency refers to how often you train. I don’t believe in low frequency training where you only train once or twice a week. The idea is to train reasonably frequently at high intensity with very brief workouts. This is followed by extended rest periods of up to a week after a program has been completed. The frequency here is 4 - 5 days per week.

Please note that this strength training program is worked out precisely and should be followed exactly. Where it specifies reps ensure a weight is chosen that allows the prescribed intensity for the number of reps recommended. This means increasing weight when the reps are lower.

Phase One: Foundations.

DURATION: Four Weeks.

Day One

Bodyweight squats 1 x 30

Back squat 1 x 10

Underhand pull-ups 1 set of however many reps you can do.

Bent over double dumbell row 1 x 10

Upright row 1 x10

Day Two

Push-ups 1set of however many reps you can do.

Feet-elevated push-ups 1 set of however many reps you can do.

Overhead barbell press (standing) 1 x 10

Day Three

Bodyweight squats 1 x 30

Front squat 1 x 10

Overhand pull-up 1 set of however many reps you can do.

Bent over double dumbell row 1 x 10

Upright row 1 x 10

Day Four

Maximum number of push-ups in 4 minutes. This can be done in as many sets as needed. Stick to the prescribed movement speed.

Maximum number of feet-elevated push-ups in 2 minutes. Same protocol as above.

Overhead barbell press (standing) 1 x 10

Day Five

Leg lowers/leg raises 1 x 10

Russian twist 1 x 20

Repeat the above as a superset (one exercise followed by the second without rest), rest one minute and repeat twice more.

After completing days one to five, rest two days and repeat for four weeks before moving on to…

Phase Two:Maximum Strength Development

DURATION: Four weeks.

Day One

Bodyweight squats 1 x 30

Back squat 1 x 5

Front squat 1 x 5

Bent over barbell row 1 x 5

Pull-ups of choice 5 x 5

Upright row 1 x 5

Day Two

Push-ups 1 set of however many reps you can do.

Single arm push-ups 1 x 5 (each side)

Overhead dumbell press 5 x 5

Days three and four are a repeat of one and two.

Day Five

Leg lowers 1 set of however many reps you can do.

Russian twist (heavy) 1 x 6

After completing days one to five, rest two days and repeat for four weeks before moving on to…

Phase Three:Muscle hypertrophy

DURATION: Four weeks.

Day One

Bodyweight lunge 1 x 20 (each leg)

Barbell or dumbell lunge 1 x 12

Back squat 1 x 12

Front squat 1 x 12

Bent over double dumbell row 1 x 12

All three pull-up variations for as many reps as you can do.

Day Two

Push-ups to failure.

Feet-elevated push-ups to failure.

Overhead barbell press 2 x 12

Days three and four are a repeat of one and two.

Day Five

Leg lowers/leg raises to failure

Russian twist 1 x 20

Repeat 4 times.

After completing days one to five, rest two days and repeat for four weeks. After this 12 week strength training program you will be well-equipped for more advanced methodologies. Keep an eye on our training section for more programs and combine with some of our power and sport-specific programs.

For strength training programs that really work check out Dragon Door. They have some truly awesome programs and training methodologies. I frequently visit their site and have bought many of their DVDs. They are truly worth it.

DragonDoor.com

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