Friday, 11 January 2013

Beginner Strength Routine Part 2

One of the first posts I wrote for this blog was a beginner strength routine designed to get you on your way to being strong and useful. This post is the next part of that routine. It is to be used after about 8 weeks of the first routine and is only really minor adjustments.

Week A

Day 1
Squat 3x5
Bench 3x5
Lat pull down 5x5/chin up 5x5
Ab wheel rollout from knees 5x5

Day 2
Rest or cardio

Day 3
Dead lift 1x5
Overhead press 3x5
1 arm dumbbell row 5x5
Curls 3x8
Dips 3x8

Day 4
Rest or cardio

Day 5
Squat 3x5
Bench 3x5
Lat pull down 5x5/ chin up 5x5
Dumbbell side bends 3x10

Day 6
Rest or cardio

Day 7
Rest

Week B

Day 1
Squat 3x5
Overhead press 3x5
1 arm dumbbell row 5x5
Ab wheel kneeling 5x5

Day 2
Rest or cardio

Day 3
Dead lift 1x5
Bench 3x5
Lat pull down 5x5/ chin up 5x5
Curls 3x8
Dips 3x8

Day 4
Rest or cardio

Day 5
Squat light 2x10 with around half the weight of your 3x5 sets
Overhead press 3x5
1 arm dumbbell rows 5x5
Side bends 3x10

Day 6
Rest or cardio

Day 7
Rest

So there are a few changes going on. The main lifts drop from 5x5 to 3x5. This means with less sets you can lift heavier weights. Continue adding 2.5kg to the bar each workout for those lifts.
The dead lift has changed from 3x3 to 1x5. This is because you should now have a good base of strength and technique to be able to try higher reps safely. Start with about 80% of your 3x3 weight and continue adding 2.5/5kg per workout. Your goal is to exceed the 3x3 weight for 1x5.
If you are still not strong enough to do chin ups stick with lat pull downs and progressively add weight. If you can do as few chins stick with the recommendations from the previous routine. The volume does not change for the upper body pulling exercises. This is because you can never really do too much upper back work and more of it helps keep your shoulders healthy.
You will have been doing planks on the last routine so your abs should be strong enough to handle kneeling roll outs with an ab wheel by now. If your gym doesn't have one buy one and bring it with you in your gym bag. They are pretty cheap from Amazon
With the arm work the sets of 8 will let you train a little heavier and the extensions have been replaced with dips. I believe dips are a much better arm exercise and are healthier for your elbows. Add weight to them if the 3x8 is too easy.
On day 5 of week b you have a purposely light squat day. This is intended to help your recovery and improve technique. The 2x10 should not be difficult. If you are really struggling to make the reps then you are using too much weight. Don't worry about trying to add weight to these sets. It will prevent over training of your back and legs at this stage and is very important.
The final change is the addition of side bends with dumbbells at the end of the workout. This is too give your more complete strength and development of your core than roll outs alone.

There will be later additions and changes to this routine as it develops into a routine aimed at intermediate lifters.

I have some more posts in the pipelines including the final first aid post as well as one about improving your pull up strength. Stay tuned.




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