The main idea behind this program is to allow the body to adapt to heavier weight and at the same time increase endurance and muscle size through volume.
I started this program out on the old Greek tale of Milo and his calf. The essence or beginnings of Progressive Strength training. The main idea behind this program is to allow the body to adapt to heavier weight and at the same time increase endurance and muscle size through volume.
It is a proven fact that small gains lead to more strength and more muscle mass. More Muscle mass is what we want. More muscle means faster fat burning, more stable hormone levels, and basically better fitness all around. This program can be used by anyone, from the most advance trainees to beginners. It especially works well for beginners because it allows them to start out at levels they can work with and gradually become stronger, and ultimately, this is what we want, right?
"This program can be used by anyone, from the most advance trainees to beginners."
This is not a program where you have to have several years of training to be able to use it. It is a "now" program and does not give you the expectation of astronomical gains in a couple of weeks. It lets you go at your pace and increase your fitness levels with small goals which is better and more healthier for the individual. It allows you to stay away from injuries because it requires you adapt to the weight in which you are doing. When you are ready to challenge yourself you go up in small increments until you reach your next goal. It is nothing new or revolutionary it is just common sense training that allows you to "adapt" and "overcome" your limitations.
This program can be used by women just as well as men using the same exercises. Because lets face it, muscle is muscle, and gaining lean muscle is the goal, right? Feeling better about your fitness is the goal, right?
So here is the basic Template to use:
Use compound movements for primary exercises. Use secondary and third movement to increase volume in the training program (This will be explained in the template). For basic Compound movements, pick out two of your favorite movements and use them each month. Example: Squats for the first month and leg press for the second month.
First week will be max effort week where 4 sets per exercise will be used and reps stay in the 10-12 range. Using the pyramid method of finding what reps you can do to good failure in that rep range.
Second week will be max reps week. where 4 sets per exercise will be used and reps will be in the 15-20 range. This should be used with trial and error because you want 20 reps to be your goal on all sets, so use weight accordingly to your fitness level. This week is based off of a 4 day a week split, for the basic program and extra day can be added for weak body part, or if you want to throw in an extra arm day, but the basic program is a 4 day split. A 2 or 3 day split can be used. If used, use it as a upper body day rather than a lower body day.
Warming up is essential to any program so make sure you are properly warmed up before starting either. Do 10 minutes of low intensity cardio or light Calisthenics. Stretching is a must, also. After workout is the best time to do this, but in between sets works well to. Just make sure to stretch. This reduces the chance for injuries and allows muscles to grow. I'm not even going to go into the importance of stretching until later articles.
It is essential to control the weight while you are doing it. Jerky movements lead to injuries, plain and simple. Control the weight and breath in and out. Slower movements cause the muscle to work harder and ultimately increase endurance in the muscle, in other words, once you get used to this you will get stronger.
There are two different weeks that will be used:
Max effort week - all 10-12 reps being used to one rep shy of failure in that rep range. This is your strength week to destroy the muscle to make it work hard with a little heavier weight. Go up in 5 pound incraments each time you do this week, on all compound lifts.
Max reps week: This is a high volume week. The reps are in then 15-20 range, try to stay in the 20 range. The idea here is to flush the body part with as much blood as possible creating an incredible pump effect. The pump is getting blood to the muscle saturating it with nutrients and helping build endurance and healing it in the process.
Week 3 - Repeat week 1
Week 4 - Repeat week 2
Each week try and go up 5 pounds in weight, if you can.
Use the same sets and reps and the first month just use a different exercise.
Hack squat first
Leg press second
Leg extensions or lunges
Leg curl seated or romanian dead lift or stiff leg dead lift
Incline barbell press
Hammer strength low press or decline press
Wednesday: Off or make-up day.
Assisted pull-ups or rack chins
Rack dead lift
Barbell row or low cable row close grip
Lat pulls wide grip or shoulder scapula pulls
Dumbbell alternating curls
Cable lateral raises
Barbell or plate front raises
bent over delt raises
DB shoulder press or arnold press
Week 2 : Max reps week
Same exercises as above, just max reps.
In any of the exercises listed above you can do what you feel is necessary to your fitness goals. You don't have to use what I've put up there, but Using these basic compound movements should be done. In doing dead lifts or Rack dead lifts, use caution if you have back problems. They are great for building massive and strong backs, but if you have back problems, they can limit you in your other areas.
Also note on cardio, I do not recommend doing long duration cardio. I recommend HITT cardio either on a spin bike, or elliptical if you can do it that way. If you are trying to cut, loose fat or get shredded, I recommend doing cardio after your training sessions...no longer than 20 minutes. But use The HITT style, Tabata or anything thats going to raise your heart rate to the anaerobic level. You can even go outside if you can and do sprints.
I will not go into diet, but if you want a recommendation as to what has helped me the past year, I would go with carb backloading or carb night. Links are below:
Good luck in your quest to become the person you want to be.