My next little writing series will all be catered towards writing training programs (or parts of programs) for friends. My first subject will be writing a program for a great friend of mine that is getting back in to consistent training. This person is one of the better athletes that I’ve met in my life, especially when it comes to predispositions towards strength. I have seen this person squat one and a half times body weight for reps to full depth (they are female) after only training for a few months. However, now that they are getting a bit older recovery isn’t what it once was and having to spend time in “chair jail” (aka working a job) has caused a decline in general work capacity.
This program is meant to run in order from day one to day four each week. If their schedule gets to be too hectic the key is that they get in days one through three. Each session is meant to last an hour tops with time to warm up before hitting their real weights. The aim is to run this basic set up for about one to three months with the end point being where they can’t add weight to their top set each week.
Four days a week of training:
|Day||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4|
|Main Movement||Squat||Bench Press||Deadlift||Military Press|
|Accessory||One leg exercise (lunge, step up, etc)||DB rows||Romanian Deadlift (RDL)||Pull ups/Chin ups|
|Accessory||GHRs (glute ham raises)||DB military press||Leg press or Bulgarian split squats||DB bench press|
|Accessory||Abs – Leg raises||hArms||Abs – ab wheel||hArms|
The main movement on each day will involve a total of 5 work sets after doing two sets of the empty bar (for 5 to 10 reps). The goal is to add a little weight to the final work set each week so no need to go full speed out of the gate, but slowly add more weight. For deadlift however there will only be 3 total work sets but the second warm up set will be done with 95 lbs. instead of the empty bar. The goal is for the first week is to just build up to a weight where the bar speed slows down (starts to feel difficult) and then move up that top set slowly each week after. So if the first heavy weight on squats is at 175 the following workout the goal is 180, then 185 and so on.
For the accessory movements, they will be done in a circuit for the lower body days and done in a super set on the upper body days. hArm work will be done by picking a bicep movement and alternating it with a tricep movement. On the upper body day each set of bench press and military press will be superset with band pull aparts or facepulls (for sets of 10-20 reps). The accessory movements will be done for three to five sets depending on how they are feeling that day with at least 10 reps each set (up to fifteen if they are feeling saucy). The goal here is to bump those weights up a bit with time also, but really the goal is to increase work capacity.
Rest periods are going to be as long as they need on the main movement. Try and move at a decent clip for the accessory work. Once again this program is about building back up, not trying to go full blown rocky training montage out the gate.
Walking, running, biking, elliptakilling themselves are all options. The only goal here is to get out and move for at least a half hour at a decent intensity (when it starts to get hard to talk) and doing that for three times a week at minimum. Do this after weights or on days you aren’t lifting at all.
This program is written for someone that is technically sound. Seriously their squat technique after just training for a week was better than my squat was after four years. They are an explosive type athlete which tends to cause greater muscular damage with less work so after their layoff we are being very conservative on the volume. This will be a good program for a month or more depending on speed of which results come along. Also, the reason for only five work sets is that my goal is only the last three sets are somewhat difficult and they will likely be working with around 170-240 in the back squat, 185-275 in the deadlift and 95-135 on the bench press to start so they don’t need to take endless warm up sets.
Once this program is no longer progressing in load for the top set then we are going to start the next phase of the program. That program will probably be a later post when it is time for it. If you have any questions just let me know and thanks again for taking the time to read this.