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Profit made easy | T nation



Have you ever got confused by an exercise program? If so, you are not alone.

Some can be so complex that it takes almost a PhD to figure out how they’re supposed to work. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. You shouldn’t have to solve percent rep maximum equations to know how much weight to use.

Do some people need to know the percentage of their lifts and their max values ​​for a repetition? Yes, but these people compete in weight training like powerlifting and Olympic lifting.

If you are only going to the gym to get stronger and feel good, you don’t need an overly detailed and complex program. In fact, you can even change things daily depending on how you are feeling.

The great thing about weight training is that almost anything will work as long as you are consistent and put serious effort into your training. I̵

7;m not telling you to meander through the gym just to pick up a random weight here and there, but there is a way you can get ahead without the hyper-controlled structure that keeps many people from lifting.

Below is a simplified method of organizing your strength training program that will provide great results, variety, and put you in the driver’s seat of your own workout. Before we get into the nuts and bolts, here are some basic things to know.

Know your movement patterns

Breaking down exercises into movement patterns is infinitely more helpful than the thought of having to do specific exercises. Thinking about exercises in these terms can help you keep varying your workouts and getting stronger at the same time.

A “functioning” person should be able to perform all seven of these movements, both bilaterally and unilaterally. Here you are:

  1. Squat
  2. hinge
  3. Vertical press
  4. Vertical train
  5. Horizontal press
  6. Horizontal train
  7. Carry charged

For the classification, I count a split squat (with stationary feet) or a lunge (with moving feet) as one-sided variations of the squat.

It doesn’t matter if you crouch in the back or in the front. you’re still crouching. As you get stronger on one, you strengthen the overall squat pattern.

The same applies to the hinge pattern. Who cares if it’s a trap pole or a straight pole? As the weight increases, it means that you are getting stronger overall. Don’t get dogmatic and think that you MUST have a straight bar deadlift (or a specific exercise for that matter) to get stronger.

Know your rep areas

In general, 1-5 reps per set are recommended for strength training. When doing a large compound lift that you can only lift for 1-5 reps, your motor units are maximally stimulated and everything is triggered at once. Resting about 2 to 5 minutes between sets will allow you to fully recover so that you can work hard again on the next set.

However, you can build strength with each rep range depending on your training level.

The typical rep range for hypertrophy is 8-12, with about 1 to 2 minutes of recovery between exercises. With these moderate reps in the middle range, you can still lift relatively heavy loads while putting more time on the muscle under tension.

To speed up hypertrophy, focus on slow (about 3 seconds) eccentric / negative repetitions in the range of 8-12. This greatly extends the time under tension and helps you maintain the mind-muscle connection needed for growth to manufacture.

Simple progressive overload

Progressive overload is required to make further progress. This can be done by adding weight to the bar or by increasing the number of repetitions with a specific weight.

A general rule for adding weight is that your upper body movements increase by 5 to 10 pounds each week and your lower body movements increase by 10 to 20 pounds each week. (Of course, a highly experienced lifter won’t make such big jumps.) Below is a 3 week example of how you can progress with weight as the primary form of overload.

Exercise: back squat

Sets & Reps Weight (week 1) Weight (week 2) Weight (week 3)
4 x 5 100 110 120
4 x 5 110 120 130
4 x 5 120 130 140
4 x 5 130 140 150

The power movement here is the squat for 4 sets of 5 reps.

  • First week: Our hypothetical lifter started at 100 pounds and ended at 130 pounds.
  • Week two: He started at 110 pounds and ended at 140 pounds.
  • Week three: It started at 120 pounds and ended at 150 pounds.

This is a very simple method of progressive overload, and our lifter was able to increase his squat from 130 pounds to 150 pounds in three weeks. Simple and to the point. No fancy equations, just gradual progress.

Technical error

On the big lift, stop at the point where your form collapses – technical failure. This will keep you healthy in the long run and keep you honest as you track your weights.

If you do a few extra reps when your shape gets ugly, you will get the wrong sense of what you are lifting and learn bad habits. When your shape breaks down, reduce the weight.

Strength training

Example of training plans

Once you know your movement patterns, rep ranges, and gradual overloading, putting together your own routine becomes pretty easy. First, sketch out your movement patterns, then connect with your exercises.

I recommend beginners stick to the same exercises for three to six weeks to familiarize themselves with the movements before turning them off.

If you are currently familiar with multiple variations of the squat, hinge, push and pull patterns, you can change things up weekly. Just keep track of your weights and try to follow progressive overload guidelines above.

Below is an example schedule for three days a week so you can see how all of this comes together.

3 days a week full body plan

Day 1 – Movement Pattern: Squat Focus

exercise Sets Representative
A1 Squats (bilateral) 4th 5
A2 Horizontal press (bilateral) 4th 5
A3 Horizontal pull (bilateral) 4th 8th
B1 Squats (one-sided) 3 8 each
B2 Vertical press (one-sided) 3 8 each
B3 Vertical pull (one side) 3 8 each
C1 Carry charged 2 30 meters
C2 Anti-rotation core movement 2 10

Once you’ve established the movement patterns, creating your weekly schedule is as easy as plugging in the exercises. For exercises, each training day could look like this:

Day 1: Order and exercise sets / repetitions

exercise Sets Representative
A1 Back to the crouch 4th 5
A2 Dumbbell bench press 4th 5
A3 Chest supported row 4th 8th
B1 Barbell split squat 3 8 each
B2 One-armed dumbbell press 3 8 each
B3 One arm lat pulldown 3 8 each
C1 carry suitcases 2 30 meters
C2 Pallof Press 2 10 each

Day 2 – Movement Pattern: Press Focus

exercise Sets Representative
A1 Horizontal press (bilateral) 4th 5
A2 Vertical pull (bilateral) 4th 8th
A3 Squats (bilateral) 4th 10
B1 Vertical press (one-sided) 3 8 each
B2 Horizontal pull (one side) 3 8 each
B3 Hinge (one-sided) 3 8 each
C1 Carry charged 2 30 meters
C2 Anti-Extension Core Movement 2 10 each

Day 2: exercises

exercise Sets Representative
A1 Bench press 4th 5
A2 Weighted pull-up 4th 8th
A3 Cup of squat 4th 10
B1 One-armed dumbbell incline press 3 8 each
B2 One-armed row of dumbbells 3 8 each
B3 One-armed one-legged kettlebell RDL 3 8 each
C1 Waiter carry 2 30 meters
C2 Stir the pot 2 10 each

Day 3 – Movement Patterns: Hinge Focus

exercise Sets Representative
A1 Hinge (bilateral) 4th 5
A2 Vertical press (bilateral) 4th 5
A3 Vertical pull (bilateral) 4th 8th
B1 Squats (one-sided) 3 8 each
B2 Horizontal press (one side) 3 8 each
B3 Horizontal pull (one side) 3 8 each
C1 Carry charged 2 30 meters
C2 Rotational core motion 2 10 each

Day 3: exercises

exercise Sets Representative
A1 Trap bar deadlift 4th 5
A2 Standing barbell press 4th 5
A3 Weighted pull-ups 4th 8th
B1 Bulgarian split squat 3 8 each
B2 One-armed cable chest press 3 8 each
B3 Kettlebell Gorilla Row 3 8 each
C1 Farmer’s Walk 2 30 meters
C2 Hack cable 2 10 each

Programming summary

  • You will find that the program includes all seven movement patterns with different exercises. Each day has a bilateral strength focus to stimulate motor unit recruitment and build true strength.
  • One-sided “assistant” movements followed our hypertrophic strength series to encourage muscle growth and minimize muscle imbalances.
  • Weighted carries are done along with some type of exercise at the end of each day to increase core muscle endurance.

The same template can be applied to top / bottom splits, push / pull splits, or body part splits. Just know what movements you want to train that day and choose the exercises that you feel like doing.

If you don’t feel like doing a particular exercise in a particular week, swap it out for something with the same movement pattern that excites you to exercise.

This will add variety and fun to your workout. If you don’t like your program, you won’t be sticking to it for long. Find exercises that you enjoy doing, but organize your workouts so that they make sense.

Related: 26 Days of Profit – A Realistic Case Study

Related: 6 Steps to Building the Perfect Workout


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