Here at Jtab Training we believe that everyone deserves their own, individualized program. While the trainers here have access to all sorts of fancy, state of the art, professionally built programs, sometimes it’s the simple ones that are the most impactful for beginners. I would say beginners are first stepping into the gym to the 5 years of strength training seriously. Let me break down why I believe in these programs and how I came to create them.
Just about 2 years ago I decided to move into a bigger gym (Happy 2 Year Anniversary to Me!) and with that I knew I needed a better “plan” for my clients. The space would be bigger, there would be more people training at once (also called semi-private training which is a blog for another day), and more clients overall. It was then that I started to put my brain on creative mode and made the 2 Day template I use for most of my clients (Whether they do both days in one week or rotate week-to-week). Each day is both a full body strength and hypertrophy/conditioning workout. Broken down below is a sample of a Day 1 from a female that is about 2 years into serious strength training. I wanted to take the time to explain the WHY’s, WHAT’s and WHEN’s of the program template I decided to create for my clients. Any questions on the program please feel free to contact me about it.
Day 1 Full Body with Lower Push and Upper Pull Strength Focus
Section 1 - Power exercise in the 3-5 rep range for 2-3 sets
1a) Banded KB Swings. Why? A few reasons… As we get older we lose power output and one of the only ways to get it back is to work on explosive exercises. Day 1 is usually a lower body power exercise while Day 2 tends to be an upper body power exercise to get one of each in each program. It also strikes the central nervous system to get ready for the rest of the workout. Here we have KB Swings with a band under feet attached to the bell. This creates a crazy explosive hip hinge, relaxes the hip flexors and fires up the glutes and hamstrings (which most people, especially females, need help with).
1b) Hip In/External. This spot is usually reserved for some hip mobility or stability and/or some core activation. This exercise will help mobilize internal and external range of motion through hip capsule.
Section 2 - The almighty strength portion of the day, where the reps are under 5 and we are trying to get as strong as possible.
2a) Zercher Squats. This is a little known squat variation that really gets that core firing like crazy while still getting in a squat pattern. It also doesn’t load the spine as much making it a bit safer than most squat variations. We vary the sets and reps each week slightly to get even heavier or more volume week by week.
2b) 1 Arm Dumb Bell Rows. This is a great upper back/lat exercise that can be used in any section of a template. Here it is in the strength section so the goal for her this month is to go as heavy as she can for those low reps to really build up that pulling power. Unilateral work also builds up contralateral abdominal strength which is great for minimizing lower back pain from life.
2c) Anti-Rotary Stab. No we are not stabbing anyone here. This is an anti-rotation stability core exercise to further assist with both of those other lifts and to get some more “core” work in.
Section 3 and 4 - The next 2 sections (broken up into groups of 3 exercises each) are for more mid level strength work and also for some hypertrophy and conditioning work in the 8-10 rep range (try doing a challenging exercise for 10 hard and heavy reps and see how hard you are breathing afterwards!).
3a) Incline Bench. We are hitting some pushing (upper push section) muscles this time after pulling for heavy strength earlier (1 Arm DB Rows).
3b) Frog Pump w/Dumb Bell. This is a new exercise to me made popular by the Glute Guy, Dr. Bret Contreras. It is another version of a loaded glute bridge to hit glute meds. This spot is reserved to hit the glutes and legs again in an opposing fashion as the heavy strength lift (Zercher Squat) for the day. We all need more glute work!
3c) L-Sit Holds(leg lift/abs). This section is for more core work and/or more scapular work, both things needed in our society of bad posture and lower back problems.
4a) Meadows Rows. This spot is reserved for more upper pulling work to again work on a stronger more muscular upper back and back shoulders. We all want a stronger upper back for many reasons (another blog post for another time). This also gets us doing uni-lateral (one arm at a time) work to fight any imbalances we might have.
4b) Kettle Bell Rope Curls. This spot is reserved for many different ab exercises or the ever popular bicep muscles, ‘cause who doesn’t want better biceps? This is a fun variation of the classic cable bicep curl since we don’t have a cable machine here.
4c) SB Rollouts. This spot is reserved for again more core work if not done in 4b or some great functional farmer carry variations. Farmer carries can be done for a warmup at beginning of a program or at the end for conditioning/core/grip work. These rollouts work the anti-extension function of your abs (they are for more than crunching!).
Day 1 ends up being a full body with every major body motion being challenged in one way or another. Next week I will write up Day 2 using this same person’s sheet so you can see the flow of a well thought out program.