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Secret to Strength Gains

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

When it comes to strength training, the secret is consistency over time. There needs to be a progression to keep you safe, but increasing the weight over time is key here.


Here are some simple guidelines to remember:

  1. Our body needs to work as one unit. Isolating the muscles for strength will not help you when it comes to real life activity. Think big movements like deadlift, squat, bench, get-ups, etc.

  2. Supplemental or Accessory Work: For example, if you are working on bench and your goal is to increase your numbers, you need to make sure you also spend time in your week getting the opposite of that muscle group. A barbell row would be a great way to get this in! If you just constantly bench, eventually all those muscles will tighten and you will be hunched over (Plus, we sit in front of computers too much and those muscles are already tightening).

  3. Recovery is key: When we train hard, we need to recover even harder. Think yoga, foam rolling, massage, acupuncture, contrast showers or ice baths for soreness. Get SLEEP! Sleep is the key. The more sleep you get, the better you will recover and the harder you can go in your training sessions. People are always looking for a secret pill or supplement. Nothing will help better than a good night sleep.

  4. Eat, but eat smart! Nutrition is key when it comes to strength training. But, you can’t just go out and eat fast food and grab any sort of junk and processed snack that you can find. You need to eat food, real food that comes as close to the earth as possible. I like to say, if it doesn’t rot, don’t eat it. Nutrition is very individualized. Some people have certain food groups they need to stay away from or have to eat a certain way due to what works for them. It just needs to be sustainable for the long haul. Quick fixes don’t work and don’t help your body!


Sample Program: (Goal: To increase bench press weight)


If you have maxed out and you want to increase your bench in 12 weeks, this is one way that you can get there.


Warm-up:

10 Minute Row or Ski Erg

then:


10 Shoulder Dislocates

10 Pull-aparts

10 Plank with shoulder taps

10 Deadlifts or Swings


Practice:

1A: Bench:

Week 1: 5x10 @ 50% of 1 rep max

Week 2: 5x10 (increase 2 kg from previous week)

Week 3: 5x10 (increase 2 kg from previous week)

Week 4: 5x10 (increase 2 kg from previous week)

Week 5: 5x5 @ 75% of 1 rep max

Week 6: 5x5 (increase 2 kg from previous week)

Week 7: 5x5 (increase 2kg from previous week)

Week 8: 5x5 (increase 2kg from previous week)

Week 9: 3x 3 @ ~85% of 1 rep max

Week 10: 3x3 (increase 2 kg from previous week)

Week 11: 3 REP MAX (Heaviest weight you can lift 3 times safely)

Week 12: 1 Rep max (Heaviest weight you can lift 1 time safely)


2A: Barbell Row x 15 reps


Accessory:

1B: Pull-up Progression x 5

2B: Banded Tricep Pushdowns


Breathing:

Rowing or Ski Erg: 30 on, 30 off x 10 Rounds


Consistency is truly key. Pick a day that you bench and stick with it each week. Treat it like a hair appointment or dentist appointment. Block it off on your calendar. If you stick with it, you will get stronger.


If you have any questions on this program, respond to this email and I’d be happy to help!


Until next time,

Stay consistent! Stick to the program!


Charlene


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