We all are weak when we first start. 5 kg looks 50 kg at the beginning. Lifting 3 times a week seems a torture of lifetime. Then as time passes, we gain strength, numbers in weight increase, endurance increases, stamina skyrockets. Building strength is the utmost thing in life. Physical strength, mental strength, every type will get you out of certain situation. This post focuses on strength training program for beginners. We should focus on building strength from the very first day, rather than losing fat or any thing else.
Training for Strength
Building strength will help you win most of your battles. Your technicalities will work if you are able to lift properly. Strengthening your lifts will help you control your weights, not you be controlled by weights. Here are few tips to train for strength.
Train specifically for strength
There is basically no difference in equipment and exercise in strength training and bodybuilding. But, its the mindset that counts. It is the exercise combination, execution, and other activities around that matters. Be specific about your goals and you will end up accomplishing them, else you will end up with none complete. Choose your exercise, their variables, their orders specifically for strength building.
Workout around the Core lifts
There are basically 3 core lifts in strength training, bench press, deadlift and squat. Inclusion of overhead press completes the equation of whole body. Your workout should revolve around these lifts. These lifts not only builds your strength, but they recruit much more muscles in body to complete the lift. They trigger the release of testosterone and growth hormone in your body helping you build and maintain strength. The goal here is to increase the weight in 4 of the core lifts and other exercises here are to assist not replace them.
Don’t dive to failure
Being a bodybuilder, you might have worked till you can barely lift any more. But strength training is all about lifting heavy and keeping 1-2 reps in pocket. Don’t dive till failure. This will help fatigue less often and lift fresh. Don’t go crazy over a spotter, its always advised to lift what you can. You are here to improve your strength, not your spotter’s.
Decrease reps, increase weight and rest period
Train like a power lifter. Decrease the number of reps. Increase volume by adding weights and do lengthen your rest period to help your body recover. These are some of the variables of strength training that you shall follow.
Warm up properly for optimum Strength
Your core lifts utilize much more muscles than you think. During any of these lifts, your total body is contributing to complete the lift. It is very essential to warm all those muscles and joints to avoid any injuries. You mobility in joints will help you better utilize your muscles. Optimum strength is maintained by strengthening your whole body.
Eat big to get big
It is a common sense that 220 lbs man will be stronger than 150 lbs man. Although the body composition might differ, but if you want to get big, you will need to eat big. You can have alternative to exercises, you can vary your workout but there is no replacement or shortcut to nutrition. If you are into strength training and yet worry for your ripped abs, then you got it totally wrong. Eat your portions and supplement the rest, only these will help you work your way up.
Plan your rest of exercises well
Plan your assisting exercises around your core lifts. If you have a weaker link in your muscles affecting your big lifts, fix them with some isolation exercises. You need not get crazy over the assisting exercises, have minimal reps with limited sets and rest period, rest is taken care of. Assisting exercises can be like variations of bench press like incline and decline, for deadlift, it can be bentover row, good morning, romanian deadlift etc. Squats can have leg press assisting it and overhead press can include pull-up lat pull down etc. supporting it.
Sample Strength Training Program For Beginners
You can plan your own strength training program whether for beginners or intermediate. All you need to do is space your core lifts in 4 parts or days. Each core lift will have their own assisting exercises. The work of assisting exercises is just to complete the little left job if any by the core lifts. Some sample strength training program for beginners might look as this.
- Warm up properly
- Deadlift 6 sets (3 warm up and 3 working) 12,10,8,4-6,4-6,4-6 reps
- Romanian deadlift 2 sets, 8-10 reps
- Seated leg curl 3 sets, 8-10 reps
- Rack pulls 2 sets, 6-8 reps
- Warm up
- Squat 6 sets(3 warm up and 3 working) 12,10,8,4-6,4-6,4-6 reps
- Leg press 3 set 6-8 reps
- Leg extension 2 set 6-8 reps
For Bench Press
- Warm up
- Flat Bench Press 6 sets(3 warm up and 3 working) 12,10,8,4-6,4-6,4-6 reps
- Incline Dumbbell press 3 sets 8-10 reps
- Decline Bench Press 2 sets 8-10 reps
For Overhead Press
- Warm up
- Overhead Press 6 sets(3 warm up and 3 working) 12,10,8,4-6,4-6,4-6 reps
- Bent over barbell row 2 sets 8-10 reps
- Pull ups 3 sets 8-10 reps
These are just the sample strength training program for beginners. It needs not to be the same for you. The core lifts are same, but the assisting exercises can be your choice. Only thing you need to make sure is that the assisting exercises needs to be there to assist the core lift to enhance its affect. Rest you need to have the attitude and focus of a powerlifter. Every famous bodybuilder out there either started with powerlifting or switched towards it at given point in their career.