Is Your Programming Where It Should Be? Part 2

One of my first blog posts a while back (Here) talked about your weightlifting programming and how you could make it better. I want to continue on that train of thought and take it a few steps further.

Every day that you workout even before you enter the gym you should know a few details about the workout that you are going to perform:

  • What lifts you are performing

  • What weights you will be using

  • How many Sets/Reps you will be performing

  • Ways to get the hot girl on the Stairmaster to talk to you (the most important of them all)

Knowing all of these details before you even leave your house will not only make your workout more efficient, but it will also prevent you from doing it “on the fly”. Not pre-planning your workout will cause you to neglect any exercise that you really aren’t to particularly fond of but you know that you need to do anyway (for me that would be pull-ups, I really do not like them, but I know that I need to do them, and if I didn’t write them in my program I probably wouldn’t to do them).

So your homework for the day is to go to the dollar store and buy a composition notebook (yes the one that you used in 4th grade and still haunts you to this day). Start out with writing your program for the week ahead, and see what happens.

The notebook will help you keep on track with your exercises, as well as how much weight you used the previous week. Trust me you will see faster results and you will be amazed when you look back a few months at where you were to where you are now.

Image not the same type of programming, but you get the idea.

The next step to your programming is the order of exercises that you are performing. Sometimes the order of exercises are just as important as the exercises themselves. I’ve used Dan John’s quote “What you do in the first 15 minutes of your workout is the most important, treat it as such” in the past and my thoughts on it have not changed at all.

So after your 5 minutes (or so) of foam rolling and then your mobility/activation work your ready for your first lift. Depending on what your lifting that day or what type of workout your doing this lift could be an assortment of different exercises. One constant that remains in the equation is that the lift should be geared to the type of workout you are doing.

If you are doing a lower body day your main lift should be a Squat/Deadlift (or a variation of the two). If your day is upper body it should be some sort of Press (Bench, Military) or Pull (Pull-ups, T-Bar Rows). This exercise should be Bilateral, meaning it is done with both arms/legs working at the same time. Any Unilateral (Single Arm/Leg) work should be done secondary to your Bilateral Lift.

Another great exercise type that is often overlooked and can be used as a main lift on any type of day is some sort of explosive/plyometric exercises. Strength Coach Mike Boyle raves about the benefits of including an explosive lift as the first lift of each program. Nothing gets your muscles fired up better than a few quick short range movements that deliver power and explosiveness.

So here are a few options for you to consider adding in to your current programming just to give your body an extra boost.

On lower body days:

  • Squat Jumps

  • Box Jumps

  • Power Cleans (with or without the jerk)

  • Close Grip Snatches (I prefer close-grip because it is easier on the shoulders)

  • Jumping Lunges

  • Kettle Bell Swings

On Upper Body Days:

  • Plyo Pushups

  • Push Press (an explosive Military Press)

  • Power Cleans

  • Close Grip Snatches

  • Med Ball Slams (overhead, rotational, etc.

These Exercises are not meant to use heavy weight. They are merely a way to shock the nervous system to allow your body to handle the heavy lifting that will follow.

I hope this has given you some insight to your programming and will help you to make amazing gains in your lifting.   


One thought on “Is Your Programming Where It Should Be? Part 2

  1. Pingback: Is Your Programming Where it Should Be? Part 3 | Chris Tangredi CSCS

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