How to Design Your Own Strength Training Program & Strength Training Guidelines (for drug-free exercisers and athletes)
There are many different workout strategies. Almost all of them will create positive results for certain individuals. For you personally, there will be a variety of workout strategies that can produce positive results for you, whereas others program that simplydon’t make since for your situation. Remember that a program that worked for oneperson might not work for you. Having the wrong strategy can leave a variety of negative results, including getting injured, losing strength, gaining fat, and feeling burned out.I’ve made my living developing workouts that I hope are ideal for each individual. I’ve tried a lot of different ideas, seen many trainers trying different ideas, and seen manyclients and how they respond to those various training programs.The following the basics keys to program design that I’ve learned since I initially became obsessed with strength training programs around thirteen years ago.
#1. The program must reflect your goals.
integrated in a way that fits your specific goals and preferences. For this article, we will
focus on strength training alone).
(Cardio and strength training should be
#2. The program must reflect your level of workout experience.
common mistake for trainers to put a beginning exerciser on a program which works for
the trainer themselves – the advanced trainee).
(It’s a big and
#3. The program must take into consideration your current lifestyle stressors.
stress in relationships and job, your nutrition status, sleep status, and more impact how
your body recovers from exercise and how your program should be designed).
#4. For maximal results, the program must integrate a nutrition program that is
designed for your specific goals.
#5. You must recuperate between workouts or you are wasting your time.
#6. If you are training “drug-free”, do not try to copy a program the works for a
athlete or exerciser who is training with the aide of performance-enhancing drugs.
Strength Training Guidelines (for drug-free exercisers and athletes)
Strength Training For Beginners (up to 3-6 months of consistent training for most
Start with whole-body strength training 2-3 days per week.
•Pick 1-2 exercises for each muscle group.
•for your workout.
For the fist month of training, perform one to two sets of each exercise you pick
•routine” (where you train different body parts of different days), stick to two to
three sets for each exercise.
Starting at the beginning of month two and ending if and when you begin a “split
Strength Training For Intermediates (usually start between 3 to 6 months of
consistent training experience)
•three to six months of training until person is willing to commit to four to six
days of strenuous strength training per week (if they desire to go to the
Person remains at the intermediate level for at a very minimum of an additional
•(Even college level athletes can improve with this type of program design)
Many people will never want or need to move out of the intermediate level.
•who have been lifting for years.
Intermediate workouts are ideal as maintenance training programs for even lifters
•this split will be between upper and lower body.
Once a person is intermediate, they will split their workout routines. Generally
Here are a few typical intermediate splits:
Monday: Lower body
Tuesday: Upper body
Thursday: Lower body
Friday: Upper body
Monday: Lower body
Wednesday: Upper body
Friday: Lower body
Monday: Upper body
Wednesday: Lower body
Friday: Upper body
•the intermediate phase you must perform more exercises and sets for each muscle
Since you are allowing the muscles more recovery time between workouts during
•sets for each exercise) for each muscle group, as an intermediate, you will pick
two to three exercises for each muscle group and generally perform three to four
sets of each.
Whereas as a beginner, you may have been performing 1-2 exercises (and 1 to 3
Strength Training For The Advanced Strength Trainee
*You can be an advanced exerciser and not need an advanced strength training program.
In fact, this type of program would be ideal for less than 5% of the public. (Less than 5%
of my clients would use this type of program).
*Advanced programs are generally best for advanced bodybuilders. A common mistake
made by beginning exercisers (and beginning bodybuilders who aspire to be like people
who make their living as bodybuilders) is training like an advanced bodybuilder.
*Many personal trainers who have backgrounds in advanced bodybuilding forget that the
program that works for them after 10-20 years of training experience is not the
appropriate program for someone who is just starting a program, no matter what their
two bodyparts for each training day in the week. Currently, it’s popular to train
the body in a way where you train each body area once per week. This allows for
maximum recovery time, which is of critical importance for the advanced, but is
simply not needed and is possibly detrimental to beginning and intermediate
Advanced bodybuilding is characterized by split routines that isolate just one to
Here’s an example of an Advance Bodybuilding split:
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Wednesday: Abs and calves
Thursday: Chest and triceps
Friday: Shoulders and traps
Saturday: Abs and Calves
for each major muscle area and perform three to four sets for each. This amount
of total sets for each muscle group, although not necessary and possibly
detrimental for beginners and intermediates, allows the advanced trainee to
continue stimulating their muscles to continue becoming stronger, more shapely,
and in better condition
For advanced bodypart workouts, you will typically choose four to five exercises