ebay facebook Twitter
Training Programmes
BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED The length of time spent training determines the level you are at. A guide would be: BEGINNER: up to 6 months INTERMEDIATE: 6 – 12 months ADVANCED: 1+ year Intermediate and Advanced training techniques should only be attempted when you have reached that level. No matter what level you are at, you should aim to complete every training session within the hour, including the warm-up and cool-down phases. The guide gives an indication of what is required and the type of training you should be doing at the different levels. BEGINNER: • Train 3 times a week on alternative days, 1 day on 1 day off • Nearly everything you do at this stage will produce gains in size and strength so persevere and try different exercises. We are all different and some exercises may not be the best for you, but trying them will allow you to find which ones suit your joints and body structure as well as your metabolism. There is no point trying to make gains from an exercise you can’t ‘feel’ properly or one that causes joint and muscle pain • Leave your ego at the door! Do not let your ego ruin your training sessions, focus on your objectives not try to impress anyone who may be watching with how much weight you can lift. The emphasis is on weight training not weight lifting. There will be others at the gym, some significantly further into their training than you, do not attempt to copy or compete with them, your goal at the beginner level is to lay down a solid foundation • Train the entire body during each training session, one exercise per muscle group • Perform 1 – 2 sets of 10 – 12 reps per exercise, using weight that you fail on the last rep i.e. you cannot do another rep with correct technique • Move the weights slowly and under control, the correct technique is vital in making effective gains. Each rep should be just like the first and failing to use the correct technique will inevitably result in injury • It is progressive resistance training so aim to increase the weight every session even if it is only by a fraction of a kilogram. Increments of 1kg a week is 4kg a month, 48kg a year, which would be quite an achievement, so use the smaller plates to increase the weight gradually • Stick with compound exercises at this level rather than add isolation movements INTERMEDIATE: • The core of the session should still be compound exercises, but isolation exercises can also be added • Split your sessions, muscle mass and shape are best built by doing a number of exercises for each muscle group • The harder you train, the more intense your session, and the shorter it should be. An effective session does not have to be long or complicated, aim for 6 – 8 exercises, giving them all your energy and focus. Concentrate on the muscle being worked for every rep of every set • No more than 3 working sets per exercise. If you are training with sufficient intensity then you should not be able to do more than three. Make the most of the three effective working sets then move on • A four day cycle is recommended, either on a two day on and one day off, or a one day on and one day off schedule • Make sure you take your days off and rest. Also, if you find yourself reaching a sticking point in growth, opt for more rest and recovery time rather than fall into the trap of adding more sets and reps into your sessions ADVANCED: • On average, after a year’s training, you should have gained 7-10 kg (15-20lb) of solid muscle. This is not to be confused with being 7-10kg heavier after a year as you will have reduced your percentage body fat significantly too and therefore may not show a change in body mass at all, maybe even a reduction. Some will achieve this sooner, some later. • Modify your entire training sessions every 5-8 weeks • Aim to increase your workload every session, by adding more weights or number of sets, performing the same amount of work in a shorter time, or increase the intensity of work in the same amount of time • Add advanced training techniques to your sessions, particularly at the end of sets. Use these in moderation though, as few weight trainers can recover from using them every session and not get burnt out • The human body is incredibly adaptive, so you need to include variety in your sessions to stimulate continual progress. You can do this by frequently changing the planes of movement of different exercises, the angles you work at, or the type of grip you use, to keep renewing the muscle stimulus • Even at advanced level, you should be wary of using compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts regularly. They are extremely anabolic exercises and can result in considerable mental and physical exhaustion. It is advised not to do more than one heavy session in the same week. If you go heavy on one of them, go light on the other, then vice versa the following week. A heavy session of each in the same week may end up costing you dearly • Train no more than 5 times a week for 1 hour maximum per session SAMPLE SESSIONS Sample sessions at each level of training. You can follow the samples or use the knowledge gained to devise your own similar sessions. It all depends on what works best for you. The exercises you can do for each muscle group will also depend on the level of equipment in your gym. Full exercise descriptions are in the Appendix.