Strength is a crucial component of a training program, for both males and females (as I discuss in this article )– not just because it sculpts and tones your body while building bone density, mitochondria and even cardiovascular fitness, but because it can be a potent hormonal and anti-aging strategy. My favorite and most effective ways to strength train is to A) Weight Training - lift heavy weight in a structured and controlled manner and/or B) Bodyweight Training - to train with lighter loads to exhaustion.
Most people’s bodies or nervous systems can handle 2-3 strength training sessions per week (that is if you aren't on a 2 body part bodybuilder split ie Chest & Triceps). Below, I’ve included three options for you to include for strength. I recommend you do these sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, which will allow about 48 hours of muscle recovery, adaptation and growth between each strength session.
Strength Option 1: Bodybuilding Routine, free weights (for beginner/intermediate fitness levels or those looking to put on strength and size)
You can substitute free weights such as dumbbells or kettle bells instead of a barbell for any of the exercises.
I would start each workout with the Dynamic Warm up or Functional Foundations (FREE e-book) to prep for the movements but also to get the plyometric and agility work prior to weight training. Science suggest that performing a bit of aerobic exercise before weight training can actually enhance muscle growth  This is also a perfect time to strap on your Elevation Training mask if you are an athlete and want to work on VO2 Max or Hypoxic Training.
Chest & Tri's:
Incline Chest Press 4 sets of 12 reps
Flat Bench Press 4 sets of 12 reps
Dips 4 sets of 12 reps
Skull Crushers 4 sets of 12 reps
Tricep Kickbacks 4 sets of 12 reps
Back & Bi's:
Rows 4 sets of 12 reps
Face Pulls 4 set of 12 reps
Hammer Curls 4 sets of 12 reps
Preacher Curls 4 sets of 12 reps
Legs & Shoulders:
Deadlift 4 sets of 12 reps
Walking DB Lunges 4 sets of 12 reps
Calf Raise 4 sets of 12 reps
3 Way Overhead Shoulder Press 3 sets of 12 reps
Front, Side, Rear Delt Raise Superset (no break, do each exercise consecutively) 4 sets of 12 reps
Alternatively, if you are an athlete, or you want something more functional, then perform the strength workout mentioned below M, W, F. If you want to gain a bit of size, I would keep the above strength schedule on M, W, F and sprinkle these workouts once or twice a week in exchange or combine it with above on a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday schedule.
Strength Option 2: Functional Routine (for intermediate/advanced fitness levels or athletes)
Dynamic Warm-up for 5-10 minutes, preferably with a dynamic warm up routine, functional foundations routine, or anything else that dynamically prepares the body for movement and elevates the heart rate. Again, if you're an athlete, time to strap on that training mask.
Next, choose from the movement list below:
-1 Push Movement
-1 Pull Movement
-1 Leg Movement
-1 Cardio Movement
-1 Core Movement
-1 Total Body Movement
Gradually add weight with each set (if do-able with good form), complete 10-15 repetitions of each movement for 3 rounds. Try to complete the 3 rounds in 30 minutes or less. It's ok if the repetitions decrease as the weight used increases. You'll also notice that this is where we are sprinkling in some speed, power, and agility work.
Cool-down with some foam rolling when complete.
Of course, you can substitute kegs, logs, rocks, kettlebells, sandbags, etc. for most of the equipment below if you’d rather train outdoors like I do in my F3 - Functional Fitness Fast & F3 Black Ops Programs.
- Any of these ladder drills (speed and agility component)
-Suicide Run (as explained in this video)
Full Body/Power Move (this list is not exhaustive, and there may be others that you like:
14 Day Functional Fat Shredding Program
Alternatively, if you are primarily looking for bodyweight strength for calisthenics or just to balance out your weight training, then perform the strength workout mentioned below.
Strength Option 3: Bodyweight Strength Routine (for beginners, intermediate/advanced fitness levels or athletes)
If you’re an athlete or if you’re someone who simply cares about optimizing their nervous system performance, HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is a great way to structure your bodyweight strength training.
So, since you’re completing a Weight Training or Functional Strength training routine on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday you should do some kind of HIIT training. Similar to the strength training routines above, I’ve included below a couple options: one for beginners using less complicated, foundational movements, and one for more advanced exercisers or for a harder day.
Option A: The Ultimate Efficient Body Weight Workout (beginner/intermediate)
You can find complete details and science behind this body weight routine here. Each exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds with no rest in between exercises. Then repeat the entire circuit again from the top.
Technically, one round only takes about 4 minutes, you should attempt to do 5 circuits for a total body 20 minute workout. Use good form on every exercise. Remember, I'd rather 1 good rep than 100 shitty reps.
If you are an athlete, if you are wanting to train more for strength and power, or if the routine above feel simply too simple for you, then do the below routine for this day: “ADV HIIT Routine (for intermediate/advanced)”. Alternatively, if you are already using the more advanced sets but you’re tired or sore today, do the body weight only workout above instead. If you're an athlete, and you're interested in working on your VO2Max Threshold, then I would do the entire bodyweight WOD in the Elevation Training Mask.
Option B: ADV HIIT Routine (for intermediate/advanced)
Some of the listed movements will be completed for reps, some will be done for time.
Alternating Plank Reachers X 10 Reps
Kaizen Mountain Climbers X 1 Minute
Lunges X 15 Each Leg
Box Jumps X 15 Reps
Alternating Plank X 1 Minute
Bodyweight Rows X As Many As Possible
Hindu Push Ups X 10 Reps
Forward Plank X 1 Minute
X 5 Rounds
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