SETTING UP MONTH 3...

There are 4 main ways of laying out your programme structure each month -- but you are encouraged to take a template and adapt it so that it's perfect for you. Simply pick the exercises you will do this month and then put them into a structure that inspires you and that you're 100% sure you can be ruthlessly consistent with.

STARTING POINT -- THE MONTHLY ANALYSIS

EVERY MONTH IS A FRESH START -- That's a big part of The Strength Sessions programme.

START BY LOOKING AT YOUR GOALS -- strength, self-dicipline, habit installation or whatever they may be.

ANALYSE THE MONTH JUST GONE -- Did you do what you wanted to do? Did it work? Can you do better? Can you enjoy it more?

PLAN YOUR MONTH -- Using the steps below.

CHECK YOU'RE READY TO GO -- You know you're ready when you know what's what and you're itching to get started.

CHECK OUT THE DETAILED MONTHLY REVIEWS -- To get really good at end of month analysis and habits, check out the psychology and habits articles.

LAY OUT THE TRAINING WEEK

Having been through the section above, you should now be ready to lay out your training week. When are you going to train? What times? Where? Then you can keep this in mind while choosing your exercises, sets, reps and training splits in the sections below.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT EXERCISES

SELECT THE EXERCISES YOU ARE GOING TO WORK ON THIS MONTH FROM THE LIST BELOW -- Look at the alternatives suggested in the exercise breakdowns if there's any reason you can't do any of them.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ALL THE EXERCISES -- you won't neccessarily do better doing the full programme. You'll do better being ruthlessly consistent and putting maximum effort in every time you train. So don't fall for that trap, prioritise the first exercises on the list when you select whcih ones to include in your programme.

BUT STAY BALANCED, WATCH OUT FOR BEING TOO PUSH-ORIENTATED -- it can be difficult to stay balanced on a minimalist programme, especially if you don't have any equipment. If that's you, be mindful not to include too many pushing exercises and nothing that requires you to practise bringing your shoulders and scapula backwards. At the very least, rigourously apply some Band Pulls and Rows in your warm up.

DON'T BECOME A DABBLER -- The other thing I like you to remember is that you don't want to just leave exercises out because you feel like it. You should have a good reason not to include any particular exercise. The idea isn't that you only train your legs or your gymnastic moves every other month. That would be dabbling. The exercises are designed to change every month, but with similar moves that freshen it up while still training the same muscles and patterns of movement. Look at the suggested alternatives if you need to leave an exercise out, and make sure you are building your programme with view to mastering a handful of the progressin ladders.

MISS THE STUFF YOU DON'T HAVE THE STUFF FOR -- But resolve to acuire it in due course. I understand you might not want to go to the gym or buy any equipment straight away, but once you prove to yourself that this is for real and you can stick at it, then it may well be worth investing in a few bits of kit that will allow you to develop a much better body.

THIS MONHT'S 8 SKILLS

ROLLING PISTOL SQUAT PROGRESSIONS

Now we turn our attention to Pistol Squats, leaving the skaters alone for a couple of months. This month, we use a backwards roll to 'cheat' with momentum (if you need to), next month we reduce range of motion with a platform (if you need to). These are fun, and are a nice way to get you used to squatting with a full range of motion. Unless you do Pistols, you're probably not doing that!

>>> SEE THE FULL EXERCISE BREAKDOWN <<<

THE KETTLEBELL SWING CLUSTERS

Swings are back, but this month in short sharp clusters of work. We want you to get really god at quickly initiating and delievering powerful sets of 5, with perfect form and as much weight as possible. It's worth spendinhg the money, or making a trip to a gym once a week just to swing these things if you do it well. You'll get a healthy low back and a great looking arse for your troubles too.

>>> SEE THE FULL EXERCISE BREAKDOWN <<<

DEAD-HANG GRIP EMPHASIS

This should be your third straight month of hanging practise. This month, we go back to a relaxed body position and put all the challenge on developing an unbelievably strong grip. start with the false grip, then a towel, then one arm, then one arm on a towel. You'll grip strength will shoot up, and most likely so will your strength on everything as grip strength tends to carry over well to everything.

>>> SEE THE FULL EXERCISE BREAKDOWN <<<

BODY ROW

This month we want a big focus on Body-Rows. Strive to train them as fresh as possible and focus on them like your life depends on it! Training Body-Rows will have decent carry over to Chin-Ups, they will work your biceps and forearms, your Lats (but not as much as Chin-Ups) and all imprtantly they'll work all the musculature of the upper back and rear shoulder. You need this. We all do.

>>> SEE THE FULL EXERCISE BREAKDOWN <<<

L-SIT PULSES

Time for pulsing reps! We bring back the L-Sit, but switch back and forth between an extreme position that you can just about hold for one-second and very easy recovery position. If it's your first month, go easy, you might not be ready for these in their full glory!

>>> SEE THE FULL EXERCISE BREAKDOWN <<<

BENT-ARM PLANCHE PULSES

We also bring back the Bent-Arm Planche this month, but in the pulsing rep style. Move into an extreme position and load up your shoulders, triceps and chest with as much force as you can handle for a split second, then back of. Carefully but dilligently give those muscles a new stimulus to adapt to!

>>> SEE THE FULL EXERCISE BREAKDOWN <<<

SPEED PUSH UPS

Just like with the Chin Ups, we like to put a speedy twist on your Push-Ups this month. Pick a version you can do a pretty good 10 on, but just do 5 reps, but make them scarily explosive on the way up. Slowly lower, then blast back to the top. Finsih the set fresh. It's about strength and power; not fatigue.

>>> SEE THE FULL EXERCISE BREAKDOWN <<<

HOLLOW EXTENSIONS

These are great for building ab strength, and I find them particularly good for people who struggle to hold a good position on traditional Hollow Body Hold. They will also help you improve your L-Sits.

>>> SEE THE FULL EXERCISE BREAKDOWN <<<

NOW DECIDE ON YOUR TRAINING FREQUENCY

You will now have chosen your exercises, and will have defined both the number and duration of your training sessions. Next, you must decide how frequently you will do each exercise. You could do the same for each exercise, or train the ones you are prioritising (or have the equipment for) more often, and the other stuff less frequently. Pick a practical system that apeals to you.

NOW CHOOSE YOUR SET AND REP RANGE

There are 3 options:

Strength-Endurance: 12-15 reps per set or a 15-20 second static hold. Rest 30-60 seconds between sets (feel free to train non-competing stuff in-between if you want to)

Mid-Strength: 8-12 reps per set or 10-15 second static hold. Rest 60-120 seconds between sets (feel free to train non-competing stuff in-between if you want to)

Pure-Strength: 6-8 reps per set or 6-10 second static hold. Rest 3-5 mionutes between sets (feel free to train non-competing stuff in-between if you want to)

This month is particularly well suited to either mid-strength or pure-strength.

DECIDE ON SETS AND REPS

You can complicate this process when you're ready, but first we want to make it super simple to get started and be consistent. That's at least 80% of the importance here as far as your results are concerned.

For each exercise in your programme, I'd like you to do 6-10 good work sets of work per week. If you only do something once per week, you may drop just under that, but fear not, you may well still make progress, but it's probably not optimal.

If you train it once per week: do 4-6 sets, whatever you can handle.

If you train it twice per week: do 3-5 sets per workout.

If you train it three times per week: shoot for 3 sets per workout.

If you train it 4 times per week per week: shoot for 2-3 sets in each workout.

If you train it 5-6 times per week: just do one or two really good sets each workout.

DON'T FORGET TO PICK YOUR PROGRESSION METHOD

As laid out here. Remember we choose from 3 methods:

  1. STEADY STATE -- Where sets, reps and difficulty stay the same for the whole month.
  2. THE PRACTICE SET AND RECORD SET METHOD -- Where you go for a record on one set each day.
  3. THE COMPLETE-THE-SETS METHOD -- Where you pick a tough goal just out of your reach and try to hit it.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SPLIT

Once you've chosen the exercises you're going to work on and defined your sets and reps, you need to decide whether you'll do all of the exercises in one workout, or break them up into a split.

I've broken up the main 8 moves into different splits to make it easy for you to set up your month. Take the one closest to your preferences, tweak it so it suits your logistics and so that you're completely confident you can get it done.

  1. DO IT ALL EACH WORKOUT -- but have longer workouts or higher frequency
  2. UPPER/LOWER SPLIT -- on different days, or for twice in one day training.
  3. TRADITIONAL/GYMANSTIC -- on different days, or for twice in one day training
  4. GYM/HOME -- particularly good for those who want to train frequently but can't guarantee getting in the gym enough.

THE UPPER /LOWER SPLIT

WORKOUT 1 -- LEGS

ROLLING PISTOL SQUAT PROGRESSIONS

KETTLEBELL SWING CLUSTERS

WORKOUT 2 -- UPPER BODY STUFF

DEAD HANG (GRIP EMPHASIS)

BODY ROW

----

L-SIT PULSES

BENT-ARM PLANCHE PULSES

-----

SPEED PUSH-UPS

HOLLOW EXTENSIONS

EQUIPMENT / NO EQUIPMENT SPLIT

WORKOUT 1 -- EQUIPMENT NEEDED

KETTLEBELL SWING CLUSTERS

BODY ROW

DEAD HANG (GRIP EMPHASIS)

WORKOUT 2 -- NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED

ROLLING SQUAT PROGRESSIONS

SPEED PUSH-UPS

----

L-SIT PULSES

HOLLOW EXTENSIONS

BENT-ARM PLANCHE PULSES

GYMNASTIC / TRADITIONAL EXERCISE SPLIT

WORKOUT 1 -- TRADITIONAL MOVES

ROLLING SQUAT PROGRESSIONS

SPEED PUSH-UPS

BODY ROW

---

DEAD HANG (GRIP EMPHASIS)

KETTLEBELL SWING CLUSTERS

WORKOUT 2 -- GYMNASTIC HOLDS

L-SIT PULSES

HOLLOW EXTENSIONS

BENT-ARM PLANCHE PULSES

ALL IN ONE SESSION

ROLLING SQUAT PROGRESSIONS

DEAD HANG (GRIP EMPHASIS)

---

BENT-ARM PLANCHE PULSES

BODY ROW

---

KETTLEBELL SWING CLUSTERS

L-SIT PULSES

---

SPEED PUSH-UPS

HOLLOW EXTENSIONS

 

EXTRA NOTES ON CREATING THE PERFECT TRAINING PLAN

IT MUST INSPIRE YOU

You know you've got a good plan for the month when you KNOW you can get it done and you're excited about the way you've set it up. Take ownership of that and you'll be more likely to follow through.

IT MUST BE PRACTICAL

The goal of The Strength Sessions is to help you become someone who ruthlessly executes, someone who never misses their training. So don't screw yourself with a silly plan you're never going to follow through on.

YOU CAN USE THE MINIMUM-PLUS APPROACH

Consider having two main exercises for each month, that you will not miss...no matter what, then lay out how you'd do the extra stuff if you feel like it...MAKE SURE YOUR PROGRAMME IS PRACTICAL. Even just two exercises performed relentlessly will produce serious results compared with the dabbling most folks waste time with.

NOTHING CAN STOP YOU -- EXECUTION IS EVERYTHING

Once you've finished your plan, print it, sign it, and let nothing get in your way. Next time we come back round to this month, you'll be delighted with how you've gotten better at each move.

COPYRIGHT -- MORE-ATHLETIC LTD -- 2018 -- WHATEVER

MORE-ATHLETIC BODY

--> TRAIN WITH US.

--> GET BETTER RESULTS.