On Monday we talked about why you might want to begin a resistance training program to improve your health, fitness, and quality of life.
Yesterday we talked about the simplicity and importance of building a base as you begin and continue training.
Today, we’re going to talk about best practices for getting started on that base.
Here’s a nutshell description of an outstanding beginner’s program:
1. You begin with light intensity, mixing in periods of rest with periods of doable work. You train three days a week, making sure to rest and fuel well between training sessions.
2. From session to session, you add appropriate intensity. The work gets harder, slowly, and the rest begins to feel less like rest and more like refueling for your next effort. Each training session feels more like a “full workout” than the last. You continue to rest and recover between your 3 training days.
3. After about 8-12 weeks of progressing slowly, layering intensity each workout and building upon what you accomplished during your last training session, you are light years ahead of where you were when you started, even as you’ve just been adding a little bit of work each session. You are now working hard for the entirety of your training sessions and capable of so much more than you were when you started.
Sound doable? It is. It’s a description of the popular Couch to 5k program that gets folks ready to run 30-40 minutes at safe, moderate paces. If we exchange the word ‘intensity’ for ‘weight’ in the verbiage above, it’s almost exactly how we run our beginner strength and conditioning program for new or returning athletes.
On Friday, we’ll check back in and describe how and why we primarily use barbells to help athletes build their base and get stronger.