It’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to find ‘the‘ program for you, so as with the diet we’ll keep this simple also.
Big compound movements are the best and fastest way to get strong, fit and change your body. There are very good reasons why top sports team coaches, get both their male (and female) athletes to train almost exclusively with free weights. You should too.
I don’t want you to waste years of your life, as I did, before finding what really works.
I train 3 days a week, for under one hour. Unless you’re an athlete, you do not need to do more lifting than this either.
If you are new to training, you’re in luck. This will be the best training year of your life, and is your opportunity to make the most dramatic changes to your body. You will have ‘beginner bonus gains’ as I like to call them. Do not waste this opportunity, and do not suffer fools that try to steer you off the path toward ineffective routines.
If you have been training a while and haven’t seen the progress you thought you would, a renewed focus on the basics will benefit you greatly also. It’s not too late to start now, but it would be a waste to continue something and expect a different result.
Following a 5/6-day split routine like your favourite bodybuilder you read in a magazine is not optimal for a drug-free individual. Simple training routines focused on barbels do not make for a sexy article in a magazine.
‘Correct Form’ When Training
If you do not use correct form you will not only sacrifice your gains, but set yourself up for injury somewhere in the not-too-distant future. Good form is critically important, I recommend you to:
- Read Mark Rippetoe’s ‘Starting Strength - 3rd Edition‘. He’s considered one of the best. It is the best ‘how-to’ guide to performing barbel exercises I have ever read.
- Watch his Youtube video lectures.
- Invest in a good personal trainer to check your form. (Not always that easy to tell. Here I’ve written more about choosing a good trainer.)
Making a small investment now will pay big dividends in the future.
Suggested Training Programs
This is my no-means a comprehensive list, but these are good. Tried and tested, proven routines. There are many other great routines too, but I’m keeping it simple.
1. ‘The Big 3′ Routine
Whenever anyone mentions ‘The Big 3′ they mean the Squat, Deadlift and Bench-press. Hundreds of thousands have got big, and defined physiques just using these three exercises.
2. ‘Three Day Split Reverse Pyramid Training (RPT)’
For those with training experience. This is recommended by Martin Berkhan of leangains.com, and builds on the principles and minimalistic style recommended by Stuart McRobert in his highly acclaimed, much recommended book, ‘Beyond Brawn’.
How do I choose the ‘right’ training program for me?
Determining what you’re suited for can be hard. If you’re new to serious barbell strength training or haven’t done it in a while then consider ‘The Big 3′. If not then you may need the full 3 day split or somewhere in between the two. Only YOU can determine that as there are individual differences. I’ve tried to help you decide in the article ‘Progressing from Beginner to Intermediate Training‘.
Remember: There is nothing macho about choosing an advanced lifting routine if you are not.
You’ll just make slower progress if you do.