Whether you haven’t missed a training session in the past 11 months or cancelled your gym membership two weeks into the new year, you want to make certain that you steamroll into 2014 by giving yourself the best opportunity to spend the next year getting in the greatest shape of your life. With that in mind, we are going to spend the next 4 weeks building your foundation. By getting proficient at the nuts-and-bolts exercises that should be making up the bulk of your training program while also developing a base level of strength and conditioning you’ll set the stage to get your greatest gains in the months to come. The new year starts now!
Each workout in the foundation program will begin with a superset of two big, compound movements focused on developing strength. You’ll then move into some higher rep unilateral (one limb at a time) work in order to develop structural balance and help with injury prevention. Finally we will end each session with a bout of conditioning work in order to build work capacity and provide additional volume to your workouts.
This program has you training 4 times per week and follows an undulating periodization model which means the reps, sets and total volume change each week for the 4 weeks of the program. Solidifying your foundation is all about sticking close to the basics so all the movements included should be familiar to you. It should go without saying but to get the most out of this or any training program you should be eating nutritious foods designed to fuel your workout and optimize body composition as well as getting adequate recovery and sleep. If we are talking about building your fitness foundation, truly what you do outside the gym is just as important as what you do in the squat rack.
On each exercise, when the rep ranges increase on a certain week, reduced the weight being used. When the reps decrease, increase the weights being used. You should use a load that allows you to perform all reps perfectly with one or two reps “left in the tank” at the end of each set. Always prioritize good and safe technique over adding additional load.
Each of the “C” conditioning exercises should be done with maximal effort. You should be attempting to push the pace on the sprints, bike sprints and rower for every set. The shorter the length of time/distance on the conditioning set, the more speed you should be able to generate per set.
On each exercise, perform the eccentric (lowering) phase under control and lift (concentric) phase with the intention to move the bar quickly. Be sure to pay attention to rest intervals as they are key to producing the proper training effect.