Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
This week’s blog post is a little different. Since our theme for the next while is intermediate/non-new folks at the gym we’re giving away a strength training block targeted at intermediate gym goers/ resistance trainees. If you are a beginner that doesn’t mean this isn't for you, however, there will be a bunch of assumed context and knowledge, as well as the plan isn’t really designed for you and you could likely benefit a lot more from something beginner specific.
This is going to be a mix of the rationale behind the choices in the program as well as a demo of how it should work.
Firstly the program is on Google Sheets, the link is above. The sheets are protected so please go to ‘File’ and hit ‘Make a copy’ to get your own copy.
The idea of this program is that you complete the sessions every week for 6 weeks, and the additional datasheet will track your numbers and build graphs of your performance over those 6 weeks.
I picked 3 sessions per week, as this is a pretty commonly manageable amount of training, and personally, I see a lot more success and long-term adhesion to 3 sessions/week than I do 4.
Exercise wise we have a bunch of compound lifts, and competition variations if you’re looking to use this with plans to compete in powerlifting, it’s perfectly viable for that. Selections were made with a minimal amount of kit in mind, dumbbells and barbells, and if you have a rack to squat and bench in, you have the ability to set up chin-ups and dips.
Exercises have a top set that you work up to, at a given RPE (use the chart at the top for reference, and if you’re unsure, stick rather than twist). Once you fill in your top set weight, the sheet will give you the drop set weight, or repeat set weight to use, and then the amount of sets is based on how they feel.
This idea of autoregulating volume can be very strange for people, but once you use it for a bit you get the hang of it. You’re essentially doing sets on a fixed rest time until either the new weight is as hard as the top set weight, or the top set weight gets one notch harder on the RPE scale.
‘But Will! Won't that take ages?!’ Not if you stick to the rest timers, no. You may find you likely undershot your top set if when you drop 5-7.5% you’ve hit drop set number 7 and there’s no end in sight. That’s fine, either call it or see how deep the rabbit hole goes, then consider that undershoot next time you do that session.
Also, I find that a lot of people go pretty heavy on the social aspect of the gym, which can cause the rest period to creep into the 5minute+ range, which we’re aiming to avoid by setting the timer.
Whilst we don’t encourage program hopping and bleat on a lot about consistency if you do take on and try this program please get in touch and let us know your thoughts, and if you finish it entirely we’re offering a free 60-minute consultation call to review how it went and go through your results with you, and see what we can learn about how you might want to consider planning more training going forward.
If you’re also a coach reading this and just have questions or want to lift stuff from the sheet/program, just ask! We’re happy it’s helpful.