You Can Never Go Wrong With The Basics

The answer to where you start is at the beginning, but that doesn’t help you much when you have no idea where to begin. This is how many people feel when they start an exercise program and how I felt when I started. It was straight to the dumbbell rack to perform bicep curls in front of the mirror.

Because isn’t biceps curl a right-of-passage exercise? Anyhow, when starting almost anything, it pays to start with the basics, and strength training (which is my bag) isn’t any different.

If you’re confused about where to begin or have taken a break and want to get back to it, this is for you. Here I’ll get into the basics and how to put them into a program that will set an excellent strength foundation.

What Are The Basics?

There are movements you perform daily without realizing them, called fundamental human movements. These movements are practiced since you started walking and need to form the backbone of your routine and they are: 

Note: Biceps curls are NOT a fundamental human movement.

Sitting down and getting up from a chair: Squats.

Bending over to pick something up from the ground without bending your back: Hinging.

Shutting a heavy door behind you: Pulling it shut.

Closing the fridge door in front of you: Pushing it to shut

Walking, jogging, carrying groceries, or climbing stairs: Carries and Locomotion.

Fundamental human movement classifications differ from trainer to trainer, but it all means the same thing to you, the exerciser. Here are some strength training examples of fundamental human movements.

Squats: Bodyweight, Goblet squats, and Split squats.

Hinges: Bodyweight hip extensions, RDLs, deadlifts, and hip thrusts.

Pushing: Push-ups, dumbbell and barbell bench presses, shoulder presses, and cable presses.

Pulling: Chin-ups, pull-ups, seated rows, and dumbbell rows.

Locomotion: Carry variations, step-ups, lunges, running, and walking.

Now that you know the basics, I will explain how to program them so you’ll look like you know what you are going through.

Set & Reps & Stuff

There are tons of set and rep ranges and techniques, but you don’t need to worry about them now. Keeping it simple at the start works best. With the training below, you’ll do 3 to 4 sets of each exercise and 8 to 12 reps.

This moderate volume (sets x reps x weight) allows you to challenge yourself without overdoing it and causing injury or too much soreness.

Plus, keeping your program to 4 to 6 exercises per keeps the injury and soreness to a minimum, too, and you’ll perform it circuit style. Performing one exercise after the other will give you plenty of rest between exercises and may also have a mild cardiovascular benefit.

You’ll start each exercise at 8 reps, and once this becomes doable, you add reps until you get to 12 reps using the same weight. Once you get to 12 reps, increase the weight by 5 to 10 pounds and start the process again. And by all means, use different variations of fundamental human movement exercises to avoid boredom.   

The Basic Training

I wish I had known this while mindlessly busting out biceps curls by the mirror, thinking I was the shit. Use this for 6 to 12 weeks to build an excellent foundation to continue your health and fitness journey.

With the training below, do one exercise after the other keeping the rest between exercises to a minimum. But if you need more rest, take it. Rest for 2 minutes at the end of each circuit and repeat for 3 to 4 rounds.

1A. Squats- Bodyweight, Goblet, Sumo, or Front Squats (Dumbbells)

1B. Single arm floor press, cable chest press, or dumbbell bench press

1C. Dumbbell Farmers Carry Variation 40-100 yards

1D. Bodyweight or Weighted Hip Thrusts or Hip Extensions

1E. Single Arm Dumbbell, Cable Or Band row, Seated Rows, or Lat Pulldowns

1F. (OPTIONAL) For any body part, you want to work on, train with an isolation exercise for 8 to 15 reps. Exercises like biceps and hamstring curls, triceps extensions, and shoulder raise variations.

If you need assistance or have questions, you can message me here.

Wrapping Up

Did you run before you could walk? No, starting a strength training routine would be best if you did not go from zero to a hundred. Start with basics, build your strong foundation and reap the benefits of how you look in the mirror. Then flex time will be more fun.

Email: shanemcleantraining@gmail.com

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