The core exercises have been selected for their ability to increase your strength. They utilize large amounts of muscle mass simultaneously and also involve multiple joint movements. As a result, they develop great whole body strength in common planes of movement.
• Bench Press
• Standing overhead barbell press
For each of the core exercises perform five ramped sets of five repetitions. This means that the repetition range remains the same (5 reps per set) but the weight increases so that your last set is the hardest. Strive to increase the weight of this last set week by week but never at the expense of proper lifting form. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.
For example: 5 reps 60kg, rest 2 minutes, 5 reps 70kg, rest 2 minutes, 5 reps 80kg, rest 3 minutes, 5 reps 90kg, rest 3 minutes, 5 reps 100kg, rest 5 minutes and then move on to assistance circuit.
While you could use a different set/rep scheme, 5 ramped sets of 5 seems to work very well for basic strength. Other suitable set rep schemes worth considering are 8 sets of 3, 6 sets of 4 or 4 sets of 6 repetitions.
For the assistance circuits, perform 8 to 15 repetitions of each exercise with as little rest as possible. On completion of the last exercise, rest 60 to 120 seconds and then repeat. Perform three to five circuits according to your level of fitness. To make your transitions as speedy as possible, set up the equipment required in advance and, if possible, position the exercises close together. Feel free to change the exercises in the assistance exercises but make sure you swap “like for like”. So if you don’t want to do the dips in circuit one, substitute something similar such as press ups.
To ensure continued progression, try to increase the number of reps or weight used or reduce the recovery time between circuits but, as before, ensure that your form remains perfect so you keep your risk of injury to a minimum.
Zercher squats (bar supported in the crook of your arms)
Chin ups or lat pull downs
Zercher good mornings (bar supported in the crook of your arms)
Dumbbell shoulder press
Rear foot elevated split squats
Single arm dumbbell rows
Incline dumbbell bench press
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