Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Average Guy's Guide #6

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.

Ok, so for those of you who are waiting with baited breath, all two of you, for the next installment into the average guys guide your wait is over.

The question I here from my meat space participants who have been my guinea pigs, most often is, "How strong is strong enough?" Well, the most straight forward answer I can find is the tables at EXRX.net For the purposes of this series the only two of the exercises listed that we are going to concern ourselves with are the over head press and dead lift. The combination of these exercises provide for a very good assessment of total body strength. You goal should be to achieve the "novice" levels of strength. According to the authors of these charts, the level of strength associated with novice is sufficient to support vigorous fitness activity. So in my estimation, that is strong enough for an average guy. This is not strong enough for competitive lifters, or bodybuilders, but hey, all we're trying to do here is be strong enough to be healthy, fit, and not too fat. Right? So far I've had you do a body weight, and an intro routine. Nether of which included the dead lift. A stiff leg dead lift yes, but that is not the one we are concerned with. The dead lift is the most basic exercise there is, and one of, if not the most useful. It involves your whole body, and working up to novice levels of strength in this exercise will pay dividends for years to come. We will not however be doing any one rep max lifts, nor will we ever work this exercise to failure. Start with a weight you can lift with confidence and slowly add weight. It will get hard soon enough. Starting with this next routine we are going to be working a split routine. Not a bodybuilders body part split, we are just going to divide the exercises into two different workouts, each done once a week.

Workout A
DeadLift 2 sets of 8 reps
Overhead press 2 sets of 8 reps
Curls(optional) 2 sets of 8 reps
A brisk walk or other conditioning work

Workout B
Split Squat 2 sets of 8 reps
Bent Over Row 2 sets of 8 reps
Push Ups/Bench Press 2 x max reps/2 sets of 8 reps
Hammer work

Continue using this routine until you reach novice levels of strength as defined by the charts at Exrx.net. Do a warm up set or two prior to the work sets. This is a tried and proven program that has been used before by many many trainees to achieve strength levels much higher than we are shooting for here. You can find numerous variations of this routine in books and on the Internet. The reason you see this routine in so many places is quite simple, it works. Don't be put off by its simplicity, worked hard, this is a beast. Yes, it is enough volume. Until you have built a solid foundation of strength you will do yourself more harm then good by doing extra work. Leave the advanced routines to the advanced trainees. To sum it up, lift hard, eat well, get enough sleep, recover between workouts. Simple ? Yes. Easy? No.