Phase 1 Summary

The first 12 weeks of resistance work.

Well that completes the first 12 weeks of resistance work, and I must say I'm hooked. During that period I've tried out a number of exercises with the aim of finding both those which are providing me with the greatest gains in strength, and those which I enjoy doing. Fortunately the two goals overlap in my new friend the Romanian Deadlift. I love it.

My goals for this period were to learn the basic techniques for these exercises, as well as establishing a base of strength for future work. After a decade of working behind a desk - and doing little or no strenuous exercise - I'm somewhat weaker and less flexible than I'd like to be.

The major changes over the first 12 weeks :

Now the fun part - setting goals for the next 3 months :

A few months of resistance work has given me a taste for the benefits of enhanced flexibility, which again goes toward the idea of making everyday tasks just that little bit easier. Rather than limit my increased flexibility to the period just after a workout when I am still warm, I'll be adding both dynamic and static stretching routines to the workouts in order to make the benefits available 24 hours a day.

I'm still considering ways in which to measure progress - for now I'll use photographic evidence as well as the standard measurements for things like hamstring flexibility (one of the main areas I want to improve).

My overall goals centre around strength, and I'm a little closer aligned to the mentality of a powerlifter than a bodybuilder in that respect. Once the hamstring/quad imbalance has been corrected, I want to include more compound lifts - particularly squats - to my routines. The idea of getting my hands on a reasonable power cage is still floating around; and this would certainly come in handy for max-effort squats and bench presses.

Training schedule
I've decided to move from 3 to 4 sessions per week, using a simplified Westside-style upper/lower/speed/strength breakup. The basic breakdown of days will be :

Sunday : Upper body - speed
Monday : Lower body - strength
Tuesday : Limited cardio / bodyweight resistance work
Wednesday : Upper body - strength
Thursday : Limited cardio / bodyweight resistance work
Friday : Lower body - speed
Saturday : Limited cardio / bodyweight resistance work

We'll see how that goes.

You Might Also Like...

NB : For a complete list of everything we use and recommend, swing by the reviews area. And of course the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

To learn how to put it to work, swing by the Guides area.

Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

Like this? Check out :

Sgt Sweaty : A New Beginning.

It all started way back when...

Strength Training 101 -- Get Strong, Build Muscle, Lose Fat.Squat. Photo by HelloPitty, in the SttB Flickr Group.Just getting started? Great.
How To Do The Clean Pull.

Looking to develop explosive power? Read on.

Of course, if you enjoyed these, I'd highly recommend grabbing the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Delivered weekly, and absolutely free.

(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Over to you. Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet :

blog comments powered by Disqus
Straight to the Bar Strength Kit

Are You as Strong as You Could Be?

Grab the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit.

Training Guides, eBooks and of course the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Absolutely free.