Getting in strength exercises is an important part of a healthy routine. Strengthening our muscles and bones helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis and allows us to keep doing our daily activities like playing with the kids, taking the dog on a walk, and walking up stairs.
This workout will hit every muscle group in the body. By doing large compound movement you will not only get stronger but you will work on your conditioning as well. Don’t be surprised when this “heavy” workout gets you very out of breath.
Tips Before the Workout
First of all, make sure you complete a proper warm up before diving into this workout. That may consist of some cardio, and/or stretching, and/or foam rolling.
When you get to the Squat, be sure to allow yourself about 3-4 warm up sets. These sets should be gradually increased to help you find the weight you will use for the work sets.
- 45lbs x6
- 95lbsx6 (This set of 95 pounds was challenging so this will be your first of 3 work sets).
To adjust this workout for your skill level there are a few things to consider:
- For a Beginner user, use a weight that is moderately challenging but enables you to keep perfect form with every rep.
- For an Intermediate user, use a weight that is challenging to complete all your sets.
- For an Advanced user, use a weight that is very challenging to complete the first set, rest around 3 minutes and complete it again at the same weight. This will help maximize strength adaptations.
Proper Forms To Remember For This Workout
- The bar will be set in the rack at mid chest level. Put your hands on top of the bar and get under it. Place the bar on top of the traps, being sure it is not too high on your neck. Keep your elbows up and wrists neutral. Take 2 steps out of the rack. Start with your feet about shoulder width apart with your toes pointing outward about 30 degrees. Keep even pressure from heel to toe; you should feel the weight mid foot.
- Before you squat, take a big breath in and hold it. Bend at your knees and hips at the same time, while pushing your knees out. Keep going down till you are below the height of a chair (lower than you want to go). When standing back up try to push your hips to the ceiling, and then stand up straight. Keep your lumbar and thoracic spine in extension and the bar over mid-foot for the duration of the lift
- Put your hands just outside your shoulders, about chest level. Tighten up your legs and core, and then push away from the floor, leaving only your toes and hands in contact with the floor. At the top push as far away from the floor as you can. (Think flattening your back out). Slowly lower yourself back down and tap your chest to the floor and repeat. If this becomes too hard, simply leave your knees in contact with the floor instead of your toes.
- The bar will be set in the rack at mid chest level. Put your hands shoulder width apart on the bar; this will result in a narrow grip with vertical forearms. Take 2 steps out of the rack and start with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed outward. Be sure your elbows are slightly in front of the bar and the bar is on your deltoids. Take a big breath in and hold it, keeping your legs extended and pushing your hips forward slightly, then press the bar directly towards your nose. Once the bar is above your head finish by shrugging the bar toward the ceiling, try to keep the bar over mid-foot for the duration of the lift.
- Chin Ups
- Reach up and grab the chin up bar just outside your shoulders, with palms facing you. If you are not strong enough to do a chin up, grab a box or bench and set it under the bar. You will start at the top position with your chin above the bar and slowly lower yourself to the hanging position with fully extended arms. Use the box/bench to help you get back up to the starting position.
- If you can do a chin up, start hanging from the bar with your arms fully extended. Begin the movement by pinching your shoulder blades together then flexing your arms. Once your chin is above the bar you can proceed back down to the fully extended position and repeat.
- Set the bar up on floor with 10 pound bumper plates or 45 pound plates if warranted. Approach the bar with your feet hip width apart, toes pointing slightly outward and shins 1” away from the bar. Keeping your hips high, reach down and grab the bar but don’t move the bar.
- Bend your knees till your shins hit the bar and then push your knees out into your elbows, don’t move the bar. Then pull your chest up to the ceiling hard in order to achieve lumbar and thoracic extension. Look 12-15 feet away. Drive your legs into the floor while keeping your back tight until you are in a standing position with your shoulders behind the bar and hips and knees extended. Return the bar to the floor by pushing your hips back then flexing your knees. Reset once the bar is on the floor, do not bounce the reps. Keep the bar over mid-foot and in contact with your shins and thighs at all points in time.
Always focus on your form with each movement and rep. This is very important on lower body movements because lack of proper form could lead to knee or back injuries. Make each set somewhat challenging but not to the point where your form begins to fail.
Log your weights used and simply repeat this workout in a week or so to see how much better you have gotten. This workout is a great measure of your conditioning and strength levels combined. Also, your legs tend to get sorer from workouts that include weighted squats and deadlifts, so make sure you stay active, eat enough food, and get enough rest. All these factors will help you recover faster.