3x/Week Resistance Training

The benefits of weight training are hard to ignore. It's also hard to ignore how the strength and confidence you build in the gym becomes strength and confidence in all other areas of your life. Nothing, and I mean nothing, exists in isolation.

Below you will find three different approaches to resistance training: one if you're just starting out or if you've been "out of the game" for a bit, one if your primary focus is fat loss, and one if your primary focus is muscle gain. Each section will have an overview and two different training programs. One will help you build out the habit of training by focusing on full-body training. That way, if it takes you a few weeks to get three days in, you'll be making the most of your training. The other will be more of a traditional three-day split and assume you'll be able to consistently complete all three.

"Get Moving"

"Get Moving" Training is simply a means to introduce (or re-introduce) your body to the world of physical fitness training - regardless of what that looks like for you.

Good introductory training will focus on the proper form of the primary movement patterns:

Squat - Hinge - Push - Pull - Rotate - Carry/Hold

Bodyweight training is usually the best way to start as you learn how your body moves and where you may have some limitations. You're only going to hurt yourself if you try to add weight before mastering form.Though, you may find that you can quickly move to a more advanced form of bodyweight training which is Suspension Training using tools like Rings or TRX Trainers.

From there, you can progress into generally lighter weight implements to learn how your body moves with the added load and adjust as needed. Some may to prefer using resistance bands instead of weights. I LOVE resistance bands for their affordability, versatility, and portability.

Get yourself a suspension trainer and some resistance bands and you have everything you need for a home gym.

A sample training session might look something like:

3 Round Circuit:
8 Bodyweight Squats
10 Bodyweight Good Morning
5 Forward Lunges (each leg)
10 Mountain Climbers

Habit Builder Program (coming soon)

3 Day Split (coming soon)

Training for Fat Loss

Fat Loss is primarily achieved through a caloric deficit, that is what you eat and most importantly, how much. That being said, you can structure your training in a way to support both fat loss as well as muscle retention. In fact, training is one of the best ways to retain muscle mass when in a caloric deficit.

Training for Fat Loss is often best achieved by focusing compound lifts that use big muscle groups paired with short bursts of high-intensity training. At the very least, this is a great place to start.

For example, a sample training day might look like:

Warm Up Drills - Dynamic Stretching, Movement Prep
Goblet Squats - 4 sets of 10-12 Reps
Kettlebell Swings - 3 Sets of 10-15 Reps

4 Round Circuit (for time, meaning as quickly (with proper form) as possible)
10 Burpees
15 Mountain Climbers
10 Single Arm Snatch
15s High Knees

A couple things to note:

First, you won't likely see much, if any, increase in strength when in a caloric deficient. Performance and aesthetics generally sit on two opposite ends of a spectrum. Do your best to maintain the weights you used which will help with muscle retention (weight loss is a combo of fat and muscle -we want to lose as much fat and keep as much muscle as we can).

Second, food is the key driver of fat loss. Training is the supplement.

Third, adequate recovery is CRITICAL for fat loss. Your body does not want you to lose weight. It would much prefer to stay as it is because this state of "balance" is "safe" from your body's survival perspective. A caloric deficit is stressful on your body. Training is stressful on your body. Be nice to your body. Get enough sleep. Eat foods that make you feel good. Enjoy active recovery days. Embrace rest days where you don't even think about the gym. Sustained levels of high stress is not good for anyone.

Habit Builder Program (coming soon)

3 Day Split (coming soon)

Training for Muscle Gain

Training for Muscle Gain is twofold:

1. Consume sufficient calories to create a calorie surplus
2. Progressively increase the weight used when performing exercises/movement in the 8-12 rep range.

This is not a perfect prescription, but rather a strong starting point. 

The more calories you consume, the quicker you'll build muscle but will likely include more body fat. There is nothing wrong with this at all and the increased muscle mass will make it easier to shed unwanted body fat after. Being a bit more modest with your calories will limit additional body fat, but will likely take much longer to build muscle.

The 8-12 rep range usually creates enough time under tension (e.g. when the muscles are working) to stimulate muscle growth. Some people may respond better to higher reps (though anything more than 18-20 likely means you're not using the appropriate weight) but rarely less than 8 (we're getting more into the "strength training" realm). 

The key, however, is in progressively increasing your weight.

To do this, start with a weight where you can do 2-4 sets of 8 reps where the final 1 or 2 reps are challenging but not impossible - especially in the later sets. Make note of the weight used.

The next time you do this exercise, use this same weight for 9-10 reps again with those last couple of reps are a challenge but not impossible. If at any time you feel your form starting to falter, stop. Try again next time.

Again, the next time you do this exercise, shoot for 11-12 reps with the same weight. If you can successfully do this, then during your next training session you will increase your weight to a point where you back to focusing on 8 reps.

As you go through through this cycle, there are a couple things to note:

First, if you're getting stronger, but not noticing much of a difference in your physique, you either A. need to remain patient and trust those gainz are coming, or B. you're not eating enough and you're getting stronger but not increasing size.

Second, progress isn't going to be linear. Your GOAL is to increase your reps each subsequent training session (until you reset and add weight) but this won't likely be the case every single time. It may take you 2 or 3 training sessions at the 9-10 rep range before you're able to hit the 11-12. Don't get discouraged. This is all part of it.

Third, try to hit each muscle group 2-3 times per week though not necessarily doing the same exact exercise. For example, pushups on Monday, chest press on Wednesday, and incline dumbbell fly on Friday.

Fourth, growth isn't linear, it's cyclical. The work you do in the gym is the stimulus - where you create the OPPORTUNITY for growth. Recovery is the bridge between stimulus (workout) and adaption (muscle growth). Adequate recovery is critical. Be sure you're: getting enough sleeping, eating enough food (protein and carbs in particular), and staying hydrated.

Habit Builder Program (coming soon)

3 Day Split (coming soon)