Your primal movement patterns are Pull, Push and squat
Phase A lasts three weeks. Because everybody differs in weight, height and strength, many people won’t be able to perform the basic form of every exercise. Many people cannot do a pull-up once they get started. If you are one of them, do not let this overwhelm you. It’s natural and I got your back. As mentioned previously, in the exercise menu you can find easier progressions for every movement. For example, even if you can’t do regular push-ups, you can start with push-ups on your knees. Dips are not included in part A, but they will be added in Part B so that your shoulders can toughen up a bit first.
First week’s goal is to experience a little soreness, but not so much that daily activities are impaired. Feeling some tenderness the next day, like for example below your armpits, in your chest, legs and glutes is to be expected. On the other hand, if lifting your glass of water is causing you pain, you could have gone a little easier on yourself…
Workout frequency in both phases is three times per week and one day of rest minimum is required between every session. You can train for example on -Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday. I like the first example because I prefer kicking back on the weekend. The program starts with pull-ups & chin-ups, doing 4 pulling sets in total. Combining these exercises two pulling variations in a workout builds immense upper body strength, especially in the arm and back areas.
In every workout of the week there will be a difference in the exercise order. This way you focus once a week on each big muscle-building exercise, in the beginning of the program when your muscles are fully energized. Keep in mind that pistol squats will always be placed in the middle of the program due to the fact that they are a lower body exercise. This way you give your upper body a bit more time to recover before continuing with the rest of the upper body exercises.
The end of a great era…The ending of the beginners phase is also the end of the Newbie gains period. Anything you do related to strength training can produce some kind of muscle growth when you are a beginner. That’s right – everything works! Even strength exercises such as running can cause some hypertrophy effect on your legs. Even doing 40 repetitions, which is far away from what the ideal rep range for strength and hypertrophy, can stimulate a significant amount of muscle growth when you are a novice. Still, this does not make all the crazy training programs out there valid (even though a lot of people get confused by this). Choosing an appropriate training method can extend the Newbie-Gains period as much as possible, so stick to a proper training program like HomeMade Muscle.
Some beginners might even respond better to a greater frequency than 3 workouts per week. This happens because they do not push themselves enough and are thus training with lower intensity than required. BUT it is important to establish a healthy training frequency from the beginning. This way it can be a frequency that will be maintained long-term and make your training program an inseparable part of your weekly routine. A three time per week training frequency in the beginning is enough to produce optimal muscle growth and strength while keeping you, at the same time, hungry enough for more. This will keep you motivated in the long run. Don’t worry, there is more training volume coming later on if you are up to it!
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After the newbie gains period starts to fade away, comes a critical time…this is when a big part of people gradually start to give up on their exercise program. Once plateaus start to hit their progress, they become discouraged. They might blame the training program and they are usually right. Most flashy training programs you stumble upon, whether you find them online or they were given to you by your neighborhood’s gym, are only effective for beginners. Trainers get away with this because as we said, everything works when you are new to strength exercise.
As your relationship with strength training deepens, you get to know your body better. You can now utilize your neuromuscular system more efficiently and push yourself closer to your strength potential. Although this is a great accomplishment, it also means that progress won’t happen as often as it did in the beginning. It is now critical not to obsess on improvement from one workout to another. Sometimes progress won’t even happen from week to week, but instead might take ten days, two or even three weeks towards the end of this phase. Don’t worry, you are still on the right path. Be proud of your progress when it occurs and stick to your program. Remember, nobody adds reps every week through eternity. The human species is a great adaptive organism but still, there’s a limit to how fast you can adapt as you keep on improving.
Bodyweight athletes (that’s you) who pass the beginners level, benefit from exposure to new movement patterns. This is why handstand push-ups and inverted rows are added at this point.
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