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4-Week Progression Workout

4-Week Progression Workout  | Pete McCall | Expert Articles | 12/1/2016

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Looking to shake up your exercise routine this month? A recent series presented in ACE ProSource detailed proper technique for safely performing the following compound exercises: Kettlebell Turkish Get-up, Barbell Romanian Deadlift, Barbell Deadlift, Chin-up and Kettlebell Two-hand swing (the links for each exercise are in the workout below). Each of the lifts featured in the series uses multiple muscles at the same time to improve specific movement patterns.

The following workout offers a structure for using these lifts in a strength-training workout that produces results. Training for strength, which involves using heavier loads to recruit and activate more muscle fibers, is different than training for size or definition. Therefore, the focus of this workout is to progress to a point where you can use heavier weights for a limited number of repetitions. If you can do more than the assigned number of reps, doThn’t hesitate to add more weight.

(NOTE: The Barbell Clean and Jerk, which was a part of the ACE ProSource series, is not included here because it is a technically demanding lift that should be performed in a workout specifically designed for explosive power. It is not appropriate for a workout focused on developing strength.)

Perform a complete dynamic warm-up that includes the five foundational movement patterns before starting the strength portion of the workout. For chin-ups, perform as many reps as possible for each set; if you need to use assistance, such as a partner or power band, use just enough to make six to eight repetitions extremely challenging.

Strength-training Program: 4-week Progression

4-week progression workout

The focus of this program is a four-week progression, working up to doing five sets of five for the Turkish Get-up, Romanian Deadlift and Barbell Deadlift exercises (the chin-up should be performed to fatigue during each set and the Kettlbell Swing should be performed for time). Complete three strength workouts each week, allowing at least one full day between workouts (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday is the recommended schedule). On the other days, alternate between doing cardiorespiratory exercise and yoga. Yoga can help improve mobility, which can help improve the ability to perform the exercises in the workout. Once you are able to do five sets of five, continue that program for eight to 12 weeks, adding weight anytime you can complete more than five reps.

Exercise

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Turkish Get-up

Reps: 4 - each side

Rest Interval: 90 sec. after both sides

Sets: 3

Reps: 4 - each side

Rest Interval: 90 sec. after both sides

Sets: 4

Reps: 5 - each side

Rest Interval:90 sec. after both sides

Sets: 4

Reps: 5 - each side

Rest Interval:90 sec. after both sides

Sets: 5

Romanian Deadlift

Reps: 8

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 3

Reps: 6

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 4

Reps: 5

Rest Interval: 60-90 seconds

Sets: 4

Reps: 5

Rest Interval: 60-90 seconds

Sets: 5

Chin-up

Reps: To fatigue

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 3

Reps: To fatigue

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 4

Reps: To fatigue

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 4

Reps: To fatigue 

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 5

Barbell Deadlift

Reps: 8

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 3

Reps: 6

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 4

Reps: 5

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 4

Reps:

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 5

Double Kettlebell swing

Reps: 25 seconds

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 3

Reps: 25 Seconds

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 4

Reps: 30 seconds

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 4

Reps: 30 seconds

Rest Interval: 60 seconds

Sets: 5

To increase the metabolic effect of the workout, perform the exercises as a circuit—complete each exercise and move on the next, only resting after completing all five exercises. Rest two to four minutes after the circuit.

If you follow the program accurately, you will likely notice that your strength will increase, but the size of your muscles will not change significantly. One major benefit of using heavy resistance is that you activate more muscle fibers with each contraction, which increases the amount of force your muscles are able to produce. If you return to your normal body-building routine after doing this program for two to three months, you will notice that you can lift more weight for eight to 12 reps, which can help increase overall muscle definition.