Resistance (weight) Training

Should be performed on non-consecutive days and utilises all 6 exercises described over the 12 week period in a set sequence, using a push movement followed by a pull movement, designed so as to allow opposing muscles a little recovery time in between exercises, delaying their fatigue and allowing for greater intensity during the workout which is essential for maximum benefits.

Week 1 consists of just 4 exercises, allowing for a gentle introduction for the total beginner, with progression in subsequent weeks as and when the body adapts to new demands placed on it. This progression will be in the form of the introduction of the 2 other slightly more technically demanding free-weight (non-machine) exercises, the introduction of more sets and on certain exercises more repetitions, shorter rest periods, taking last sets to technical failure and finally using ‘supersets’ where one exercise is performed immediately after the other before a rest is taken.

A 10 minute warm-up followed by some light stretching before each session is recommended to raise the heart rate and warm the muscles in preparation for exercise and more extensive stretching and a 10 minute cool-down when finished to aid in the reduction of any possible muscle soreness. As stated earlier, this exercise program is designed for anyone new to exercise and in particular weight training, so for anyone with previous experience of similar forms of exercise it may be beneficial, if capable, to progress more quickly than suggested.

Week 1

SQUATS 3 SETS of 10 REPETITIONS with a rest period of 1 minute between sets.

CHEST-PRESS 3 SETS OF 10 REPETITIONS

LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10 REPS

SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12 REPS

Perform upper-body exercises in a circuit sequence, performing 1 set of each exercise immediately after each other before taking a 45 second rest period between each circuit and repeating until 3 circuits have been completed.

Week 2

SQUATS 3 SETS OF 10 REPS with a 45 second rest between sets.

BENT-OVER ROW 3 SETS OF 10 REPS

CHEST PRESS 3 SETS OF 10 REPS

LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10 REPS

SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12 REPS

Upper-body exercises as a circuit (1 set of each exercise) followed by a 45 second rest before repeating until the required amount of sets have been completed.

Week 3

SQUATS 3 SETS OF 12 REPS resting 45 seconds between sets.

DEADLIFTS 3 SETS OF 10 REPS 45 seconds rest between sets.

BENT-OVER ROW 3 SETS OF 10 REPS

CHEST PRESS 3 SETS OF 10 REPS

LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10 REPS

SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12 REPS

Again perform as a circuit with 45 seconds between each circuit.

Week 4

SQUATS 3 SETS OF 12 with 30 seconds rest between sets

DEADLIFTS 3 SETS OF 10 with 30 seconds rest between sets

BENT-OVER ROW 3 SETS OF 10

CHEST PRESS 3 SETS OF 10

LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10

SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12

As a circuit with 30 seconds rest period after each circuit.

Week 5

SQUATS 4 SETS OF 12 rest 30 seconds between sets

DEADLIFTS 4 SETS OF 10 rest 30 seconds between sets

BENT-OVER ROW 3 SETS OF 10

CHEST PRESS 3 SETS OF 10

LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10

SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12

Circuits with 30 seconds between circuits

Week 6

SQUATS 4 X 12 SUPERSET with deadlifts

DEADLIFTS 4 X 10 SUPERSET with squats

Perform as a SUPERSET that is 1 set of SQUATS immediately followed by a set of DEADLIFTS with a 30 second rest period between each superset and repeat for 4 sets.

BENT-OVER ROW 4 X 10

CHEST PRESS 4 X 10

LAT PULL-DOWN 4 X 10

SHOULDER PRESS 4 X 12

Perform as continuous circuits one after the other 4 times with no rest periods.

Week 7 through to Week 12

Repeat week 6 through to the end of the program with the addition of achieving technical failure on the last set of each exercise, except with deadlifts, technical failure being when another repetition can’t be performed without sacrificing correct form or technique. It is not advisable to take deadlifts to failure to minimise the risk of injury as it is such a demanding and technically difficult exercise to perform, requiring correct form and concentration throughout which tends to diminish when fatigue sets in although the last rep should still be testing.

Weights selected will depend on an individual’s strength and ability. Use week 1 to assess capability, choosing a weight where the required repetitions can be achieved with a certain degree of difficulty initially and then progressing the amount of weight used as and when it becomes more than manageable, the required amount of repetitions for the last set should be just about achievable.

To adapt the programme for a home-based workout use the exact same schedule and principles in the above format swapping the machine based exercises for the corresponding dumbbell or bodyweight alternatives described in ‘The Exercises’ section.

Resistance (weight) Training

Should be performed on non-consecutive days and utilises all 6 exercises described over the 12 week period in a set sequence, using a push movement followed by a pull movement, designed so as to allow opposing muscles a little recovery time in between exercises, delaying their fatigue and allowing for greater intensity during the workout which is essential for maximum benefits.

Week 1 consists of just 4 exercises, allowing for a gentle introduction for the total beginner, with progression in subsequent weeks as and when the body adapts to new demands placed on it. This progression will be in the form of the introduction of the 2 other slightly more technically demanding free-weight (non-machine) exercises, the introduction of more sets and on certain exercises more repetitions, shorter rest periods, taking last sets to technical failure and finally using ‘supersets’ where one exercise is performed immediately after the other before a rest is taken.

One ‘set’ consists of a number of repetitions (‘reps’) of an exercise.

A 10 minute warm-up followed by some light stretching before each session is recommended to raise the heart rate and warm the muscles in preparation for exercise and more extensive stretching and a 10 minute cool-down when finished to aid in the reduction of any possible muscle soreness. As stated earlier, this exercise program is designed for anyone new to exercise and in particular weight training, so for anyone with previous experience of similar forms of exercise it may be beneficial, if capable, to progress more quickly than suggested.

Week 1

SQUATS 3 SETS of 10 REPETITIONS with a rest period of 1 minute between sets.

CHEST-PRESS 3 SETS of 10 REPS
LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS of 10 REPS
SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS of 12 REPS

Perform upper-body exercises in a circuit sequence, performing 1 set of each exercise immediately after each other before taking a 45 second rest period between each circuit and repeating until 3 circuits have been completed.

Week 2

SQUATS 3 SETS OF 10 REPS with a 45 second rest between sets.

BENT-OVER ROW 3 SETS OF 10 REPS
CHEST PRESS 3 SETS OF 10 REPS
LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10 REPS
SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12 REPS

Upper-body exercises as a circuit (1 set of each exercise) followed by a 45 second rest before repeating until the required amount of sets have been completed.

Week 3

SQUATS 3 SETS OF 12 REPS resting 45 seconds between sets.
DEADLIFTS 3 SETS OF 10 REPS 45 seconds rest between sets.

BENT-OVER ROW 3 SETS OF 10 REPS
CHEST PRESS 3 SETS OF 10 REPS
LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10 REPS
SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12 REPS

Again perform as a circuit with 45 seconds between each circuit.

Week 4

SQUATS 3 SETS OF 12 with 30 seconds rest between sets
DEADLIFTS 3 SETS OF 10 with 30 seconds rest between sets

BENT-OVER ROW 3 SETS OF 10
CHEST PRESS 3 SETS OF 10
LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10
SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12

As a circuit with 30 seconds rest period after each circuit.

Week 5

SQUATS 4 SETS OF 12 rest 30 seconds between sets
DEADLIFTS 4 SETS OF 10 rest 30 seconds between sets

BENT-OVER ROW 3 SETS OF 10
CHEST PRESS 3 SETS OF 10
LAT PULL-DOWN 3 SETS OF 10
SHOULDER PRESS 3 SETS OF 12

Circuits with 30 seconds between circuits

Week 6

SQUATS 4 X 12
DEADLIFTS 4 X 10

Perform as a SUPERSET that is 1 set of SQUATS immediately followed by a set of DEADLIFTS with a 30 second rest period between each superset and repeat for 4 sets.

BENT-OVER ROW 4 X 10
CHEST PRESS 4 X 10
LAT PULL-DOWN 4 X 10
SHOULDER PRESS 4 X 12

Perform as continuous circuits one after the other 4 times with no rest periods.

Week 7 through to Week 12

Repeat week 6 through to the end of the program with the addition of achieving technical failure on the last set of each exercise, except with deadlifts, technical failure being when another repetition can’t be performed without sacrificing correct form or technique. It is not advisable to take deadlifts to failure to minimise the risk of injury as it is such a demanding and technically difficult exercise to perform, requiring correct form and concentration throughout which tends to diminish when fatigue sets in although the last rep should still be testing.

Weights selected will depend on an individual’s strength and ability. Use week 1 to assess capability, choosing a weight where the required repetitions can be achieved with a certain degree of difficulty initially and then progressing the amount of weight used as and when it becomes more than manageable, the required amount of repetitions for the last set should be just about achievable.

To adapt the programme for a home-based workout use the exact same schedule and principles in the above format swapping the machine based exercises for the corresponding dumbbell or bodyweight alternatives described in ‘The Exercises’ section.