Strength Training Program
ST. THOMAS STRENGTH ATHLETICS
Strength training workout

By: Daniel Paré, NCCP, CSO, CSPS, CSTS

Strength and conditioning coach

This beginner’s level strength-training program can be used by anyone. This training may not seem like a lot, however it is actually enough.

A few key things to keep in mind before starting:
........ 1. All exercises must be performed with proper form and technique.
........ 2.The time to rest between sets is 2 minutes. This will vary from person to person.
........ 3.If after the 2-minute rest you are still out of breath, or you do not feel ready to go for your next set, you wait longer.
........ 4.A good way to pace it at the beginning is to use a stopwatch and to take your heart rate before and after.

Objectives:

Weight loss/Toning: This strength-training program may lead to some weight loss/toning. In fact your dedication, effort and patience will result in sensible weight loss.

Improving cardiovascular: The exercises for this strength training program are for the most part, multiple-joint exercises. This requires your heart rate to increase more than if you were to focus on exercises like barbell curl and bench-press.
........ • Full squats, deadlifts … will improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Strengthening knees joint: This program will assist you in strengthening your knee joints, however, if you have sore knees or bad knees, use caution. I strongly advise that you listen to your body and do not overdo it. Use caution. Do not give up, eventually you will be able to do full squats and get all the benefits of a full squat; it might take you a bit longer than others given your own circumstances.
........ • Do NOT give-up. Do what you can while remaining safe.

Diminish low back pain: It is possible that your lower back pain is coming from the way you move/sit/exercise. Using proper form and technique will make a difference. Lower back pain is associated with poor technique (lack of use of the legs and improper positioning when working or exercising).

Reduce shoulder pain: If you suffer or experience shoulder pain; take your time and use caution. With the proper stretching protocol (dynamic) the mobility should improve, therefore, an increase the range of motion. This will decrease pain.
........ • When doing shoulder pressing, your elbows must be in line with your ears. NOT in front. Most shoulder pain is caused by too much strain/work on the shoulder.

Improve strength: Low repletion range will allow you to get stronger. Stronger muscle means low or decreased muscular pain.

Workout Guidelines:

• All exercises must be performed with proper form and technique.
• Set aside enough time to complete your workout
• Stretch:
........ o Dynamic (movement) stretching is required at the start of each session. Static stretching does not increase blood flow. Blood flow requires movement to take place and a static stretching involves NO movements. Spend five minutes stretching.

• Drink water after each set.

• Workout at your OWN pace.

• Avoid Muscular Soreness:

........ o If muscular soreness is experienced after the first 2 or 3 workouts, you are pushing too hard. You may need only 2 sets of 5 reps at the beginning. Being sore too often takes away the benefits of a good and regular exercise/strength-training program.

• Warm-up:
........ o Must be kept at 5 minutes of cardiovascular at low intensity. If shortness of breath is experience after the warm-up, the intensity was too high.
........ o The warm up is to warm up your body (joints and muscles).
........ o Do not make a warm-up session a workout session

The Exercises:

Sets & Reps: Start with 3 sets of 5 reps (15 reps per exercise). The objective is to get to 5 sets of 5 reps (25 reps per exercise). A few weeks will pass before 5 sets of 5 reps are reached. Listen to your body and do not push yourself to muscle soreness. Increase the number of sets as you see fit. Adaption will be required if you are used to higher reps when exercising.

The Squat: If you do not feel confident using a barbell, go without it. Whether you have a barbell or not, the technique must be the same. Keep a tight back and lower your hips down toward your heels. This is the action of sitting on a chair. You want go as low as you can. The quarter and the half depth squats do NOT allow you to truly benefit from doing squats. By going very low (ex; hips to heels as demonstrated), you will improve your core musculature and overall strength. You will get the results you want much faster. Muscles worked are the leg muscles, glutes, back, core.

The deadlift: (video) In a deadlift position, feet shoulder width apart and a tight and straight back, stand up with the barbell to an erect position and return the barbell down keeping your back tight and straight. Remember that we are not doing a stiff leg deadlift. Muscles worked are the leg muscles, glutes, back, core.

The deadlift barbell curl: (video) With a barbell curl grip, in a deadlift position, you deadlift the barbell up then, you do the barbell curl. There is no rest from the deadlift to the barbell curl. Muscles worked are the leg muscles, glutes, back, biceps, shoulders, core.

The standing shoulder press: (video) Standing up, the barbell at your chest, press the barbell above your head, at arm’s length. Your elbows must be under the barbell at all times. Muscles worked are the back muscles, core, shoulders.

The power clean and press: With a deadlift grip, from the starting position bring the barbell up to your chest, then press it above your head. When pressing the barbell keep your elbows under the barbell, and stay tight. Muscles worked are the leg muscles, back, shoulders, core.

I hope you enjoy this workout program as much as I enjoyed writing it. Remember, do not give-up and work at your own pace.

Thank you

Daniel Paré, NCCP, CSO, CSPS, CSTS Strength and Conditioning Coach.