When it comes to strength training specificity is key. You get the answers to the questions you ask. A good strength programme isn’t about a one off programme or a 4-week block of training; it’s about the bigger picture, the end goal. The goal of anyone who devotes both time and energy into training should be continual improvement and getting stronger and more physically equipped over a period of weeks, months and years.
We get a lot of beginners in strength training come through our doors and our initial goal is to make them move better and develop a sound strength base to build upon. This is something that is often over looked when people start out in the gym, often opting for more advanced exercises and then getting frustrated when progress stalls. More often than not there is an underlying weakness that is holding them back that wouldn’t be present if they had taken the time to develop a base.
At W10 Performance we have developed a 6-tier programme to address this. The programme has been designed to get everyone to meet our gym standards. Each of our tiers has a few important goals that the trainee must be able to perform before progressing to the next. Now this isn’t a way to make it elitist in any way, but every exercise in our programmes have a distinct purpose further down the line. For example, if you are unable to hold a side plank for 45s each side then you are going to struggle to perform our Turkish get up standard, which is 25% of your bodyweight, so we first address the side plank before teaching the Turkish get up. Its not rocket science but it has just been systemised to give clients a clear pathway of progression.
As with any well thought out programme the early stages are about laying the foundations. This is where we focus heavily on mobility and stability so as to eliminate restrictions that could hold us back further down the line. We also favour the development of single leg stability and structural balance, ensuring that the trainee is ready for bilateral exercises such as squats and deadlifts that come later in the programme. The same is also true for the upper body, in that we work a lot on shoulder stability and develop push-ups before we get people pressing overhead with external load.
We just teach the basics really, but this not only ensures progression but also reduces the risk of injury as people start to become more advanced and perhaps lift heavier. This will ensure that people continue to get stronger and fitter without the frustrations that come with plateau, injuries and lack of results.