A Real Strength Programme: How to Add 20kg to your Squat and Deadlift, plus 10-15kg to your Bench and Overhead Press in as little as 12 Weeks.

January 16, 2017

Adding strength can be tough, there’s a tonne of programmes out there that may or may not work, as well as a tonne of coaches claiming to do ‘strength and conditioning’ without knowing the first thing about how to actually get people strong. Well, this article is here to change that for you.

 

If you’re willing to spend about five minutes reading (and listen to a little bit of science) then I’m going to give you a tried, tested and proven method for adding serious strength in a small amount of time. On the other hand if you’re too lazy to read for five minutes, then chances are you ain’t the kind of person that’s gonna get strong anyway.

 

PRO TIP: I'm working on the assumption that you've already followed a linear progression based programme.  This programme is designed for intermediate/advanced level lifters.

 

The basics of Strength:

 

  • Your body gets Stronger by adapting to specific stress, which in this case, is the stress of lifting weights.

  • To adapt to this stress your body needs to adequately recover between each training session

  • Adequate recovery means attention to SLEEP and NUTRITION.

 

Put simply, if you want to get strong then you need to train, sleep and eat. If you mess up your sleeping and/or eating then NOTHING is going to make you stronger.

 

I’ll repeat that for clarity. Without the correct amount of sleep and plenty of calories, you WILL NOT get stronger.

 

 

Tracking Your Weights:

 

To get stronger you need to do more this week than you did last week. Now, unless you’ve got some rain-man-like memory, chances are you need to write down or record the weights you lifted in order to do this. Personally I like to use an excel spreadsheet (Yep I’m a geek) which I save to my phone and update during and after my workouts.

 

Please don’t be one of those people who never tracks their workouts and then wonders in six months why they haven’t gotten anywhere.

 

 

The Programme:

 

Alright, we’ve gone over the basics and you understand that you need to track weights, eat right and sleep right in order to make progress. Now let’s look at the programme itself.

 

Format: 4 Phases, 10-5-3-Peak, based off the work of Dr Kyle Pierce.

 

Days: 3 days per week. Ideally 48 hours between sessions. So acceptable days might be Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Or perhaps Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

 

 

Phase 1: Hypertrophy (10’s)

 

Bigger muscles are stronger muscles, simple as.

 

Day 1

Back Squat 10rm, then 2-3 back off sets at 90% of that.

Hack Squat 3x10

Lunges 3x10

Plank, 3 x Max

 

Day 2

Chest Press 10rm, then 2-3 back off sets at 90% of that.

Overhead Press 3x10

Dips 3x10

Side Plank, 2 x Max Each Side

 

Day 3

Deadlift 10rm, then 2 back off sets at 90% of that

Glute Bridge 3x10

Hamstring Curl 3x10

Plank, 3 x Max

 

 

 

Follow this rep scheme for 3-4 weeks, trying to hit new PR’s every single week in every single exercise. 2.5kg increases are the average each week. 5Kg is exceptional but can sometimes happen.

 

 

 

Phase 2: Classic Strength (5’s)

 

Everyone loves (and hates) 5’s, they’re the bread and butter of strength building.

 

Day 1

Back Squat 5rm, then 2-3 back off sets at 90% of that.

Hack Squat 3x5

Lunges 3x8

Plank, 3 x Max

 

Day 2

Chest Press 5rm, then 2-3 back off sets at 90% of that.

Overhead Press 3x5

Dips 3x8

Side Plank, 2 x Max Each Side

 

Day 3

Deadlift 5rm, then 2 back off sets at 90% of that

Glute Bridge 3x5

Hamstring Curl 3x8

Plank, 3 x Max

 

 

Follow this rep scheme for 3-4 weeks, trying to hit new PR’s every single week in every single exercise. 2.5kg increases are the average each week. 5Kg is exceptional but can sometimes happen.

 

 

 

Phase 3: Peaking (3’s)

 

Things are getting heavier now. Much lower reps but higher weights. Basically you’re preparing your body to handle maximal loads in a few weeks.

 

Day 1

Back Squat 3rm, then 2-3 back off sets at 90% of that.

Hack Squat 5x3

Lunges 3x6

Plank, 3 x Max

 

Day 2

Chest Press 3rm, then 2-3 back off sets at 90% of that.

Overhead Press 5x3

Dips 3x6

Side Plank, 2 x Max Each Side

 

Day 3

Deadlift 3rm, then 2 back off sets at 90% of that

Glute Bridge 5x3

Hamstring Curl 3x6

Plank, 3 x Max

 

 

Follow this rep scheme for 3-4 weeks, trying to hit new PR’s every single week in every single exercise. 2.5kg increases are the average each week. 5Kg is exceptional but can sometimes happen.

 

 

Phase 4: Testing Maxes

 

The week you’ve been waiting for. Time to test your max in all three lifts.

 

Day 1   Back Squat 1rm

Day 2   Chest Press 1rm

Day 3   Deadlift 1rm

 

 

Conclusion:

 

This programme works, it has been used by hundreds of lifters around the world to great success. I have used it myself and had great success. I have used it with clients and had great success. I’ve written it out here for you so that you too can start making serious strength gains over the next few months.

 

Pro Tip: Do your best to keep your form in check, especially on the heavy deadlifts. There’s no room for ego when you’re moving a heavy barbell.

 

Now go get strong

 

Your Coach

 

Alex

 

 

Extras and PS:

 

If you’d like to have someone to guide you during your strength training then I’m available for 1:1 and small group coaching. Here’s some links for more information:

 

For Online/Distance Coaching

http://www.characterstrength.co.uk/online-weightlifting-coaching

 

For Beginner's Weightlifting Coaching

http://www.characterstrength.co.uk/beginner's-weightlifting-programme

 

For Experienced weightlifting Coaching

http://www.characterstrength.co.uk/olympic-weightlifting-coaching

 

 

With me you’ll have access to weekly difficulty feedback, technique analysis and improvement, biofeedback systems and sports nutrition advice.

 

You can also get in touch by texting or calling me on 07712 471834

 

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