Run Your Strongest

Run Your Strongest

By Anthony Clark

4 week program

This program was written to be the perfect kick-starter to your journey of becoming a stronger and more athletic human.
The purpose of the program is to build the foundations to solid strength training that you will be able to use for the rest of your life. It is designed for everyone from the average gym-goer looking to improve their strength, to athletes of any sport looking to gain an edge on their competitors.  Over the course of the next weeks you will not only become a lot stronger, but can expect to increase muscle mass and enhance your overall athletic performance, all while reducing your risk of injury. This program assumes that you have a MINIMUM OF 6 MONTHS TO 1 YEAR of resistance (gym) training, and therefore it is understood that you should have a firm grasp on the movements included in the program. This guide is here to help you understand the theory behind the program, how the structure works and how to interpret and use your workout spread sheets. It’s time to get pumped and jump into how the program works!

 

Theory Behind the Program

To get the most out of any training program we should have a basic understanding of how and why it works.  This will keep you more goal orientated and focused on what you need to achieve in each workout.  When it comes to strength training there are a few very important principles we need to apply to training to make sure we make the optimal gains.
So what is strength and how does training improve it? Strength is simply the ability of our muscles and limbs to exert force (F).

 

The more force we can exert, the stronger we are. But how does training in the gym (resistance training) improve our strength? The first and most obvious way is increasing our muscle mass. We all know that people with more muscle mass tend to be stronger than those with less. But there are actually several other ways that resistance training improves strength.
They include improvements to our:
1. Central nervous system – Proper strength training enhances the ability of our nervous system to fire and “recruit” our muscles. This results in more muscle fibres being used, enhanced muscle fibre and total muscle coordination and thus stronger muscle contractions.

 

2. Muscle cells themselves: Strength training enhances the ability of individual muscle fibres to produce force. It also helps convert “slow twitch” fibres to “fast twitch glycolytic” fibres, which are stronger and larger.

 

3. Muscle connective tissue – Strength training not only increases the strength of our muscles but also our tendons, which attach our muscles to our bones. Stronger tendons means our muscles can exert more force on our limbs, making us stronger and more resilient to injury.

It is important to note that these improvements only take place with the

“right” style of training. What is the “right” style of training for strength? Well, all the research and experiences of the strongest people in the world tell us that doing big compound movements at very heavy loads gives us the best results! That’s because lifting a heavy weight (relative to your OWN max) forces you to recruit as many muscle fibres as you can to produce lots of force. Basically, you need to lift strong to get strong. Lifting heavy weights typically means you can’t do it for many reps, so you will see that most sets in this program are between the 2-8 rep range. This gives us a good combination to improve our strength and add some muscle mass.

Another key factor in improving our strength is PROGRESSION. Simply put, progression means we need to be continually increasing the INTENSITY of our program to see results. Intensity can refer to the amount of weight we lift, the number of reps we perform at a set weight, or the number of total sets we complete an exercise. It’s important to remember that while we are continually striving for progression, we need to allow time for the body to recover and adapt to the training we have done. This is all taken into account in the program.

 

Structure of the program

Before beginning the program it is encouraged to test yourself in certain movements we will be doing throughout the program. A list of these tests is included on the first page of your spreadsheet. Don’t try to do all the tests in 1 day, take 3-4 days before starting the program to complete them.

The program is 8 weeks long and split into two 4 week blocks. The blocks are separated by a
“deload” week and the final week of the program consists of a “testing” week to test your improvements over the course of the program. Over the first 3 weeks of each block, the intensity of training is gradually ramped up to enhance our progression. The deload week is there to enhance our recovery and adaptation to the program.

 

Each week consists of 4 training sessions. Each training session consists of 3 phases;
1. The warm up – Taking place in the form of a circuit to prepare the body for the movements of the day and to add some injury prevention (prehab) training.
2. Core – These are the core/objective movements of the session. These exercise consist of big compound movements that recruit multiple muscle groups. These are the most important movements of the session and maximum effort should be given into achieving the desired intensities for each exercise.
3. Accessory – These typically consist of smaller isolation exercises that target individual muscles and joints. While these exercises are “accessory” to the core movements they are still extremely important as they will enhance your ability in the bigger lifts and add muscle mass to important muscle groups.

The core exercises are selected from our “Foundational” strength movement patterns. These are the:

– Squat

– Hinge

– Lunge

– Push

– Pull

– Press

– Carry

– Deadlift

Each training day will focus on 2-3 of these movements. The training day split is as follows:
– Day 1: Squat, Pull, Press
– Day 2: Hinge, Push, Carry
– Day 3: Squat, Lunge, Pull
– Day 4: Deadlift, Push, Midline

It is important to ensure enough recovery time in between training sessions. Thus rest days are of vital importance. My recommended scheduling for sessions is:
– Monday: Day 1
– Tuesday: Day 2
– Wednesday: Rest
– Thursday: Day 3
– Friday: Rest
– Saturday: Day 4.
– Sunday: Rest

Finally, in order to maximize our training and recovery, we need to have the appropriate nutrition strategy. Typically to maximize strength enhancement we should be in a caloric surplus while consuming enough quality protein. I recommend consuming 200CAL more than your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) while taking in a minimum of 2.0g of protein per kilo of body weight per day. I have added in a calculation for your daily protein intake under each weeks’ Day One.

Your TDEE can be calculated at the following website: https://tdeecalculator.net/

Hopefully this is all clear to you and you are itching to get started! A key explaining the workout terms can be found on page 2 of your program spread sheet! Good luck and happy gains!

R349 PER MONTH, PER PERSON!