Sitting at the front desk of my gym doing some cover and I always get a few members come up and will inevitably ask for some form of training advice, one topic that all ways comes up is what’s a good strength training routine.
From a S&C (Strength & Conditioning) perspective there are some basic principles to a strength training programme which are outlined below:
- SETS: 3-5
- REPS: 1-6
- Time Under Load: 10-30 Seconds
- Number of Exercises: 4-6**
- Load: >80% 1RM
- Rest: 2-5 Minutes
*Number of exercises refers to the main lifts and all accompanying accessory exercises in a given training session.
These are the base principles and when applying them to your own training programme they are the bedrock of a strength training programme but they are not the only thing that needs to be taken into consideration, you as an individual, mobility, flexibility, your goals, previous experience and level of fitness.
There are more advanced training styles, but for the beginner to intermediate simplicity is best!
One programme I always recommend is 5-3-1, when I started out training again about 7 years ago now, I had a great coach down in Salisbury he started me off doing the 5-3-1 strength cycle for the major lifts. This programme is a great start from beginners to the experienced and I can’t recommend it enough.
Why is 5-3-1 a fantastic programme?
- It starts light, builds progressively and is structured into 3-4 training sessions per week which are centred around one core lift, squat, deadlift, bench press and strict press.
- After the big lifts, you do complimentary accessory exercises.
- Each training cycle is 4 weeks on an undulating model of increased load, decreased volume and the 4th week is a deload week.
- It is very structured you’re not just picking a weight to lift for 1-6 reps per Set, you are using a percentage of your 1RM and not even your full 1RM all calculations are based off 90% of your 1RM.
- You accomplish a goal with every work out!