4 Week Intermediate Strength and Power Program:
The purpose of this program is to build up your physical fitness level so that you are able to perform better at sports like weight lifting, running, cycling, swimming or any other sport where you need to use your body’s capabilities. You will start off with 3 weeks of high intensity cardio (cycling) followed by 2 weeks of low intensity cardio (running). After these two weeks, you will begin doing some type of strength training routine.
Strength Training Routine:
In order to build up your strength, you have to do exercises that involve using muscles that are not used during regular activities. For example, if you want to become stronger in your legs, then you must train them first before starting doing squats or lunges. If you want to increase your bench press, then it would be best if you started out with dumbbells and work up from there.
You can choose to do one exercise per day, three times a week or four times a week. However, you should keep in mind that each time you lift weights, you need to rest between sets. So if you are going to do 3 days of lifting weights and 1 day of resting, then you should take into consideration that your rest periods will be longer than usual.
You might want to listen to music or podcasts, but if you are serious about getting stronger and faster, then listening to high energy music might be a good idea. Otherwise, you risk spending more time at the gym trying to find songs that you like rather than actually lifting weights.
The type of exercises that you will be doing during this phase of the training program should be targeting your major muscle groups such as your chest, back, shoulders, legs and arms. You should also incorporate some cardio exercises into your routine such as push-ups, jumping jacks and sit-ups. This is to ensure that your heart and lungs are getting stronger along with the rest of your body.
It might be a good idea to hold off on doing any type of abdominal exercises during this period because all the crunches that you will be doing for the next 2 weeks are more than enough to strengthen your core.
It’s always best to start out with low weight and high repetitions when you first start out with any kind of strength training routine. This allows your muscles to get used to lifting weights and it prevents you from getting injured since your muscles, tendons and ligaments aren’t used to the stress that is put on them while lifting heavy weights. After a couple of weeks you can increase the weight and lower the repetitions.
It’s best to do each exercise until you just fail at the last rep. This means that you cannot do any more reps without resting.
You should rest 1-2 minutes in between each exercise. This allows your muscles to recover and your heart rate to go back to normal.
When you first start out, it is best to choose one muscle group to work on and then once you master that muscle group, incorporate another one until you have done all of them.
While it is important to work on all the muscle groups, some are more important than others. It is always a good idea to train your largest muscles first because they will tire out faster and you don’t want to be struggling to complete an exercise because your legs are giving out underneath you.
Sources & references used in this article:
The effect of six weeks of squat, plyometric and squat-plyometric training on power production by K Adams, JP O’Shea, KL O’Shea… – Journal of applied sport …, 1992 – elitetrack.com
Sandbag training: A sample 4-week training program by K Sell, K Taveras, J Ghigiarelli – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2011 – journals.lww.com
Nonlinear periodization maximizes strength gains in split resistance training routines by AG Monteiro, MS Aoki, AL Evangelista… – … Journal of Strength …, 2009 – cdn.journals.lww.com