Lazy man’s summary: Plan around the seven primal movements and you can’t go far wrong
The basis of any successful programme, except the hyper-specialised, are the primal movements, supported by big compound exercises. Once you have this firmly lodged in your brain, you’ll find that structure is very easy to achieve… Qué?
The Primal Patterns are defined as the following:
Good guide but I would add to that…As a human you should be able to squat to depth, lung, press above your head, press forward, press down, hinge at the hip, pull from above your head and from your front and rotate. Cool, so far, so simple. Structure your workouts around these. I have underlined those which absolutely take priority.
“Pull Ups are for winners.” - Oliver Cromwell 1632
Now, let’s look at some considerations. Here are some basic assumptions you can make and what it means for you:
You will need to prioritise pulling movements both in volume and when you’re short on time. There are other important reasons for this but that can be discussed another time.
The start of your training should be mobility focused and the end should include flexibility goals. The cool down is not just that irritating bit at the end your normally skip. We know you do. We enjoy those sweet gains of full range of motion training, all along my muscle fibre length, because we develop and maintain flexibility.
Use the basic rules you have been taught to develop back-ups. Sometimes the equipment will be busy, time will be short, or you will be away. Habit is vital, see Habit Maintenance. Therefore, you need a plan. ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN!
“That species with the greatest ass is most likely to survive.” Charles Darwin 1869
A good priming warm is required on leg days, I recommend Limber 11 by Joe DeFranco. Every leg needs additional glute work. Bret Contreras, aka The Glute Guy and author of The Glute Lab, is your man for a guide to glute exercises, rep ranges etc…
Your posterior work, so pulling and glute work, is vital for pulling you back into shape.
You should have some single arm and single leg work in your programme (unilateral). A good place for this is the second movement you complete.
Right, the session itself, what does it look like? Well in the interest of brevity have a look at these:
That is a lighting fast overview of one way to approach planning your strength training. It will work, that much is certain. There are other ways to skin a cat, but these are the principles we train by. Have a look at our programmes, the key tenets outlined here will always feature. When planning the whole piece, recovery rates, interrelating energy systems and individual differences play a much larger role.
“Never skip leg day.” - Mother Theresa 1962