In this system you lift four days a week, no more, no less. Part of the way this system works so well is that it allows your body to adapt to frequent body part training over the course of it. I can personally attest that since I started using this template I have dropped fat, gained muscle, increased my lifts across the board and have become more aesthetically balanced.
If you have a busy, physical job, there will be an adjustment period with this system until you adapt to the training load. In the next chapter you will see the actual template broken down, it isn’t a large training load, but it may be different from what you are used to up until this point.
However if you have a relatively sedentary job and you are worried about overtraining, you need a smack in the mouth.
THIS SYSTEM IS CUSTOMIZABLE
Part of the problems and issues lifters develop with set programs, set exercises and planning out 4-5 weeks in advance are:
1. They get bored as shit with the same thing over and over and over and over.
2. They may want to do something different like walk with a yoke instead of busting out another set of squats on squat day.
3. They may be having a period of stress related to life and want to cut back on the barbell lifts for a day or two.
4. Did I mention boredom?
This is why I program a template and NOT exercises. It is up to you to fill in the blanks. While I will give a semi-exhaustive list of exercises you can do at the end of this book, this will not be a fully complete list. There are literally hundreds of selections you can pick from for each body part, but I will list the ones I feel are the most important to use and have the best applications for muscle growth and strength gain.
ORDER OF IMPORTANCE: BARBELL, DUMBBELL, BODYWEIGHT, MACHINE
I prefer using free weights, but there are benefits to using a machine at times. Let’s face it, lifting is not our life, we may have had a couple nights of bad sleep, some external stress in our lives, diet has not been up to snuff or your job is driving you to unheard of levels of stress. This will affect your motivation and training. It is part of life; you have to work around that. You can do four things here with regards to exercise selection.
This is lifting by feel and is an integral part of this system. Not every day is going to be one of those earth-shattering sessions, you have to work with what you have on any given day and if it means your weights suffer a little for that day, so be it. Live to fight another day.
Choosing a day of Barbell Squats followed up by using bodyweight movements in other parts of the template for higher reps will still give you a good workout without the extra load with a weight in your hand. (See template and exercise appendix for clarification).
Sometimes using them for a day or two will allow your body and mind to rest from the barbell while still giving you work. This template is designed to minimize training burnout, but as I said, life happens and you have to work with what you have.
This is a given otherwise, and the only exception to this is if you are injured in some way or seriously exhausted from life. Some of my best workouts were on days when I did not feel like touching a weight, warming up was painful and the work up sets felt slow, but then a switch was flipped and PR’s happened. This has probably happened to you as well.
Under no circumstances do you replace the first lift of the day with a machine. No hammer strength bench press, no leg press, no machine shoulder press and no machine deadlifts. My gym has a deadlift apparatus, I never used it and don’t intend to.
The system is built around compound lifts, if you have to go lighter on a certain day for whatever reason, so be it, but do the main lift with a barbell or dumbbell in your hands.
Pick up a copy of the Ashman Strength System Version 2.0 .
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