EDITOR'S NOTE: For an in-depth description of the beginner workouts and the movements contained in them from their creator, Bret Hamilton, have a look at his article on getting started with this 12-week program.

 

Beginner Workouts, Cycle 4: Getting Started

This beginner’s workout program will incorporate many of the skills from Cycle 3 of the beginner’s workouts while adding some new ones. If you are just starting out and are unfamiliar with the movements included in this cycle, please refer to the instructional videos included and make sure you understand the techniques involved and have access to the proper equipment and space.

 

Also, included with this cycle is a free training template which has the workouts laid out in an easy-to-follow fashion. Feel free to download it and print it for your own personal use. Tracking your progress is invaluable in achieving the results you desire. It will aid you on your journey and help you make sure you’re using a load that is challenging enough to help you improve, but not so challenging that you’re risking burnout or injury.

 

The format of Cycle 4 is an alternating A and B workout. The program is designed to be performed three times a week. It will help to build strength, improve coordination and flexibility, and also improve anaerobic endurance. The total number of sets and/or reps will generally get smaller as the program moves forward, meaning it is designed to transition from strength-endurance focused to pure strength over the twelve week period.

The workouts are divided up in to chunks, each being its own separate piece. Perform each piece in the order it is written:
 

1. Movement Prep: Consider this the passive warm up. Lots of soft tissue stuff that incorporates foam rollers and/or roller stick tools to break up adhesions and bring some blood flow to the muscles.
 

2. Activation: The part of the workout that fires up the vestibular system and gets the juices flowing. These drills are excellent for motor control and coordination.
 

3. Intensification: During this phase of the workout, you will perform a “core” focused drill that promotes developing total body tension for short, intense bursts. Your core temperature will rise and your muscles will begin to wake up, becoming ready for the phase that follows.

 

4. Skill Building: This is the strength training portion of the session. It is referred to as skill building because an emphasis is put on the quality of the reps, not the quantity. There are typically two groups of three exercises. Perform each group of three as a circuit, one after the other. Rotate through the number of sets prescribed, then move on to the second group of three exercises before continuing to the next section of the workout. Perfect practice makes perfect technique.

 

5. Metabolic Conditioning: Here you will improve your anaerobic fitness levels by performing a high intensity interval session for approximately five minutes. Overall time is kept to five minutes, with the work and rest ratios becoming more challenging as your fitness improves.

6. Cool Down: During the cool down, you will perform similar drills to the “Activation” section, except here they will function more as total body resets. The drills included will help to bring down the heart rate gradually as well as recirculate blood after a high intensity finisher. Feel free to include any extra stretching and/or foam rolling you feel necessary after completing this section. Make sure to get some kind of protein rich food/shake in you within 30-60 minutes to accelerate your recovery!

 

If it is your desire to participate in this program, make it a point to stick with it for its entirety, without mixing and matching workouts from other training programs. Make use of the tracking tool provided. It will be invaluable in keeping tabs on your progress. 

 

Week 3: A-B-A

Day A:

 

Movement Prep: Thoracic extensions over foam roller; Foam roll/stick work on thighs, IT bands, calves, and shins

Activation: Cross Crawl x10 each; Segmental Rolls x3 each

Intensification: Farmer Hold with DB/Plate/KB 3x10s; Rotational Stability Plank x10ea side (2 sec. hold)

Skill Building: Two circuits of three exercises, performed in order with no rest between movements, unless necessary.

 

Circuit 1:

  • Double KB clean
  • Goblet grip reverse lunge
  • Half-kneeling hip flexor stretch with dowel X10

 

Circuit 2:

  • Goblet squat (level 1)
  • Bent over row with KB
  • Hitchhiker X10

 

Metabolic Conditioning: Speed Squats in place: 4 rounds of 20 seconds work, 40 seconds recovery (4x20:40)

Cool Down: Cross Crawls x10ea, Segmental Rolls x3ea, Rocking x10, Foam roll as needed

 

 

 

 

Day B:

Movement Prep: Thoracic extensions over foam roller; Foam roll/stick work on thighs, IT bands, calves, and shins

 

Activation: Cross Crawl x10 each; Segmental Rolls x3 each

 

Intensification: Kettlebell Rack Walk for time (3x10sec ea)

 

Skill Building: Two circuits of three exercises, performed in order with no rest between movements, unless necessary. 

 

Circuit 1:

  • KB single-leg deadlift (weight in both hands)
  • Harstyle push up (modify if needed)
  • Rocking X10 + KB halos X5

 

Circuit 2:

  • KB goblet squat (level 1)
  • Rotational stability plank X10.side, 2 second hold
  • Hitchhiker X10 + hip flexor stretch with dowel X10

 

Metabolic Conditioning: Crawling (knees off ground if possible) (4x20:40)

 

Cool Down: Cross Crawls x10ea; Segmental Rolls x3ea; Rocking x10; Foamroll as needed

 

Click here to download the excel tracking sheet for weeks one through four.

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