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.
Getting Started with the Beginner Workouts
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.
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 program is designed to be performed three times a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday would be ideal. 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.
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. These drills are excellent for motor control and coordination.
- Crocodile breathing x10 breaths
- Creeping X-lift practice with a ball on your back
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 you will be ready for skill building.
- Farmer hold with DB, plate, or KB 3x:10
- Rotational stability plank x10 per side, :02 hold
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.
Monday: 2X15 reps each
Friday: 3X10 reps each
- KB deadlift
- 1/2 kneeling hip flexor stretch with dowel x10
- KB goblet squat (level 1)
- DB bent-over row
- Side-lying windmill on foam roller
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.
Monday: speed squats, 4 rounds of work :15, rest :30
Wednesday: 15-20 minutes of walking/jogging at 6/10 intensity level
Friday: speed squats, 5 rounds of work :15, rest :30
6. Cool Down: During the cool down, you will perform similar drills to the “Activation” section, except here they will function 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.
- Cross crawls x10
- Segmental rolls x3
- Rocking x10
- Foam roll as needed
Feel free to include any extra stretching and/or foam rolling you feel is needed after completing this section. Make sure to eat some kind of protein rich food/shake 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.