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FOUNDATION/ MAINTENANCE TRAINING!!!
By: J.V. Askem
 
 
 

If one reads the other articles on this web site, it should be apparent that I advocate Olympic lifting movements as the nucleus of a strength training protocol for athletes . However, sometimes in my role as a strength trainer/ weightlifting coach, it becomes apparent that not all trainees I get can cut it!

For example, if I acquire a new trainee who wants to do the Olympic lifts like some of his friends that I may have coached, but who can not do some minimal level basics assistance movements, then it becomes immediately apparent that such a lad or lass can not lift along with the other trainees!

For example, let's say I happen to acquire a 190 to 200 lb lad who can not even front squat 135 lbs. and who can also not hold a straight back on a Romanian deadlift with about the same weight! In such a situation this trainee is a good candidate for some "foundation" training first. Of course the situation could be different if the trainee weighs much less.

Foundation training??? What exactly is this you might ask? Well any structure, whether it be a building, a bridge, or your body, must have a solid foundation to build upon first. But unlike the bridge or a building, your body has an immediate tendency to quickly deteriorate. Thus the foundation must be constantly attended to, and this raises another situation and the question!

"I've laid off of lifting for a while!" "What should I do ? " In this situation, the answer could be a basic "foundation" schedule, but it could also be a "maintenance" training schedule! Maintenance training being a regime that is used to refurbish rather than build from scratch. However in either case, i t is NEVER advisable to just jump straight in and try to work up on an advanced training schedule.

Below is a typical F/M workout schedule that I do, and recommend after layoffs. At first glance, the aforementioned training schedule appears to be similar to a bodybuilder's training schedule. However keep in mind that there are different motives here! The idea of F/M training is not necessarily to build yourself up for a superficial appearance sake, but to build from scratch or overhaul the basic structural foundation of your body , and the best way to do this is to work as many parts of your body as possible.

I recommend 2 weeks to 2 months on an F/M schedule, depending upon how long you've been away from weight training activities. If you've been away a long time, let's say, a year or more, or you're a raw recruit novice, then a full 2 months of F/M training is a must before entering to anything more advanced.
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PHASE #1 : geared toward the trainee who's out of shape, or who has never trained before.

This is a 4 days per week , 2 days upper body and 2 days lower body training schedule . In the very beginning you should use only about 40% to 50% of your 1RM. Of course, if you've been a way for a while, your 1RM will be difficult to ascertain. So just do sets of 10 reps with a resistance that you can handle comfortably with some room to spare.

Precede each workout with a thorough warm-up and stretch.

MONDAY and THURSDAY (Upper body)
Lat Pull Downs or Chins - 2 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Barbell or Dumbell Curls - 2 sets of 10 reps

Dips or Flat Bench Press - 2 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Cable Tricep Press Downs - 2 sets of 10 reps

Bent Barbell Rows - 2 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Thumbs Up (Hammer) Curls - 2 sets of 10 reps

Seated or Incline Press - 2 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Lying barbell or dumbell French Press - 2 sets of 10 reps

TUESDAY and SATURDAY (Lower body)
Front or Back Squat - 3 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 10 reps

Good Morning or Romanian Deadlift - 3 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Leg Curls - 3 sets of 10 reps

NOTE's: When I recommend 10 reps, that's actually an average between 8 and 12 reps.
So, take a weight that you can do for at least 8, but try for 12 with it. If you do all the designated sets for 12 reps, then the weight is too light. So increase it the next workout and go for at least 8 reps.

A full workout should be completed in 30 to 40 minutes. The pace should be quick. This is possible because all exercises are "super setted" (SS) with another exercise. A "super set" is where two exercises are alternated, done one right after the other, with no rest between each exercise's sets (you'll only have a chance to catch your breath in the time it takes you to get to the next piece of equipment) . You then take about 2 minutes rest after the two consecutive exercises have been completed before doing another 2 exercise super set. The idea here is to get the best blood circulation possible to distribute nutrients throughout the body.

You will notice each SS is made up of one compound movement followed by one isolation movement. If you're a new trainee or coming back after a long layoff, start out just doing 1 set on each exercise the first week or two, before adding the second and third sets. If you can't get at least 8 reps on a set, the weights you're using are too heavy.
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PHASE# 2 : geared toward the trainee who has laid off for only a short time (a few weeks to a couple of months), or who finds phase# 1 too easy.

Precede each workout with a thorough warm-up and stretch.

MONDAY and THURSDAY (Upper body)
Bench Press, Incline Press, or Seated Press - 10 reps warm-up, 5 reps slightly heavier, then 3 sets of 5 reps with 80% to 85% of 1RM.

Lat Pull Downs or Bent Rows - 3 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Barbell or Dumbell Curls - 3 sets of 10 reps

Dips or Seated Presses - 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Cable Press Downs or Lying French Presses - 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps

TUESDAY and SATURDAY (Lower body)
Front or Back Squat - 10 reps warm-up, 5 reps slightly heavier, then 3 sets of 5 reps with 80% to 85% of 1RM.

Light Front Squats, Z-Squats, or Hack Squats - 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps (alternated with)
Leg Extensions - 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps

Good Morning or Romanian Deadlift - 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps
Leg Curls - 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps

Calf Raises - 2 sets of 20 to 25 reps

NOTE's: You will notice on phase 2, the first exercise is NOT super setted with another. This is a "core" compound movement to prepare you for the more advanced training to come in the future. Also, more weight is used here (80% to 85%).

On the Upper body schedule, the bench press is suggested as a "core exercise" if your goals are Power lifting or bodybuilding oriented. If you're goals lean toward Olympic lifting or training for a specific sport outside of the Iron Game, then I would recommend a more upright form of pressing like inclines or seated presses. Also the front squat would be my lower body core exercise preference for athletic weight training or Olympic lifting.

On the secondary exercises, the ones that are super setted, still stay with the 40% to 50%. Remember, leave a little gas in your tank before leaving the weight room.

 

 
 

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