I’ve been talking about this for a year. My own training template for beginning lifters, an easy, basic, bullshit free style, thoughtfully put together through many sources plus my experience both as a personal trainer as well as someone who once struggled to the point that all seemed hopeless. Training, regardless of your goals, is much more of a cerebral game than most newbies would realize.
You have to learn the art of Autoregulation, listening to your body to realize what kind of stimuli it will and won’t respond to in terms of exercises and reps and sets and all that bullshit. Speaking of bullshit, be ready to have have all sorts of advice thrown your way by both the ones who actually look like they lift and especially the ones who look more like they just took some program off Bodybuilding.com without doing any real research and just began “working out” a few weeks ago. They’re hilarious! But more important than either of those, is the development of your mental toughness.
The lifts you’ll be performing will be simple, but brutal after a while. You’ll be repeating a lot of these almost every workout and you’ll get bored. You can either just give up because you can’t take the repetition, or you can suck it up, follow the program to the T and reap the rewards later. Yeah, I’m an angry asshole – and lack of patience usually comes with being angry! But I at least understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day either. But hey, what the fuck do I know? I only Deadlift more than double my bodyweight.
Why do we Lift With Hatred? What’s your daily life like? Kids? Nagging wife/girlfriend/baby mama? Nagging husband/boyfriend/baby daddy? Feeling disrespected by your boss? Colleagues? Random pieces of shit on the streets who need to be put in their place? They all have one thing in common: it all can get to your head.
Lift With Hatred isn’t “just” some fucking saying I came up with to look awesome. It’s cerebral. It’s emotion. It’s taking all the negativity that you endure throughout your day, and channeling it into something badass, like hitting a squat PR with everything you have. Let’s face it, I’d love to beat the shit out of one or two of my “colleagues” at work…as well as several “family” members; but I also know that I’m not in the mood to go to jail right now.
Lift With Hatred is a way of life. So how exactly do we Lift With Hatred? You look deep into your mind; think about one person who always does you wrong, or your significant other who cheated on you, or that random shithead on the streets you said the wrong thing. Take those feelings of wanting to beat them to the point of near death (the movie Bugsy comes to mind!), and take it out on those weights. Why? Because a powerful physique is far more beneficial than a rap sheet!
The Do’s and Don’ts Of What You’ll Need
I delved into this a little bit in an article called Lift With Hatred: Stupid Shit In The Gym. But here’s is small, ridiculously simple list of what you’ll need to start off – and it’s not much – along with what you definitely won’t need.
Shoes With A Flat Sole
This is often recommended by a lot of reputable coaches and for good reason. In as simple of an explanation as possible, you want to always be able to “split the ground”, or push down against the floor, when performing any compound move. You can’t do that if your shoes don’t allow you feet to be completely on the floor. So most sneakers are out of the question. A flat sole usually provides a bit more traction and allows you to use your posterior chain more, which is crucial for most strength based routines. If you’ve been squatting for a while in sneakers, I guarantee you’ll quickly find out how strong your squat really is once you switch over. I switched over in 2010 and I couldn’t believe how weak I really was (see the Chuck Taylors above!)! There’s also the possibility of tipping over during a heavy squat or deadlift. So you can take my word for it or not. Up to you. Just don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. Recommendations include but are not limited to: Converse Chuck Taylor hi tops, Otomix or Adidas Wrestling Shoes. Don’t worry about getting Adidas Powerlifts, Do-Wins, or anything with a heel until it’s absolutely necessary.
Mini Resistance Bands
Resistance bands in short are fucking amazing. These bands were popularized by those sadistic lunatics over at Westside Barbell long ago, and now everyone and their mother uses them. Why? Constant tension. Advanced and elite level lifters use them at multiple sizes to add weighted tension to lighter percentages of their maxes, because more tension will force you to work faster. Remember, speed is one of the two components of power. But you’ll be using these as a quick warm up for your rear delts before every workout because they’re not only conveniently small enough to carry, but because not every gym has a dowel rod available for a move like Shoulder Dislocations. So for that reason, just order a mini band.
I first read about foam rollers more than a decade ago in a Men’s Health workout guide that’s I’m pretty sure I still have somewhere; but I’m pretty sure it was Muscle And Fitness that called it “The Poor Man’s Massage”. And it is. It’s also a great way to open up the muscles at the beginning of your warm-up. Does your job require you to sit all day long? You’re hips, lats, pectorals and front delts are probably tighter than your fifteen year old sister, and you’ll know where those tender spots are when you find it. You’ll be yelling “hurts so good!” like the closet submissive that you are in no time!
Use a Lacrosse ball to massage areas that you might not be able to successfully hit with a foam roller, such as you piriformis and especially your feet.
Any Kind Of Lifting Belt
Go ahead and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. Done? Feel better? Great – now go suck me! Now that that’s out of the way…you’re reading this correctly. If you’re just starting ANY routine, you do NOT need a belt of any kind. The purpose of a belt is to provide you with something to push your abs into, allowing the abs to achieve an even harder contraction. But unless you’re squatting or deadlifting more than you weigh, focus on developing your “natural belt”, aka your abs. At one point you’ll need one, but for this beginner’s routine I wouldn’t worry about it.
Almost Every Supplement Out There
Here’s another thing that’ll have people telling me I know nothing. They can still go suck me. Not including protein powder, there’s no need to spend your money on any kind of preworkout, creatine monohydrate, or fat burners. I’m not saying they don’t have they’re place; but if you’re new to training and are thin, you need to eat as if you’re one of the fat slobs slowly marching toward death’s door in Supersize Me, clearly rendering fat burners useless here ((although they don’t really do much at all!). In terms of preworkout, there’s no real need for that much caffeine if you’re just starting with an empty bar. Creatine Monohydrate is arguably the single safest supplement out there, especially in it’s powdered form (which is cheaper yet way more effective than it’s pill form). It retains water in the muscles. Sodium does the same shit. But if you want to use Creatine, I’d recommend at least seeing what kind of muscular foundation you can build without it on your own first. Otherwise, you could just take a tablespoon of sea salt and mix that in a gallon of water.
An actual depiction of what you look like when you wear gloves to the gym.
Gloves: GAY. I definitely when on a tirade regarding gloves in the article I mentioned above. But to be short: DO NOT WEAR FUCKING GLOVES. Unless you have nerve damage you don’t need them. Gloves provide a layer between your hands and the bar. Sounds like protection, and it is. But your grip strength won’t develop and it needs to in order for this or any REAL program to work. One of my clients recently bitched when he realized he was developing calluses on his hands, saying when he touched his wife he wanted smooth hands for her. Yeah? You know what your wife would appreciate more? Man hands! So do yourself a favor and ditch the gloves. Actually no…BURN THEM. Or go get a sex change and start calling yourself Sparkles while singing along to this:
Here’s a simple warm-up that should take a least ten minutes once you get the hang of everything. For this you’ll need your foam roller and your mini resistance band. Some of the moves you’ll see here I’ve taken from either books I’ve read over the years or things I’ve learned recently. Some of this is taken from the DeFranco Agile 8 (I’ll leave a link below).
- Start off by foam rolling your entire body. As I mentioned earlier, some of you might have jobs that require sitting all day. So some of the key joints and limbs here might be real tight. That’s why it’s important to hit EVERYTHING, not just your shoulders, legs and hips. Foam roll your piriformis (or use a lacrosse ball), your pecs, even your biceps (they’re connected to your shoulders after all).
- Dynamic Warm-up. Remember when your elementary school gym teacher made you do shit like jumping jacks and jogging in place before actually doing anything? Well they were on to something. Dynamic movements help loosen your muscles, as well as increase your heart rate. Never EVER perform static stretches before working out. Stretching a cold muscle could possibly lead to an injury. This warm-up includes body only movements along with resistance band movements for the rear delts:
Side Planks: 20 – 30 seconds per side
Leg Swings: 10 – 15 swings per leg (make sure you feel the stretch in both your quads and your hamstrings depending on the direction)
Groiners: ten reps altogether.
With A Mini Resistance Band
Band Pull Aparts: 8 – 12 reps above the nipple line, followed by 8 – 12 reps below the nipple line (where you’d position the bar for the Bench Press); Banded Shoulder Dislocations: 8 – 12 reps; Band Face Pull With External Rotation: 8 – 12 reps. When I say external rotation, I simply mean that instead of finishing the movement with your fists facing in front of you and over your head, they instead will be facing you as if you’re flexing your biceps, or jerking off two dicks in a bukkake video, or whatever floats your boat.
I’d actually hold off on the resistance band portion of the warm-up until you’re ready to perform any upper body movements. In Part 2 of the workout I’ll be presenting to separate templates for two relatively different goals. But both workouts will be starting with a posterior chain exercise to isolate the lower back and there’s no point, really, in warming up the shoulders to work on your lower back. But that’s just my two sense. Stay tuned for part 2. Feel free to message me with any questions, complaints, death threats, sacrifices, etc.
Mini Resistance Bands:
Westside Barbell Mini Band
Cheap Yet Highly Effective Weight Lifting Shoes:
My Tirade On Gym Fads:
How to Deadlift with Proper Form: The Definitive Guide