FREE STRENGTH PROGRAMS click here



The Big 3 Lifts for beginners (4 day split) - Mat Woods @redbeard49

Posted by David HENSLER on

4 day split for beginner to intermediate level lifter, by Mat Woods @redbeard49


Three days will be based around variations of the Big 3 lifts (squat, bench, deadlift) with the 4th training day being geared toward accessory work.  Only on the last week of training will the traditional lifts be performed.  If technique is not solid or you’re not very comfortable on the main lifts, there is a substitute for each lift on the last week as well.  Accessory work should be personalized toward the weakness of the lifter, but you’ll find a few different options in this template for common weak areas.  Sessions should be an hour or less with a deload week after 8 weeks. Do not train more than 2 days in a row, more than that will not allow adequate recovery between the sessions.

Keys to success:

  1. Do not miss lifts!  There is a difference between pushing yourself and taking too big of weight jumps on the heavy lifts.  5lb jumps each week equals 40lb increases over 8 weeks, keep the end goal in mind by not getting caught up in big PRs every training session.
  2. Complete all reps, even if the weight needs to be slightly lowered on the last set.  If fatigue is causing problems, check other variables to lifting (diet, sleep, stress, training time, etc)
  3. If fatigue is still a problem, use 2 off-days from lifting to complete GPP (general physical preparedness) or conditioning such as sled dragging, weighted walks, etc.  
  4. The first two exercises are always warm-ups with light weight done at a steady tempo.  This also helps with GPP and promotes recovery.
  5. Try to increase weight on main lift by 5lbs each week.
  6. No deadlift accessory movement is on the template as the squat accessories should carry-over to the deadlift.

Week #1 & #2

Lower Body

Standing Abs with cable or band – 3x15-20

Seated Leg Curl or lying leg curl (whatever is available) – 3x15-20

Box Squat with straight bar – 3x5 (parallel to slightly below parallel height, feet wider than shoulder width.  If mobility is an issue with feet wide, move them in until able to meet the box height)

Romanian Deadlift – 3x6-8 (3 seconds down and 1 second up, keep the temp steady)

Stationary Lunges – 3x10-15 (1 leg at a time, example do 10 reps on 1 leg then switch legs.  Perform while holding weight plates or dumbbells)

Donkey Calve Raises – 3x20-30 

Push day

Overhead Tricep Extensions – 3x20-25 (can be done with band, dumbbell, or EZ curl bar)

Low Band or Pulley row – 3x20 

Decline Press with straight bar – 3x5 (grip closer than flat bench)

Close Grip Incline press with straight bar – 3x6-8 

Seated Shoulder Dumbbell Press – 3x12-15 (perform 4 seconds down and 1 second up, keep the tempo steady)

Lying Leg Raises – 3x15

Pull Day

Lat Pulldowns – 3x15-20 (can be done with straight pulldown bar or v-grip)

Dumbbell Row – 3x15-20 (can be done 1 arm at a time or together)

Low Pin Pulls with straight bar – 5x2 (use lowest pin setting for your rack.  If no power rack is available, use plates, mats, or blocks to raise the bar 2-4 inches.  Do not use straps at first, only use when grip is failing)

Barbell Row from floor – 3x6-8 (reset after every rep, back parallel to floor with grip shoulder width apart.  Pull the bar into stomach, straps can be used if grip is too fatigued from pin pulls)

Face Pulls – 3x15-20 (can be done with band or pulley system)

Superman – 3x10-12 (hold at the top for 1 second each rep)

Accessory Day

Farmer’s walk – 30 seconds for 3 sets (weight used does not need to be overly taxing)

Seated Good mornings – 3x8-10 (perform with straight bar)

Or

Good Morning Box Squats – 3x6-8 (perform if too much forward lean coming off the box when doing box squats)

Tricep Rollbacks – 3x8-10 (use dumbbells or EZ curl bar)

Or

Barbell Dead Press – 3x5-6 (perform if weak off the chest during flat bench)

Band Pull-aparts – 3x12-15

Hindu Squats – 3x15-20 (bodyweight only)

Week #3 & #4

Lower Body

Standing Abs with cable or band – 3x20-25

Seated Leg Curl or lying leg curl (whatever is available) – 3x20-25

Box Squat with straight bar – 4 sets 6, 6, 5, 5 (parallel to slightly below parallel height, feet wider than shoulder width.  If mobility is an issue with feet wide, move them in until able to meet the box height)

Romanian Deadlift – 3x6-8 (3 seconds down and 1 second up, keep the temp steady)

Walking Lunges – 3x10-15 (holding dumbbells or weight plates)

Donkey Calve Raises – 3x20-30 

Push day

Overhead Tricep Extensions – 3x20-25 (can be done with band, dumbbell, or EZ curl bar)

Low Band or Pulley row – 3x20 

Floor Press – 3x5 (hands at normal grip)

Close Grip Incline press with straight bar – 3x6-8 

Seated Shoulder Dumbbell Press neutral grip – 3x12-15 (perform 4 seconds down and 1 second up, keep the tempo steady)

Lying Leg Raises – 3x15

Pull Day

Lat Pulldowns – 3x20-25 (can be done with straight pulldown bar or v-grip)

Dumbbell Row – 3x20-25 (can be done 1 arm at a time or together)

Low Pin Pulls with straight bar – 6x2 (use lowest pin setting for your rack.  If no power rack is available, use plates, mats, or blocks to raise the bar 2-4 inches.  Do not use straps at first, only use when grip is failing)

Barbell Row from floor – 3x6-8 (reset after every rep, back parallel to floor with grip shoulder width apart.  Pull the bar into stomach, straps can be used if grip is too fatigued from pin pulls)

Face Pulls – 3x15-20 (can be done with band or pulley system)

Superman – 3x12-15 (hold at the top for 1 second each rep)

Accessory Day

Farmer’s walk – 30 seconds for 3 sets (weight used does not need to be overly taxing)

Standing Good mornings – 3x8-10 (perform with straight bar, feet wide)

Or

Front Box Squats – 3x6-8 (perform if upper back is weak or not stable during squats/deadlifts)

Skullcrushers off floor – 3x8-10 (use dumbbells or EZ curl bar)

Or

Barbell Dead Press – 3x4-5 (perform if weak off the chest during flat bench, wider grip than normal)

Band Pull-aparts – 3x12-15

Hindu Squats – 3x15-20 (bodyweight only)

Week #5 & #6

Lower Body

Standing Abs with cable or band – 3x20-25

Seated Leg Curl or lying leg curl (whatever is available) – 3x20-25

Box Squat with straight bar – 4x4 (box height below parallel, feet set less than shoulder width apart)

Sumo Stiff Leg Deadlift – 3x6-8 (3 seconds down and 1 second up, keep the temp steady)

Pull Throughs – 3x12-15 (use cable stack or band)

Donkey Calve Raises – 3x20-30  (last set go to muscle failure)

Push day

Overhead Tricep Extensions – 3x20-25 (can be done with band, dumbbell, or EZ curl bar)

Low Band or Pulley row – 3x20 

Close Grip Floor Press – 3x5 (slight pause at the bottom)

Dips – 3x8-10 (try to stay as upright as possible)

Reverse Grip Barbell Shoulder Press – 3c12-15 (slow tempo)

Hanging Knee Raises – 3x15

Pull Day

Lat Pulldowns – 3x20-25 (can be done with straight pulldown bar or v-grip)

Dumbbell Row – 3x20-25 (can be done 1 arm at a time or together)

Deficit Pulls – 6x2 (preferably 2-4 inch deficit.  If no blocks, use a plate. No straps used until grip failure)

Barbell Row from floor – 3x4-6 (reset after every rep, back parallel to floor with grip shoulder width apart.  Pull the bar into stomach, straps can be used if grip is too fatigued from pin pulls)

Face Pulls – 4x15-20 (can be done with band or pulley system)

Superman – 3x12-15 (hold at the top for 1 second each rep)

Accessory Day

Farmer’s walk – 30 seconds for 4 sets (weight used does not need to be overly taxing)

Standing Good mornings – 3x6-8 (perform with straight bar, feet close together)

Or

Pin Squats – 3x6 (perform if weak on the bottom of squat)

JM Press – 3x6-8

Or

High Pin Press on flat bench – 3x4-6 (if weak at lockout, reset after every rep)

Band Pull-aparts – 3x12-15

Lying Crunches holding plate – 3x10-15

Week #7

Lower Body

Standing Abs with cable or band – 3x25

Seated Leg Curl or lying leg curl (whatever is available) – 3x25

Box Squat with straight bar – 4x4-5 (box height slightly above parallel, feet as wide as possible)

Low Pin Straight Leg Deadlift – 3x6 (pull from lowest pin/block setting, reset after each rep)

Step-ups – 3x10 (use comfortable box height, whatever your mobility will allow)

Seated Calf Raises – 3x15-20

Push day

Overhead Tricep Extensions – 3x20-25 (can be done with band, dumbbell, or EZ curl bar)

Low Band or Pulley row – 3x20 

1-board Flat bench – 3x4-6 (normal grip)

Neutral Grip Incline Dumbbell Press – 3x8-10

Standing Shoulder Press – 3x4 (grip should be normal to closer than normal)

Lying Leg Raises – 3x15

Pull Day

Lat Pulldowns – 3x15-20 (can be done with straight pulldown bar or v-grip)

Dumbbell Row – 3x15-20 (can be done 1 arm at a time or together)

Conventional or Sumo Deadlift – 6x1 (use the opposite stance, example if you’re a conventional deadlifter, pull sumo for this session)

Lying Bench Rows – 3x8-10 (can use barbell or dumbbells)

Bent Over Rear Delts – 3x12-15 (can use bands or dumbbells)

Superman – 3x10-12 (hold at the top for 1 second each rep)

Accessory Day

Farmer’s walk – 30 seconds for 4 sets (weight used does not need to be overly taxing)

Seated Band Good mornings – 3x8-10 

Or

Good Mornings off pins – 3x4-6 (perform if weak off the floor on deadlifts)

Close Grip Flat Bench – 3x8 (slight pause at the bottom, weight should not be overly taxing)

Or

Wide Grip Floor Press – 3x5-6 (perform if weak off the chest during flat bench)

Face Pulls – 3x12-15 (done with cable or bands)

Lying Crunches holding plate – 3x10-15

Week #8

Lower Body

Standing Abs with cable or band – 3x25

Seated Leg Curl or lying leg curl (whatever is available) – 3x25

Straight bar raw squat or parallel box squat - retest

Push day

Overhead Tricep Extensions – 3x20-25 (can be done with band, dumbbell, or EZ curl bar)

Low Band or Pulley row – 3x20 

Straight bar raw bench or Floor Press - retest

Pull Day

Lat Pulldowns – 3x15-20 (can be done with straight pulldown bar or v-grip)

Dumbbell Row – 3x15-20 (can be done 1 arm at a time or together)

Conventional or Sumo deadlift – retest (pick best stance)

No Accessory Day

____________________________________

Muscle & Mirth / Garage Gym Powerlifting strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise.

Muscle & Mirth / Garage Gym Powerlifting is not a licensed medical care provider and represents that it has no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.

You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Muscle & Mirth / Garage Gym Powerlifting and its affiliates from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown.

0 comments

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published