As they say healthy body, healthy mind and hence why a solid workout routine is essential for anyone wanting to be more productive and operate at peak performance. So off the back of my last post I thought I would touch on weight training and a workout that can get you on the road to results and feeling awesome in no time.

As someone who as been training in the gym for almost 20 years (on and off I must admit), I have been through my fair share of training programs and I feel like weight training is the one thing I need to keep constant in my life (not least for my sanity!) The problem is, in the information overloaded world we live in, we have been pitched day in and day out with the ‘next big workout/supplement thats going to transform our bodies overnight’. Unfortunately ladies and gents this just simply won’t happen, only consistency, progressive overload and a eating plan focused on your goals will give you that body you always wanted.

So where would one start if they were to begin a workout program? Well I like to keep it simple, I think you should too if you are just beginning and fortunately a member at a bodybuilding.com forum has created the perfect plan  .

The Fierce Five Workout For Beginners

The Fierce Five workout was designed as a large selection of ‘beginner’ programs out there (free or paid) were simply too low in volume, too high in volume, slow progression, not balanced enough for people to either keep up with, or stay interested in.

The Fierce Five workout is comprised of just 5 simple workouts (including supersets and warm ups) that can be completed in under an hour and working out 3 non-consecutive days per week makes it manageable for any beginner. Fierce Five consists of 2 different workouts:

Workout A

Squat – 3 sets of 5 repetitions
Benchpress – 3 sets of 5 repetitions
Pendlay Rows – 3 sets of 5 repetitions
Facepulls – 3 sets of 10 repetitions
Calf Raise – 2 sets of 15 repetitions
Tricep Pushdown – 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Workout B

Front Squats – 3 sets of 5 repetitions
Overhead Press – 3 sets of 5 repetitions
Romanian Deadlift – 3 sets of 8 repetitions
Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets of 8 repetitions
Ab Work – 2 sets of 15 repetitions
Bicep Curls – 2 sets of 10 repetitions

You will be alternating between these workouts each week, for example:

Monday – A
Wednesday – B
Friday – A
Monday – B
Wednesday – A

Each week increase the weight by 5lbs (2.5kg) to all upper body lifts and 10lbs (5kg) to all lower body lifts. If you are unable to increase the weight due to equipment limitations, as a substitute increase the reps by 1 in the 5 rep range and by 2 in the 8-15 rep range for the weeks you do not increase weight.

Acceptable Exercise Substitutions

  • Facepulls – Reverse Flyes
  • Tricep Pushdown – Overhead Extensions, Skull Crushers
  • Lat Pulldown – Pullup/Chinup
  • Overhead Press – Incline Bench

Before all compound lifts including Squat, Bench Press, Pendlay Rows, Front Squat, Romanian Deadlift and Lat Pulldowns you should complete atleast one warmup set. As the weight increases over the months additional warmups may be required. The purpose of the warm up is to get your muscles ready to work and not fatigue you.

Stretching

Before each workout it is recommended you stretch, this not only helps with mobility whist performing the workout but also prevents injury. The two videos below I have used and find them very good.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have pulled  a few frequently asked questions from the initial forum post but if you want the full list of questions you can check it out here. 

Who should use this program?

It was designed for those people who don’t have a great deal of recent, well structured training behind them. It is for anyone with less than 6 months of current, structured and dedicated training. Even if you’ve been working out for a year or two, if you haven’t been intense, consistent, running a decent program and eating correctly you may still make progress on this routine.

How long can I run this program?

You run this program until you legitimately stall * on at least 2 of your major lifts while bulking (Bench, Rows, Squat, DL). 4-6 months is a good average for someone bulking. I don’t advise moving onto an intermediate program if you’ve been cutting the whole time on this program.

*Legitimate stall- After deloading (taking 4-7 days completely off), dropping 15% (reset) and working back up you cannot break your plateau.

What do I do if I fail on my sets?

If you fail a lift two days in a row then drop the weight 15% for the lift you are failing (reset.) This is a good time to work on form since the weight is a bit lighter again. Form can make or break your lift. You will still be growing with lighter weight. If you don’t reduce weight you will likely get slower results.

How much weight should I use?

I highly advise to start out lighter than you think you can handle since the progression is very fast. I can’t stress this enough! This program works best with lighter starting weights. I suggest all lifters, regardless of experience, start with 85% of what they think they can lift. You should not be struggling for 4-6 weeks or so.

If this is your very first time working out then I advise you start with 50% of what you think you can handle. On every workout increase the weight by 10-15% instead of the 5-10lbs listed in the original program. There are 3 A and 3 B workouts in every two weeks. Each will be increased by 10-15% each workout so you should be using 85% of what you feel you’re capable of by the start of week 3. Remember this is a guess since you’re new. Adjust the weights as needed to get to 85% by week 3. Then you will follow normal progression listed in the program. This works great for total beginners because it allows you to get the basics of the exercises down with a safe weight and it also prevent major soreness.

Well that’s about it for now, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to come back to you. Please note, the concepts around this workout are loosely based on the science in the book Starting Strength, so if you’re someone who likes to get ‘under the hood’ so to speak I can highly recommend. Another book I can recommend is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Modern Encyclopaedia of Bodybuilding, for anyone who is up for the challenge and wants to take body building a bit more seriously. But be warned its not for the faint hearted!

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