If you have been reading the small series on how to build an effective program you might be wondering when you find out the exercises themselves and how they come in to play.
Wonder no longer, today is the day.
Exercise selection is actually quite easy, you need to make sure your program has an exercise that covers each of the following – Loaded Carry, Hinge, Squat, Pull and a Push – the only real differences start to come from your individual specificity and training needs.
If we take a powerlifter for example, you will find that they have the big three lifts as their main staple (Squat, Bench, Deadlift), however they might use variations of these lifts in the early stages of their training to help build on weaker areas (Front Squat, Incline Press, Deficit Deadlift for example) and cycle towards their technical comp lifts nearer the time of their meet.
The above is true for their assistance exercises too. A lifter might focus on the technical lifts in every training block, all be it with a lower intensity to allow for form grooving while using Assistance Lifts to bring up their base numbers.
A leg day might look like this:
A1 – Squat 12x2x70%
B1 – Front Squat 6x6x70%
B2 – Stiff Leg Deadlift 6x6x60%
C1 – Leg Extension 4×12
C2 – Leg Curl 4×12
D1 – Ab Roll out 2×5
You can see the have the main lift with a set/rep/weight scheme that allows some overload but also lots of technical practice. Then there is added variation in the assistance lifts to bring up other areas in a bodybuilding style.
Picking exercises is as simple or complicated as you make it. It’s easy to get caught up in all the fancy new ideas that you read or see but when you look at the successful people of the past you will find most of them did it with little more than a few basic movements and an iron will. Also keep in mind that you will want to train the full body for balance and overall health (this helps avoid too many imbalances that can lead to injury).