One of the best pieces of advice on strength training I ever got came from Dan John. “Pick five lifts a day,” he said, “and do them.”
It seemed simple. And that’s because it was. It seemed obvious. And that’s because it was. But there were a few unanswered questions…
Like, how many sets and reps?
“Do ten reps a day,” Dan would say, which later would become the basis of his now famous program, Easy Strength. Sometimes go heavy, other times not.
Strength Training Simplified:
Day 1 – 5 sets of 2
Day 2 – 2 sets of 5
Day 3 – 1 set of 10
Day 4 – 10 sets of 1
Day 5 – Off
Day 6 – 3 sets of 3
Day 7 – Off
This is a simple set up. And a fairly good one starting out. But there are any number of ways you could arrange this and have it work.
As for the lifts, go with the fundamentals: push, pull, hinge, squat, carry. Could add a twist, too, if you want.
Push – Push up, dips, bench, military press
Pull – Pull up, chin up, TRX row, bent over row
Hinge – Deadlift, single leg deadlift, swing, harop curl
Squat – Front squat, back squat, pistol squat, Bulgarian split squat
Carry – Farmer walk, suitcase carry, rack holds, bottoms up, Turkish Get Up
And that’s really it.
The power of this program comes from the amount of practice it allows for. Strength is a skill, remember. So in a very simple sense we are trading density for frequency, in order that we may practice our skill more often than not. And we wave the load so we can keep the groove greased without overdoing anything.
I recommend Dan John’s Now What for more.