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52-Week Strength & Conditioning Series - Phase 4: Strength 2.

In this series, we've created a 52-week strength and conditioning program to help you look and feel good. Each week we will present a new phase of training to help you maximize your time spent in the gym.

Strength is a virtue. It's defined as the ability to resist force, strain or stress. It's an asset in every aspect of life: mind, body and spirit. In gym-speak, strength isn't about big biceps, but rather the ability to move a force from point A to point B with proper technique.

"A strength phase places high stresses on the tissue, forcing it to adapt and grow," says Mike Clark, M.S., C.S.C.S., a physical therapist and president of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. The next few weeks are designed to create strong bones, joints and tendons—this, in turn, will allow your muscles to handle the extreme stressors necessary to build lean muscles and reduce fat.

Training Guidelines

Frequency Of Training

Beginner: If you're new to the iron game (less than 12 months of consistent strength and conditioning experience) consider yourself a beginner. In addition, it's a good idea to follow the beginner plan if you've been away from the gym for two or more months. You will make steady progress with just two sessions each week. Be sure to rest 48-to-72 hours between training days. Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday or Wednesday/Saturday training splits work best. For example, perform Schedule A on Monday and Schedule B on Thursday.

Intermediate/Advanced: If you have been involved in organized strength training and conditioning exercise for the previous year or more, you're in the Intermediate/Advanced category. Perform three workouts per week, alternating between Schedule A and Schedule B.

Recording Your Workouts

Keep track of the forces used, as well as the number of repetitions completed for each set. We've provided a training log for the Intermediate/Advanced athlete; however, beginners can use the same template by eliminating the third workout in each week.

(Excel) Phase 4 Schedules

Dynamic Warm-Up

Warm up on the stationary cycle or treadmill for five minutes prior to beginning your workout. Your warm up session should increase body temperature and make you sweat, without causing fatigue.


Here is the list of recommended exercises for this phase.

Resistance Training Exercises

Barbell Bench Press
Phase 4: Strength 2A

      (Excel) Printable Log Of Phase 4: Strength 2A

Core Exercises

Phase 4: Strength 2C

      (Excel) Printable Log Of Phase 4: Strength 2C

Resistance Training Exercises

Standing Biceps Cable Curl
Phase 4: Strength 2B

      (Excel) Printable Log Of Phase 4: Strength 2B

Core Exercises

Phase 4: Strength 2D

      (Excel) Printable Log Of Phase 4: Strength 2D

Flexibility Exercises

Phase 4: Strength 2C/D

      (Excel) Phase 4: Strength 2C/D

Cardiovascular Exercises

Phase 4: Strength 2C/D

      (Excel) Printable Log Of Phase 4: Strength 2C/D

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