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Example general strength program


In our post, “A few considerations for your strength program,” we briefly covered general strength programs. In that writing, we noted

  • General lifting

  • Focuses on basic strength development

  • Borrows from other strength methods

  • Ideal for the person who does no prefer traditional lifting programs

  • Often a good fit for the average person looking for general fitness improvements

The general strength program is simplistic in design, including minimal exercises and days of training. Such programs can take on many forms, which may mean including a variety of exercises, wide variation in the number of training days, and variance in other aspects such as volume. Included below are two programs we use/have used for general strength development. Each only shows four weeks but were part of bigger 12-week program. Both have real-world experience, meaning we used them for our clients. The first program is a barbell heavy program. Squatting, deadlifting, and pressing occur multiple times per week, though variation in volume and exercises vary from day o day. For general strength, the specific exercise could be switched out for any other version. For example, instead of the bench press, it could be an overhead press, incline press, etc. The second program utilizes more variation, though strength work only occurs two days per week (note: this was part of a bigger fitness program that provided additional workout days). This program is less barbell heavy and utilizes movements such as the kettlebell swing and dumbbell deadlift among others. It also incorporates some general fitness work to provide an idea of how general strength work may fit into a general fitness program. Each program has a place in training and would be applied based on the goals, preferences, and abilities of the trainee.You can use these layouts as-is today or use them as a general guide for your workouts. You can see the content for the first 3-4 weeks for each program below. To download an excel sheet of each program, click here. General strength program Week 1 - Day 1 Barbell back squat 6 sets x 6 reps Barbell deadlift 6 sets x 6 reps Barbell bench press 6 sets x 6 reps Week 1 - Day 2 Barbell front squat 5 sets x 10 10 10 10 max Rack pull deadlift 5 sets x 10 10 10 10 max Barbell incline bench press 5 sets x 10 10 10 10 max Week 1 - Day 3 Any squat 4 sets x 15-25 reps Any deadlift 4 sets x 15-25 reps Any press 4 sets x 15-25 reps Week 2 - Day 1 Barbell back squat 6 sets x 4 reps Barbell deadlift 6 sets x 4 reps Barbell bench press 6 sets x 4 reps Week 2 - Day 2 Barbell front squat 5 sets x 12 12 12 12 max Rack pull deadlift 5 sets x 12 12 12 12 max Barbell incline bench press 5 sets x 12 12 12 12 max Week 2 - Day 3 Any squat 4 sets x 15-25 reps Any deadlift 4 sets x 15-25 reps Any press 4 sets x 15-25 reps Week 3 - Day 1 Barbell back squat 6 sets x 2 reps Barbell deadlift 6 sets x 2 reps Barbell bench press 6 sets x 2 reps Week 3 - Day 2 Barbell front squat 5 sets x 15 15 15 15 max Rack pull deadlift 5 sets x 15 15 15 15 max Barbell incline bench press 5 sets x 15 15 15 15 max Week 3 - Day 3 Any squat 4 sets x 15-25 reps Any deadlift 4 sets x 15-25 reps Any press 4 sets x 15-25 reps General fitness program Week 1 - Day 1 Barbell front squat 6 sets x 3 reps Barbell sumo deadlift 6 sets x 3 reps Barbell shoulder press 6 sets x 3 reps Optional Battle rope/side step alternate exercises each minute, 10 mins x 1/1 Week 1 - Day 2 Kettlebell swing 3 sets x 21 reps Front raise ss 3 sets x 7 reps Lateral raise ss 3 sets x 7reps Bent lateral raise 3 sets x 7reps Optional Step-up/ side step alternate exercises each minute, 10 mins x 1/1 Week 1 - Day 3 Cardio walk/jog/run for 20-40 minutes Week 2 - Day 1 DB front squat 6 sets x 3 reps DB deadlift 6 sets x 3 reps DB shoulder press 6 sets x 3 reps Optional Battle rope/step up alternate exercises each minute, 10 mins x 1/1 Week 2 - Day 2 Overhead lunge 3 sets x 4 reps per side KB high pull 3 sets x 8 reps Single leg deadlift 3 sets x 4 reps per side Optional Step-up/ side step alternate exercises each minute, 10 mins x 1/1 Week 2 - Day 3 Cardio walk/jog/run for 20-40 minutes Week 3 - Day 1 Goblet squat 6 sets x 3 reps Sumo KB deadlift 6 sets x 3 reps Unilateral KB shoulder press 6 sets x 3 reps Optional Air squat/battle rope alternate exercises each minute, 10 mins x 1/1 Week 3 - Day 2 High knee 3 sets x 10 reps per side Plank 3 sets x 10-120 seconds hold Turkish get up 3 sets x 5 reps per side Optional Medicine ball clean/step-up alternate exercises each minute, 10 mins x 1/1 Week 3 - Day 3 Cardio walk/jog/run for 20-40 minutes Week 4 - Day 1 Thruster 6 sets x 3 reps KB swing 6 sets x 3 reps DB push press 6 sets x 3 reps Optional Step up/side step alternate exercises each minute, 10 mins x 1/1 Week 4 - Day 2 Front raise ss 3 sets x 12 reps Stationary lunge 3 sets x 6 reps per side High knee 3 sets x 6 reps per side Optional Battle rope/ side step alternate exercises each minute, 10 mins x 1/1 Week 4 - Day 3 Cardio walk/jog/run for 20-40 minutes

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Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA

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