Resistance training programs can come in all forms. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the insane variety of options. There’s powerlifting programs, strongman programs, bodybuilding, athletic based, you name it.
What I’d like to do is go into some of the different workout examples and who they are for and why they work.
I’d like to start with the most common. Bodybuilding training usually involves a mixture of compound lifts for overall growth as well as a lot of time spent on isolating individual muscles. The overall goal is for every muscle on your body to look as big and as full as you can get it. Based on an individual's experience level and preference, it can come in several ways:
Types of Bodybuilding Workouts: Full Body, Push/Pull, Upper/Lower, Body Part Split
One workout isn’t necessarily better than the other. It’s really a matter of recovery and performance. The goal is to hit the muscle once you find it is fully recovered. This could take two days, or this may take 4 days. It depends on the individual.
A beginner will most likely be best on a Full Body split because their recovery will be quick (newbie gains), and it allows them to hit each muscle very frequently. An advanced lifter on the other hand may have to do a Push/Pull or Upper/Lower to hit certain muscles more frequently than others. They’ll have hit a stage in their career where their muscles recover at different paces, so the programming needs to reflect that.
Some lifters have no interest in aesthetics. They just want to have raw power. That is, moving heavy shit all the time. They want to be Rocky throwing logs and sprinting up mountains full of snow.
Types of Strength Workouts: Powerlifting, Strongman, Westside, Olympic Lifting, Starting Strength
Try and see if you have an initial interest as to what type of strength you want. Do you want to get into Olympic lifts like power cleans? Or would you rather focus on the bench, deadlift and the squat. Ultimately I encourage you to try it all, but it’s good to have a starting sense of what you like to know where to begin.
Performance Based Workouts
Some lifters what functionality. Maybe you are or were an athlete. You have no interest in aesthetics or just getting big and strong, without the ability to move. You want to stay limber, and have strength to back up your performance.
Types of Performance Workouts: Obstacle Course Training, HIIT Training, Sport Specific Training, Strength and Conditioning Workouts
This gets somewhat specific. Because there is a performance aspect, you should choose a program that best compliments your sport specific goal. If you want to get into obstacle course racing for example, doing a basketball players workout wouldn’t make much sense. Nor would doing a bunch of bodybuilding workouts. Choose workouts that target the desired outcome.
If you want to increase your cardiovascular output, then you might be more into a HIIT style workout. If you want to have good carry over towards your sport, then you want a performance based workout.
Some of you may be coming off an injury, tight in certain areas, or overall just interested in creating a nice foundation with a full range of motion. After all, none of the above and truly be fully optimized if you do not obtain a full range of motion through all your joints.
Mobility workouts will be much lower intensity workouts that look at your body joint by joint, and give you assessments and exercises to tap into the full potential of that muscle. These exercises can later be incorporated into any of the workouts above as a warmup, cooldown, or when you are resting in between. These aren’t meant to make you exhausted. Just stimulate and groove new patterns.