4-Week Workout Program to Prepare Your Body for Heavy Weightlifting

Get yourself on track with this four-week workout plan to build strength, burn fat and improve your athletic performance.

By this point in the year, if you don't currently exercise but feel the need to, you've undoubtedly thought about how you can improve your health and fitness. That can seem daunting at first, as there are a myriad of ways you can go about getting in shape and improving your performance. Just a four-week workout program can put you on the right track.

The last thing you want to do is throw a ton of weight on a bar, do a few reps of an exercise, have your technique fail and get injured—or become so sore afterwards that you can't move for an entire week. You need a program designed to prepare your body for weightlifting, and then gradually introduce more advanced workouts. This program does just that.

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The goal is to build a base from which you can progress to performing heavy weightlifting or more advanced workouts. This is achieved by building strength and muscular size that puts your body into a mode of muscular growth and increased strength. You will also see some fat loss. The intensity level is for beginners to advanced trainees.

Prime Your Body


Below is a program called Prime. Its purpose is to prepare individuals for the months ahead. This adaptation training program targets the entire body over four separate workouts. If you want to get stronger and lose body fat, this four-week workout program is for you.

Prior to every training session, you should perform the following warm-up:

  1. Walk to Jog to Sprint for the minimum of 6 minutes (no more than 10 minutes)
  2. Goblet Squat Carry - 1 x 60 feet
  3. Scapular Wall Slides - 1 x 15
  4. Lying Glute Bridges - 1 x 15
  5. Overhead Squats - 1 x 15 total reps (use a light dowel; a broomstick works best)
  6. Burpees - 1 x 10
  7. Drink some water

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4-Week Workout Program


The setup is for Monday through Sunday:

Day 1 / Day 2 / Active Recovery / Day 3 / Day 4 / Active Recovery / Active Recovery

Day 1

  • a1. Back Squat - 5 x 10
  • b1. Incline Barbell Bench Press - 5 x 6
  • b2. One-Arm Supported Dumbbell Row - 5 x 10
  • b3. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift - 5 x 15
  • Tri-Set
  • c1. Pull-Ups - 2 x failure
  • c2. Push-Ups - 2 x failure
  • c3. Hand Walkouts - 2 x 15
  • Tri-Set

Lifting Tempo Notes

  • a1. There is no tempo - be controlled
  • b1. 70-80% 1 rep max, with a tempo of 22X2
  • b2. 2121 - use a lighter dumbbell
  • b3. 2121 - keep the form
  • c1-c3, keep good form with a regular tempo

Day 2

  • a1. Barbell Deadlift - 5 x 10
  • b1. Flat Bench Press - 5 x 12
  • b2. Lat Pull-Downs - 5 x 16
  • b3. Goblet Squat - 5 x 15
  • Tri-Set
  • c1. Inverted Rows - 2 x failure
  • c2. Incline Push-Ups - 2 x failure
  • c3. Plank - 2 x failure
  • Tri-Set

Lifting Tempo Notes

  • a1. There is no tempo - be controlled
  • b1. 50-60% 1 rep max, with a tempo of 22X2
  • b2. 2121 - use a doable load
  • b3. 2121 - keep the form
  • c1-c3 - keep good form with a regular tempo

Day 3

  • a1. Front Squat - 5 x 10
  • b1. Incline Barbell Bench Press - 4 x 15
  • b2. One-Arm Supported Dumbbell Row - 4 x 15
  • b3. Dumbbell Swings - 4 x 15
  • Tri-Set
  • c1. Flat Dumbbell Chest Flys - 2 x 25
  • c2. Bent-Over Rear Delt Flys - 2 x 25
  • c3. Overhead Raises - 2 x 25
  • Tri-Set

Lifting Tempo Notes

  • a1. There is no tempo - be controlled
  • b1. 50% 1 rep max, with a tempo of 12X2
  • b2. 1121 - use a lighter dumbbell
  • b3. n/a - keep the form
  • c1-c3, keep good form with a regular tempo

Day 4

  • a1. Rack Pulls - 5 x 10
  • b1. Flat Barbell Bench Press - 4 x 6
  • b2. Seated Lat Pull-Downs - 4 x 8
  • b3. Goblet Squat - 4 x 10
  • Tri-Set
  • c1. Barbell Shrug to Row - 2 x 50
  • c2. Wall Push-Ups - 2 x 50
  • c3. Plank - 2 x failure
  • Tri-Set

Lifting Tempo Notes

  • a1. There is no tempo - be controlled
  • b1. 65-75% 1 rep max, with a tempo of 21X2
  • b2. 2121 - use a doable load / or Pull-Ups
  • b3. 2121 - keep the form
  • c1-c3. keep good form with a regular tempo

Program Notes

Progressions: On progressions in this phase, only increase the load of the exercises or the number of reps performed on exercises that are to be performed until failure.

Spotting: When doing exercises that may require a spotter, be sure you are using the correct spotting techniques. For example, spot at the elbows, not the wrists, on the Dumbbell Bench Press.

Tempo: If it is 22X2, that means 2 seconds on the down movement, 2 seconds at the bottom, X explodes up, and 2 seconds hold at the top. Numbers always denote down movement - bottom time - explode/up phase - top time.

Other Notes: Use good form! This cannot be stressed enough. Don't let your ego force you to perform sloppy reps with too much weight.

Weekly Goals

Week 1 - Drink More Water

Most individuals do not consume enough water for their daily needs. Increased water intake improves performance in the workplace and gym. Increasing your water intake keeps your brain fresh throughout the day, leading up to an intense morning or afternoon training session. Use your smart phone to set a timer to go off every hour. This reminder needs to be specific. Instead of the reminder saying, "Drink More Water," have it state, "Drink at least 8 ounces of water now."

Week 2 - Perform 10 Repetitions of Push-Ups and Air Squats When You Wake Up

Have you seen The Dark Knight Rises, when Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) wakes up and goes directly into Push-Ups. Well, it works. Instead of checking your Twitter or Facebook account in the morning, get up and wake up your body and brain. As humans, we tend to do comfortable things to start our day. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and start your day with a spark.

Week 3 - Stop With the Excuses

Life happens and things come up. However, let's not find excuses this new year. Nothing happens overnight, so don't give up. What you work for consistently will pay off. If you find yourself wanting to take a break while coming up with excuses, take a deep breath and relax a moment. If you catch yourself giving an excuse for your exercise, stop yourself and say, "I can do _________." Fill in the blank with the challenge ahead of you.

Week 4 - Sign Up For An Event

This is last item on your list of weekly goals, and it's the most important. For beginners, search for an upcoming 5k walk/run or an unsanctioned lifting event. Buying into an event will force you to take part and train for the event ahead of you. People do not like to fail. If you accomplish this goal and sign up for an active event, you will work toward it and successfully complete the event. It doesn't matter how you perform; it's about being active and living a healthy lifestyle.

There you have it! You have just learned a new four-week workout program to help you start and maintain your fitness goals for the rest of 2016. Whether you want to shed five to 10 pounds of body fat or just get stronger, this program will be perfect for you. Remember: active goal setting highly outweighs any scale number or visual appearance goals. If you follow this program with proper nutritional intake, you will be on your way to an improved version of yourself in just four weeks.

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