PrepQuid is a sport specific gym programme that has been designed with the goal of supplementing team practices with strength and power training. This general template should provide a structured approach for lifters without access to individualised programming or coaches. The spreadsheet will adapt to the level of the lifter, so you don’t need to be the Incredible Hulk to be able to start!
As a beginner’s programme, it has been designed to be easy to follow and implement, which has also been reflected in the exercise selection. To make sure lifters are able to easily navigate the spreadsheet here’s a run through of how to use the PrepQuid programme. The spreadsheet can be downloaded HERE.
When to start
If you’re familiar with the gym and have previous experience with lifting then by all means jump straight in. As with any physical activity you may need to consult your GP/physician before starting – after this feel free to plug-in your max lifts for the spreadsheet’s formulae and begin!
If you’re new to the gym or barbell training then take the following steps into consideration:
- Familiarise yourself with each of the basic barbell movements. Take your time and look for help. Lots of gyms have free introductory tasters with personal trainers when joining, take advantage of this time and be specific by asking to be shown how to perform the key ‘compound’ movements. For this programme these are the Squat, Bench Press, Overhead Press (OHP), and Deadlift – with these 4 under your belt you’ll be able to take on any strength programme. Similarly you may know somebody who can show you the basics, or you may be able to ask somebody in the gym for some advice. Getting hands on guidance is always preferable, however, you can also find lots of instructional videos online to teach yourself how to do these movements – recording yourself will provide you with great instant feedback in order for you to gradually improve. To complement our powerlifting specific programme, Prep10 we gathered a collection of instructional videos showing how to carry out the lifts.
- Again, take it slowly and start to practice the lifts. Don’t expect to be perfect straight away. Start with very light weights and take some time to focus solely on becoming more comfortable with the movements, rather than lifting heavy.
- There’s no need to jump straight into PrepQuid. A great sandbox programme called Stronglifts 5×5 is a good place for anybody to start – check out the simple A-B-A-B-A… structure here. It’s very basic, has a very limited number of exercises, starts with almost 0 weight, and will allow you to become familiar with the building blocks of all strength programmes in a structured manner. The programme follows a basic linear progression model which allows lifters to incrementally add weight on the bar on a session-to-session basis. When you feel like you’re ready for more of a challenge or when you eventually plateau, use the numbers that you’ve reached on the programme to go for a max effort/ 1 rep max attempt which you can then plug-in to the spreadsheet.
When starting the programme you should look at each session in the spreadsheet from left to right then from top to bottom. This means beginning with a warm-up (check out our how-to article on this), then starting with the first primary lift of the session. After these primary working sets you’ll move onto the 2 assistance exercises which relate to the primary lift. After finishing the sets of the second assistance exercise you’ll warm-up for the second primary lift of the session, and continue as before.
The formulae in the programme adapt to each lifter’s own strength levels. Given that a standard barbell weighs 20kg, there may be lifters who have to start the programme using a lighter barbell or a fixed weight bar if the prescribed weight is less than 20kg. Feel free to input your starting max and carry out the programme as normal.
Additional core work
As an extension to the exercises in the programme we’ve highlighted some core focused exercises that you can add into your week at your leisure. Having a strong core is a key component for every sport, and this is even more true of contact sports and sports involving overhead throws. In addition to the recommendations in the warm-up guide, the following movements have been chosen with these functional strength and stability considerations in mind:
Here is a short explanation of some of the terms in the sheet that may be new to some lifters.
AMRAP – this acronym simply means ‘As Many Reps As Possible’. This rep scheme is applied to some of the dumbbell and machine assisted exercises, and will usually be found in the latter parts of sessions. The aim here is to complete repetitions until you you don’t have enough juice to finish the last one. You’ll likely find that you can push out fewer and fewer reps in subsequent sets.
21s – In the spreadsheet you will see some rep schemes denoted with ‘x21′ – this means that the set is made up of twenty-one reps (so 3x’21’ means three lots of twenty-one). The ’21’ is broken down into 3 different segments of 7 partial repetitions, namely 1) 7x the bottom half of the movement 2) 7x the top half and 3) 7x the full range of motion. See this in action here and here.
RPE – RPE stands for ‘Rate of Perceived Exertion’. This is an autoregulation tool used in cycling and powerlifting which basically means – “How heavy does this feel, out of 10?”. When using very light weights or dumbbells it’s often more practical not to prescribe a concrete kilo amount. RPE lets the user determine the level of resistance used for the exercise. In the spreadsheet the RPE estimates will be denoted by an italicised number between 1-10 (you’ll rarely find anything lower than rpe5 in strength programmes).
Starting Max – These are the numbers to input into the top right boxes in the spreadsheet. To get the best results from the programme these should recent, accurate estimates of your best attempts at each of the lifts. Don’t guess at what you think these numbers might be; when you are comfortable with the technique of the lifts (don’t rush) see what your best efforts for each of the 4 are.
We’ve added some further examples in addition to the Assistance Guide in order to include the extra exercises in PrepQuid, and exercises that should be executed in a more explosive manner:
Dumbbell Shrugs (no need to use straps)
More to come
To develop this programme we looked to draw upon resources from a wide range of strength programmes from established sports and teams, and results from studies looking into specific aspects of training. There will also be a more comprehensive write-up shared soon detailing 1) the factors that went into the development of the programme, 2) the fundamental principles of strength training, and 3) key elements from the training programmes of major sports that can be pieced together to develop well-rounded athletes. In the meantime this will hopefully answer questions that may come about when using the programme. As always, feel free to send through any questions.