Basic barbell workouts – Galway Strength and Performance

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Basic barbell workouts

During this covid-19 outbreak we see a lot of people putting out content about training from home. Many, including myself have put out bodyweight, banded and/or kettlebell home training content but what about the athletes out there with a barbell and some plates available but no bench or squat rack.

In today’s article I’m going to delve a little bit into what you can do with a barbell and some plates from home during this lockdown. We have GSP Gym Members and online clients training at home now with just a barbell and 100kg of plates who are getting unbelievable doms from their sessions, some of these guys are squatting in the mid 200s and deadlifting in the 300kg range. 

If you aren’t lifting in the ranges mentioned above and you can access to a weight set with 40-60kg you have more than enough weight to maintain strength or even make some progress.

Ok your 1RM is not going to go up in this time but you can get working on building a very large training base – the bigger the base you build the bigger the peak for your 1RM can be. 

You will also keep yourself in shape to get back into heavy training once gyms open again. If you don’t train during this lockdown you will need to spend some time training (this time frame could be anything from 3-6 weeks depending on how long gyms are closed) to get back to level you were at before your gym closed.

Some of the methods you can use to make training harder would be

  • slow eccentrics (eccentric is when you are lengthening a muscle under load, it basically means when lowering a weight),
  • long pauses at various points in lifts,
  • giant sets,
  • keeping rest periods short and
  • pre-fatiguing muscles before the bigger compound movements. 

I’m going to lay out a week of training below that you can follow, try out or take elements of to add to your own training.

The program

Day 1

General warm up

  1. Front squat: 4×5 (3 second eccentric + 2 second pause at the bottom) – you’ll have to clean the bar first of course
  2. Single leg deadlift: 3×10 each side
  3. Reverse lunges: 3×10 each side
  4. Bent over row: 3×8
  5. Weighted plank: 2x30s

Day 2

General warm up

  1. Military press: 3×5
  2. Floor press: 3×6-8 (You will need to get someone to hand you the bar here and take it off you)
  3. Weighted push ups: 3×12
  4. Barbell tricep extension: 3×10
  5. Barbell bicep curl: 3×12

Day 3

General warm up

  1. Walking lunges: 3×24 steps (go hard on these, you want to be fatigued for front squats)
  2. Front squat: 4×6
  3. Romanian deadlift: 3×8 (4 second eccentric)
  4. Bulgarian split squat: 3×10 each side
  5. Reverse grip bent over row: 3×12
  6. Deadbugs: 3×20

Day 4

General warm up

  1. Behind the neck press: 4×6
  2. Javelin press: 3×12
  3. Push ups: 3x AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
  4. Barbell upright row: 4×12
  5. Barbell shrugs: 3×10

If you have small plates such as 2.5kg and 5kg plates available you can add in rear delt raises and side lateral raises for 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps at the end of this session.

Any other exercises that you enjoy or can do may be substituted for an exercise in the program or added as an addition to what’s already there. You can also add in exercises using a piece of equipment that you have.

If you find this program too easy you can make it harder by adding more reps, more sets and reducing rest periods.

Enjoy!

Matty Costello




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