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Could someone suggest me a strength training that I could do for four days a week?

I am 26 years old, I weight 77kg and have 176cm. I can do about 50 - 60 pushups in a row and I have done 5 weeks of general training in the gym.

I would like to do something traditional with deadlift, squats, bench presses and maybe also using my own body weight like chin ups.

I would like to also do HIIT (Tabata protocol exactly) as a warmup (if it makes sense).

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I can't imagine HIIT before lifting is a reasonable idea; it will deplete your glycogen stores, reduce your capacity to lift heavy, etc. –  Dave Newton Nov 4 '11 at 17:22
    
So I shouldn't do that? After maybe? –  gruszczy Nov 4 '11 at 18:31
    
If at all on the same day. It also depends on your goals; if you split the workout between HIIT and lifting (e.q., AM/PM) it'd have less of an impact. –  Dave Newton Nov 4 '11 at 18:38
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HIIT is not a warmup, it's the exact opposite. I'd say don't do HIIT and strength training on the same day unless you're extremely fit. –  M. Cypher Nov 4 '11 at 18:46
    
OK, thanks for the suggestion. I'll do some easy warm up then. –  gruszczy Nov 4 '11 at 19:09
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I saw in your comment what you plan to do (and are doing now). That is a very reasonable course of action to get started with. Eventually, you will run into a problem with recovery. It's a fact of lifting for strength. I've recently had to make the transition from Starting Strength to an intermediate program which only provides gains once a week.

In addition to the Starting Strength, I do recommend you get the book "Practical Programming for Strength Training" by Mark Rippetoe and Dr. Kilgore. This will really help you make the appropriate decisions on how to tailor what you are doing to keep your linear gains working as long as possible.

Here's some general observations I've learned as I went down the same path:

  • You can do the extra day of work for only so long. Eventually you will need that extra rest day. When that happens, you can stack the conditioning work after your lifting.
  • Make your conditioning work with your lifting. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a good method to do that. You just want to keep your heart rate up within the Zone 4 range (anaerobic zone) to lower zone 5 (power performance) and take rest breaks as needed to reset to the bottom of zone 4. We're talking sprints, hill runs, sled drags, sledgehammer work, etc.
  • Pay attention to the amount of sleep you get and the food you eat.
  • As your squat gets close to the 300lb mark (I got as far as 310, others I know didn't break 300), you will have exhausted all you can do with Starting Strength.

There are other programs such as Madcow (intermediate-weekly gains, or advanced-monthly gains), and Wendler 5/3/1 (advanced monthly or 3 week gains). Wendler 5/3/1 has you lifting four days a week, and you'll be able to stay with that program (or variation of it) for a long time.

Just be smart and listen to what your body is telling you.

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