Strength and muscle go hand in hand. A lot of my male and female clients don’t understand why doing the basics is so important. The bench press, the squat and the deadlift. Do you want to get bigger or do you want to get firmer? A lot of men want to get bigger, and all men and women want to get firmer the question is how?

Surely people have done years of endless training on the treadmill or tried classes and still haven’t got the results they want. I’ve seen people do regular spin classes and yet not really get any body composition benefits apart from big legs by simply doing spin.

You may be getting the same problem of not getting results from doing aerobics, cardio, running, and even body pump or weights on your own, why? Because you must have a strength training programme in place!

To put it simply, add deadlifts, bench press and squats into your weekly programme and play around with 1 – 7 reps on each barbell lift. You will get stronger and see dramatic body composition changes because all three movements are compound and require you to use most of, if not all of your body when you learn to do the technique of these exercises correctly. They will all engage your core, and you can use them as part of a programme whether its to build muscle or to firm muscle..

Here are a couple of examples routines:

Example 1 – You want to build your chest up

deadlifts x 5 sets 1-7 reps
bench press x 5 sets 1-7 reps

decline dumbbell bench press x 4 sets x 12 reps
wide grip chin ups, with or without assistance x 12 reps to stretch the back and chest x 4 sets

flat dumbbell bench press x 3 sets x 10 reps
seated row x 3 sets x 12 reps

incline dumbbell bench press x 8 reps x 2 sets
lat pulldowns x 12 reps x 2 sets

Example 2 – You want to firm up

Monday/ Wednesday / Friday

deadlifts x 3 sets x 4 reps
bench press x 3 sets x 2 reps

squats x 3sets x 7 reps
military press x 3 sets x 15 reps
bent over row x 3 sets x 12 reps

skullcrushers x 3 sets x 11 reps
curls x 3 sets x 8 reps
leg raises x 3 sets x 25 reps

Tuesday/ Thursday / Friday

Run as fast as you can for 30 minutes or do any piece of cardio as fast and hard as you can for 30 minutes.

Either way, strength is being used in your programme and it will get you stronger, more muscular, faster or firmer, and the best thing is you can design it anyway you want it to be.