Starter Training Program: Keeping it simple, keeping it focused

James - Week 8 - Current Weight: 229.1 lbs - Total Weight Loss: 4.6 lbs

As a first training program on this journey I wanted something quick, simple and comprehensive. I want to cover all bases without needing to completely reorganise my life to stick to the program.

After giving consideration to various strength standards I’ve opted for a mixed program with some core and mobility work along with some fundamental strength work. In addition to this I also plan on running regularly as I’ve always felt it is one of the basic fundamental movement patterns that is worthwhile to have some ability in.

James Training Program, 17th April 2017
James Training Program


The strength portion of the program is purposefully short and follows two basic rules.

First that there are more pulls within the program than pushes. This is important as due to the fact that particularly as an office worker who spends much of my time hunched over a desk, pulling movements draw the shoulder blades in a controlled fashion and hopefully counteract some of my postural issues that have developed over time.

The second is the movements are all multiple joint, compound movements. Using these ensures that pretty much all of the muscle groups are hit in a functional way.

The idea behind this short but comprehensive program is to build a base level of ability in the major lifts while keeping it short enough that it can be comfortably performed over a lunch time. The routine is split into two parts so I simply alternate with each visit, whether that’s once a week or five. Like most things I’m attempting on this journey the idea is to keep it simple and keep it small, particularly at the beginning.

Core / Mobility

Its pretty well-known that improving the stability of the core muscles is unbelievably important for general health. What perhaps is a little less well known is the importance that mobility plays in our quality of life. In simple terms it can be described as the ability to move through basic movement patterns we use every day. The human body is made of two (mostly) symmetrical halves and it is in that symmetry it operates best. In situations where you have either a significant strength or mobility imbalance, this upsets the bodies symmetry and can lead to injury and / or general discomfort.

The core and mobility section of the program is designed to be performed in consecutive order with as little rest as possible between movements as possible. The expectation is that while this will be quite challenging to begin with over time it will start to feel more like a warm up.


Workouts 1 & 2 are designed to be alternated between no more than three times a week The result being that over a two week period each session will have been performed three times. The core / mobility work to be performed separately to the main lifts and up to five times per week. As mentioned before the hope is that this particular part of the program will over time become a light movement pattern to engage the core ad loosen up the joints.

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