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TSA 9 Week Beginner Program

By The Strength Athlete

Experience
Beginner (1-2 years)
Time
49 minutes/day | 4 days/week | 9 weeks
Good for
Build Muscle, Gain Strength, Powerlifting
Equipment
Barbell, Bench, Cable, Dumbbell, EZ Bar, Machine, Weight Plate
Statistics
Average Cardio Intensity
40%
Average Exertion
70%
Description
Source: liftvault.com

TSA Beginner Approach Overview

  • 4 training days per week
  • 9 weeks per training cycle
  • 2x weekly squat
  • 3x weekly bench press
  • 1x weekly deadlift
  • Includes tabs for training history to track progress if running repeat cycles is desired
  • Uses RPE and % based weights


This is a 9-week training approach for beginner athletes designed to overcome many shortcomings of common programs that beginner powerlifters run. It’s the starting program we wish we had before powerlifting, designed to bridge into either repeats of the same approach as long as you keep making progress, or into more advanced training approaches as seamlessly as possible. Toward the end, athletes handle heavier and heavier loads as they work toward new 3-rep maxes before rinsing and repeating. Most athletes should find this is a balanced amount of training volume, training stress, and loading to see great progress. We think you’ll really like it.

For squat, we’ve included two training days of squatting so that athletes have enough frequency to practice the movement and build training volume to progress, but not so much that this program classifies as an intermediate or advanced approach. We’ve included light to moderate single repetitions from the very start to give athletes exposure to walking out and executing single reps. In later weeks, there may be some post-activation potentiation (PAP) from performing heavier single repetitions as well. We utilize multiple rep ranges to ensure maximum strength and hypertrophy. We’ve also included plenty of lower body training volume to allow for leg size increases, as well as strength.

For bench press, we include three movements per week because bench press especially can tolerate (and often need) more training volume and practice. To this end, we give new athletes a chance to practice pausing the bench on Day 4, practice with heavier loading as the program progresses, and plenty of training volume per week. In addition, we include lots of upper body training volume to grow.

For deadlift, we work on technique with the inclusion of paused work for much of the training approach. Training volume is lower here than squat or bench press by design, and the approach balances fatigue while allowing athletes to crush progress and set new PRs.


Over the whole approach, we use autoregulation to make sure athletes can change loads where needed to keep the program at the appropriate difficulty level. Beginner athletes especially progress at different rates, and we decided give both percentage and RPE for athletes to choose from. We’ve made this program with a four-week addition that you can use to run this program directly into a competition! The peak is also designed for first competitions, and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish.

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note: if shoulder/bicep/elbow pain, squat high bar

Barbell Squat demonstrationPlay Barbell Squat demonstration
2 sets, 1 reps, (rest 60s)
70% of 1RM
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Squat demonstrationPlay Barbell Squat demonstration
3 sets, 7 reps, (rest 60s)
65% of 1RM
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Bench Press demonstrationPlay Barbell Bench Press demonstration
2 sets, 1 reps, (rest 60s)
75% of 1RM
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Bench Press demonstrationPlay Barbell Bench Press demonstration
3 sets, 7 reps, (rest 60s)
65% of 1RM
Show Alternative Exercises
Dumbbell Bench Press demonstrationPlay Dumbbell Bench Press demonstration
3 sets, 12 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-7
Show Alternative Exercises
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row demonstrationPlay Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row demonstration
3 sets, 12 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-8
Show Alternative Exercises
Weighted Decline Situp demonstrationPlay Weighted Decline Situp demonstration
3 sets, 15 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-8
Show Alternative Exercises

Barbell Paused Deadlift demonstrationPlay Barbell Paused Deadlift demonstration
3 sets, 4 reps, (rest 60s)
65% of 1RM or RPE 6
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Bench Press demonstrationPlay Barbell Bench Press demonstration
1 set, 4 reps, (rest 60s)
75% of 1RM
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Bench Press demonstrationPlay Barbell Bench Press demonstration
2 sets, 8 reps, (rest 60s)
65% of 1RM
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Hip Thrust with Bench demonstrationPlay Barbell Hip Thrust with Bench demonstration
3 sets, 10 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-7.5
Show Alternative Exercises
Cable Triceps Pressdown demonstrationPlay Cable Triceps Pressdown demonstration
3 sets, 12 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-8
Show Alternative Exercises
Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl demonstrationPlay Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl demonstration
3 sets, 12 reps, (rest 60s)
Show Alternative Exercises

note: may superset biceps/triceps

Barbell Squat demonstrationPlay Barbell Squat demonstration
3 sets, 5 reps, (rest 60s)
74% of 1RM or RPE 6
Show Alternative Exercises
Lat Pulldown demonstrationPlay Lat Pulldown demonstration
3 sets, 15 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-7.5
Show Alternative Exercises
Single-Arm Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press demonstrationPlay Single-Arm Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press demonstration
3 sets, 12 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-7.5
Show Alternative Exercises
Dumbbell One Arm Triceps Extension (on bench) demonstrationPlay Dumbbell One Arm Triceps Extension (on bench) demonstration
3 sets, 15 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-7.5
Show Alternative Exercises
EZ-Bar Curl demonstrationPlay EZ-Bar Curl demonstration
3 sets, 15 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-7.5
Show Alternative Exercises

An Athlete Movement of Choice at the end of the workout

Barbell Deadlift demonstrationPlay Barbell Deadlift demonstration
1 set, 4 reps, (rest 60s)
80% of 1RM or RPE 7
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Deadlift demonstrationPlay Barbell Deadlift demonstration
2 sets, 4 reps, (rest 60s)
75% of 1RM
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Paused Deadlift demonstrationPlay Barbell Paused Deadlift demonstration
3 sets, 4 reps, (rest 60s)
3 secs 67% of 1RM or RPE 6
Show Alternative Exercises
45 Degree Leg Press demonstrationPlay 45 Degree Leg Press demonstration
3 sets, 10 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-7.5
Show Alternative Exercises
Leg Extensions demonstrationPlay Leg Extensions demonstration
3 sets, 15 reps, (rest 60s)
RPE 6-7.5
Show Alternative Exercises

Date Created: 2/4/2020, UTC


Last Updated: 9/12/2020, UTC

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