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Welcome to Day 1 of the BWF Primer Build-up!
Many of you will be coming to exercise for the absolute first time ever. Some of you will be coming from time off and want to really ease your way back in, and yet still some others will be wanting to simply reinforce their foundations and knowledge by reading up on the daily readings! In any case, welcome to day 1 of the BWF Primer build-up!
The way this build-up period works, is that for the next 14 days, every day you can head over to the landing page, and there will be a workout for you with the appropriate day labelled, and some informational reading.
The reading will be split evenly between:
Reading about how to properly perform an exercise
Reading about how training works
In any other training program you would have to read all of the information spread across these 14 days in one go, or already know it, in order to start a strength training program and also know what you are doing. This 14 day spread should make it much more achievable to get the info in!
Before we Start: Understanding Training Nomenclature
A ‘rep’ is short for ‘repetition’ and refers to a single execution of a movement. If you were to sit in a chair and extend your knee straight out in front of you, that is ‘1 rep’ of a knee extension. If you did that 10 times in a row, thats ’10 reps’ of a knee extension.
A set is a specified number of reps to perform of an exercise. If you do 10 knee extensions, then wait a bit, 10 more knee extensions, then wait a bit, and 10 more, you’ve just done 3 sets of 10 knee extensions. In most training programs, you will see this shortened to ‘3×10 knee extensions’. You can read the ‘X’ as ‘sets of’.
3×10 = 3 sets of 10.
This one is self explanatory, it is just the period of time between sets of an exercise where you rest. But more specifically, it refers to the amount of time that the parts of the body that are involved in an exercise are resting (not doing anything). You do not necessarily need to be completely immobilised during your rest periods (we can go into more detail on the implications of this on a later date.)
Reading #2: How to do Push-ups (At any strength level).
The following is a guide I’ve made on how to do push-ups, which will be the very first exercise you learn in this program.
It’s bit long, but if you set aside about 30 you should be able to read through the whole thing at a comfortable pace, try it out a couple times, and feel relatively confident about how they work.
The exercise in the section ‘How to Build Up To a Push-up if You Can’t Yet Do One’ will be the focal point of the guide for the purposes of this workout, but it is worth reading and trying to comprehend the whole thing.
Many if not all of the exercises in this routine (and in general) will appear simple to do, but will be deceptively complex to do well, so if you don’t grasp 100% of the nuance in the guide in the first go-around, don’t worry. You’re not really expected to, we just want you to have access to it to check back and learn more over time.
Once you’ve finished that, head on down to the next section!
BWF Primer Workout #1:
So the first workout in the BWF Primer is actually very quick and straightforward. It will likely not feel like a ‘workout’ in the sense that it tires you or makes you feel especially sore. Consider it more as a self-directed learning exercise. The workouts will become harder throughout the days, do not worry!
You will simply perform 5 sets of 5 reps of push-ups at whatever incline is appropriate for your strength level, with 60 seconds of rest between sets (or however long it takes you to review your footage).
This would be written as:
It is highly recommended that you film yourself from the side and front in your sets, so you can watch this footage back in your rests to evaluate your form and compare them to the videos in the above guide, so you can learn how to identify errors in your own form and improve independently!
(For reference, the ‘appropriate intensity‘ of these push-ups for the duration of the phase should be very moderate. The focus of this 14 day build-up to the full BWF primer routine is technical competence, rather than pushing yourself. You should start by picking an intensity that you could easily do several more reps of if you wanted to. It should not feel trivially easy, but if you are struggling to manage 5 reps, or struggling to finish all sets, you’ve started out way too hard. You will be exercising 6x per week in this period, and you don’t want to be maiming yourself with intensity. Leave that for the full primer after the 2 weeks!)
Ok, I did it!
If you want to chat about your experience so far, I’ve set up a new ‘beginners zone’ in the /r/bodyweightfitness discord server, so you can come chat about the BWF Primer workouts with other new exercisers in a friendly environment, with friendly helpers with experience with exercise that have volunteered to answer any questions you may have!