Complete Strength 12-Week Workout: Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the Complete Strength 12-Week Workout. This week you will increase the intensity. If you were doing two sets of the exercises in Week 1, increase the number of sets to three. If you were already doing three sets of the exercises, increase the intensity by increasing weight or pushing on reps.
Program Week Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Workout Program Overview
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Intensity?
What Is Tempo?
Workout Participants Support Forum
Take the Stretch Test to learn where you are tight. Do the prescribed corrective exercises before your workout. Retake the test every six weeks to reassess your stretching needs. Your longterm goal should be to correct all of your tight areas so that you won't need to do any stretching before your workouts.
Sequence Exercise Muscles Reps Sets Tempo Intensity Rest
1 Barbell Sumo Deadlifts Back, Legs 10-12 3 2020 -1 90 sec
2 Stability Ball Pushups Chest, Triceps, Shoulders 10-15 3 2020 -2 0
2 Smith Machine Inverted Pull-ups with Feet on Floor Back (lats and traps) 10-12 3 1030 -1 2 min
3 Split Squat Dumbbell Curl Presses Biceps, Shoulders, Legs 10-12 3 1010 -2 90 sec
4 Low Hold Squat Dual Cable Wide Pulldowns Back, Legs 20 3 1010 -2 0
4 Rocker Side Lunges and Cable Woodchops Shoulders, Back, Abdominals, Legs 10 per side 3 2020 -2 90 sec
5 Side Pillar Hip Lifts Abdominals (obliques) 1 per side 3 Hold 30 sec -1 60 sec
Exercise Overview
Barbell Sumo Deadlifts Stand behind a barbell with feet wider than your shoulders and toes pointing out in line with the knees. From the starting position, inhale to stabilize your core and squat down with your legs until your thighs are horizontal to the ground. Grab the bar with an overhand or alternating grip and your hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your chest lifted and back straight, contract the core and pull up into a standing position, drawing your shoulders back and bring the torso to vertical. Your arms should be hanging straight down throughout this movement. Keeping your arms straight, sit into the squat and keep your back flat to lower the weight back to the floor.
Stability Ball Push-ups Place both hands on a stability ball and position the rest of your body like a plank. Your abdominals should be held in so that your stomach does not dip, and your back should be flat so that your buttocks do not come up. Keep your feet hip-width apart for stability, and, if needed, put the ball against a wall for support. Perform a push-up, lowering your chest until it almost touches the ball. Your elbows should come out to the side as you drop down, and your shoulder blades should come together. From the bottom of the push-up, reverse direction and press yourself back up to the starting position. For a more advanced version, do the same movement with your feet together instead of hip-width apart. For an even more advanced version that will increase the intensity 10-fold, do the push-ups with your feet together on a flat bench instead of on the floor.
Smith Machine Inverted Pull-ups with Feet on Floor Set the Smith machine bar so that the bar height is below your chest height and above your belly button. With your feet on the floor in a wide stance in front of the Smith machine, position your upper body underneath the bar of the Smith machine, holding the bar a little wider than shoulder-width apart with your palms facing down. Hang from the bar with your arms extended fully, and allow only the heels of your feet to touch the floor. Keep your body straight. From the starting position, lift your upper body up until your chest touches the bar. Focus on retracting your shoulder blades down and back and opening up your chest in order to maintain proper posture and to activate your lower/middle traps. Reverse the motion and lower yourself down until you are back at the starting position. For a more advanced variation, do this exercise with your heels supporting your lower body on a flat bench several feet in front of the Smith machine. For an even more advanced version, do the exercise with your heels on a stability ball several feet in front of the Smith machine.
Split Squat Dumbbell Curl Presses Stand upright with feet staggered, holding a dumbbell at your sides in each hand. Drop into a split squat, dropping down through the back knee and thigh until both knees are bent at right angles. Your weights are hanging at your sides. Keeping your weight on the heel of your front leg, drive up out of the squat. Simultaneously hammer curl (with palms still facing inward) the dumbbells upward, and then press them overhead with palms still facing inward. Return the dumbbells to your sides as you drop into the next split squat. Do a full set on each leg to complete one set of the exercise.
Low Hold Squat Dual Cable Wide Pulldowns Use a dual-arm cable system with single handles set at the high position. Stand facing the machine. Drop into a low squat-hold, with thighs parallel to the floor. Hold this position. Still in your squat, perform wide-grip pulldowns, pulling through your pinkies, and opening your chest as you pull down. Note: You can also do this exercise squatting on the floor behind the seat of a seated lat pulldown machine and using a single wide grip bar.
Rocker Side Lunges and Cable Woodchops Use a single cable handle, attached in the high position. Stand with a wide stance, toes slightly out, and with your left leg close to the cable system. Take the cable handle in both hands, with your right (outside) hand on the bottom. Lunge onto your left leg, toward the cable system. Simultaneously reach up with your hands. Now, shift your weight to your right leg lunge as you pull the cable down and across your body with both hands, using a diagonal downward chop. Keep your chest tall and open throughout the movement—do not cave in as you chop down. Repeat for a full set and then swap sides, facing the opposite direction in your lunge and switching the orientation of your hands.
Side Pillar Hip Lifts Lie on your side and support yourself on one elbow. One foot should be one on top of the other, and your lower hip should be on the floor. Your lower arm's elbow should be directly under your armpit. The forearm of your lower/supporting arm should point directly forward. Bend your upper arm's elbow and place that hand on your hip. From the starting position, use your obliques and hips on your lower side to lift up to a flat position. Your body should be in a straight diagonal line from head to feet. Be careful not to tip your shoulders or hips forward or back as you lift. Hold for 30 seconds. From the top of your lift, lower slowly down to your starting position. For a more advanced version, keep your supporting arm straight and rest your weight on your palm instead of bending at the elbow and resting your weight on your elbow and forearm. For an even more advanced version, lift your top leg up as you hold the side pillar position.