Strength Workout advice


I’ve been having physio for a bulging disc & sciatica which included me doing exercises everyday (knee rolls / pelvic tilts / bridge / sciatic stretches etc) and has improved quite a bit over recent months. I swim 4 times a week with distances of around 2k per session during the week and then 3.5k on a Sunday. To supplement this I decided to include some basic strength training on days when I’m not swimming and could do with some advice about how to structure the workouts.

My current week is;

Monday – Evening walk followed by Stretches & strength building

Tuesday – Stretches only & swim (2k)

Wednesday – Physio (strength & mobility) – Swim training (1-1.5K with various drills include)

Thursday - Evening walk followed by Stretches & strength building

Friday - Stretches only & swim (2k)

Saturday – Walk followed by Stretches & strength building

Sunday – Stretches only & swim (2k)

My stretch / strength session is something along the lines of;

Various stretches for warm up (head working down)

3 x 10 push ups

3 x 10 crunch

3 x 5 leg raises (holding for 10 each time)

3 x 20 dumbbell press (5kg each) laid on back pushing weight up

3 x 20 laid on back lifting weight (4kg kettlebell) from floor above head to above face with legs raised and fee touching

3 x 20 bicep curls (5kg dumbbell each hand or with resistance band)

In between each of the above I generally do some mobility stretches and then I normally finish with a some more stretching. With the back issues I’m being careful not to push myself too much and the current work out has not caused me any issues over the past few weeks I’ve been doing it.

So not sure if this is the right way to do things or should I do all 3 sets of push ups with a 20 sec rest between and on to the next exercise and do this for all the strength work, or is it better to do 1 set then move onto the next exercise and so on come back round to the start.

If it helps I’m not looking to bulk up this is more about building my upper body & core for swimming and to get some muscle definition. My legs have become quite tone with swimming so it would be nice to spread it all over. My weight has gone from 102kg in April to 89.1kg now and still working on losing more.


Check this out mate, I put this together specifically for this type of situation



Really interesting website you got there, a lot of useful info. I’ve done my Monday strength session today and changed things slightly (before I read your site so feel free to add any tips).

I started with warm and mobility exercises and the then went on to the strength bit. I did 3 sets of each exercise with a 30sec rest between, so went straight to 3 sets of push ups and then moved 3 sets of crunches and then on to the next exercise etc. Can certainly feel a difference in how tired I feel after with a bit more ache.

I don’t want to join a gym so everything is done in a small spare room hence why it’s mainly body weight with some dumbbell work.


Good effort mate,

Can I make 2 recommendations?

1 – make sure you’re getting enough rest in between sets to perform the next set & reps with good form (to prevent injury & actually making them beneficial)

If you’re not resting long enough to recover, you’ll be carrying fatigue over into each next set which will make them sub-par & also increase the chances on injury (there’s no evidence of of ‘over-resting causing any less progress when it comes to strength training, so don’t worry about rushing to get the next set done quickly, just take the time you need, I’ve put typical recovery times in the strength training plan)

2 – Make sure to balance out the exercises in relation to bodyparts,

for example, if most of you’e exercises are forward pushing movements, you’ll end up with muscular imbalances with forward hunching shoulders (& possibly injuries)

Take a look again at the beginners strength training plan & you’ll see how it’s structured to work every movement patter of the body for overall balance :slight_smile:


Thanks for the advice it’s very much appreciated. :+1: