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10 Day Challenge Trainer Series: Build with Tasha

10 Day Challenge Trainer Series: Build with Tasha Heavy Lifting and Balance Work for Increased Strength

47 Min/Day • 2 Weeks
  • Daily Duration Avg. 47 Minutes
  • Min. 40 Minutes
  • Max. 65 Minutes
  • Body Focus Total Body
  • Training Type Balance/Agility, Low Impact, Strength Training
  • Equipment Dumbbell, Mat


By now, you’ve probably heard me reference two very important training concepts that are integral to preventing performance plateaus and minimizing incidents of injury: progressive overload and periodization. This 10-day challenge is intended as a repeatable segment of training that will help you increase your overall strength with heavy lifting (for you) as well as teach you how to cycle in and out of intense training phases to avoid physical and mental burnout, boredom, and the nagging aches and pains that often result from overuse/overtraining.

Who is this challenge for?
This challenge is for anyone looking to spend most of their training time lifting their heaviest weight selections! If you’ve been lifting the same selection of weights for most of the standard upper and lower body resistance training exercises and want to push yourself to new levels of strength, this challenge will help you safely bump up your weight choices while finding comfort in the discomfort.

Although “progressive overload” might sound like a complicated concept, the overall premise is actually quite straightforward: incrementally and strategically increasing select training variables from one week to the next will safely overload bodily demands to elicit muscular adaptations and prevent stagnation in performance improvements. In the case of this challenge, we’re primarily focused on slowly increasing weight load and varying the difficulty of familiar exercises so that your muscles “learn” to accommodate the stressors of heavy resistance training. However, we can’t progress and withstand an ever-increasing load of weights forever! Enter the concept of periodization.

Periodization is a fancy word used to describe how one tweaks training variables, fitness modalities, and overall program design within a specified amount of time. Consider your long-term goals to determine the length of your training cycle and figure out how often within this cycle you will alternate performance progressions (high intensity training) with de-load days/weeks (rest and active recovery). This alternation of challenging workouts with restorative activities will look different for everyone and depends on your personal goals, time commitment to training, fitness experience and capabilities, and training preferences. Below is just an example of how you could incorporate this challenge into a 2.5-month training cycle:

-Weeks 1 & 2: Build with Tasha
     -Objective: Benchmark your weights during each strength workout
-Week 3: De-Load Week
     -Objective: Active recovery/restorative workouts (lesser intensity and frequency)
-Weeks 4 & 5: Repeat Build with Tasha
     -Objective: Repeat benchmark performance OR increase weights for appropriate exercises (small weight increases)
-Week 6: De-Load Week
     -Objective: Active recovery/restorative workouts (lesser intensity and frequency)
-Weeks 7 & 8: Repeat Build with Tasha
     -Objective: Increase weights and/or improve range of motion for as many exercises as possible (small weight increases)
-Weeks 9 & 10: De-Load Weeks
     -Objective: Active recovery/restorative workouts (lesser intensity and frequency) + review progress to determine goals and parameters for the next training cycle  

What to expect:
Challenge Roadmap:
WEEKS 1 & 2 follow this format:
- Lower Body Strength
- Upper Body Strength
- Bodyweight Balance Work + Core
- Total Body Strength + Extended Cool-Down
- Weighted Balance Work + Core

This is a physically demanding challenge by nature of the daily training sequence, exercise selections, and workout formats; however, you can modify the intensity of each workout by focusing on light/moderate weight selections and opting for any of the less difficult exercise options offered in each routine.

You will split your strength training time between upper body, lower body, and total body sessions that include complementary combination exercises so that you can lift your heavy (for you) weight selections during each workout without over-taxing any muscle groups from one day to the next. Each week of training also includes two balance work with targeted core strength sessions as short respites from heavier weightlifting. Approach these two days of training as an opportunity to improve your balance, coordination, and foundational core strength with lower intensity exercises that supplement your weightlifting days without compromising strength/muscle gains. Stronger muscles improve your performance during balance workouts and balance workouts improve neuromuscular adaptations to enhance muscle recruitment during strength workouts. Everything is connected and reciprocal!

This program builds in intensity from start to finish due to an increase in overall difficulty but also because of the residual fatigue that accumulates from one workout to the next; therefore, a solid foundation with weightlifting and experience with consistent exercise is recommended for a positive, productive experience with this challenge!

Equipment needed:
While challenging yourself to increase your weight loads, there will be times when you need to complete a split set, dividing your efforts between your heavy weights and your moderate or light weights. Thus, having a variety of weight options relative to your upper and lower body strength is integral to an optimal performance and experience throughout this challenge. A mat is also a great idea for any floorwork, especially if you work out on a hard floor and/or benefit from having a grippy surface while sweating (like me).

However you choose to approach this challenge, our primary goal is always sustainable, enjoyable movement for the long term! Using these 10 days as part of your training regimen for improving your strength is one short-term goal of many throughout a lifetime of fitness and wellness.