Fast Talk Labs’ Strength Training Series: Week 3

We increase the volume and the core work in Week 3 of our Strength Training Series.

It’s Week 3 of our Strength Training Series and this latest program works in a new lower body exercise and advances your core routine with two new exercises. The reverse lunge brings in a balance component and encourages single-leg stability and strength, while the kettlebell pull-through introduces some sport specificity for cyclists. In terms of volume, notice the increase from three to four sets to four sets for your lower body routine. If you have the time available, try to increase your total volume of weight lifted by moving to four sets of the existing exercises. Finally, you will notice the core routine increases to two focused core exercises, which should challenge your stability and strength by blocking up the pull-through and side plank.

Before getting started, be sure to warm up well with our Warm-Up & Activation Routine.

Week 3 workout at a glance

Barbell Reverse Lunge: 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions

Deadlift: 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Barbell Back Squat: 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Kettlebell Pull-Through: 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions

Side Plank: 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds per side

Progressions and regressions

Barbell Back Squat

To regress your barbell back squat, start with dumbbells or kettlebells at a weight you can comfortably hold. As always, focus on quality form over weight lifted. To progress your squat from the barbell, you can include some unstable platforms (think Bosu ball or balance disks) or move to a single-arm overhead hold.

Kettlebell Pull-Through

For the pull-through exercise, regress by moving into your full plank/push-up position and focusing on moving one limb at a time. You could move one arm and extend it overhead or out to the side, and then do the same with the opposite leg. Work both sides one limb at a time, and then move back into the pull-through movement starting with very light weight.  

Pitfalls and warnings

Barbell Back Squat

  • Leaning forward: As with most squatting movements, especially when using a barbell, be cautious about your forward lean. Some natural forward lean is OK, provided you maintain a neutral spine, but watch for excessive lean. This may suggest you’re using too much weight or do not yet have the ability to stabilize the body throughout the movement.   
  • Moving the knees forward first: Similar to previous squatting motions in weeks 1 and 2, start this movement by shifting the hips back, as if you’re trying to sit in a chair that’s “just” too far out of reach. Along with this, I like to drive the “free” leg as far back as comfortable as this helps me to prioritize the eccentric loading of the front leg along with the strong drive from the hips on the way back up.  

Kettlebell Pull-Through

  • Drooping or piked hips: Similar to the plank or push-up position, aim to keep your hips in a neutral and stable position. If you find a lot of rotation or “hiking” of the hips (i.e., where one gets higher than the other), back down on weight or regress so you can refine your movement with good stability.  
  • Head position: Be careful, especially as fatigue builds in, to keep your head in a neutral position. Sometimes when we’re tired it’s easy to start craning the neck down as we struggle with those last couple of reps. This is the time to really refocus on your position. Don’t rush the reps. As with the other exercises, do as many as you can with good form and when you notice form falling away, it’s time to end or take a break.  

Want to catch up on previous weeks? Check out them out here:

Fast Talk Labs’ Strength Training Series: Week 1

Fast Talk Labs’ Strength Training Series: Week 2

Video Transcript

Ryan Kohler  00:04

So here in week three, we’re going to keep some of those foundational movements from the first two weeks and progress with them. We’re also going to add two new movements this week to challenge the body a little bit more. One of those will be a barbell reverse lunge. The other will be a core routine where we’ll incorporate kettlebell movement into that. As always, form is our major concern, we want to move with good movement patterns. So bringing in these new exercises, focus on your form over adding weight too quickly.


Ryan Kohler  00:30

With that, we’re going to go ahead and get started with our deadlift. Here in week three, we’re moving our deadlifts to four sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. So let’s get started.

Barbell back squat

Ryan Kohler  01:00

Next is our barbell back squat, we have four sets today, 10 to 12 repetitions.

Barbell reverse lunge

Ryan Kohler  01:25

Okay, next we have a barbell reverse lunge. This one, we’re looking at two to three sets of eight to 10 reps, and this is how it’s gonna go. Very, very similar to that barbell squat that we did, where you’re going to address the bar, come under it, get it in that soft tissue right near the shoulders, lift it off carefully, and then we’ll step back a bit. So with this one, we’ve got a single leg exercise as opposed to double.

I’m going to start with my left, what we’re going to do here is just take our free leg, put that behind us, drop down, and then drive back up strongly on that front foot. We’ll do eight to 10 reps, two to three sets, and that’s eight to 10 reps per leg. Make sure you switch, repeat on the other side, and then we’re done. One key thing to watch for this is just your knee position. When you’re dropping back, make sure that it’s over the foot and not diving all over the place or going too far forward.

Ryan Kohler  02:20

If the barbell is a little bit too heavy, or you want to start off and focus on the form, what you can do is take two dumbbells, bring them up to your shoulders for some extra support, and then go into that same movement where we go into the reverse lunge, just like that.

Kettlebell pass-through

Ryan Kohler  02:42

Alright, our next exercise is going to be kettlebell pass-through, so this will start with us in a push-up position or a full plank position. The goal here is to take one hand and move the kettlebell from one side to the other. We’re going for two to three sets of eight to 12 reps, and here we go. We’ll get into our push-up position here, you can bring your arms a little bit further inside to make it easier that way you don’t have as much tipping going on. We’re going to draw one hand under us and pull the kettlebell over, and then put that hand back down. We’ll repeat on the other side. Just like that. You can also mix this up, make it a little bit more difficult by bringing it from corner to corner like this, and challenge your stability.

One other thing to watch for. If you’re having a trouble with this or poor form, what you’re going to notice is you’ll have more hip motion like this where you’re kind of rotating or opening the hips. Really try to lock those hips in place and just move your arm.

Side plank

Ryan Kohler  03:48

Okay, so let’s get into our planks, two to three sets, 30 to 60 second holds on each side.

All right, that’ll do it for this week. Hopefully you learned some new movements that you can work into your routine. We’ll see you next time!