Chris Black is the Yorkshire Carnegie Head Conditioner. He worked as Assistant Conditioner for the Leeds Rhinos treble winning team and has also worked for Castleford Tigers. An irrefutable sports scientist.

Here, he explains his go-to workout plan.

Strength underpins all other qualities whether its performance, increase in muscle mass, injury reduction etc. Therefore we need a programme that focuses on increasing strength capacity, as well as providing balance to our workout. In the programme example I have included a lowers and an uppers template. Both focus on increasing strength primarily. However, they also finish with some volume which promotes increase in lean muscle mass (i.e. hypertrophy). 


We DON’T want to burn out week 1 and not be able to up the weight in the following weeks. I have also lowered the reps across the 3 weeks to further increase the intensity (i.e. weight lifted) this fits with my focus on increasing strength. During the HEAVY week you should be lifting close to your maximum for the rep range, whereas in the previous weeks you should be leaving some reps in the tank.

In the lowers programme- the front squat is the first exercise. This is what I would refer to as my key/main lift. The BB Hip Thruster is a great exercise for the Glutes and Hamstrings (opposite to quads) and I am able to include an anti-rotation exercise here (core) as I am confident it will not affect the primary exercise. The final two exercises will allow you to get some volume into the lower body to promote hypertrophy. Chris Black’s free lower body workout plan is available at the bottom of this page.


In the uppers programme, I have again started with my key exercise first up. This is my primary focus. However, unlike the lowers programme I have super-setted my main lift with another big exercise because I want to get more volume into the programme. Time is of the essence (I don’t want to be training for more than 1 hour ideally). Subscribe for FREE below to view Chris Black’s upper body workout plan.

I have used the various planes of motion and included both horizontal and vertical pulling and pushing exercises. Again, I have included some high volume towards the end of the programme to promote hypertrophy and kept it balanced.

Chris Black’s LOWER BODY programme: