Strength & Sculpt Blocks: Everything You Need To Know
By popular demand and thousands of sweaty, muscle-shaking workouts, Block 2,3 and 4 of Katie Martin’s Strength & Sculpt program are now available in the Sweat app! In total, that’s 24 weeks of Katie’s signature style of training, lifting weights and seeing your strength skyrocket.
If you’re new to all things Katie Martin, her programs are designed for women who train in a gym-based environment (or who have a great home set-up) using a combination of machines and free weights to build muscular strength and definition while reaping all the amazing benefits of strength training. Strength & Sculpt is exactly how Katie loves to train and how she has been training other women for years!
This program is ideal for anyone with an intermediate or advanced fitness level who is looking to progress their weight training. But don’t worry, there are also helpful exercise substitutions and regressions if you’re a beginner, new to lifting weights or are training at home!
Keen to give the first six weeks of Strength & Sculpt a try? You can find everything you need here about the program structure, equipment required and what you’ll achieve.
If you’ve finished your first training block, are close to finishing, or are eager to dive into your third or fourth Block, you’re probably wondering what exactly Katie has in store for you. Here’s what she had to say.
Katie, how is Strength & Sculpt Block 2 different from Block 1?
In Block 2, you’ll see that we have dropped the full body strength session and made it a hybrid strength and megaset session. There’s also less rest in this hybrid session. Throughout Block 2, you’ll be exposed to some different exercises that weren’t in Block 1.
How is Block 3 different?
In the third six-week block, the exercise complexity, training volume and heavy lifts increase to help you progress.
The upper and lower body days now follow the strength and mega set format, with supersets and trisets for your full body day.
Additional volume has also been added to the full body day and a slight reduction to the lower body day will allow you to perform some heavier lifts under less fatigue.
How is Block 4 different?
In weeks 19-24, the complexity and volume continues to increase so that you keep challenging yourself and avoid plateauing.
Workout sets increase from three to four laps, and your weekly workout split now changes to Lower Body, Chest & Shoulders, Back & Hamstrings, and an optional Mega Set.
Why are they different?
Each Block is slightly different because ultimately, we want to avoid the chance of your body adapting to the training. Adapting to your training is normal and a good thing - a sign of your strength and fitness building - but if you don’t change things up, that’s when you’re more likely to plateau and stop seeing progress.
When working through any program, it’s important to regularly reassess and make slight tweaks to things like your speed, rest, exercises and weights to ensure you’re still challenging yourself and moving forward with your strength and fitness gains!
For example, in Block 2, the shift from a full body strength session to a hybrid strength and megaset session is designed to increase the stress you’re putting on your cardiovascular system over the course of the six weeks, and the shorter rest periods will make it a more intense workout. By focusing on muscular endurance in this workout, you should be able to smash your upper and lower body days with less fatigue, and performing some new exercises will also help to further challenge your muscles!
Each new Block won’t feel like a dramatically different program or training style - these adjustments are there to ensure you get the most out of your training, not to mention spice it up and keep it interesting.
Is Block 2 harder than Block 1? Can I do Block 2 if I haven't completed Block 1?
Block 2 is slightly more challenging than Block 1 if you continue to progressively increase your weights in the same way you have been in Block 1. However, it is not so much harder that you should feel deterred from attempting it if you’re new to my programs or found Block 1 challenging. Yes, you absolutely can go straight to Block 2 without doing Block 1 but I would definitely recommend you complete Block 1 first!
What is the aim of Block 2 and what will I get out of it?
The aim of Block 2 is to reduce your rest periods slightly, mostly in your hybrid strength and megaset session, to challenge the cardiovascular component of your fitness more.
We aren’t challenging your cardio fitness to the point where the program becomes a cardio program - strength training is still the primary focus of Strength & Sculpt - but enough to ensure that you are always being challenged in different ways and building your fitness holistically.
By the end of Block 2 you should feel stronger, more experienced with different lifts and exercises, competent training in a slightly different structure, and hopefully have made some measurable strength gains in terms of the weight you can lift!
If I want to repeat a Block, how can I make it more challenging?
If you loved a certain Block and want to make it more challenging, or perhaps just want to repeat a Block to further build your confidence before moving on, my first suggestion is to lift heavier weights.
The beauty of programs like Strength & Sculpt is that no matter how many times you complete each Block, week or workout, you can always make it feel as challenging as your first time by ensuring your weight selection is relative and reflective of your current fitness and strength level.
Aside from lifting heavier weights, you can also challenge yourself by choosing a rest period at the lower end of what is suggested. For example, if the recommended rest period is 60-90 seconds, you may choose to rest for only 60 seconds.
I’m so excited to see you try the new Blocks! I love seeing you all smash my workouts week after week, so remember to share and tag me @katiemmartin_ so I can follow your journey!
Ready to dive into another Block of Strength & Sculpt or try Katie’s program from the beginning? Download or open the Sweat app now, select the program and take a look, then get started! Katie and the Sweat Community are with you every step (and lift) of the way.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.