If you want to get in great shape, let’s start with a training program.
You obviously don’t want to spend all day in the gym so you need something that is as efficient as possible but also yields the most overall benefits.
It looks a little something like this.
Before you even think about touching the weights, you need to get in a proper warm-up. Now, I understand that you are pressed for time and it’s easier just to jump right in, but performing a complete warm-up will make the session better and can prevent injuries long term.
Let’s keep it short and sweet:
I typically like to focus on the hips since it’s a problem area for most people, but shoulders are key as well. Pick 2-3 in a circuit style for ~10 reps of each.
- World’s greatest stretch
- Dynamic frog stretch
- Side lying thoracic rotation
- Arm circles
- Leg swings
- Fire hydrants
- High knees
- Butt kickers
These are done to get your body fired up and ready to start lifting. It can also act as an activator so you can really feel your muscles working throughout each set. Pick the movements that are most helpful for your focus exercise that day.
- Swiss ball hamstring curl (pre-squat)
- Band pull-apart (pre-bench press)
- Glute bridge (pre-deadlift)
- Half kneeling pallof hold (pre squat, bench, deadlift)
- Bird dog row (pre squat, bench, deadlift)
- Medicine ball slam (primer)
- Box/broad jump (primer)
- Medicine ball chest pass (primer)
This plan has 5 essential movements:
- Squat variations
- Push variations
- Pull variations
- Hinge variations
- Lunge variations
- Plus accessory movements at the end depending on specific goals.
Also note that you can use different types of weights (kettle-bells, dumbbells, barbells) to suit your needs.
The bread and butter of many programs, as leg development is always a good thing. As a main compound exercise, choosing a rep target between 6-10 is ideal (can go as low as 3-5 if you’re more advanced).
- Goblet squat
- Barbell back squat
- Barbell front squat
- Hack squat machine
- Leg press
Everyone wants to be able to push something as hard as they can, but it needs to be trained. As a main compound exercise, choosing a rep target between 6-10 is ideal (can go as low as 3-5 if you’re more advanced).
- Bench press
- Incline bench press
- Overhead press
- Push up
Pulling and rowing are essential to healthy shoulders. Pick two from this list each workout if you suffer from sore/rounded shoulders. As a secondary movement, choosing a rep target between 8-12 is ideal.
- Chest supported row
- Lat pull-down
- 1 arm DB row
- Cable row
- Incline DB row
- Bent over row
Such a key in maintaining and developing a strong and healthy posterior chain. The stronger your hinge, the better health your knees, hip, and low back will be. As a main compound exercise, choosing a rep target between 6-10 is ideal (can go as low as 3-5 if you’re more advanced).
- Stiff leg/Romanian deadlift
- Glute bridge
- Hip thrust
- Cable pull through
Unilateral work is incredible for both leg development and core stability. You can train this anywhere from 6-12 reps per leg (if you’re brave)
- Split squat
- Walking lunges
- Reverse lunge
- Step up
- Bulgarian split squat
This depends on your goals and if you have any target areas you want to work on. Typically done in the 10-15 rep ranges.
- Bicep curls
- Tricep extensions
- Lateral raises
- Reverse fly
- Face pull
- Hip abductions
- Calf raises
- Leg extensions
- Leg curls
- Chest fly
- Core work
– Leg raises
– Kneeling cable crunches
– Roman chair side raises
– Plank variations
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
It sounds like a ton of stuff, and I completely understand if you’re overwhelmed.
Here’s what you’re going to do:
- Determine how many days per week you can commit to training
- Pick a main movement for each day (e.g. Day 1-Squat, Day 2-Bench, Day 3-Deadlift)
- Choose your warmup sequence for each day
- Pick your other essentials off the list (1 of each – squat, press, pull, hinge, lunge)
- Add 2-4 accessories
- Determine sets and rep ranges for each exercise.
Being able to create and run your own workout programs can be extremely liberating yet most people are doing it wrong. Use this guide to maximize your efforts in the gym and make progress long term!
Be sure to tag me on Instagram @strongjonfitness when you set your workouts up and crush them! Also, feel free to DM me if you have any further questions.