Every time I walk into a commercial gym, I see folks wandering around aimlessly from exercise machine to exercise machine.
They don’t have a plan.
Going to work out without some semblance of a plan is a sure fire way to wind up unmotivated and bored out yo’ mind.
When you have a plan, you have something to work towards. You have purpose. And you’ll know exactly when you’re done with your workout. No more wondering whether or not you should do an extra set of abs. We need closure, people.
We make tons of choices during a day. Just getting to the gym can take up a big chunk of our choosing-power. Don’t let any more of your precious will-power reserves be used by a haphazard workout plan.
Now, there’s not one “correct” way to structure a workout. But there are good ways and bad ways.
Unless you’re an advanced lifter looking to maximize progress, you need to keep things simple.
Start with a good warm up
At Village Fitness, we call the warm up the “Focus”. The warm up is to prepare your body for exercise, yes. But it’s also important for getting you in a place mentally prepared to crush your workout.
You can do one of three warm ups.
This involves basic movements like squats, planks, lunges, and pushups. This prepares your whole body for the exercise you are about to perform.
This will change depending on the exercises you are doing in your workout. If you’re doing squats, you warm up with sets of squats. If you’re doing push-ups, you warm-up with a pushup. With a specific warm-up, you do 1 to 3 easy sets of all the movements in your workout routine before moving on the actual workout itself.
If you are doing a heavy deadlift day, let’s say 3 sets of 5 with 135 pounds (fist bump!), you’ll want to warm up with deadlifts. Something like this would be cool:
- Deadlift 105X5 reps
- Deadlift 115X5 reps
- Deadlift 125X3 reps
- Deadlift 135X5 reps X 3 sets
I realize this takes extra time. I would certainly not do 3 warm up sets before you do bicep curls. But, with the big, heavy lifts, it’s worth it.
You can use your warm-up as a time to practice a functional movement like a Turkish get up. Movements like TGU’s prepare your body for the workout, yes, but they also have carryover to the rest of your life.
Structure the main component of your workouts with three supersets. We call this the Heart. This is where you do your strength training, get strong, and elevate your metabolism.
If you’re reading this article, you’re likely not interested in bodybuilding. Therefore, it behooves you to train each of the basic movements every time you life. There are 6 fundamental movements in strength training. Squatting, hinging, lunging, pushing, pulling, and twisting.
Then, finish your workout with some high intensity work. We call this portion of the session the APEX. This is where you go all out for a short burst, get yourself breathing hard, and finish the workout strong.
One of my favorite APEX’s we’ve done is a workout I call Jumper Cable.
It starts with 20 reps of squat to press and then 20 reps of burpees. Then, you do 15, 10, and 5. It’s simple, yet sinister.
Now, you just need to finish off with a little cool-down. We call this the Wind Down. You don’t want to leave the gym in your amped-up state of euphoria. You want to bring your body and central nervous system back down to planet earth before re-entering society.
Peanut butter jelly time
Let’s put it all together.
- Focus. Start with a warm up. Get your body ready to rock . 5 to 10 minutes
- Squats 3X8 reps in a superset with Pushing 3X12
- Hinges 3X6 reps in a superset with Pulling 3X12
- Twist 3X10 each side in a superset with Lunging 3X10 each side
- APEX. Finish off strong with 3 to 10 minutes of high intensity conditioning work.
- Wind Down. Cool it off with a little stretching and yoga.
That’s all for today,