I’ve done so many programs throughout my training career both personally and professionally. I’ve always believed your program should match your goals but that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep some continuity from program to program.
Here are 5 things every workout should have regardless of goals:
1. Dynamic warm up
Traditionally a workout begins with 5 mins on the bike and jump right in. While a little cardio isn’t a bad thing to warm up with i would rather spend my 5 minutes on a dynamic warm up. A quick circuit V sit to roll throughs, hip bridges, frog stretch and band shoulder dislocated and your body will not only be warm but primed for a great workout!
2. Compound Lift in a 2-5 rep range
I’m a strength guy. I won’t lie. But whether you are aiming to be stronger or just purely building muscle a few relatively heavy sets will increase your muscle density so you look jacked all year round. Working anywhere between 70% to 95% of your 1RM for 2-5 reps will do the job. For upper body stick to a bench press variation or overhead press variation. For lower body go with a squat or deadlift variation .
3. Pump work
Not every set has to be a CNS destroying one. Including some slightly higher rep sets of accessory exercises are a great way to feel good and pump tonnes of blood into your muscles. Working between 8 and 15 reps is perfect and I love a nice superset of opposing muscle groups for supreme pump.
4. Grip/Forearm work
A strong grip will not only improve any of your lifts bit it can help with tennis elbow, tendinitis as well as giving you a walnut crushing grip. I prefer weighted carries such as farmers walks and suitcase carries. They are great for grip strength and amazing conditioning( see next point). A wrist roller or hammer twists are great accessories as well.
5. Metabolic conditioning
Whether you’re a strong man, a body builder or just a average person looking to stay in shape, a short but not so sweet Metcon finisher will be a perfect finish to your workout. It can be anything from sled pushes, heavy bag work, ropes, complexes to a HIIT routine on a spin bike. Basically you need to pick something that will make your lungs burn, muscles scream and body sweat that takes 10 minutes or less. Enough time to make your lungs work without breaking down our muscle.
*Number 6 would be do high rep upper back work every upper body lift. Band pull aparts, face pulls, Iso Y Flys etc
Sample lower body workout:
1.Front squats 5 sets of 3 @85% of 1RM
2a) Romanian deadlifts 4 x 12
2b)Alternating step back lunges 4 x10
3. Farmers walks @ body weight 4 rounds of 20 feet
4. Prowler push 10 10 yard sprints
This template leaves a lot of room for creativity. Have fun and enjoy what you do!