It’s happened to all of us. We head to the gym. Jump on the treadmill/bike for 10 minutes to warm up and then when we’re ready to get started we realise we don’t actually have any idea what we want to do. And 9 times out of 10, when this happens the gym will be pumping so just as you decide what to do you realise some numptee has taken that piece of equipment.
Well, below is a blueprint to help you decide what to do in such situations. This is also a great tool to use if you’re away and aren’t able to stick to your usual routine. This isn’t going to make you the strongest, fittest or most jacked person in the room but it is going to help you get a pretty decent workout in and give you some flexibility with what movements you’re doing.
THE SIMPLEST WORKOUT PROGRAM EVERRRRRRR
How it works:
Below are 5 categories. You’ll pick 1/2 movements (that you know how to perform) from each category and you’ll pick a weight/resistance that you know you’ll be able to do for 10-15 repetitions. With this you’ll do 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions with about 1-2 minutes between each set.
CATEGORY 1: LOWER BODY PULL
This category is going to include all movements where the majority of the work is done around the hips. So think all deadlift-type movements. The main muscles that are going to be worked here are going to be lower back, glutes and hamstrings.
Examples: deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, kettlebell swings, glute bridges, hip thrusts.
CATEGORY 2: LOWER BODY PUSH
This category is going to be all things squat and lunges. These movements are typically a little bit more knee dominant than lower body pull movements and this means that you’ll be using your quads a lot more. Think muscles at the front of your thighs.
Examples: Squat (back squat, front squat, goblet squat, box squat, etc.), lunges, reverse lunges, split squats, front/rear foot elevated split squats, wall sits, step ups.
CATEGORY 3: UPPER BODY PULL
As the name suggests, this is going to include all movements where you “pull” with your arms. So think about things like pull ups and rows. The main muscles you’ll be hitting here will be muscles in your upper back like lats, rhomboids and traps as well as your biceps.
Examples: pull ups, chin ups, inverted rows, lat pull downs, dumbbell/barbell rows, bicep curls.
CATEGORY 4: UPPER BODY PUSH
This category is going to be all upper body pushing type movements. Things like bench/shoulder press, push ups and similar things. You’re going to be hitting muscles in your chest, shoulders and triceps with these movements.
Examples: bench press, shoulder press, push ups, front/lateral raises, tricep extensions.
CATEGORY 5: MIDLINE
With most relatively heavy, compound movements you will get a good amount of “core” work and you don’t really need to add in more, however I do like to add in some of these movements occasionally. These are going to work the muscles around your midsection like your abs and obliques.
Examples: plank, side plank, hanging knee raises, dead bugs, bird dogs, Pallof presses.
All of these examples are very basic and a quick google search will give you a lot of variations of each. Think about using different implements (barbell/dumbell/kettlebells/bands/cables), unilateral/bilateral (both limbs working together vs one limb working at a time), tempo work (taking a longer time through a specific phase of a movement). By adding these variables to the examples above you’ve probably got THOUSANDS of variations you can use.
Save these examples in your phone and next time you’re at a loss for what to do at the gym give it a try.
Until next time. Keep getting stronger.