One of the biggest questions people have about exercise is, what to do when?
People see programing workouts like I look at any type of math above a 10th grade level.
This can get very technical and scientific. There is a rhyme and a reason as to exactly what the body needs and what is most optimal, and there are rules to abide by. However for most people, it’s really not that complicated.
If you are an athlete or trying to be an elite body builder, then we might have to dive a little deeper into this.
For the average Joe or Jane though, who is just looking to get healthier, get a little stronger, maybe burn a little fat, the answer is quite simple.
Sorry sorry, I know your time is valuable.
You want to work out your entire body at least one time per week.
That’s rule #1.
Then, if you have time, either try to get in your entire body a second time that week, or come around and double up on any problem areas that you might want to work a little harder on.
You want to make sure is that you are working out your entire body, at least once during the course of a week, no matter how you split it up.
So, if you are coming to the gym just once per week, that means a full body workout.
Two times, could be upper body lower body, or two full body workouts.
Three or four times per week would give you a little more wiggle room. You could trying things like upper, lower/upper, lower, or push/pull/legs, or even a more traditional body part split, like chest/shoulders, back/biceps, legs/core. There are infinite combinations when you get into the 4+ day realm.
Whatever way you decide to divide it up, the key thing is that every muscle group has been touched at least once.
Getting it now?
Once you understand that, then what it really comes down to is your personal schedule.
How many times per week can you realistically and consistently commit to working out?
Rule #2: Only do what you can do consistently.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Be realistic, and be consistent.
Don't bite off more than you can chew. Be realistic, and be consistent.
Maybe you don’t try to do a five day body-part split like a bodybuilder, when you work a full time job, have have a wife and kids to get home to.
For most people, I’ve found that two to three times per week is realistic and reasonable. Not too much, not too little, it’s just right.
For that reason, I am a big fan of full body workouts.
I program full body workouts for all of my clients at least once per week, as well as for myself.
Starting the week with a full body workout means you already checked off the most important box and followed rule #1: you worked every muscle.
Then you are free to work on anything else the rest of the week, knowing you’ve already covered all of your bases.
Start to incorporate more full body workouts into your weekly routine, and I promise you’ll start to see more results.
And it’s not just scheduling that make full body workouts great. It is also scientifically proven to be better for muscle gain, as well as potentially allowing for more fat loss, due to the higher amount of volume (basically, you do more work doing full body. More work = more results).
Again, can it be more complicated than this? 100%. Programing is a highly advanced topic that people like myself study, read about, attend seminars, and practice for years. If you are interested in more intricate, comprehensive programming, that’s something I do for my one on one coaching clients.
To get you started, here is a great, effective, simple full body workout you can try the next time you head to the gym:
Circuit 1:choose a weight you can comfortably do 20 reps with for each exercise
15 reps per move, no rest between movements. Rest 1 min after a full circuit of all 3 movements, complete 3 rounds.
a) squat to overhead press
b) single arm cable row
c) dumbbell stability ball chest press
Circuit 2: 15 reps per move, no rest between movements. Rest 1 min after all 3, complete 3 rounds
a) reverse lunge
b) push up (use incline if you can’t do full bodyweight push-ups)
Give this workout a try, and let me know how it goes!
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