What Exercises Should I Do?

What Exercises Should I Do?

Trying to start a workout routine? Just keep it simple!

I always recommend doing a full body routine that you can do two or three times a week. This is perfect for most clients and on your off days from weight training you can get in some cardio.

You want a routine that has at least one exercise for your quads (front of your legs), butt and hamstrings (back of your legs), your push muscles, your pull muscles, and your core.  So a full body routine should only focus on four or five exercises.

  • Quads – squats, lunges, leg press, leg extension.
  • Butt and Hamstrings – bridges/hip raises, step ups, glute kickbacks, leg curl.
  • Push (chest, shoulders, and triceps) – overhead press, bench press, incline dumbbell press, pushups, dips.
  • Pull (back, biceps, and forearms) – chin ups, pull ups, inverse body weight rows, dumbbell rows, seated cable row, lat pull down.
  • Core (abs and lower back) – planks, side planks, exercise ball crunches, mountain climbers, hanging leg raises.

So just pick one exercise from each of the groups above for a workout, and you’ll work about every single muscle in your body. These are just a few examples, but they are my favorite major exercises.

Add some variation – If you do the same routine, three days a week, for more than 4-6 weeks your muscles will adapt.  If you do bench presses on Monday, go with shoulder presses on Wednesday and dips on Friday.  Squats on Monday? Try lunges on Wednesday and leg press on Friday.  Pick a different exercise each time and your muscles will stay surprised and continue to respond.

Lastly, your muscles don’t build in gym, they build when you’re resting. Give your muscles 48-72 hours to recover between workouts.  A Monday-Wednesday-Friday workout works well to ensure enough time to recover and you can do cardio on the off days! Always take at least one day of full rest a week. I also highly recommend yoga/stretching at least once a week.

Sets of 4 is usually a good starting point and if you’re looking to burn fat while building some muscle, keep your number of repetitions per set in the 8-15 range. However, you want to vary this as well.

Reps in the 1-5 range build super dense muscle and strength (called myofibrillar hypertrophy).

Reps in the 6-12 range build a somewhat equal amounts of muscular strength and muscular endurance.

Reps in the 12+ range build muscular endurance and size (this is called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy).

A good weightlifting workout timeframe is about 30-60mins., longer than that is not needed.

Always warm up 5-10mins and always cool down/stretch!

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