One of the biggest mistakes people make in trying to get stronger or meet specific goals is changing things too often. Today I want to show you how to put together your own program from the vast array of workouts here on the site By doing this, you will see more progress in your training goals and be able to set more realistic goals in the future.
:::: Remember that different coaches will have different styles, but each coach should take the things I am listing into consideration ::::
If you chop and change the exercises too frequently, you will never get stronger at them, so keep doing the same workouts for 4-6 weeks at a time. Don’t give up before you give them a chance!
The good thing is that most of my workouts provide you with the means to reach most general fitness goals at home. While the real heavy lifting can mostly only be performed in the gym environment, I personally feel that major progress (or at least maintenance) can be achieved with your body weight and some Kettlebells/Dumbbells etc. Progress for beginners; maintenance for experienced lifters. However, I would argue to experienced lifters that a period of “maintenance training” can aid in much needed recovery/mobility work that can then carry forward into the next phase of your more intense training – it provides a boost, so to speak.
Much in the same way as you would Create a Balanced Workout, I advise you to first select the important movement patterns (in various directions of movement) to help cover all bases, and then simply chose the exercises/or ready-made balanced workouts from my archives that fit the bill and make sure that you cover each movement throughout the week.
If it was, I don’t think there would be so many trainers out there designing imbalanced workouts and imbalanced programs. But that’s a whole other article/rant!
In order to try to keep things as simply as possible, I have included what I consider to be the most basic/essential elements to cover. More specialised/specific elements can be added down the road, or you can request a more detailed and personalised program by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Basic Movements to try and include throughout the week –> with consideration given to bilateral, unilateral variations and the direction of the movement ( eg forward and backward; up and down; side to side, rotation etc)
- Quad Dominant exercises eg: Squats, Lunges, Lateral Lunges, Step Ups etc
- Hip/Hamstring Dominant exercises eg: Deadlifts, Swings, Good Morning, Pull-Throughs etc
- Glute Dominant Exercises –> Glute Bridges, Hip Thrusts, X-Band Walks, Band Abduction etc
- Upper Body Push –> Push Up, Overhead Press, Floor Press, Bench Press etc
- Upper Body Pull –> Single Arm Rows, Renegade Row, Pull/Chin Ups etc
- Front Core –> Front Plank (stabilise), hanging leg raises (mobilise) etc
- Side (rotary) Core –> Side Plank (stabilise), Side Bend (mobilise) etc
As you can see, there is quite a lot to think over, but on top of that you need to consider the following:
Changing the direction
Often, we get stuck moving one direction and even more so, we get stuck standing in one spot while exercising. This is good for many strength exercises, but not good for overall movement quality, agility, balance, co-ordination and … even FUN! So we must move in all directions to get the full benefit of our training. This is something I learned the hard way :-/
You might be thinking “when will I ever get the time to include all this stuff?” well, many of these things can be included in your warm up and even as part of a conditioning “finisher” after your strength section
:::: Remember that just because you don’t use a lot of weight in some directions, does not mean you are not getting stronger –> because strength should be build on strong movements ::::
Some ideas to add in (maybe once per week for variety):
- Side Lunges, Monkey Hustle, Moon Walking (as demonstrated by the lovely Nia Shanks *Teehee*)
- KB Juggling … something I have yet to try!
- Animal movement drill
- Agility drill (eg T-Drills)
- Rotational exercises (Russian Twists, Figure of 8, Chops, Band Rotations etc)
Activate, Mobilise, Strengthen, Stretch and Stabilise
Again, a lot to consider. But have a think about what your training AND lifestyle are doing to your body or, indeed, not doing. For example: do you have tight ankles, tight hips, poor core or shoulder stability, shortened hamstrings or dormant glutes??
You may not even know if you have any existing problems, so I recommend trying to cover most of these by:
- Adding Glute Activation and Mobility drills to your warm-up – if you know you have an “issue” with Hip Mobility (for example), this is when you should spend a little extra time on it.
- Or – you can activate or mobilise areas right before a specific exercise or between sets eg: Bird-Dogs and Hip Mobility work between sets of Hip Thrusts or KB Swings.
- Strength being the focus of the workout … strengthen your body as a unit working together (which is why I love full body training)
- Work on Stability at the end of the workout – save your planks, overhead carries etc until you have done the bulk of your training, so as not to fatigue those smaller muscles
- Stretch as part of your cool-down.
Putting it all together
Free Sample Program
Workout 1 – Strength
Workout 2 – Strength
- Overhead Carries (DB/KB): x 30 seconds (each side)
- Skater Hops: x 30 seconds
- Band Seated Abduction: x 15-20 reps