The Easiest Way to Create a Kick-Ass Total Body Workout
You’re in the gym, there’s dumbbells, barbells and all sorts of equipment available and yet – you have no idea what you’re going to do for a workout.
While part of me wants to yell at you for putting yourself in this position, another part of me wants to help you get through this difficult time, realizing that it may not be your fault.
If you’re following a workout plan, like the personalized plan you’ll receive through my online coaching program, you’ll know exactly what to do. However, maybe you don’t have a program to follow or maybe you just want to switch things up today. Well, what should you do? What’s an easy way to structure your workout for the day without leaving anything out? Worry no more my friend, I’ve got you covered. I’ll show you an easy way to structure a kick-ass total body workout to help take the guess work out of training.
Logistics…What can weights do for you?
There are a plethora of ways to structure your workout and within that structure you have even more training methods – from straight sets to supersets to cluster sets to giant sets – but we’ll save the details of all those sets for another day. Today, the focus is on the general structure, exercise selection and exercise order, to make it as easy as possible to create a kick-ass workout.
Before we dive into the easy workout template to use we have to first look at what types of exercises you can include in the first place.
Types of Exercises to Include
For the purposes of allowing you some flexibility with creating your workout we first have to talk about exercise categories quick. Your workouts will be structured based on choosing exercises from different categories. Here are the ones I use with some exercises that could be included in each:
- Double Leg – Deadlifts, Squats, Leg Press
- Single Leg – Lunges, Step Ups, Split Squats
- Posterior Chain – Romanian Deadlift, Leg Curl, Ex. Ball Leg Curl, Good Mornings (Yes, that’s an actual exercise if you didn’t know, not to be confused with good afternoons, good evenings, or good nights.)
- Upper Vertical Push – Military Press, Push Press, Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Upper Vertical Pull – Pull Up, Lat Pulldown
- Upper Horizontal Push – Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench Press, Push Up, Dips
- Upper Horizontal Pull – Bent Over Row, Inverted Row, Single Arm Dumbbell Row
- Combo Exercises – Clean and Press, lunge w/press, Lunge w/ curl, step up w/squat, step up w/ press
- Auxiliary – Bicep Curl, Tricep Extension, Lateral Raise, Calf Raise
- Explosive – Any Plyometric Exercise (Depth Jumps, Box Jumps, Squat Jumps), Olympic Lifts (Cleans, Snatches)
- Cardio – Jumping Jacks, Battle Ropes, Gait Swings, Jam Ball Slams
Every exercise in the world isn’t listed besides each category, but you can use equipment like the TRX and resistance bands to do similar exercises as the ones listed above. If you have a specific question, leave a comment after the post, because there’s no way I’m listing every exercise known to man in the list above 🙂
You’ll see in the example workout structures to follow that I don’t include all of the categories in each – there’s a reason. I don’t think every person needs to do exercises from each category and, quite frankly, some people shouldn’t do certain exercises.
Example Structure – Fat Loss
Want to create a kick-ass total body workout to drop some body fat? Here’s one format I use with my coaching clients. Is it the end-all-be-all program and the only workout structure you should ever use? Yes, it’s the best, bar none. Hehe, just kidding. In all seriousness, it’s a great structure to use, especially if you’re a beginner.
1a – Double Leg
1b – Upper Push
1c – Upper Pull
2a – Single Leg
2b – Upper Push
2c – Upper Pull
3a – Posterior Chain
3b – Auxiliary 1
3c – Auxiliary 2
4 – Finisher (Here are some options)
This structure is broken down into groups of three. For this type of fat loss workout you’d go through each exercise in the group of three once, taking as little rest as possible between exercises and a longer rest after completing all three, before beginning again or moving on to the next group of exercises. Also, you can add in cardio exercises like battle ropes, jumping jacks, jump rope and so on after each exercise grouping to kick things up another notch.
Example Structure – Muscle Gain
A little different than fat loss workout above, this muscle building total body workout has two main lifts, lower body and upper body, and then alternates between workout pairs of lower and upper body exercises. You’ll have more recovery time with a muscle building program than you would with a fat loss program, but you’ll still lift heavy objects, put them down and repeat.
1 – Double Leg
2 – Upper Push or Pull
3a – Single Leg
3b – Upper Push or Pull
4a – Posterior Chain
4b – Upper Push or Pull
5 – Auxiliary
I’m all about simplifying your workouts, so in the spirit of keeping things uber easy for you here are 4 types of exercises to include in every workout you do to ensure your total body workout hits all the major muscle groups and completely kicks your ass.
1a – Double Leg
1b – Upper Pull
1c – Single Leg
1d – Upper Push
There are a million different workouts you could do. That’s a shit-ton of workout options for you to choose from. While it’s great that it allows you plenty of variety in your workout life, it can also be overwhelming – leading to you doing nothing at all. This article should help give you more of an idea of how to structure your workouts, but there is another way – online coaching. Want to learn more about my coaching program? Check it out here.