Keeping it Simple, A Basic Workout Template


Keeping it Simple, A Basic Workout Template

From time to time I like to get a little less scientific and keep it simple. A few days ago one of my clients brought her husband along for a workout. I asked him how he normally trains and he told me that he usually does circuit training and runs a few days per week. Rather than put him through a “real workout,” I designed him a basic template and taught him how to use good form on the various exercises.

He’s definitely a beginner so he doesn’t need any advanced exercises. By the time we finished, I hadn’t planned on pushing him however he was working hard and sweating lots.  Full body workouts are very metabolically demanding so they get you lean and strong at the same time.

In around 90 minutes, I was able to teach him how to do most of the exercises in the template. I kept quizzing him so he’d learn the template categories and the names of the exercises. He is lucky in that he possesses good joint mobility and decent levels of joint stability which allowed him to use good form on all exercises.

All he needs is some good old fashioned strength. Below is what I wrote for him. This template is very similar to what many other strength coaches and trainers use, which is a testament to it’s effectiveness.

Basic Workout Template 

The rules.

Keep it simple, If you can do more than 20 reps, it’s too light. Move up in resistance. Try to stay in the 6-12 rep range most of the time.

Rest 60-120 seconds in between sets.

Perform 2-3 sets of each exercise.

Perform the routine 2-4 days per week.

Write down your workouts in a journal and try to move up in resistance or repetitions over time.

Pick one exercise from each category below. Pick different movements throughout the week.

1. Quad Dominant Exercise – goblet squat, Bulgarian squat, step up, reverse lunge

2. Hip Dominant Exercise – Romanian deadlift, glute bridge, back extension,

3. Horizontal Press – push up, dumbbell bench press, dumbbell incline press, bench press, incline press

4. Horizontal Pull – one arm row, inverted row, chest supported row, seated row

5. Vertical Press – dumbbell military press, barbell military press

6. Vertical Pull – underhand grip pulldown, wide grip pulldown, chin up, parallel grip pull up, pull up

7. Anterior Core – front plank, stability ball rollout

8. Lateral or Rotary Core – side plank, Pallof press

That’s it! I agree It looks basic but this is all he needs at the moment. If you’re thinking about starting up a training regimen, this one is very effective and very well balanced. Keeping good strength balances is key to long term lifting and longevity. Over time more advanced exercises and more variety would need to be incorporated but it’s important to get good at the basics first. There are lots of good exercises that I could have included such as single leg box squats, single leg RDL’s, standing cable rows, pull throughs, kettlebell swings, hip thrusts, Turkish get ups, farmer’s walks, sled pushes, face pulls, cable chops to name a few, but the point is to keep it simple and give people basic movements upon which they can progress. There’s plenty of time down the road for more movements and variety. This one will serve him well for several months to come!

Happy Training…


3 thoughts on “Keeping it Simple, A Basic Workout Template

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