My workouts have evolved throughout the years. It first started with a lower/upper body split (3 days/wk). Then it was push/pull split (4 days/wk). Then it was a ‘one body part/day’ split (5 days/wk). Then it was circuit training (3 days/wk). Now I mainly focus on problem areas. I avoid certain exercises like calves and quads because I don’t need to build in that area. I focus on areas like my butt and abs a lot. I try to maintain by performing a circuit workout once a week for my chest/back/shoulders and arms. For cardio I focus my efforts on running and spinning. With work and family, my strength training is around 3x/week. It’s perfect though because I have trained for over ten years and built a strong foundation for my 30’s.
For most people, I would suggest they start with a push/pull/upper/lower body split – you should train 3-4 times a week for 30-45 minutes at a time. I perform no less than 3 sets and 10 reps for each exercise only breaking for 45-60 seconds in-between sets. I always add more intensity to each exercise (see below) and I check my heart rate to make sure it is beating anywhere between 130-180 bpm.
Also – I have to say that performing an exercise and learning how to vary it in the future is very easy once you get the gist on how your body works. For example, there’s only one way to build a bicep. You move your forearm from an extended position into a flexed position (curl). You can do this with barbells, dumbbells or cables. You can use one arm, both arms or interchangeably. You can sit, stand, stand on one leg, sit on an incline or lie on a bench. There are so many ways you can challenge your bicep exercise using the same movement but different exercise approach.
This is a great workout for those who have access to a gym or equipment at home. For those who are budgeted, I suggest you invest in weights (I have 5lb/10lb/15lb weights at home), or bands…these are all inexpensively bought at Target or Walmart. People also sell them at garage sales and Craigslist.
PUSH – Upper Body:
Pushups or Bench Press
Shoulder raises (side and front)
Tricep Extensions (I usually use cable)
Tricep Dips on bench
PULL – Upper Body:
Assisted pull ups or lat pull down
Back extension (or deadlift)
Bicep barbell/dumbell curls (sometimes I do 21’s)
Bicep cable curls
Lying Leg Curl
Need Intensity? Try this: (I ALWAYS utilize all of these suggestions in my workouts)
– Perform jumping jacks, step ups or jumping rope in-between sets
– Perform a “drop set” meaning that you will decrease the weight and finish the set until you fatigue
– Perform a “super set” meaning NO break between two different exercises. I like using opposing muscle groups, like performing pushup and pull-ups.
– Perform ab exercises in-between sets
– Challenge your balance by using free weights, stability balls or standing on one leg