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I’d like to share my current workout program.

Now that gyms are starting to reopen throughout California, it’s time to start picking up some weights again! Just like January’s New Years Resolutioners, many people will be flocking to the gym to begin their training. Here’s my workout routine — you can use it as a template if you feel stuck or unsure where to begin.

This workout is meant for someone who is familiar with free weights, has had some gym experience in the past, and is looking to train for both strength and cardiovascular improvements.

Early Morning Cardio

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays I begin the morning with a 10-15 minute run. This is not meant to be your cardiovascular solution, but rather an opportunity to kick start your metabolism. As an inexperienced runner, even the 10-15 minutes will elevate my heart rate, send blood throughout my body, and give my heart and lungs something productive to do. I find this is a great way to wake up, get. some fresh air, and get the body moving.

If you have a bicycle, great! I ride my bike on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays for about 20-30 minutes in the morning (all though sometimes I ride in the evening, depending on my schedule). This is a good opportunity to alternate between running and cycling, while still maintaining an early morning start.

Weight Training

I lift weights 6 times per week with the emphasis around hypertrophy, meaning I’m aiming for 10-12 tough repetitions. Also, most of the exercises begin with 1 or 2 sets of a warm up weight performed for approximately 15-20 repetitions. During my working sets, I increase the weight by about 5-10% per set if and only if I can complete the full 10 rep set without trouble. Furthermore, I continue to increase the weight until I reach failure. When I hit failure, I’ll drop the weight by 40% and then perform a new 10-12 reps. This pertains to the main exercises, which I will denote with an (M) after the title.

Before I begin lifting, I do a 5 minute warm up on an assault bike or ergo rower, depending on if I’m training upper body or lower body. Following the cardio, I spend 5-10 minutes working on various stretches and mobility to help improve my lifting function (I struggle with adequate ROM and general joint flexibility). During this time, I also start training my core using bracing and isometric techniques, such as various planks, leg raises, and controlled sit-ups, amounting approximately 100 total repetitions across 5-8 different exercises. These are always performed prior to lifting, but the exact exercise selection varies from day-to-day.

Monday – Legs (Quad Dominant)

Weights:
Leg Extension Machine: 4 sets x 20 repetitions (last 5 should burn pleasantly)
Barbell Squat (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Leg Press (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 30% until you reach fail)
Narrow Stance Goblet Squat: 4 sets x 15-20 repetitions (go for volume)
Bulgarian Split Squat: 2-3 sets x 10 repetitions per side
Cardio/Conditioning:
Assault Bike: 1x60s (easy), 3x30s (moderate/hard), 3x15s (max intensity)
Ab Wheel Rollout: 10 repetitions after each set on assault bike

Tuesday – Back (And Biceps)

Weights:
Straight Arm Lat Pulldown: 4 sets x 20 repetitions (last 5 should burn)
Barbell Bent Row (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Lat Pulldown* (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
EZ Bar Bicep Curl: 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions underhand + 10 repetitions overhand
T-Bar Row: 3 sets x 12 repetitions (continue adding weight each set)(superset with Rear-Delt)
Bent Rear-Delt Fly: 3 sets x 15 repetitions (superset with T-Bar Row)
Cardio/Conditioning:
Erg Rower: 5 sets of 60s (moderate/hard)
Hanging Leg Raise: 5 sets of As Many Reps as Possible (AMRAP) after each set on rower

*Lat Pulldown: I vary grip width from one day to another

Wednesday – Chest (And Triceps)

Weights:
Standing Cable Chest Fly*: 4 sets x 20 repetitions (last 5 should burn)
Barbell Bench Press (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Dumbbell Incline Press (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Tricep Rope Pushdown: 4-6 sets x 20 repetitions (last 5 should burn)
Dumbbell Chest Fly: 3 sets x 12 repetitions (superset with Pushups)
Pushups: 3 sets x AMRAP (superset with Dumbbell Chest Fly)
Cardio/Conditioning:
Erg Skier: 3 sets of 200m sprints
Plank – Hip Rotation/Twists: 3 sets x 10 per side after each set on skier

*Standing Cable Chest Fly: I alternate between low, middle, and high fly’s

Thursday – Legs (Hamstring Dominant)

Weights:
Prone Hamstring Machine: 4 sets x 20 repetitions (light/moderate, focus on hamstring contraction)
Barbell Hip Thrust (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Dumbbell Deadlifts (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Dumbbell Side Lunge: 3 sets x 12 repetitions
Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets x 20 repetitions
Cardio/Conditioning:
Woodway/Curve Treadmill Runs/Sprints: 1 x 200m, 3 x 100m, 1 x 200m
Reverse Crunches: 5 sets of 10 repetitions after each run

Friday – Shoulders

Weights:
Rotator Cuff Warmups*: 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions (light, focus on warming up shoulder)
Dumbbell Shoulder Press (M): 4-6 sets x 10 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Dumbbell Lateral Raise (M): 3-4 sets x 12 repetitions (continue adding 5% until you reach fail)
EZ Bar Front Raise (M): 3-4 sets x 12 repetitions (continue adding 5% until you reach fail)
Face Pull: 3-4 sets x 15-20 repetitions
Cardio/Conditioning:
Assault Bike (arms only): 5 sets x 30 seconds
Plank – Side Hip Dips: 5 sets x 10 per side

Saturday – Arms

Weights*:
Bicep-Focused BW Chin Up: 3 sets of AMRAP
Tricep-Focused BW Dip: 3 sets of AMRAP
Barbell/EZ Bar Curl (M): 4-6 sets x 12 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
EZ Bar Skull Crusher (M): 4-6 sets x 12 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Dumbbell Hammer Curl (M): 4-6 sets x 12 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Tricep Bar Pushdown (M): 4-6 sets x 12 repetitions (continue adding 20% until you reach fail)
Cardio/Conditioning:
Battle Ropes: 5 sets x 30-45 seconds (max intensity)
Alt. Sit V-Ups: 5 sets x 10 per side (after each Battle Ropes set)

*Weights: All exercises are a superset of biceps/triceps

Suggestions, Not Rules

As always, the above workout is simply a suggested workout template to follow. Remember, you should always consult your physician prior to starting a new exercise program. All exercises can be substituted out for something similar!

See you on the next one!

Cheers,

Mathias