Instead of just giving you a list of sample workouts, today I am going to teach you how to build a training program that gets results so you can design one that better aligns with your specific goals and needs. Ready to jump in?!
There are five basic requirements to keep in mind:
Requirement #1: Cover All Basic Movement Patterns
When designing your training program, you need to make sure you include exercises that cover these seven fundamental movements:
- Pushing – examples include the push up, dip, and pike or handstand pushup
- Pulling – examples include the pull up, chin up, and row
- Squatting – examples include the front squat, back squat, and goblet squat
- Lunging – examples include the basic lunge, step up, side lunge, and Bulgarian split squat
- Hinging – examples include the deadlift, sumo deadlift, and Romanian deadlift
- Rotating – examples include the wood chopps and the Pallof press
- Conditioning – examples include the heavy carries and cardiovascular exercises like jogging, jumping rope, and …. burpees!
The goal here is to develop well rounded fitness and athleticism that you can use in your everyday life.
Requirement #2: Always Use Proper Form
Of course, if you want to make the most out of your workouts (and stay injury free), you’ll need to also make sure that you’re performing every movement with the best form possible. Use technology to help. Regularly record videos of yourself to see how you’re moving. PRO TIP: post every video on social media for validation. Haha! Ok, maybe just post some of the videos!
Even with regular videos it can be quite challenging to correct your own form, especially if you’re a beginner and you don’t have a professional coach guiding you. So, unless you’re 100% sure you know what you’re doing, your best bet is to at least consult with a professional first before designing your at-home training program.
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Requirement #3: Incorporate Variance
The human body is designed to survive not perform. You must train it to perform. So unless you give it a super compelling reason to get bigger, stronger, or faster (i.e., through resistance training), it will stay as it is. And even when you do give it one, it will stop progressing again once it makes the necessary adaptations to handle the loads you’re subjecting it to.
So, how do you keep improving? You keep pushing your body to adapt to new things—and that’s exactly what being constantly varied is all about.
Simply put, if you want to keep making progress in your fitness, you’ll have to stay out of the rut. Keep changing it up. Variables you can switch are things like reps, time, loading, and movement selection.
Requirement #4: Prioritize Compound Movements
This one just means you should do more multi-joint exercises like push ups, squats, and pull ups and fewer single-joint movements like bicep curls, leg extensions, and front delt raises.
Compound or multi-joint exercises, as the term suggests, not only hit multiple muscle groups at once, they also allow you to lift much heavier loads. This means they’ll help you get leaner, stronger, and faster more efficiently than isolation or single-joint movements ever could.
So, does this mean isolation exercises have no place in your program? Not at all! You see, single-joint movements are great for training lagging body parts and for rehab/prehab work.
Shoulder bugging you? Do some isolation movements to strengthen the stabilizers. Low back pain while running? Strengthen your anterior core through isometric exercises. At the end of the day, the goal is to start with compound movements and just add isolation exercises to plug any holes you see in your training along the way.
Requirement #5: Get the Right Equipment
At the very least, try to invest in a pair of adjustable dumbbells or a few kettlebells. Doing so would give you pretty much everything you need to cover all the seven fundamental movements we’ve shared with you earlier and incorporate a lot of variance in your training.
But can’t you just do bodyweight exercises instead?
Of course you can. But keep in mind that it’s much more challenging to, say, do your first push up than to press a pair of 5 lbs dumbbells and progress from there. The same goes for pull ups versus starting with light dumbbell rows to hit your back and biceps.
And it’s much harder to progress with bodyweight exercises too. Going from squats to pistol squats, for instance, is no cakewalk.
For cardio, while jogging, jumping rope, and burpees are all phenomenal, they might not be the best exercises for you if you’re injured. Although pricey buying something like a rowing machine or air bike will give you some more options. They will work your arms, core, and legs at the same time.
Of course, knowing what’s required to build a training program that works is just one part of the equation. You also need to figure out the right exercises, total training volume, and training frequency for your specific fitness goals. Additionally, even the best training plan won’t benefit you if it doesn’t get executed. We can help. Our Online Remote Coaching Program could be the perfect fit. We design your workouts, give you a nutrition plan, and hold you accountable. Your personal coach will check in daily or weekly with you through text, email, or phone. We are not drill sergeants. We are compassionate coaches who will answer all your fitness questions and help you achieve your fitness goals. Ready to get started? Just click the link below!