Ever went to the gym and asked yourself “what should I do for a workout?”. Today is your lucky day! We are going to help you with that
In this guide, we’re gonna build you a custom workout program, step-by-step!
After all, a workout should be developed around a person’s biology, age, goals, diet, free time, etc.
Not only that, but it’s easy to over complicate this process – there are an infinite number of exercises, sets, reps, and programs to choose from.
Now, if you’re somebody that wants to skip all of that, and JUST want to be told what to do exactly,
We build customized workouts for our member and would love to have you. We want to know your story and struggles, your goals, and your lifestyle, and develop a workout plan that fits your schedule.
OKAY! Are you ready to start building your own routine and want to know how its done?
Great! Let’s do this:
Step #1: Determine Your “Get in Shape” Situation
First we need to answer a few key questions:
QUESTION 1: What are your goals?
Are you trying to lose weight or win a bet?
Are you trying to tone, build or build up muscles?
Are you preparing for any event or your first marathon?
Whatever your goals are, it’s good to write them down and be aware of what you’re trying to accomplish.
These goals will shape HOW you build your workout.
QUESTION 2: How much time can you devote to exercise?
If you can do an hour a day, that’s fantastic.
If you have a wife or husband, three kids, a dog, two jobs, and no robot butler, then maybe you only have thirty minutes, twice a week.
That’s fine too! Whatever your time commitment is, developing the most efficient workout is crucial. Why spend two hours in a gym when you can get just as much accomplished in 30 minutes, right? Proper expectations! make sure you are thinking about your journey with a realistic timeline:
QUESTION 3: WHERE do you want to work out?
At home? at the park? at the gym? pick a place that you are comfortable
At this point, we should have:
Determine your “get in shape” goals.
Decided how much time you have to train.
Picked WHERE you want to work out.
We can now start to build your workout routine, your daily workout plan, and your monthly workout schedule!
Let’s do it.
Step #2: What Exercises Should I do to lose weight (or build muscle?)
Here in BMT, we have our 6 options:
3) Muscles tone
4) Weight loss
5) Cardio training
All these revolves around getting stronger with multi levels. A good start will be weight training and get really good at the basic movements and focus on getting stronger each week.
If you get really strong at squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, and push-ups, you will build an incredible physique to be proud of.
Then, once you get confident in those movements, feel free to add some variety.
If you do the same exact routine, three days a week, for months and months, you might get bored, and start slacking, or you might hit a stagnant phase.
So if you find yourself getting bored, feel free to stick with the above ‘formula,’ but change the ingredients:
If you follow the international bench Monday's, go with shoulders and arms on Wednesday and cardio on Friday. Squats on Monday? Try lunges on Wednesday and sprints on Friday. You can keep dead-lifts every Wednesday, but change up the sets and reps you pick!
If you hit a plateau or find yourself getting bored, pick a different exercise to improve so you’ll stay challenged, and you’ll actually DO the workout!
Step #3: How Many Sets And Reps Should I Do?
SIMPLE ANSWER: Not including a warm-up, I recommend:
3 to 5 sets per exercise. 8 to 10 reps per set when starting out.
LONGER ANSWER: As we cover in our Step 3 in the guide, a “set” is a series of repetitions that you complete without stopping.
For example, if you drop down and do 10 push-ups right now, you just did 1 SET of 10 REPETITIONS (or REPS) of push-ups.
Some general rules on repetitions you can follow as you’re starting to build your workout plan:
The High N Low
High rep Low weights,
Low rep High weights,
The Middle Class
Moderate weight and high or low rep,
Pyramid build up or down
Maintain weight and drop or increase the number or repetition after each set
There are some other generally accepted ‘rules’
Reps in the 1-5 range build super dense muscle and strength
Reps in the 6-12 range build a somewhat equal amounts of muscular strength and muscular size
Reps in the 12+ range build muscular endurance.
A 2015 study called into question the best rep strategy for building muscle or size:
“It appears that high-intensity resistance (sets of 3-5 reps) training stimulates greater improvements in some measures of strength and hypertrophy in resistance-trained men during a short-term training period [compared to sets of 8-10 reps].”
What this means: Do not freak yourself out by worrying if you should do 4 sets or 5 sets of 8 reps or 10 reps.
Our advice would be to START with lighter weight and more reps as you learn the movement, and then decide if you want to stay at higher reps and lower weight or vice versa.
You do you, because either one will get you results!
The only thing you need to worry about: get stronger the next time you do that movement: either pick up a heavier weight, or do 1 more repetition than last time.
Step #4: How Long Should I Wait Between Sets?
Keep it simple,
Below is a basic formula for you to determine how long you should wait between sets, but this can be adjusted based on your level of health.
The goal is to wait the least amount of time you need, but still rest enough that you can perform all reps for the next set safely and properly!
Here are some guidelines for how long to rest based on how heavy you’re lifting (not rules set in stone!):
1-3 Reps (lifting heavy for strength/power): Rest for 3 to 5 minutes between sets.4-7 Reps (lifting for strength): Rest for 2 to 3 minutes between sets.8-12 Reps (lifting for size/strength): Rest for 1 to 2 minutes between sets.13 Reps+ (lifting for endurance): Rest long enough to recover to allow you to do the next long-ass set!
If you need more or less rest than the above recommendations, that’s fine.
Do the best you can, record how long it takes you to rest between sets, and try to rest for shorter periods in the future.
Your body will adjust as you get stronger and healthier!
Step #5: How Much Weight Should I Lift?will it hurt
The simple to learn but tough to implement answer:
“Lift enough so that you can get through the set, but not too much that you have NO fuel left in the tank at the end.”
How do you determine how much that is?
Trial and error.
ALWAYS err on the side of “too light” versus “too heavy” when starting out.
It’s better to say “I bet I could have done more!” instead of “that was too much, and now I need to go to the hospital!”
If you’re doing exercises with just your body weight, you need to make each exercise more difficult as you get in shape – once you get past 20 reps for a particular exercise and you’re not gassed, it’s time to mix things up.
Step #6: How Long Should I Exercise For? How Long Should My Workout Be?
Easy answer: 45 minutes to an hour. work with what you got
Longer answer: If you’re doing 15-25 sets of total exercise (3-5 sets for your 5 exercises), you should be able to get everything done within that 45-minute block.
Now, factor in a five or ten-minute warm up and then cooling down, and the workout can go a little bit longer.
If you can go for over an hour and you’re not completely worn out, try increasing the intensity.
Less time, more intensity, better results.
What if you don’t have 45 minutes?
Do the best you can!
Maybe you want to build some cardio into your weight training.
That’s where these next section comes in.
Step #7: How to Create Supersets and Circuit Training Workouts
Strength training in a circuit training set up is the most efficient way to burn fat when exercising:
You’re getting a cardiovascular workout by consistently moving from exercise to exercise.You’re exercising different muscles back to back, giving each muscle group a chance to recover, but in a condensed amount of time. Efficiency for the win!
If you’re familiar with CrossFit, many of the workouts are built on circuit principles.
This is also the most effective way to make you involuntarily swear at inanimate objects because you’re so tired and beat up.
We’re going to cover TWO things here:
Super sets (or alternating sets).Workout circuits.
Do a set of squats, wait one minute, then do a set of dumbbell presses, wait one minute, then do your next set of squats, and so on.
Because you’re exercising two completely different muscle groups, you can exercise one while the other is “resting.”
You’re now getting the same workout done in half the time.
Also, because you’re resting less, your body has to work harder so your heart is getting a workout too.
A circuit requires you to do one set for EVERY exercise, one after the other, without stopping.
After you’ve done one set of each exercise in succession, you then repeat the process two, or three, or four more times.
Step #8: How Many Days per Week Should I Train?
We get this question quite a bit, usually from people who decide they are going to go from “sitting on the couch” to “exercising 7 days per week.”
I would advise something different.
I mean you can still watch your favorite , but you don’t need to be training 7 days a week!
Not only that, but you’re going to burn out quickly and fall back to square one.
Instead, focus on building proper habits and set a goal of 2-3 full body workouts per week.
For starters, your muscles don’t get built in the gym.
They actually get broken down in the gym, and then get rebuilt stronger while you’re resting.
By giving your muscles 48 hours to recover between workouts, especially when training heavy, you’ll stay injury free and get stronger.
A Monday-Wednesday-Friday workout routine works well to ensure enough time to recover, especially when you are just getting started.
If you want to do Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday, or Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday, great.
Personally, I stuck with a Monday-Wednesday-Friday full day routine for nearly 10 years and just focused on getting stronger with each movement.
Step #9: Keep Track Of Everything!
Last but not least, keep a workout journal!
As they say, that which gets measured gets improved.
You should be getting stronger, faster, or more fit with each day of exercise.
Around these parts, we say “Level up your life, every single day.”
so track and measure of time to time
Maybe you can lift more weight, lift the same amount of weight more times than before, or you can finish the same routine faster than before.
I note the sets, reps, weight, and date.
Don’t over complicate it:
Write down the date and your sets, reps, and weight for each exercise.Compare yourself to your previous workout with those exercises.Focus on getting stronger (more reps, heavier weight, an additional set, etc.) Repeat.