Workout Structure at Any Level

When it comes to workout structure, most people are at a loss as to what they should be doing, how often they should be doing it, and how to individualize to meet their goals. It’s common for people to go through the motions without actually knowing how to work their body properly. In order to help shed some light on the subject, I created three templates to offer structure to those at a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level.


 

Beginner Workout Structure

  • Upper Body can be worked in a variety of ways. Making sure you target it on it’s own, one day a week will increase your ability to tone, tighten, and build lean muscle mass in your chest, back, shoulder, triceps, biceps, and traps.
  • Core and Cardio are a vital part of your routine. They ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, create a solid foundation for you to build upon, and allow you to burn some extra calories along the way.
  • Lower Body is more important than people give it credit for. Increasing strength and mobility in your lower half will help you avoid injuries, pain, and weight loss plateaus.
  • Active Rest is the most commonly skipped part of a fitness routine. People assume they need to constantly workout to achieve their goals. Instead, these days make or break your routine allowing you to make time for mobility work, work/life balance, and mental & physical focus for the rest of your week.

 

Intermediate Workout Structure

  • Back and Biceps being worked together is simple science. They are the prime upper body muscles that activate in pulling motions. Working them on their own day allows you to isolate them as a pair, but work both in a complimentary fashion.
  • Core and Cardio are a vital part of your routine. They ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, create a solid foundation for you to build upon, and allow you to burn some extra calories along the way.
  • Chest and Triceps  are two of the prime upper body muscles that activate in pushing motions. Pairing them together allows them to be fatigued while working together. Isolating them in this type of structure helps to work them safely and effectively.
  • Legs and Shoulders are best trained together when the majority of movements done are compound. Although on opposite ends of the body, isolating them on their own day can allow you to be effective and avoid injury.
  • Active Rest is the most commonly skipped part of a fitness routine. People assume they need to constantly workout to achieve their goals. Instead, these days make or break your routine allowing you to make time for mobility work, work/life balance, and mental & physical focus for the rest of your week.

 

Advanced Workout Structure

  • Back and Biceps being worked together is simple science. They are the prime upper body muscles that activate in pulling motions. Working them on their own day allows you to isolate them as a pair, but work both in a complimentary fashion.
  • Core and Cardio are a vital part of your routine. They ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, create a solid foundation for you to build upon, and allow you to burn some extra calories along the way.
  • Shoulders and Calves are best worked together when more advanced in fitness. Although not used together for any motions, they pair up nicely allowing for maximum isolation of each muscle group.
  • Core and Cardio are a vital part of your routine. They ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, create a solid foundation for you to build upon, and allow you to burn some extra calories along the way.
  • Chest and Triceps  are two of the prime upper body muscles that activate in pushing motions. Pairing them together allows them to be fatigued while working together. Isolating them in this type of structure helps to work them safely and effectively.
  • Legs  are the biggest powerhouse muscle group of the body. When you get to an advanced level, you will need an entire workout dedicated to them.
  • Active Rest is the most commonly skipped part of a fitness routine. People assume they need to constantly workout to achieve their goals. Instead, these days make or break your routine allowing you to make time for mobility work, work/life balance, and mental & physical focus for the rest of your week.

 

Contact me for more advice, tips, or questions on setting up work structure individualized to your specific goals!

How You’re Sabatoging Your Success

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s highly likely we are all getting in our own way. It’s a hard topic to discuss because even I’m insecure about the things that hold me back. But it’s time to clear the air and get out of our own heads. 

  1. Don’t measure your success based on other’s success. You absolutely should have role models but in most cases role models are those well versed and experienced in their area of expertise. If you could do all the things they can, or look the way they do, or achieve the recognition they get- then you’d probably pick someone even higher up in the industry to look up to. Measure your success only on yourself. Always strive to be better than yesterday and be happy knowing you’re working towards progress. 
  2. Your body’s physical and mental responses are out of your control. You might have cellulite, problem areas, anxiety, or just stubborn insecurities that won’t budge regardless of your hard work. Many of these things are controlled by chemical responses your body naturally has. If you are overwhelmed or frustrated, dissecting the issue won’t solve it. Your body recognizes stress and frustration and the longer you hold onto these things, the more your natural response will counteract your hard work. Easier said than done, but let it go. Accept yourself knowing you are putting your efforts in the right direction. 
  3. Bad days. We all have them, and throwing in the towel seems like the simplest thing to do. But don’t, don’t you dare. Science revolves around constants and variables. If you can create constants in your life, variables will have a more obvious reaction. Sticking to your fitness and nutrition goals for several days in a row and then having a few bad days is a difficult cycle for your body to handle. But don’t for one second think that the good days weren’t good, the hard truth is that your good days loose their momentum when bad days occur regularly. The best part of macro counting is the ability to fit in things you crave. Focus on making each day count so your body is confident in it’s constants and can adapt as you add in variables. 
  4. Second guesses ruin everything. Maybe you question yourself, maybe you question your trainer, or maybe you question if you should add in more modalities. It’s human nature to question things, but this can also hinder your ability to give 100%. If you lack confidence, you lack intention. If you lack intention, you lack focus. If your focus is blurred you run the risk of aimlessly going through the motions. Believe in yourself, research if necessary, and set an intention you can commit to.
  5. One-size-fits-all plans. Having and individualized plan means all your special circumstances, strengths and weaknesses, and goals are taken into consideration. Following a generic plan might help you get started, but in order to see specific results- you need a plan specified to your unique needs. Don’t run the risk of looking back and wishing you had a more well researched and scientifically founded plan sooner. 

If you have questions about your individual path to success, send me an email and we can talk them through! My email is balancebybrittany@gmail.com and I’d love to hear from you!

Bodyweight Leg Day +Core

Warm Up (1 Minute Rounds)

  • Jumping Jacks
  • High Knees
  • Butt Kicks
  • Leg Swing Toe Touches
  • Sumo Squats

(1 minute rest, repeat 2x)

Isolated Muscle Activation (1 Minute Rounds)

  • Squats Pulses
  • Lunge Pulses 
  • Glute Bridges

(1 minute rest, repeat 3x)

Explosive Movements (1 Minute Rounds)

  • Squats Jumps
  • Jumping Lunges
  • Single Leg Glute Bridges

(1 minute rest, repeat 3x)

Concentrated Core (1 Minute Rounds)

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Plank
  • Side Plank 
  • Heel Touches
  • Bicycles

(1 minute rest, repeat 3x) 

Ready, Set, Snack!

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they snack. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know what’s really good for you. Here’s a list of snack ideas that will leave a good impression.

  • Greek Yogurt- Look for one with low sugar and high protein.
  • Hard Boiled Eggs- Try one whole egg and two egg whites to keep the fat low.
  • Protein Shake- Blend in some spinach or kale with fruit.
  • Veggies and Humus- Don’t eat right from the humus containers- it’s too tempting.
  • String Cheese- Look for low-fat.
  • Fat free Bean Dip and Veggie Chips- Trader Joe’s is a good place to buy both these things
  • Cottage Cheese- Add a bit of fruit if you want some extra carbs!
  • Beef or Turkey Jerky- Look for low-fat and low sodium.
  • Edamame- Pre-cook some and eat throughout the week.
  • Protein Bars- Try and look for one that has equal or more protein than carbs.
  • Pumpkin Seeds- It’s that time of year, try making your own!
  • Trail Mix- Easy to buy or make on your own, destine to keep you full and energized.

Snacks can really make or break your day. They keep you full and focused. Beyond food, I use tea to keep my stomach full and my hands occupied. This is my favorite variety pack, trying something new is great to distract you till your next meal.

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At Home Lower Body & Core Workout

Circuit 1:

  • Body Weight Squats x 15
  • Side Plank- 1:00
  • Sumo Squats x 15
  • Side Plank- 1:00
  • Rest – 2:00

Repeat x 3


Circuit 2:

  • Static Lunges x 20 (10 each leg)
  • Heel Touch Crunches x 20
  • Side Lunges x 20 (10 each leg)
  • Russian Twist x 20
  • Rest 2:00

Repeat x 3


Circuit 3:

  • Walking Lunges x 20 (10 each leg)
  • 20 second Crunch Holds x 3
  • Glute Bridges x 12 (see video)
  • Plank -1:00
  • Rest – 2:00

Repeat x 3


Circuit 4:

  • Single Leg Glute Bridge x 20 (10 each leg, see video)
  • V-ups x 10
  • Squat Pulses x 30
  • Lunge Pulses x 30 ( 15 each leg)
  • Rest – 2:00

Repeat x3

 

At Home Upper Body & Core Workout

Circuit 1:

  • Hand Release Pushups x 10
  • Crunches x 10
  • Close Grip Pushups x 5
  • Plank – 30seconds
  • Rest-2:00

Repeat x 3


 

Circuit 2:

  • Supermans x 10
  • Bicycle crunches x 30
  • Side Plank, Hip Taps x 10
  • Plank Leg Lifts x 20
  • Rest- 2:00

Repeat x 3


Circuit 3:

  • Leg Climbers x 20 (10 each leg)
  • Leg lifts x 10
  • Slow Negative Pushup x 8
  • Plank Hand Lifts x 30 (see video)
  • Rest- 2:00

Repeat x3


Circuit 4:

  • Plank with elbow to knee touch x 10
  • Concentrated crunches (legs straight up, try to touch toes) x 10
  • Pushups with elevated feet x 10
  • Mountain climbers x 50
  • Rest – 2:00

Repeat x2

Chest, Tricep, & Shoulder Workout

The following workout is designed to stimulate an increase the lean muscle and strength of the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. It should be used as a single piece of a complete program in order for a trainee to accomplish their total-body goals. Keep in mind that while this workout may be great for many people- individual goals and current level of fitness are all factors in deciding whether or not to attempt this workout. Some people may not be fit enough to conduct this workout—alternatively some people may need to push themselves even harder to reach their goals.


The Warm-up

Begin with brisk walking (3.5-4.5mph) on an inclined (2-4%) treadmill for 5-10min

Next perform two sets of a seated Dumbell Shoulder Press for 15 repetitions each set. Select a weight light enough for you to perform the 15 repetitions without reaching momentary muscle failure. Rest 30 seconds and then perform another set of 15 reps.


The Workout

Perform the following exercises as listed. Complete all sets of each movement before moving to the next exercise. For warm-up sets select a weight for which you can perform the prescribed number of repetitions without reaching muscle failure. For the working sets, use a weight that causes muscle failure within the given rep-range.

If you reach muscle failure in a prescribed range of 3-5 reps you need to rest about 3-5minutes before moving on to your next set. Reaching failure in a range of 6-10 reps general requires rest for 60-120 seconds before attempting another set. Sets that prescribe 12-20 reps require rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

Work hard and select weight heavy enough to reach muscle failure as prescribed!


DB Shoulder Press – 1x warm-up set for 10-12, 2x working sets of6-8

BB Bench Press – 2x warm-up sets for 10-12, 3×4-6

Cable Chest Fly – 3×8-10

Tricep Dips – 3×8-10 (add weight using a belt if you need more of a challenge, or use the assist machine if you are unable to perform dips at all)

Cable Tricep Extension – 3×10-12

DB Lateral Raises – 3×10-12


The Finisher

Do three sets of push-ups to failure, resting only 30 seconds between sets.


Recovery

Ingesting fast-digesting protein and carbohydrates immediately post-workout will help muscles begin their recovery faster and improve the rate of strength and lean gains. Having another meal with protein and carbs 1.5-2 hours post-workout will additionally help your strength and lean muscle growth, as part of your comprehensive nutrition program.

Hump Day = Leg Day

A great set of legs is a must have for any fit physique. Whether you are looking to add a ton of muscle or just tone up for beach season, using a linear progression for your leg workouts can help you break through plateaus and give you legs you can’t wait to show off. The following program is broken into 3 different segments that complement each other in a way that will move you closer to your dream physique.


Leg Day Month 1:

Back Squat- 4 sets of 12

Stiff Leg Deadlift- 4 sets of 12

Goblet Squat- 4 sets of 10

Leg Curl- 3 sets of 10

Leg Extension- 3 sets of 10

Try using a machine if traditional deadlifts hurt your knees!


Leg Day Month 2:

Hip Abductor Machine- 3 sets of 12

Leg Press- 5 sets of 5

Sumo Deadlift- 4 sets of 8

Weighted Walking Lunges- 3 sets of 20 strides

Squat Walks- 2 sets of 20


Leg Day Month 3:

Smith Machine Split Squat- 3 sets of 10 (each leg)

Weighted or Single Leg Glute bridges- 4 sets of 20

Single leg dead lifts- 3 sets of 15 each leg

Box Jumps- 4 sets of 15

Kettle Bell Swings- 3 sets of 15

Upper Body, Trx & Kettlebell Workout

It’s easy to get in some resistance training with little to no equipment. This workout requires a Trx Strap and a Kettlebell! 

The workout targets your upper body! Goal is to do two minute rounds of each circuit followed by one minute rounds. Focus on form- stretch the intended muscle and then contract the muscle as hard as possible. Find a friend to try it with!