Beginners Guide to Creating a Workout

As a personal trainer majority of my job is coming up with workouts that are unique to each individual. They have to be challenging, but mindful of each clients specific needs. The difference between just writing a random workout and creating something that will WORK all lays in the science. There are biological responses that happen within your body during exercise. ATP is utilized as energy and actin and myosin create the muscle contractions while microscopic tears happen within the muscle… sounds fun right? Basically energy is utilized in the muscle when it becomes under tension, in order to make a contraction. The muscle will get tears when you put it under resistance and in turn will grow back stronger.

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The scientific visual of how a muscle contracts

The first aspect of a workout that you want to include is starting with a dynamic warm up.  Its important to do a dynamic (going through movement) warm ups rather than static stretching (where you hold a stretch) because dynamically moving the body through ranges of motion helps improve your mobility and gets your body warm and ready for exercise. Doing this in the beginning also helps decrease the risk of injury. I personally think that this part of the session is the most important and often times the most neglected. If there is anything that you take away from this blog post its that you NEED to incorporate some sort of mobility and dynamic warm up into your training session! Some examples include foam rolling, hip circles, arm circles, bridges, clams, cat cows… the list goes on!

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Foam rolling the glutes using a Trigger Point Therapy foam roller

Now that your body is prepped for exercise its time to dive into your workout! With the overwhelming amount of exercises posted on social media it can be hard to know where to start! The key is being mindful of what muscles are being worked and keeping in mind what your goals are and what you want to focus your workout on.

Some simple ways to string together a workout include: alternating push and pull movements, alternating between upper and lower body, or doing a super set that can utilize both.

Alternating between push pull:

This is a commonly used practice because you get a wide range of muscle groups and you’re at a lower risk of overworking one particular part. Just as it sounds you alternate between a moment that involves pushing with a movement that involves pulling. You can make this as complex or as simple as you want by targeting a muscle group and thinking asking yourself, “do I have to pull in order to engage this muscle or do I typically have to push?” An example of what a workout like this would look like is,

  • Push: Chest Press Pull: Row
  • Push: Shoulder Press Pull: Pull ups
  • Push: Tire flips Pull: Deadlift
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The Deadlift: an amazing exercise to light up the posterior chain

Alternating between upper and lower body:

If you’re trying to tackle a full body workout this method is great because it will guarantee that your arms and legs will be feeling it! While your resting your upper body you work your lower body, and vice versa. Some movement examples include:

  • Pushups to walking lunges
  • Biceps curls to squats
  • Triceps extensions to step ups
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Demonstrating the cable chest press. This exercise works on core stability and the upper body.

Super sets:

These are my all time favorites and what I use in my 8 week training program, Aligned To Thrive, as well as for my clients. Super sets are when you create a circuit of a few exercises strung together that you do back to back and then rest between sets. This is a great method to utilize. With enough variety of exercises you can create a fun workout that will get your heart rate up and will challenge you every bit of the way. You can also utilize the push and pull or alternating between upper and lower body methods during the super sets! Some examples:

  • Chest press to walking lunges to triceps extensions
  • Bent over rows to squats to sit ups
  • Pushups to lateral lunges to shoulder press
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Demonstrating a reverse fly with a band in a static lunge. Another great exercise to challenge the core, lower body, and upper body!

Once you are done with your workout and have begun to cool down you can now start to incorporate more static stretching for flexibility. The reason that we do static stretching at the end and not the beginning is because when you statically stretch the muscle studies have shown that that muscle cannot produce as much power. Therefore, whether you are doing plyometrics or not, you want your muscles to be ready to go before a workout, not stretched out. However, once you are done then you can begin to statically stretch those muscles and work on your flexibility.

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In conclusion, overall the key is to add enough VARIETY into your workouts. Doing the same thing over and over is not only boring but it can cause some serious overuse injuries… no one wants that.

To dive even deeper you want to also consider what your goals are. For example if you’re looking build more muscle and bulk then you would want heavier weights with less resting periods as opposed to someone looking to burn more fat and increase cardio.

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If you’re looking for new ways to mix up your workout routine check out my 8 week program, Aligned To Thrive. This program utilizes meditation, mindfulness, nutrition, gratitude, and of course workouts! The workouts are scheduled 6days/ week and every day/ week they are different! You’ll look forward to working out, de-stress, and be inspired by what your body can accomplish!

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For more information head over to my  website. **Get a copy today! The price will increase on September 1!!!**

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