4 Practical Templates to Simplify Workout Design

Tom Kelso

Coach

Strength and Conditioning

Fitness, general fitness, total body, full body, programming

 

You want to grow muscle, become stronger, and look better. Obviously, hitting the weights is the plan, along with proper food intake. Great, but what should you do? You want to spend your training time wisely, so it's easy to freak out about the entire workout design process. There are just so many questions to answer:

 

 

  • What exercises should you use?
  • Free weights, machines, or both?
  • What set and repetition schemes are the best?
  • How many days per week should you train?

 

A Simple System to Program Your Training

No need to get in a tizzy and overcomplicate the matter. I’m here to make it simple for you. Using total body resistance training workouts as the norm, I have constructed four templates for you to easily set up a variety of workouts. You choose the exercises, the sets, the reps, the work time scripts, and the training days per week. Two or three non-consecutive days per week will both work, depending on your schedule.

 

Perform your self-designed workouts in the category order listed for each template.

 

Template 1:

  • Upper body push
  • Interval
  • Upper body pull
  • Interval
  • Lower body
  • Abs/finisher

Click Here to Download

 

Template 2:

  • Upper body
  • Lower body
  • Interval
  • Abs/finisher

Click Here to Download

 

Template 3:

  • Interval
  • Lower body
  • Upper body pull
  • Interval
  • Upper body push
  • Abs/finisher

Click Here to Download

 

Template 4:

  • Lower body
  • Upper body
  • Interval
  • Lower body
  • Upper body
  • Abs/finisher

Click Here to Download

 

Free weights and machines both provide resistance to the muscle structures. One set or three sets? Work hard on each one, and you won't have to perform endless sets to achieve good results. Lower body before upper body? Upper body pushing alternated with pulling? An interval at the beginning, midpoint, or end of the workout? Those choices are all relative to the specific template you choose.

 

How to Use These Templates

There are numerous ways to construct a sensible training plan. Variety is good, so mix and match as in the following examples:

 

Fitness, general fitness, total body, full body, programming

Workout Template Example 1 (click to see example):

 

1 set of 10-14 repetitions of each:

  • Plate-load chest press
  • Barbell incline press
  • Standing barbell press
  • Close grip push up
  • Tricep extension

 

Interval:

  • Jumping Jacks: 4 sets of :45 work time/:25 rest time

 

1 set of 10-14 repetitions:

  • Pulley upright row
  • Plate-load row
  • Close grip chin up
  • High row
  • Bicep curl

 

Interval:

  • Elliptical trainer: four sets of 1:00 work time/:30 rest time

 

One set of 12-16 repetitions:

  • Machine squat
  • Romanian dead lift
  • Dumbbell lunge
  • Heel raise

 

Finisher:

  • Farmer's walk for three minutes

 

Fitness, general fitness, total body, full body, programming

Workout Template Example 2 (click to see example):

 

2 sets of 8-12 repetitions:

  • Machine overhead press
  • Wide grip pulldown
  • Decline press
  • 2-Arm dumbbell row
  • Barbell bench press
  • Face pull

 

2 sets of 8-12 repetitions:

  • Dumbbell deadlift
  • Leg press
  • Prone leg curl

 

Interval:

  • Stairclimber: six sets of :45 work time/:25 rest time

 

Abs:

  • Any abdominal exercise for two minutes

 

The Results Come From the Work

Train hard, rest adequately between sessions, train progressively, and you'll get results by using these simple-to-use workout templates. Whatever you choose will work, provided you work.

 

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