Previous Page

Find Resources by Expertise

Previous Page

Find U.S. Based Resources by State & City

Find International Resources by Country & City

Previous Page
Previous Page

Find Training Tips by Topic

Keeping it simple

Do you remember the scene from The Matrix when Samuel. L. Jackson told Keanu Reeves he would show him just “how deep the rabbit-hole goes”?

Sometimes a trainer has to be like Jackson.

On the surface, exercise is simple. You strap on a pair of shoes and run. You grab a dumbbell and do a few curls.

However, as you go further down the rabbit hole, exercise becomes more and more complex. Supersets, giant sets, circuits, mobility, core stability, breathing and metabolic training. Confused yet?

Exercise terminology is complicated and the methods are numerous.

Exercise can be overwhelming for the general population looking to get fit and healthy. It’s not a lack of information that’s stopping them, its information overload. Paralysis by analysis. The rabbit hole just looks too deep.

So where do you start?

You start by keeping it simple.

A great coach called Dan John has broken down exercise into 5 movements which are:
1. Squat
2. Push
3. Pull
4. Hinge
5. Carrying something heavy

Although there are many other exercise movements, these are a great place to start.

I’m assuming you’re at different places in your fitness journey, so I’m breaking the first 4 movements above into beginner (you’re new to weight training), level 2 and level 3 exercises.

For the carry part, you’re on your own ☺
Pay attention to the videos and choose wisely.

1. Squat
Beginner- The body weight squat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDdSZmWNYQI

Level 2 – The Goblet squat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIrcxSkwui8

Level 3 – The back squat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt9otTWuaOQ

2. Push
Beginner – Incline push up (Use a height where you’re able to do 8-12 reps)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0bRiVhnO8Q

Level 2 – Push up
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh00_rniF8E

Level 3 Dumbbell bench press
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmB1G1K7v94

3. Pull

Beginner- Standing single arm cable row
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raO8Q08Wem

Level 2- Kneeling Lat Pull-down
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7ItkZ69kJo

Level 3 – Inverted row
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LZa9TzkjRg

4. The Hinge
Beginner- Swiss ball hip extension
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRk2782aQlg

Level 2- Dumbbell Romanian deadlift
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH0stBpF7ko

Level 3- Rack deadlift
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5d7kaSZIzI

5. The farmer’s walk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV5cqXK_Lgo

Instructions

Be honest on where you are in your fitness journey and choose the appropriate level of exercise for you. Try to keep on the same level for exercises 1-4. For the carry, choose a weight that allows you to do the distance specified.

You will do the exercises as a circuit (one exercise after the other with little or no rest in-between) 1-5 (in order), then resting and repeating for a specified amount of circuits.

You will train 3 times a week, and you’ll rest 48 hours in between trainings.

What is your goal?

You’ll start by sticking to one goal. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make is chasing too many goals simultaneously. You’re more likely to have success if your stick to one goal, so decide if your goal is
A. Fat loss
B. Lean muscle gain
C. Just getting back into shape
So take a moment to decide before you read on. This has a huge bearing on which style of training you will choose below.

Putting it all together

A. Fat loss

Day 1- Complete 8 reps (select a weight that allows you to do 8 reps) of each exercise 1-4 in the circuit fashion explained above. If doing the standing single arm row, do 8 reps on each side. For farmer’s walk do 20 yards and then walk back for 20 yards for a total of 40 yards.

Each set will take you 1 minute to complete and each circuit 5 min to finish. Do a total of 4 circuits in 20 minutes.

Day 2 – Choose a lighter weight (when using resistance) than day one. Do as many reps of each exercise 1-4 as you can in 30 seconds (excluding farmer’s walk, walk for 30 sec) and rest for 30 seconds at the end of each exercise.
Again each circuit will take you 5 minutes. Rest 60- 90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do a total of 3-4 circuits.

Day 3 – Do 15 reps of each exercise 1-4 in a circuit fashion. For the farmer’s walk, do 20 yards there and back for a total of 40 yards. Rest as little as possible between exercises and rest 60 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do a total of 3 circuits.

B. Muscle

Day 1 – Do 6 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (heavier than usual) that allows you complete each rep. The farmer’s walk do 20 yards there and back for a total of 40 yards. Rest as little as possible between exercises and 60- 90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do 4 circuits.

Day 2 – Do 10 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (5-10 pounds lighter than day 1) that allows you to complete each rep. For the farmer’s walk, do 20 yards there and back for a total of 40 yards. Rest as little as possible between exercises and 60- 90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do 3-4 circuits.

Day 3- Do 15 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (5 pounds lighter or the same weight as day 2) that allows you to complete each reps. For the farmer’s walk, do 30 yards there and back for a total of 60 yards. Rest a little as possible between exercises and 60-90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do 2-3 circuits.

C. Getting back into shape (perfect for those just starting out)

Day 1– Do 15 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight that allows you to complete each rep. For the standing single arm cable row, do 15 reps on each arm. For the farmer’s walk, do a total of 20 yards. Do 2 circuits, resting as much as you need between exercises and circuits.

Day 2– Do 12 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (5 pounds heavier than day 1) that allows you to complete each rep. For the standing single arm cable row, do 12 reps on each arm. For the farmer’s walk, do a total of 30 yards. Do 2 circuits, resting as much as you need between exercises and circuits.

Day 3– Do 10 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (same weight as day 2) that allows you to complete each rep. For the standing single arm cable row, do 10 on each arm. For the farmer’s walk, do a total of 40 yards. Do 2 circuits, resting as much as you need between exercises and circuits.

Wrapping up

Do this training for 6 weeks in total. If you need more than 48 hours to recover between trainings, take it. When the current level of an exercise becomes easier, go up a level. When the weight becomes less challenging, go up by 5 pounds. Don’t hold yourself back.

Keep this simple and the results will come.

[Tweet “Keeping it simple via @shanemclean_ #TrainingTips”]

Share This Article:

About Shane McLean

Shane McLean is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer in Dallas Texas. Moved here 12 years ago from Melbourne Australia. Specializing in stability core, strength and mobility programs. The four fundamentals to healthy skeletal health. Shane tailors training's to meet your strength, nutrition, injury management and mobility needs. His motto is "to improve one’s balance, strength and mobility no matter your age."

Connect With TrainingTips.com
×
See All Articles