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No space, no time, no problem

Life is complicated, but your exercise shouldn’t be. I’m a big believer in keeping it simple.

Now, the holiday season is upon us and it’s time for shopping, parties, family, work and somewhere way, way down the list is exercise. Exercise usually gets pushed aside this time of year or really anytime your schedule gets out of control.

But it shouldn’t. Exercise has numerous health benefits (which is another article in itself) including reducing your stress and keeping your waistline in check, which are kind of important.

Being a personal trainer I’ve heard every excuse under the sun when it comes to NOT exercising. The top excuses range from “I set my alarm for PM instead of AM,” or “The gym is too crowded” to the most popular “I have no time.”

The state of your health and fitness doesn’t need excuses, it needs action.

Put these excuses to rest once and for all with this one piece program. This can be plugged in when you have no time to train, not a lot of space or limited access to equipment.

This means using just one piece of equipment for your whole training. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of dumbbells, barbells or resistance bands, which can be found in most gyms or most sporting goods stores.

The beauty of this program is that it doesn’t require a lot of space, and you’ll save time because the transition between exercises is quicker and easier when using just one piece of equipment.

What other excuses do you have?

This is the template you will follow.

1a. Bilateral exercise (Squat/deadlift)

1b. Upper body pull exercise (Row)

1c. Core exercise for time

2a. Single leg exercise (Lunge, split squat or a deadlift)

2b. Upper body push (Chest or shoulder press)

2c. Core exercise for time

Repetition range

Use the following repetition ranges, dependent on your goals

  1. Strength 4-6 reps ( Heavy weight)
  2. Muscle/fat loss 8-12 reps ( moderate weight)
  3. Endurance/fat loss 12-15 reps (Moderate- Light-weight)

Use a weight that allows you to complete each repetition with good form.


After you warm up, choose your one piece of equipment and repetition range.

Do exercises 1a through 1c one after the other with little rest in between. Repeat once or twice for a total of 2-3 rounds. Do the same with 2a through 2c. Do each core exercise for 30-60 seconds. Rest when needed between sets and circuits.

Including warm up this should take you no longer than 25-30 minutes.

Training examples

I’m not going to leave you hanging — here are some examples of my one piece program. This also includes other exercises that can be inserted into this template.

Click on the hyperlink for exercise demonstration.



1a. Back squat

1b. Bent over row

1c. Rollout


2a. Split squat

2b. Push press

2c. Anti-rotation exercise


Other exercises that can be included are dead-lift, front squat, reverse lunges, Bulgarian split squats, push-ups, bench press, floor press, Romanian deadlift, one arm row and windshield wipers.


Dumbbell (just use one)

1a. Goblet squat

1b. One arm dumbbell row

1c. Plank with dumbbell transfer

2a. Goblet side lunge

2b One arm bench press

2c. Dumbbell twist


Other exercises that can be included are bent over row, push press, sumo squat, good morning, side plank, reverse lunges, single leg deadlifts, step ups, pullover, shoulder press, tripod row and straight arm crunch.


Resistance band (just use one)

Green band=easy. Red band= medium. Blue= hard. Black= hardest.

1a. Band squat

1b. Seated row

1c. Leg raises

2a. Split squat

2b. Tall kneeling shoulder press

2c. Leg lowering – 30 seconds on each leg


Other exercises that can be included are deadlift, push ups , bent over row, lawnmower row, reverse lunge, x-crossover, side bends ( do 30-45 sec each side) and side step squat (single leg).

With a minimum of fuss, time and space you’ll get a great training anywhere, anytime and anyplace you choose.

You have now run out excuses. Please don’t find any others. Now, get after it and have fun.













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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."

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