If you are a regular at the gym or train consistently, you may often look for something new to try, or be content with your current training regimen. Regardless, if you are someone who attempts to train, you may have asked, "What can I do today?"
Here is a system that I typically use as a hands-on presentation using nothing more than a piece of cardboard with the words "Push, Pull, Leg, Full, Core, Cardio" on it. Described below is A WAY to train, but obviously not THE WAY to train. The best part of using this system is that if 40 people go into the weight room, you will have 40 different workouts created through this process of one of my personal favorite training methods.
Here is how it works:
Upper Body Push Exercises Available: Pushups, dips, military press, push press, bench press, incline bench press, flies (db or cables), TRX atomic pushups, tricep extensions, tricep kickbacks, lightweight shoulder workout. You can use machines, dumbbells, TRX, barbells, or calisthenics. It is up to you if you want to do a timed set of 1 minute, heavy weight of 5 or less reps, wear a weight vest for calisthenics, or lift lighter weight for 10-15 or more reps.
Upper Body Pull Exercises Available: Pullups, pulldowns, rows, bicep curls. You can use machines, dumbbells, TRX, barbells, or calisthenics. It is up to you if you want to do a timed set of 1 minute, heavy weight of 5 or less reps, wear a weight vest for pullups, or lift lighter weight for 10-15 or more reps.
Leg Exercises Available: Squats, lunges, leg press, leg extension, leg curls, step ups, box jumps. You can use machines, dumbbells, TRX, barbells, or calisthenics. It is up to you if you want to do a timed set of 1 minute, heavy weight of 5 or less reps, wear a weight vest with calisthenics, or lift lighter weight for 10-15 or more reps.
Full Body Exercises Available: Burpees, mountain climbers, bear crawl, low crawl, fireman carry, dead lifts, hang cleans, power cleans, farmer walks, KB swings, KB snatches, KB clean/press, Turkish Getups, MJDB#2 or 3, thrusters, TRX squat / rows. You can use machines, dumbbells, TRX, barbells, or calisthenics. It is up to you if you want to do a timed set of 1 minute, heavy weight of 5 or less reps, wear a weight vest with calisthenics, or lift lighter weight for 10-15 or more reps.
Core and Grip Exercises Available: Plank poses variations, crunches, sit-ups, flutter kicks, leg levers, scissors, reverse pushups, birds, arm haulers. Grip -- rope climbs, pullup hangs, battle ropes, other grip focused ideas. Many of the above lifts like dead lifts, pullups, farmer walks include a grip component as well.
Cardio Options Available: Walking, running, biking, elliptical, cross-country skiing, swimming, rowing using a variety of protocols from long distance / easy pace, fast and slow intervals, tempo / paced intervals, and many more. Sprints, speed and agility, fartleks, and LSD *(long, slow, distance) events can be mixed with a variety of cardiovascular events.
There are literally countless ways to create a workout plan using this system. Here are some ideas: Calisthenics ONLY: Repeat 3-4 times Pushups max reps 1 min Pullups max reps Air Squats 20 Burpees max reps 1 min Flutter kicks 1 min Run ¼ mile around a track or 2 minutes on a treadmill.
Free Weights Only: Repeat 4-5 times Bench press 5-10 reps Pullups – weighted max or Pulldowns 10 Squats or leg press 10 (weighted) Hang Clean into push press 5-10 reps Plank pose 1 min Your choice to do intervals or save cardio until after the lift section: Bike or elliptical tabata interval 5 minutes or 20-25 minute run, bike, elliptical, row, or swim…
Split Routines There is no need to do full body workouts every other day. If you prefer full body days, you can rest the day after or make it more of a cardio and mobility day. However, if you prefer to split the workouts into an upper body day and a lower body day (split routine), you can also arrange accordingly: A typical Monday / Wed / Friday can be an Upper Body Day (change exercises as desired each day)
Upper Body Combinations: (Push / Pull / Core / Cardio Combo) Repeat 3-4 times Bench Press 5 Pullups max Military Press 10 Rows 10/arm (TRX, DB, barbell, machine options) Sit-ups 1 min Plank pose 1 min TRX rollouts 10-15
A typical Tues / Thurs / Sat (optional) can be a Leg / Full body Day (change exercises as desired each day and maybe doing more cardio events on Saturday if running, rucking, or swimming are an important part of your future training / selection preparation.
Lower Body / Full / Core / Cardio Combinations: Repeat 4-5 times Run, bike, elliptical intervals 4 minutes (1 min fast / 1 min slow) Overhead walking lunges 10/leg Box Jumps or step ups 10/leg Dead lift 5 Flutter kicks 50 Plank pose 1 min Light stretch legs, back As you can see, there are so many ways to experiment with this system and build your own Push / Pull / Leg / Full workout program with supplemental core, cardio, TRX, mobility, flexibility, speed, and agility all mixed in as needed. Just be smart and remember that you have to be able to recover on the days between tough workouts. You can recover by taking a rest day or working other muscle groups and/or focusing more on cardio options. Regardless, do not forget the Mobility Days when you feel you need them -- and even when you do not.