Are you tired of doing the same old routine?
Maybe you want to leave the CrossFit gym for a cheaper gym but they don’t have workouts for you. They give you access to their equipment and you’re stuck with not knowing what to do.
Or maybe you are trying to figure out how you can workout at home with minimal equipment?
No worries! I’ll cover how you can create a simple workout routine in this very blog post.
The best and simplest approach is to utilize what Dan John calls the 5 fundamental human movements.
Practice these fundamentals often and you’ll guard against injuries, make consistent gains and avoid muscular imbalances.
How to Use This List of Movements?
I'll describe each movement below and provide a couple exercises for each so you can get an idea of what I mean.
"What about warm-ups, sets, reps, putting it together, and all that stuff Coach!?"
Settle down now, young Padawan!
Cover that stuff at the end we will.
** If you really can't help yourself, scroll to the end for some workout examples **
You're always carrying stuff around in the real world.
The farmer's walk is the classic loaded carry. Pick up two heavy weights, usually in equal weight. You can use dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, etc.
Take those bad boys for a walk for about 20-40 yards. Make sure to stand tall. Keep those shoulders back and keep the center line a center line!
Similar to the Farmer's Walk minus one of the weights. Pick up a weight on one side and maintain a tall posture as you carry the weight like a suitcase.
You'll feel it tighten up your waist on the opposite side.
Walk it down, switch hands, and walk it back. Boom!
Check out my youTube exercise video library to get more loaded carry variations.
Got stiff hips and ankles? Pop a squat!
At least try to start working on it. This is a foundational movement that we started doing as babies. We've slowly lost our way with all the sitting and lack of movement in today's society.
Start here if it's been awhile since you popped a squat in the woods. Oh, I mean... you know what I mean.
Check out the Bodyweight Box Squat if you feel like falling over backwards with the bodyweight squat.
My favorite squat exercise.
I'm thinking the only thing better than this is replacing the weight with an actual goblet of wine.
5 squats and a sip. 5 squats and a sip. 5 squats and a sip. Continue until... yeah whenever.
*For the record, I have not done this YET and I won't held be liable for any shenanigans that may arise from doing this*
BARBELL FRONT SQUAT
You've done the goblet squat, the double racked goblet squat, and you're ready to add more weight?
Try the front squat with a barbell.
Click here to check out my youTube exercise video library.
Here, you'll be working a lot of the same muscles as the squat but in a different way.
The squat has maximal hip & knee bending. The hinge has maximal hip bending BUT minimal knee bending.
Learning a proper hinge will go a long ways.
This may be one of the tougher movement patterns to master. Practice this often and work on mastery.
Kettlebell or Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
To add a little load to the pattern, grab a dumbbell or kettlebell. Start this movement from the top.
Keep a neutral and braced spine, push your butt back as you fold forward. Go until you feel a stretch in the hammies, then squeeze your butt to stand back up.
Once you've got the pattern and mobility down, you can start pulling from the floor with some barbell deadlifts.
Here is a more dynamic hinge. This movement is great for jacking your heart rate up and working those sleepy 'ass muscles'. You know, from all that sitting down that we do.
Generally, we should be doing more pulls than pushes. The routine of most people and the demands of life put more focus on the pushing muscles.
So it would be nice to have an imbalanced routine to balance out your imbalances. See what I did there.
Keeping it simple, a 2:1 ratio of pulls to pushes is a solid start.
If you can't do any pull-ups yet, try these hangs. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears when you do these. Hang for 3 seconds to count as 1 repetition.
CHEST SUPPORTED ROW WITH 3 SECOND HOLDS
Grab some dumbbells or kettlebells. Drive those elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keep your head in a neutral position.
There are several progressions before getting to this level. Make sure you've done those before attempting this. Contact me to discuss pull-up progressions.
BAND FACE PULL
Here is another way to get some pulls in if you only have a band.
Oh hey, the push! Everybody's favorite and most abused!!! Here is where the stuff that most of you have heard of such as:
STRAIGHT ARM PLANK
Start here if you're not great with push-ups.
The classic push-up. Check out some other push-up variation on my youTube exercise video library.
DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
Another classic! Grab those weights and punch the ceiling!
STANDING SINGLE ARM PRESS
Yes! One of my favorites. Do these. Do these a lot!
Putting It Together
To keep it simple, we'll focus on the priorities that most people need besides fat loss which is building muscle and getting stronger so we can be independent for as long as we can as we grow into old age.
So to start, pick 1 exercise from each movement category (loaded carry, squat, hinge, pull, push) and do 2-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions. Rest as long as needed but no longer. 30-60 seconds should be plenty.
** Here is an exercise video library that I've created for you to use. I constantly add more to it. Check it out! **
Here is an example of a routine.
A) Farmer's Walk: 3 x 40 yards
B) Double Kettlebell Front Squat: 3 x 12
C) Kettlebell Swings: 3 x 20 ( you can go higher in reps with swings )
D) Dumbbell Row with 3 sec holds: 3 x 8
E) Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 x 8
* Rest 30-60 seconds between sets
Here is another example with some supersets. You'll be resting when you're doing the other exercise.
For example, do a set of chin-ups and then do a set of the single arm presses, and then go back to the chin-ups for the next set. Continue this fashion until all sets have been completed. That would be 3 in the below example.
A1) Suitcase Carry: 3 x 20 yards / side
A2) Front Squat: 3 x 8
B) Kettlebell RDL's: 3 x10
C1) Chin-ups: 3 x 8
C2) Standing Single Arm Press: 3 x 8/side
* The rest is when you do the other movement.
Want Some Free Workout Templates?
Join our FREE Facebook group for men and check out our files section. Lots of good stuff in there.
After you've put a routine together, you're ready to start warming up! Every routine should start with a warm-up to get the blood flowing and prepare the body for the demands ahead.
Check out a few examples below.
Beginner Warm-up - 1 or 2 times through the below:
For a more advanced warm-up, check out these:
Hopefully I've given you enough to start putting a routine together. To recap:
Yes, there's obviously a whole lot more that I'm missing like workout frequency, progression, exercise selection, etc.
That'll have to be a post for another day but for now keep it simple and follow the tips above and I think you'll be surprised with how quickly you can put together a solid routine!
So, what do you think? Was the explanation good enough? Too long? What did I miss?
Let me know in the comments and don't forget to check out the resources below.