Over the last few articles I’ve highlighted how to look after your nutrition,provided you with tips on how to incorporate mobility/flexibility work into your daily routine along with giving you some of the best exercises giving you the biggest bang for your buck in your gym program.

Scroll though any of my articles here from my column and I am sure you will find something that can help you out.Lets say your overall goal is to feel fitter,get a little leaner,drop some bodyweight and overall just have more real energy feeling far more healthier and better about yourself.Nutrition,training and recovery are all areas that need to be dialed in the right way in order to achieve your goal.

I have already covered the nutrition 80/20 approach that I feel is the best path to take.Read this article and no doubt it will help you out.Now for the training part.Its all well and good knowing the mobility drills or even the best 5 exercises for your gym program but you maybe wondering how to do you actually program this correctly into a typical week.Lets focus on a typical week on how you could look at approaching things.

A lot of the time I get asked how many times a week should I be training?

In my opinion a good target is to exercise at least 3-5 times per week.This does not always need to mean 4 visits to the same squat rack doing the same amount of reps with relatively the same load,heading out doing your same run 3 times per week or even jumping on the same spin bike 5 times a week nor relaying on the same yoga class all the time.The best approach to being well rounded in your fitness and to try and have a structure in place where you get to tick all the boxes you need to work on.The best way is to keep your training varied,effective and relative to your goal.Doing roughly the exact same style of training session after session might not help your overall goal out.

Here is a smart approach that might just help you structure out your training week a little better.

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Mobility/Yoga

I generally recommend people to look after their body at least 15 mins every day.This could be anything from meditating every morning to getting up off your desk at work and stretching out your glutes,hip flexors or hamstrings for 5 mins every hour or two.I would also suggest to bring some mobility drills into your 10-15 min warm up or cool down every time you do exercise.Your not too sure on how to warm up then go watch this video.On top of that I feel doing at least one hour a week of Yoga is great.You look after these areas and I guarantee you that it will transfer into other areas of your workouts like improving your squat to even recovering better with your training sessions.I have also found people that go focus on yoga/mobility can really them out when it comes to low back pain.

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Strength work/weight training/bodyweight drills

I have given you the top 5 exercises to have in your gym program.Most of them fell into this bracket above and where a combination of squats,deadlifts,push ups,pull ups,presses,carries and a couple of good drills for using resistance bands.You can find the the top 5 exercises you need in your gym program here Ideally I would recommend doing 2-3 sessions a week which focus on increasing your strength.In these sessions I would  focus on big compound movements first and work from there.One day you could set aside 20-25 mins and focus on doing 4-5 decent sets of goblet or back squats pairing these up with some ring rows or negative chin ups and finishing the set of 3 exercises working on some pall of presses.Another day you could totally choose a different compound movement and perhaps look at Deadlifts,pairing that with a single arm presses or push ups and topping that set of 3 exercises off with some hollow holds.Ideally I would aim to keep your reps relatively low and moderate to heavy relative to your strength levels.On top of that I would have another session or part of your session doing some general hypertrophy work.This is where you don’t necessarily need to focus on the big lifts and aim to work on the smaller muscle groups so exercises like lateral raises,bicep/tricep work or even some single leg work,core or glute work.The reps can go a little higher here keeping the rep range anything between 12-15.

Conditioning work

I guess this area of the workout feels like the most important part as generally speaking this is the part of your session where the heart rate goes a little higher,face becomes a little redder and overall you seem to be struggling that bit more as your heart rate continues to elevate.A lot of the time this isn’t where you need to bring your main focus on.From my days of working in main stream gyms this is where I noticed people have tended to feel where they need to work on all the time.I always encourage people to focus on mobility/strength work first and every now and then get their heart rate up doing some conditioning work.Go by feel and rate how your feeling on the day.There will be days you feel great have lots of energy and this is where I would suggest you to look at doing some anaerobic/HIIT style/conditioning workout which could be anything from 8-12 mins long which could really be any style of workout that could involve running intervals,hill sprints,kettlebell swings,box jumps,rowing,push ups,ring rows,or even the dreaded burpee. Try and put relatively smart structure to your workout here with the exercises you choose,the reps you do to the amount of time you spend on the overall workout.Ideally I would choose 2-4 exercises in this workout and work around them.There is no really no need to bring in a serious high volume of high reps here.As always never let the intensity take over too much so that its going to effect your technique.I would tend to bring these style of workouts after your strength work.If on the day your not feeling the best energy wise or a little sluggish then this is where I would suggest a few different things instead.Continue to work on some extra mobility work,or even spend a little time doing some extra core work as this wont be as taxing as getting your heart rate up in a conditioning piece.Or even better go bring in some extra skill work.This could be a time you could put in some work working towards that goal of getting your first pull up by bringing in some negative chin up/pull up drills.Another session fora different day I would recommend doing at least once per week would be aerobic/LSD work.This is where I suggest you give yourself 60 mins and aim to keep your heart rate 120-140 BPM.It could be anything from going for a light paced jog,Trail run,a cycle,swim or even doing a yoga class.

Overall conclusion

Mix up your training as much as you can.

  • At least 15 mins of mobility/stretching/meditation each day
  • 2-4 sessions working on heavy strength work,bodyweight drills,hypertrophy work
  • At least 2 sessions a week of a high intensity workout
  • At least 1 session a week of a 60 minute easy/moderate session
  • At least 1 session a week of very easy/light active recovery
  • 80/20 approach when comes to your nutrition
  • Recover strong.Sleep,stretch,meditate,eat the right foods,drink water
  • Go by feel sometimes and listen to your body on how you should approach your session
  • Keep a training log

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the link below. You can also see more advice on my social media pages, which are linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send me a direct message here.

 

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