Author: Scott Smith
In the fitness world, there are a lot of options these day. The famous “paradox of decision.” Meant to give us a better experience through more choices, but more often than not leaves us with paralysis by analysis. So when in doubt, simply steal the routine of the physical specimen you admire the most, and just get going!
While I believe that staying consistent with an exercise routine and diet plan is the biggest obstacle for most people, I have found that almost an equal amount of folks will put off working out all together because they simply don’t know where to start (perfectionists anyone?).
While I appreciate the need to have a game plan, as well as the desire to use one’s time effectively and safely, I think we have a tendency to over complicate exercise. I’m a strong advocate that it’s better to do something rather than nothing, even at the risk of getting hurt. And I seriously mean this. Most health issues I have seen stem more from a sedentary lifestyle (poor mobility, poor posture, chronic stiffness/pain, disease).
With that being said, my job is ensure that my clients are unequivocally on the most safe, efficient, and effective path and I endorse the personal training method for anyone who needs instruction, accountability and a boost in workout intensity. But where would I start if I didn’t have my own trainer?
Most athletes, models, and trainers have their personal exercise and diet regimens posted somewhere on the internet. If you take the time to do some research, you will also find some common trends among those that have achieved your desired results/goals. Remove your excuses and just start digging. Now a few things to consider…
Genetic Body Type: While I don’t like hearing people blame their poor physical condition on their genes, it is true that some body types just aren’t going to look the same no matter what (even at the same body composition or using the exact same diet and exercise program). Don’t view this as being a prisoner of your genetics, but rather as an honest look at how to manage your expectations while striving to create the best, unique body you can achieve. A cool website to start your research is www.simplyshredded.com. Some of it is “broscience” (not founded on textbook exercise science), but I think overall its pretty solid information for someone who is serious about learning what the pros do.
Current Fitness Level and Pre-existing Injuries/Compensations: A personal trainer comes in real handy here, but like I stated earlier … you just need to get out there and start experimenting. You can generally YouTube about any exercise ever created if you are in doubt (not that this gaurantees its correct but once again, if you do your research you will see the trends and figure out quickly what is right and wrong). Also, fitness magazines (Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Shape, etc) generally publish an annual exercise/diet program book you can find with pretty legit info that can open up your arsenal and competence. A lot of exercises are scalable, meaning you can increase or decrease the intensity. Reducing total repetitions, sets, and weight and increasing rest/recovery time are all ways to reduce intensity while you build a base. Working on machines may be a safer starting point for a novice lifter, working to improve technique prior to moving on to more unstable free weights or multi-planar moves.
What you really need is just a list of exercises and several variations for each major muscle group to get started and then its on you to play around, experiment, and strive to constantly challenge yourself. Don’t turn this into rocket science. DO SOMETHING! When you are ready to take it to the next level, call me.
So what’s my routine? Well, let’s keep it simple and start with 5 exercises you NEED to master.
2. Back Squat
3. Pushup (and 20 pushup progressions or plank variations)
4. Pullup (or cable pulldowns, four different grips)
5. Shoulder Press
6. BONUS EXERCISE: Hanging knee raises (with oblique variations)
I have videos for these 6 exercises and more posted right here on bodysmithkc.com, so check them out and get started lifting today!
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to comment or holler at me with questions.
My phone number is 785-331-7766. Call me when you are ready to train.