Build Your Own Workout
I hear all the time, “I do a little of this and a little of that in the weight room. But I don’t know what else to do.” Many people have the determination to workout. They just need a direction.
WHERE TO START
A good workout plan is going to keep your body balanced. Your body needs to keep the strength of opposing muscle groups balanced, and the stability and mobility of each joint uncompromised. A program does this by working all the major muscle groups equally.
The major muscle groups include:
Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)
Pectoralis Major (Pecs)
Pectoralis Minor (Pecs)
Quadriceps (Quads) - four muscle group
Hamstrings - three muscle group
Glutes - three muscle group
Erector Spinae (in back)
That is why a body part split program can be so effective. You are able to cover a range of movements for each body part from week to week.
IN THE GYM
A good starting place, but never an absolute, is picking seven exercises per workout: 5 major lifts and 2 accessory muscles. These lifts should hit the large muscle groups from different angles and in different planes of motion. This can be accomplished many different ways, including, performing an incline or decline exercise, changing the grip, or by adding a rotation to your movement.
Example of an exercise for each muscle (not a comprehensive list):
Latissimus Dorsi (Lats) - Lat Pulldown
Trapezius (Traps) - Upright Row
Erector Spinae - Back extension
Rhomboid - Rows
Pectoralis Major (Pecs) - Chest Press
Pectoralis Minor (Pecs) - Chest Press
Quadriceps (Quads, four-muscle group) - Leg extension
Hamstrings (three muscle group) - Hamstring curl
Glutes (three muscle group) - Hip Thrust
Transversus abdominis - Bird dog with pelvic tilt
Obliques - Bicycles
Rectus Abdominis - Plank
Erector Spinae (in back) - Superwoman
Biceps - Bicep curl
Triceps - Tricep extension
Anterior Delts - Front raise
Lateral Delt - Lateral Raise
Posterior Delt - Bent-over fly
Once you have chosen your exercises for the day, think about your grip and planes of motion. Do you usually perform hammer curls? Switch to a supinated curl. Do you usually perform wide-grip pulldowns? Try a neutral-grip pulldown. Do you like lunges? Add a core rotation to each rep to add a different plane of motion.
WHY WORK WITH A TRAINER
You may start to think, “This is pretty simple! Why does anyone need a trainer?” Trainers take this foundation and apply it to a comprehensive assessment. Trainers assess their clients strengths and weakness to develop a more advanced program. Trainers use movement patterns, gait, posture, flexibility, and strength tests to identify unbalanced areas. A trainer’s main job is to help their client develop a balanced physique, because a balanced physique is able to withstand more strenuous activity, can reduce the possibility of injury, and be pain-free.
I always recommend seeing a trainer to understand what specific exercises your body may benefit from, but I understand money and time can be a major obstacle for most people. That is why this basic outline can be very helpful. The most important aspect of designing a workout is balance. If you train each body part weekly, you will be more likely to develop a balanced, healthy figure. All STF programs are designed with balance in mind. As you use Spring’s programs think about the movement patterns — what grips are you using? What angle am I hitting the muscle at? These tools will help you be a more educated lifter. And knowing how to take care of your body is a great skill to have.
For more great exercises, organized by body part, visit the STF exercise library.