3 Workout Tips that Produce Results
by Chris Rea
Have you ever wanted to get in shape, but felt overwhelmed and just didn’t know where to start? That’s a lot of people’s story and one I see at the gym all the time.
Picture this: A new person walks in ready to workout. They’re determined. They have new tennis shoes. This is their year. Their hopes are high and they know their results will only be higher. But then, they take a stroll around the gym and glancing over all the different machines, they panic. Sweat forms on their brow and not because they’re burning calories. They get overwhelmed. And because they don’t know where to start, they hop on the treadmill, watch 15 minutes of C-SPAN and call it a day.
The gym can be a breeding ground for making you feel small. But we’re pushing back on that today.
Honestly, I can totally see how the place where I workout could be overwhelming at first. There’s a stretching room, a room just for your core, there’s free weights, machines, weighted ropes (which are WAY harder than they appear btw) ellipticals, bikes, rows of treadmills and of course stair climbers, which Megan is convinced are the spawn of Satan.
Working out can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t. Have. To. Be.
ESPECIALLY when you have a BRAND NEW 29 Song Workout Playlist I made just for you! (The exact playlist I listen to at the gym)
Through trial and error, I’ve found one key to rising above the circumstances that try and keep my life small, is having a fitness strategy. When I got intentional about my workouts, it changed everything.
Never once have I walked out of the gym with regret. Every time I go, I feel better about myself. I feel more confident. I feel stronger, healthier and just more postitve about life. Endorphins are your friends.
And then, BONUS, when you start to see results, your perseverance to keep going kicks in all the more.
“Discipline turns into Desire.”
Now, I don’t pretend to be a fitness expert by any means. But I do know what has produced the most results in my life. A normal guy with a busy schedule who wants to be in good shape and make the most of his time at the gym.
Today, I’m going to give you my personal weekly workout routine. Something I’ve been able to stick to on a regular basis.
A good friend of mine, Eric Swanson, owner of American Home Fitness, once gave me this tip:
“a well-rounded fitness plans should have 3 components:
I latched onto that advice and try to implement a combination of those 3 every week.
Now Megan, prefers to work out (except when I can twist her arm into a “Gym Date”) at home. And I have to say, she is a boss. She can outwork me under the table. There’s a weighted vest and a whole lotta YouTube involved. She has some great tips here and as well as workout DVD’s and apps for you to try.
That works for her, but I’m different.
For me, my goal is to go to gym 3-4 times per week & do a combination of:
Strength, Cardio & Stretching.
And today, if your goal is to create a routine you can stick to that will produce results, you’re in the right place friend. Let’s jump in.
Day 1: Chest, Triceps, Cardio.
The first day of each week at the gym, I work chest & triceps. Doing 3 sets of 10 chest exercises & 2 sets of 10 tricep exercises. When chest is done, I move on to triceps. I only do two exercises of triceps because chest exercises also work your triceps. Win.
(Total= 50 reps + 1 set of 15 warm up for both chest & triceps)
The goal here isn’t to do a lot of weight. It’s to do each exercise properly and with good form. Find a weight that tires you out at about rep 10. Don’t be like the lunks at the gym who try to impress everyone by adding more weight. Sure they can throw around some big numbers, but typically they can only do 3 reps and are doing the exercise wrong because too much weight is involved. That’s an excellent way to get injured. Don’t be that guy.
Day 1 Workout:
3 sets of 10 flat bench press (Free weight or machine)
3 sets of 10 incline/decline press (machine)
3 sets of 10 cable crossover (switch between high to low, low to high, and parallel)
I rest for about 90 seconds between each set.
(*You could also jump rope between sets to keep your heartrate up.)
3 sets of 10 skull crushers (this needs a new name)
3 sets of 10 seated dips (machine)
Total Time: about 25 to 30 minutes.
After this I head to the treadmill for 20 minutes of cardio. And guess what, you don’t have to run! You just have to challenge yourself. Try walking at first. I usually do intervals on the treadmill. I’ll walk at 3.5 mph then jog at 5.5 mph then walk at 4 mph and repeat. Rotating around with those for 3 intervals. For me, the goal isn’t to see how many calories I burn. It’s to get my heart rate up for 20 minutes. Because when you combine strength and cardio, you will have an accelerated heart rate for close to an hour. This will, in turn, boost your metabolism and you will burn fat.
Day 2: Back & Biceps.
I only do two bicep exercises because these particular back exercises work your biceps as well. Win Again.
Day 2 Workout:
3 sets of 10 Wide grip pulldown
3 sets of 10 seated cable rows
3 sets of 10 Hyperextensions
3 sets of 10 one arm dumbbell rows
3 sets of 10 preacher curls. (no, you don’t have to be a preacher to do this exercise)
3 sets of 10 hammer curls (done with dumbbells)
When I have completed this 25-30 minute workout I head to the elliptical machine. I set the elliptical for a “fat burn” workout, a 28 minute cardio workout designed to, well, burn fat. If you can do the full 28 minutes, amazing! If not, don’t sweat it (or do 😉 ) 15-20 min is a great place to start. (note: if the elliptical is too hard at first go back to the treadmill and walk until you start to build up your endurance.)
Day 3: Legs & Shoulders.
Day 3 Workout:
3 sets of 10 leg press
3 sets of 10 leg curls
3 sets of 10 leg extensions
3 sets of 10 calf raises
3 sets of 10 shoulder press
3 sets of 10 cable front raise
3 sets of 10 front dumbbell raise
When I have completed this 25-30 minute workout, I ride the bike for 20 minutes. If the weather is decent, ie, not 13 degrees like it currently is, I ride my bike outside for 20-40 minutes. If not, I will ride it at the gym for 20 minutes.
Day 4: Core
If I go to the gym a fourth time (that’s a big IF), I’ll do a core circuit workout.
This workout includes a rotating variety of core exercises done every 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest in between.
Day 4 Workout:
5 sets of Planks
5 sets of ropes
5 sets of Abdominal crunch
In between each set I rotate the following forms of cardio for 45 seconds:
Platform jog or Step Ups
The goal of this 20-30 minute workout is to keep moving the entire time with only 15 seconds of rest. (Yes, it is difficult. Depending on your fitness level, you may need to start with 30 seconds of each set and 30 seconds of rest in between)
The last tip in for a workout routine that gets you results is stretching.
And, I have to be honest, I don’t stretch nearly enough. I have really good intentions with this one, but I am one of the least flexible people you will ever meet.
Even if you don’t make time to stretch after your workout, which you SHOULD, but real life, here’s a few stretches you can do at home mid-netflix.
Here’s a few ways to get started:
Foam Rolling (Click for video)
Beginner Yoga: sometimes Christians get funny when you say the word “yoga.” So here’s a few yoga workouts we endorse:
Holy Yoga (Click for video)
Revelation Wellness (Click for video)
*we love this ministry! Meg did their 7-day detox at the start of the year and their “Be Well & Be Loved” podcasts are the ideal backdrop for your stretching or yoga routine. Check them out.
My go-to back stretching routine (Click for video)
There you have it, this is the workout I try to do each week. If I am honest, some weeks I can only get to the gym once or twice. Then some weeks I, “make up the difference” and go 4-5 times. Have grace in your goals. You don’t have to be all or nothing. Perfection isn’t real.
The goal is to create a sustainable routine that works with your schedule. Over the long haul, consistency is what makes the difference, NOT if you miss a workout here or there.
Don’t give up, even when it gets hard! Keep it simple with Eric’s tip:
A combination of strength, cardio, and stretching.
I am not going to lie, going to the gym and doing these exercises will feel grueling at first. You will be so sore! But as you began to see results, mark my words, you will began to crave fitness. And when that happens, lookout! You will be able to add this practical life element to your arsenal and be one step closer to living a full, well-rounded, meaningful life…a life worth celebrating!
Do you have any workout tips to share? We’d love to hear them!
Until next time,
PS. We have a lot more health tips for you. Check them out in our “Food & Fitness” category.
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Disclaimer: I am a fitness enthusiast, not an expert. Always check with your physician first to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise.
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