Three Day Per Week Workout Split
Updated: Apr 2, 2021
For an all round workout I suggest the above program. It is simple and helps avoid the pitfall of overtraining one part of the body (I'm looking at you chest and biceps).
The actual exercises and sets and reps are variable and not so important. It's an example of a good workout plan among many others and like all plans is only really as good as the effort you put into it.
The Concept: Rather than thinking about body parts, think about movements we do everyday (or should be doing everyday) such as bending, twisting, reaching, running, jumping, picking things up, pushing, pulling, squatting etc.
Train 3 days per week, always with one or two days between each workout. For example train on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The benefit of this is you always have at least one day to recover so it's very hard to over train and because you're only training 3 days per week you always look forward to the next workout (or at least I do). And as they are 'whole body' workouts if you miss a day it doesn't really matter.
Note: You can still do other things on your days off, in fact, unless you're ill or injured we recommend you never go a day without at least a walk around the block - if for nothing more than a bit of fresh air and some vitamin D.
So, try this workout plan.
Warmup/Mobility: Do a range of movements starting at the head and working down your body. See the Bodytorc warm up video as a guide. These are just examples but I would suggest you keep it consistent and follow a pattern. An example would be moving your head from side to side and around in circles to gently test where your comfort zone ends and taking a mental note of any restrictions, stiffness or soreness. Then transition to your shoulders and move them through all the directions they are designed to move and so forth down the body. Try to make the movements deliberate and graceful rather than random and chaotic and aim for perfection of movement (no one ever gets there but aim anyway).
Warm up/Plyometrics: Once you've spent 5 to 10 minutes mobilizing your body you should be fairly warm so now add an explosive exercise such as skipping, box jumps, burpees, boxing, kick-ball-change etc to really get the heart rate up while working on keeping your body wired to move quickly.
The Workout: This is the meat and potatoes of the program. I personally prefer using a barbell for most of it but any kind of medium to heavy weight is best, such as kettle bells, dumbbells' or challenging body weight movements using a suspension trainer or push ups, chin ups or air squats.
There are 4 movements to focus on here:
Squat: Either with both legs working evenly like barbell back squats and front squats, or with one leg at a time, like lunges or step ups.
Hinge: Think deadlifts, kettlebell swings and hip thrusts. Mix in some single legged variations as well.
Press: Bench press, push ups, overhead press.
Pull: Chinups and rows.
Do one exercise of each and 3 sets of anything from 5 to 20 reps (rep ranges are a whole different discussion). As a general rule try to use a weight you could, if need be, do 1 or 2 more reps but would struggle to do anymore than that. Every so often do as many reps as you can (with good form). It really needs to be challenging but never at the expense of proper technique.
Accessory Movements: I like to choose two exercises, one for upper and one for lower body. This is where I break my movement rule and focus on a body part, often for aesthetic reasons, such as bicep curls or for hitting weak spots like the mid back muscles or the side of my butt.
2 sets of each and I usually superset them (do them with little or no rest in between).
Core: Again with core I focus on movements. Think of all the ways the spine can bend (flex) and try to stop that happening. A suspension trainer is great for many of these exercises.
The three widely recognized categories for core exercises are:
Anti Extension: i.e resist collapsing in the middle, such as planks and ab roll outs.
Anti Rotation: Resist twisting in the center, such as one arm press, Russian twists (keep torso straight and just move your arms).
Anti Lateral flexion: Such as suitcase deadlifts, side planks.
It's ok to do some controlled flexion like crunches and side bends but it's important you keep your deep core muscles actively protecting the spine.
Warm Down/Stretching: If I'm short of time (usually) I tend to breeze through this but I make up for it by doing a bit of stretching every day and a lot of stretching one day a week. If you have a desk job or spend a lot of time in a car I think stretching is really about overcoming the distorting effect of those activities rather than turning yourself into a ballerina.
There are smart people who swear by stretching and others who say it's a waste of time. I certainly don't think it's a waste of time but I suspect most people who claim it has improved their flexibility are either doing a whole lot of it (and possibly at the expense of a more balanced workout) or are just restoring their normal range of motion after years of neglect.
Either way, it does help and I'm sure every human being knows some basic stretches so my only advice is a Bodytorc suspension trainer and a yoga mat are the two best stretching and mobility tools you can own.
Enjoy your workout.