If you ask a smart personal trainer about what type of exercise program burns fat the fastest, it’s almost a guarantee the trainer will say “full body strength training workouts 2-3x per week combined with cardio”. That’s kind of a secret unto itself. But there’s a bigger secret that every good personal trainer holds close to the chest and forms the foundation of hundreds of exercise programs that can be created from it.
While I feel like the masked magician who gives away all those great magic tricks, I believe sharing this secret will be very beneficial for you. I’m willing to take the risk that some trainers will be very angry with me!
So here it is:
Every workout you do should incorporate 5 basic movements:
Sounds simple enough, right? The beauty of this framework lies in its simplicity, because an almost infinite number of exercise combinations can be created from it. Technically, there are 2 more movement patterns (bend & gait), but for simplicity, these five should be your focus.
Here’s a quick example:
Circuit Workout using 5 movement patterns
Complete each exercise back to back with little to no rest
1) Dumbbell Squat
2) Forward Lunge
3) DB Bench Press
4) Seated Row
You don’t have to follow the exact order I outlined either, but can get creative mixing and matching the 5 movement patterns. You also don’t need to incorporate every movement pattern in each workout, but instead spread them over a few workouts if you are more advanced and want to focus more intensely on a particular muscle group, but I think most people should try to incorporate all these movements into one workout.
The other beautiful thing about this framework is that you are going to build a very balanced body and engage all your muscle groups to help spike your metabolism. I particularly like circuit style workouts using this framework for women because it’s more graceful, so you won’t feel like a burly man with hair on his back while you are doing it. This workout framework works just as well for men and can be easily done at home with minimal equipment.
While basic, this conceptual framework is powerful and it’s almost like a trade secret in the personal training world!