Two common reasons why people stop exercising are (1) they get bored, or (2) they don’t know what to do.
I can solve these problems, even if you’re the type of person who likes constant variety in your workouts. With a little preparation, you can change your workouts every month, or easily do a different workout every time you workout.
The key to limitless effective workouts is creating a basic exercise template.
How To Make An Effective Workout Template
There are many different templates you can follow, some of which get more complicated in terms of how exercises are categorized, like hip-dominant, or knee-dominant. But there’s no need to get so complicated. Instead, create a template using functional exercises that, when combined, train your entire body as nature intended.
The template I created below is based on 4 categories that are split into 2 muscle groups (legs and core) and 2 movement patterns (push and pull). By performing an exercise from each category, you’ll be working every muscle group in your body (arms, chest, shoulders, back, legs, and core).
From experience, I know this template works very well and is easy to set up.
Workout Template Guidelines:
1. Choose 1 exercise from each category below.
2. Complete 10 reps of each exercise.
3. Complete each exercise as a circuit, going from one to the next.
4. Rest as needed to catch your breath between exercises.
5. Complete for 3 rounds.
Here are the exercise categories to choose from. I included a few exercises under each category to spark some ideas for you. You’re free to come up with your own exercises that fit within each category as well.
1) Leg Exercise
Incline DB Press
Hanging Abs Raise
Now, give it a try. Choose one exercise in each category to build your own workout. How long did that take?—Hopefully less than 10-seconds.
Here’s a sample workout using this template:
1. Goblet Squat (leg exercise)
2. Push Up (push)
3. Pull Up (pull)
4. Bird Dog (core)
Complete 10 reps of each exercise back-to-back for 3 rounds, resting as needed between exercises. Done and done.
Here, you’re witnessing the power of templates, which is how every smart trainer I know creates workout routines. It’s like a trade secret. While the exercises and the amount of weight lifted will vary depending on your goals and fitness level, the template itself remains unchanged.
I hope you now feel inspired to create your own workouts and confident that they’ll be effective at helping you achieve your fitness goals.
Full-Body Workout Template FAQ
Can you build muscle, or lose fat with this template?
Yes. Circuit-style workouts are excellent for fat burning because they help maximize calorie burn while minimizing the chance of muscle loss. For muscle building, I would rest longer between each set and complete more rounds, so 4 or 5 total rounds.
Where are the arm exercises?
Biceps exercises should be in the pull category and triceps exercises under push.
While I’m not the biggest fan of arm exercises in general, you can also add a 5th category “Arms” after core and choose an arm exercise like a biceps curl for example. But that’s up to you.
Some exercises can span across more than one category. What then?
That is an astute observation. A deadlift can be added to the pull, leg, and even core categories. This is a more advanced nuance. You have two choices: (1) you can choose an exercise in every category anyways, which is totally cool and probably the best thing to do, or (2) you can just choose a push exercise, which is the remaining category.
For example, your workout could consist of a deadlift and a push-up.
In this case, I would do 5 rounds in instead of 3. And yes, two exercises can be a complete workout.
Can I add more rounds of the circuit?
Yes, you can. I think 3 can work well for most people, but you can also try 4 or 5 rounds as well.
Can I change the reps?
Yes, of course. If you do fewer reps and more weight, then rest more between sets so you can properly recover.
Creating a workout template is a foolproof way to get an awesome workout wherever and whenever. You can use it to create a muscle-building gym workout, or effective bodyweight circuits to stay in shape while you’re on vacation. Have any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments section below.