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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 6 June, 2020

Not sure what to do in the gym? Here's a 60-minute basic workout that ticks all the boxes

Personal trainer David Last talks you through your next workout from start to finish.

Image: Shutterstock/djile

OVER THE LAST 18 months, I’ve filled the column with everything I feel is related to your health and fitness.

Workout advice, healthy lifestyle tips, nutrition support, right down to mindset and recovery protocols have been covered.

The goal of this column is to keep the content relevant to a large audience and get out as much real and honest information that I feel is related towards living a fit and healthy life.

The biggest obstacle I generally see with a lot of people using the gym is not really having any structure in their workout and not really knowing what to do for a general all-round workout.

In today’s piece I will give you a basic session with a good solid plan and layout for your workout. This is a general fitness program template for anyone looking to improve their overall fitness which will work on some mobility/flexibility, strength, fitness and core work. A lot of people I work with initially are a little unsure on the right structure for a session so I have no doubt this article will be handy for a lot of you.

The session length is 50-60 minutes and is broken down into 3/4 parts.

Warm up: 10 mins @ 50% level of intensity

This is a very important part of your session. The goal here is simple: get blood flowing around the body, increase the heart rate a little, and move joints while stretching and activating muscles in your body that need attention. Pieces of equipment that will come in handy here are resistance bands, foam rollers and lacrosse balls.

Most of the time I see people do two types of warm up: a) cross-trainer for 10 mins or b) not warm up at all. If you watch the video below, you will see me start off with a jump rope with a little bit of light jogging then into joint movement, foam rolling, stretching and finishing off with some activation band work.

Source: David Last/YouTube

Strength circuit 1: 20 minutes @ 70-80% intensity

No matter your age, gender or training level, I feel strength training is a must for anyone’s workout program.

I would generally encourage people to pick movements that will give them the best benefit, and to work on their weaknesses.

I would focus on compound movements such as squats and deadlifts along with plenty of pulling, pressing and some core drills.

4 sets of each of the following:

  • Back squat x 5 reps
  • Rest 20-30 seconds
  • KB/DB single-arm row x 8/8 reps
  • Rest 20-30 seconds
  • KB/DB side-bend x 10/10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute+ then repeat another set

Give yourself 4-5 mins to complete each full set and perform this four times. The goal is to go relatively heavy in relation to your own strength level.

Perform two warm-up back squat sets at 60-70%, then go a little heavier for your four work set, ideally 80-85% in intensity level.

Extra work / accessory work: 12 minutes @ 60-70% intensity

The goal here is to work on some other lighter smaller movements. Today we will focus on four exercises and in each exercise, I will give you 60 seconds to perform the movement.

It is 12 minutes in length. Here we have some extra lower body and upper body work along with some flexibility and core work. The goal is not to go heavy and focus on getting some higher reps in so the load should be 50-70% of your strength level.

At the top of every minute, perform one exercise and ideally you should get 20 seconds rest or so before you move onto the next exercise.

3 sets of

  • Minute 1: Reverse alternate lunge x 7/7 each leg
  • Minute 2: Ring row x 10 reps
  • Minute 3: Hip flexor pulsing stretch x 12 each leg
  • Minute 4: Core complex (knee tucks x 5 reps + hollow rocks x 5 reps) x 2

Conditioning work: 10 minutes @ 80-95% intensity

This portion of the session is where I feel you can make a few alterations and generally can go by feel and base this part of the workout on where you need to work the most.

For some people it might mean doing some aerobic work / anaerobic work, or for others it might be an opportunity to do some accessory work with some extra weight training. Then again, you may need to do some yoga or extra mobility work.

It comes down to what is needed most and how you are feeling on the day.

If you find yourself already burnt out from a long day at work or if you didn’t sleep well the night before, well then I wouldn’t suggest hammering yourself in an anaerobic conditioning piece.

Perhaps what is needed here is to be happy with what you have done above and leave your session at that, or do some extra work that wont be too taxing.

This could be anything like some yoga, resistance band work, core work or even just going for a light jog.

If you are feeling good and raring to go, well this is a time I would suggest pushing yourself and getting out of your comfort zone.

This will more than likely mean hitting up an anaerobic piece; getting the heart-rate high and bringing in some intensity like the session below:

  • Every 2 minutes perform 5 rounds of 8 air squats + 10 KB swings + 150m run + 30 second plank

The goal here is to get your reps unbroken from start to finish. Ideally males should be using at least at 16kg bell and ladies going with at least a 8kg bell.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a message from the links below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

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About the author:

David Last

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