One of the most popular questions I get is, “What does you training routine look like on a weekly basis?”
The truth is, I don’t have set days were I train legs every Monday, arms every Tuesday, and so on. I can’t give you my exact routine, because I don’t even know what that is. I work out because it’s something I love to do, so I train what I feel like training when I feel like training it. Unless you’re preparing for some sort of physique competition, working out is something you do to feel good about yourself and to treat your body well. So do what you love!
I mentally crave exercise; therefore, I find myself at the gym 5-6 days a week. I rarely take a true rest day. Instead, I have more active rest days where I don’t go to the gym, but also am far from lazy. I walk at least 15,000 steps on a daily basis. Keep in mind, I am a unique individual and I NEED exercise everyday to mentally function. By no means is it necessary to be this active in order to be healthy.
I follow more of a split-routine training system where I dedicate certain training sessions to a specific muscle group. This is one of many ways to train, but it is the most popular. A split-routine training system is most beneficial for those training for hypertrophy because the same muscles are targeted the entire workout. Split-routines also allow for enough time to let each muscle group fully recover before training them again.
I train in a progressive overload style. This means that I increase weight each set and reduce repetitions. To get stronger you need to push yourself to do things you haven't done before. This is done by increasing weights used in a progressive manner.
My workouts typically last between 60-75 minutes total. If I don’t walk to the gym, I make sure I do some sort of warm up to heat my body up before I hit the weights—usually it’s a 5-10 minute incline walk on the treadmill or stair stepper. (Side Note: Stretch before and after your workout. I am guilty of skipping this, too, but let’s be proactive together and prevent injury!)
So let’s get into the specific muscle groups!
I aim to train legs 2 times a week. Right now, legs and glutes are my main focus. I want to gain strength and volume so I’m training for hypertrophy. One day I focus on using really heavy weights and the other day I focus more on endurance, completing more repetitions with lighter weights. I never train legs when my muscles are still sore; it’s important to let your muscles fully recover before training them again. I don’t split my leg days up into glute-focused, quad-focused, or hamstring-focused days. I make sure I hit a little of each in all my workouts.
Back day is a priority each week and I dedicate a whole training session to it. It usually starts with deadlifts for strength. I then move on to upper and middle back exercises, usually doing around 4 different exercises. I always end my back training sessions with back extensions and other lower back strengthening exercises.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I have a weird obsession with training shoulders. I just think strong shoulders look really nice so I make sure I train them at least once a week.
Since I do strive to have an overall strong, proportional physique, I do intend to train upper body once a week. I usually do this in a tri-set fashion where I train biceps, triceps, and chest. These three muscle groups are on the bottom of my priority list so if I have to skip a training session during the week, it’s always this one.
I don’t do too much ab work to be honest. A couple times a week I’ll throw in a few ab exercises at the end of my lifts. One of my goals is to create a progressive core strength training program though, so keep an eye out for that in a few months!
This widely varies. I rarely do low-intensity steady state cardio. Instead, I maximize my time by doing high-intensity intervals so my cardio sessions are quick and effective. Read more about the benefits of HIIT in Time to H.I.I.T. the Gym! I try to do a sprinting workout for 30 minutes every week, but other than that I only do 10-15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise after my lifts a couple times a week.
Also, like I said above, I walk an astronomical amount of steps each day, which is cardiovascular exercise in itself. I usually don’t walk strictly for exercise; I walk to get to and from work. On my breaks at work I go for walks because I have a sedentary job (or because I want Starbucks).
I wanted to share my training routine only because I get this question a lot. So, if you’re curious, here you go! I am by no means advocating that you should follow a similar schedule though. We are all at different points in our fitness journeys. We all have different goals. This is what works for me, my body, and my schedule. Find what works for you!
Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about setting up a workout schedule for yourself. As always, I’d be happy to help.