The recipe for a great strength-training workout is fairly simple. In fact, you only need five ingredients. Let’s call them the five main “movement categories:”
So you’ve got two lower-body movements (one that’s knee-dominant and one that’s hip-dominant), two upper-body movements (one that pushes the weight away from you and the other that pulls the weight toward you) and a core movement (one that preferably hits your abs and obliques all at once). Just about anyone can benefit from this workout structure because it hits every muscle from head to toe.
This template works especially well if you have limited equipment or can’t get to the gym at all. If one of my clients needs to work out at home or in their hotel room while traveling, I have them grab a resistance band and follow this recipe so they can get a solid workout no matter where they are.
OPTION #1: AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE (AMRAP)
Because you can’t quantify the exact “weight” with resistance bands, a surefire way to get a butt-kicking workout is to do each set for as many reps as possible. Don’t even count the reps – just keep going until it burns and you’re just shy of being unable to complete your last rep.
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Perform each exercise for 3 sets of as many reps as possible. Rest 60–90 seconds between sets.
SIDE PLANK (Hold for as long as possible on each side.)
The next time you do the workout, add an extra set of each exercise or decrease the rest periods.
OPTION #2: TIMED SETS
Timed under tension (TUT) describes the length of time a muscle is working during a set. The longer the TUT, the more strength and muscle you’ll potentially build. Set a clock for a given time and do as many reps as possible. Perform each rep as fast as you can while still keeping perfect form.
Perform each exercise for 2 sets of as many reps as possible in 30 seconds. Rest 60–90 seconds between sets.
STANDING 1-ARM ROW (30 seconds per side)
ANTI-ROTATION PRESS (30 seconds per side)
To progress this workout, add an extra set to each exercise or increase the duration of each set.
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AND THE BAND(S) PLAYED ON
The next time you can’t make it to the gym, don’t fret. Grab a resistance band and try these two workout schemes to stay on track. Stick with full-body exercises like the ones shown above and you’ll still hit every body part and break a sweat in the process.