There’s an art to building an effective workout.  If you’ve struggled with feeling unfocused or unproductive in the gym before, this blog is for you!

I thought I’d teach you my Insider Secrets as to how I build the perfect workout for clients…and how YOU can do the same.

I literally follow this same basic structure whether I want to workout for 10 minutes in a hotel room, 39 minutes in our program, or I have an hour to blow at work and just want to have fun.  And yes, I do workout “just for fun!”

There’s a simple formula to follow-

  • Warmup
  • Strength
  • INTENSE/ Explosive (ie. Sprints, double kettlebells, swimming sprints, etc.)
  • Cardio
  • Stretch

Before you go and say this looks too complicated, I’m going to show you how easy this can be when you give up on the idea of 1.5 hour cardio sessions and being unfocused in the gym.

Most of my clients are 35-65 and either have kids, work or BOTH…so time is of essence.

You don’t have 1.5 hours or more to workout.  So let’s talk about each one, and I have video examples of a few to help you out.

  • The Warmup– I have TWO warmup videos here for you to check out. One can be done in your office or just out of bed, and it should take about 3-5 minutes at the most.  The first will require a kettlebell, and the second just needs you.
  • Warmup with a Kettlebell — http://youtu.be/yGqMqs1nV-A
  • Warmup with Bodyweight alone– http://youtu.be/lrUiE5xax8M
  • Strength– This one is often done incorrectly by both women and men for different reasons, so I’ll cover each.

For WOMEN- I often see fear or lack of knowledge blocking you.  Too many women fear heavy weights (heavy being relative to age and ability).  But the key here is that you can’t get stronger without lifting a challenging weight.

We’re talking full-body exercises that you can only do about 1-5 reps to build strength.  Squats, deadlifts, rows (pullups are king), presses (overhead or pushup style)…are all good examples.

If you feel confused or need more support here, my Insider Circle program called Transformation39 can be done from home with just 3 kettlebells, and I’ll teach you what moves to do and how to do them safely.  For more info CLICK HERE– http://39minuteworkout-at-home.com/t-39/

In terms of fear, maybe a little education on WHY will help.

Why is strength important?  Because almost every goal women have- fat burning, firming “trouble spots,” and building bones- will be greatly enhanced by building strength first.

If you take a women who is strong and then have her do cardio/explosive work…she will flat out burn more fat than a woman with relatively little strength.  If you want to burn fat like crazy, FIRST get stronger.

Firming muscles and building bones is virtually impossible with tiny weights.  The image of the slender fitness model in all the magazines getting her firm body with 5lb dumbells is insane.  If she looks that way, she either did so because she’s 23, or she actually works out with heavy weights.

I’ve had women in their 60’s build bone density through simple kettlebell strength exercises and minor changes to the diet.  So get strong.

MEN- Men, you have to remember that you have legs and a back!

The old image of men in the college gym with huge arms and pecs and tiny legs should explain what I mean.  When men try to get back to their glory days they tend to do what they remember.  Bench press, pullups, curls.

That’s all fine, but you have legs and a back too!  So you have to find some big leg moves that work both areas.  In general, squats, lunges, deadlifts and the like should be added to your routine.

Strength can be as little as 5 sets of 5 reps for 3 core moves- The front squat, strict double military press with the kettlebell, and pullups.  That’s just one example that will get major results in less than 15 minutes.

  • INTENSE/ Explosive– For all things explosive, kettlebells are king. Even though they take some time to perfect, I’ve trained people of average athleticism and poor conditioning, from 11-74 years old, in a matter of weeks.

 

Kettlebells do one thing very well.  They use a LOT of muscle groups in a quick but safe range of motion…so they burn a lot of fat and get the heart rate pumping.

 

Explosive work is virtually missing from most people’s workouts, or it’s done in a dangerous way.  I see all kinds of home workouts that fry your nervous system with constant reps of jumps and take you to the brink of exhaustion.

 

If you are already fatigued to the point of getting sloppy, you should not be doing risky moves.  There’s an art to how much and when with explosive exercises.

 

Of course if you love running or swimming, this can also be done with sprints.  Something that can be done at an all-out effort for no more than 30 seconds at a time, followed by active recover (think- staying loose) and then another quick burst of effort.
Done in the right dose, this will turn you into a fat burning machine.  Done wrong and you’ll either wear out your hormones (make fat loss impossible) or hurt yourself (too many sets at too high intensity using complex moves).

 

I’m attaching TWO videos here.  One where I teach/troubleshoot the kettlebell swing, and the other where I give you a 10 minute fat burner I taped LIVE On Facebook

 

The most overused form of training, but still important…cardio!

I don’t mean to minimize the importance of cardio.  It’s good for helping your mood, making you sweat and detox naturally, and burn fat to an extent.  But it’s NOT king in the fitness world.

Most people build a workout that’s almost entirely built around steady-state cardio (running, spin, Zumba).  These are a great compliment to your fitness routine, but the 2nd and 3rd goals listed above will do a lot more to help you burn fat, firm up and build bones.

I also think cardio can be treated more like a finisher.  For most people I would stick with 30 minutes just 2-4 times a week at the most.  A simple brisk walk a few times a week is really all you need for the big benefits.

Look, if you absolutely LOVE cardio, keep it up.  It’s not inherently bad for you.  I will just urge you to remember strength and explosiveness, and don’t do so much cardio that you wear out your body.

I’ve worked with MANY cardio-a-holics who train 6 days a week, eat better than I do and seeming CANNOT lose weight.  The answer is simple.  They are over training.  They are doing so much cardio that their body won’t burn fat.

Get a sweat, move your body, be done.  That’s it.

  • Stretching– Again, this can be done in less than 5 minutes. I would recommend just 3 leg stretches and two upper body stretches.  Next week I’ll be making a short video of the top 5 stretches you need to add to your routine…so watch out for that.

That’s the PLAN.  All of your needs can be broken down to these 5 needs…the warmup and stretching can be done in under 6 minutes.  The workout can be anywhere from 10-39 minutes.

If you are inspired to get healthy this New Years and have a great work ethic but want more support, we’re taking members for our January 9th Beginner’s Only Kettlebell Bootcamp!!!  Check it out here- http://39minuteworkout.com/trial/