I learned a lot of valuable things while working as a personal trainer in a boutique gym in Metro Detroit. One of the biggest takeaways is how forty-five minutes of regular strength training sessions at least two to three times a week can produce incredible results. Another is that workouts don’t have to be complicated or involve a ton different exercises to be effective.
I miss putting templates together on the regular, and I’m hoping for the chance to do that again soon when the world and gyms are closer to opening up again. For now, I’m taking advantage of working out exclusively at home (and running outside) by streaming a variety of little to no-equipment workouts and channels for exercise inspiration. There are a lot of great resources out there!
Today I’d like to keep things simple and share an extremely quick workout template tool that I turn to all the time. If I’m ever in a hurry to get a workout started or if I only have a limited time to complete one, I will often apply the rule of three in formatting: push, pull, squat.
Of course you’re going to see optimal results by incorporating more targeted muscle groups with additional exercises as well as more variety from the “hinge” and “carry” categories, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quickly put a “push, pull, squat” together and called it a day.
It really is a great go-to!
Before we break it down, here are two things that will help you get the most out of your time and workouts.
- If you are doing the same workout and exercises over and over again more than a few weeks at a time, your body will essentially get used to the workout, and you won’t see results like you would by progressing your movements or changing the workout up entirely. (This means that you can repeat your workout, just make sure to switch it up, too!)
- If possible, complete each round of exercises more than once. You will see more results in strength and definition from repetition, unless you go extremely heavy or high in reps to muscle fatigue with one set. There is a science behind doing this, but I usually don’t train this way.
Now let’s put a workout together! All you have to do is pick one exercise from each category, decide how many reps you’re going to do of each, then pick how many rounds. There are many more exercises to choose from than what is included on this list, but you’ll see the majoirty of my favorites below.
Here is an example of a great push, pull, squat workout:
Here is another:
And here is an example of how you can vary in focus as well. This is more of an advanced workout with stability and plyometric movements incorporated.
Now onto the exercises. Pick your push, your pull, and your squat and get to to work! Again, these are just some of my favorites. I’d love to hear about some of yours if I missed them.
(chest, shoulders, and triceps)
push-up with resistance band
alternating push-ups with medicine ball
bench press (dumbbell or barbell)
pull-up (assisted, if needed)
deadlift (these are argued to also be considered in push and/or squat categories, but I think it fits into “pull” the most. And it’s a great one!)
(quads, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, calves)
lunge (forward, reverse, lateral)
squat hold or wall sit
I would also recommend pairing exercises that offset each other.
For example, I wouldn’t put push-ups and burpees in the same workout, as the burpee calls for a push-up in the middle of it. If I wanted the burpee, I’d opt for a shoulder or triceps exercise instead. Also, if I chose the deadlift as my pull exercise, I would opt for a lunge versus another squat movement.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this. Happy Formatting!
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- How To Foam Roll And Stretch Before Your Workout
Did I miss your favorite push, pull, or squat exercise?
Share your favorite combination below!
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me, and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine.