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3 Options For Your Workout Structure

When it comes to how to put together a gym programme, the options are endless. 

That being the case, it can be tricky to know where to start, what’s important and what maybe not so important. 

They key question which should lie at the heart of your programme should be…

“What is my primary goal?”

Notice I said primary goal, it can be really easy to spread yourself too thin in the hope of improving all the attributes of health and fitness in one ‘magic’ programme.

Far too often I see people trying to get faster, stronger, more durable and flexible in the same 45 minute window.

More does not always mean better. 

As the saying goes, if you chase 2 rabbits, you likely end up with none. 

I’m sorry to say that the perfect programme just does not exist, it’s always a case of making the best of the situation we are in at any one time, paired with consistency, that will ultimately get you closer to where you want to go.

Another consideration is logistics, you’re options are severely limited if you train on a weekday evening at peak-time compared to someone working out mid-morning in a private PT gym. 

So let’s know look at some options you have when it comes to your training programme… 

1 – Straight Sets

The most simple option but the most time consuming.

Likely the best option for you if you train in a busy public gym and getting on equipment is difficult.

It would look something like:

  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest
  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest
  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest & Prepare/ Set Up Next Exercise
  • TOTAL OUTPUT = 30 Reps in 8 Minutes

2 – Super Sets

A very popular option as it helps you get in twice the work in almost the same amount of time, recommended if you train in a facility where using 2 stations simultaneously won’t be a problem. 

It would look something like:

  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • Pull Ups – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest
  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • Pull Ups – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest
  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • Pull Ups – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest & Prepare For Next Exercise
  • TOTAL OUTPUT = 60 Reps in 10 Minutes

Here i’ve shown you an example of what’s called an Antagonistic Superset, which basically means working 2 opposing muscle groups directly after one another. 

This is the most common for of superset there is and one I use both for myself and my client frequently.

There are other superset options available but for today let’s just focus on this one. 

3 – Tri Sets

An option as it helps you get in three times the work in a little more time, usually only feasible if you train off-peak in a facility where using 3 stations simultaneously won’t annoy/upset everyone else. 

It would look something like:

  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • Pull Ups – 10 Reps
  • Lateral Raise – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest
  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • Pull Ups – 10 Reps
  • Lateral Raise – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest
  • Bench Press – 10 Reps
  • Pull Ups – 10 Reps
  • Lateral Raise – 10 Reps
  • 2 Minute Rest & Prepare For Next Exercise
  • TOTAL OUTPUT = 90 Reps in 12 Minutes

As with the super sets, here i’ve shown you and example of using opposing muscle groups, in this case we have chest, back and shoulders.

It doesn’t always have to be opposing muscle groups, more advanced trainees may even use 3 exercise for the same muscle group. 

Although if they were to do this, i’d suggest a much longer rest between sets otherwise with the density being so high the drop-off in weight between the 1st and 3rd rounds would be huge.

I’m only really scratching the surface of what’s possible in the structure of a workout, we could easy add to or manipulate the above but for now here’s the most common 3 methods of structuring your exercises. 

On a final note, coming back to your primary training goal… 

The more exercises you do in a back-to-back format, the more you will come away from training for strength and go more towards endurance.

This is absolutely fine if that’s what you are looking for but should always be part of your consideration. 

Thanks for reading, have a great day.

Craig

Do you need confidential help with your health, fitness or nutrition? I have a range of services available, with Personal Training in my Private Gym in Manchester, also at your home or workplace in the surrounding areas. For clients further afield, I provide Online Personal TrainingNutritional Consultancy & Private Fitness Holidays.

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