In a world that is flooded with information with regards to physical fitness, it is quite easy to get lost in different programs, gadgets, and movements that either cost way too much, or don’t necessarily work. But in order to live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t need any of this! All you need is the knowledge to create your own workout, and the persistence to stick with your own workouts consistently.

Using the next ten workout designs will ensure that you can create hundreds of your own workouts, all while being able to ensure the proper intensity so that you can see the results I know you want. These are the same designs I use personally and for my clients in order to ensure body changing results. Without further ado, here are ten workout designs that will give you the power to change your own life!

Circuit

Easily the most prevalent and basic workout style is a Circuit. A Circuit is when you perform a group of exercises (typically 3 or more) in back to back sets with little to no rest in between. Performing a circuit adds an intense cardio component to your workouts, and is extremely beneficial to losing weight as well as making your workouts more time efficient.

Let’s say that we were performing a chest, shoulder, and triceps workout. A sample circuit for a workout like this would be to perform a bench press (chest exercise), a shoulder press (shoulder exercise), and a tricep extension (tricep exercise) without any rest in between. You could perform this circuit several times until your total amount of sets adds up to 16/24, or change the moves in the circuit and continually do different circuits. You could also make the circuits longer by adding more moves to each circuit. An example of a circuit is below:

  • Circuit 1 (repeat 2 times) Push Ups, Shoulder Press, Triceps Dip
  • Circuit 2 (repeat 2 times) Bench Press, Upright Row, Tricep Pulldowns
  • Circuit 3 (repeat 2 times) Chest Flys, Shoulder Flys, Tricep Extensions
  • Total Sets: 18

Pyramid

Another prevalent workout style is a Pyramid. Pyramids are a challenging and efficient way to get a lot of repetitions into a workout. Let’s use push-ups as an example to demonstrate what a pyramid is. You would perform one push-up, and then stand up. Then, you would go back down into push up position, but this time do this two push-ups. You would repeat this until you reach your total goal of let’s say 8. Then after you reach 8, you would have to come back down. You would do 7 push-ups, then 6, then 5, then 4, all the way down to 1. Below is this example in a step by step format:

  • 1 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 2 Push Up
  • Stand Ups
  • 3 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • …..
  • 8 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 7 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 6 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • …..
  • 1 Push Up
  • Stand Up

Drop Set

The third workout style is a Drop Set. Drop sets are also very challenging, and really get the muscle burn going. Let’s say we were doing a bicep workout. First, you need to curl a weight until you physically cannot lift it anymore (failure). After you reach this point, you are going to get a lighter weight (usually 5 pounds less), and then curl that weight until you physically cannot anymore. Do this for two more weight ranges, and I promise your muscles will be burning like never before! If you are a beginner and five pound increments are too much, don’t worry! As long as you decrease the weight after each set, and perform at least 4 sets total, the burn will be present. Below is a summary of what was just said:

  • Set 1: 20 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 2 (After first sets’ failure): 15 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 3 (After second sets’ failure): 10 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 4 (After third sets’ failure): 5 lbs Shoulder Press until failure

Super Set

The fourth workout style is a Superset. A Superset is very similar to a circuit, except it intends to work the same muscle group, and it is only a group of 2 sets. How a superset works is that you would complete one movement that works a specific muscle group, and immediately following reaching failure on the first set, you would perform another exercise that targets that same muscle group. While it does not necessarily have to be the same muscle group to be a superset, it typically is used in this way. An example is listed below:

  • Exercise 1: Bicep Curl (perform until failure)
  • Exercise 2 (performed immediately after first sets’ failure): Hammer Curls

Group Set

Group Sets is another kind of workout style, and it is when you do several sets of the same exercise, with a rest period in between each set. In addition, you would not move on until you complete ALL sets for the specific muscle group. For example, a workout that uses the multiple set style would look like this:

  • 4 Sets of Bench Press (Break in between each set. Don’t Move on until all 4 sets are done)
  • 3 Sets of Shoulder Press (Break between each set. (Don’t Move on until all 3 sets are done)
  • 3 Sets of Triceps Extensions (Break in between each set)

Heartbreaker Sets

Heartbreaker Sets are another way to intensify weightlifting, and bring the burn to your muscles even quicker. How these sets work is that you must perform 2 high-intensity cardio moves for 30 seconds each, and then jump into your normal set. The combination of your heart pounding while lifting weights will bring the burn to your muscles quickly. An example is as follows:

  • Jumping Jacks (as fast as possible)
  • Line Jumps (as fast as possible)
  • Bicep Curl Set

Goal Sets

Goal Sets are another interesting workout style where you set a goal number of reps for an exercise that is unusually high, and try to perform these sets in as little sets as possible. You can break these sets up however you want, and that will make it easier. An example of these sets would be as follows:

  • 100 Push Ups
  • 100 Squats
  • 100 Sit Ups
  • 100 Lunges

An example of how you would perform this exercise is to do 10 sets of 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 10 sit-ups, and 10 lunges.

Compound Circuit

A Compound Circuit is a challenging combination of a circuit and a pyramid. How it works is you take one compound move (i.e a Bicep Curl into a Shoulder Press), and then move into a different compound move that works one of the muscle groups worked in the first movement (shoulders), and a different muscle group (triceps). The next compound movement would include the muscle that wasn’t chosen from the first compound movement (biceps), and the different muscle group worked in the second compound movement (triceps).  An example will illustrate this circuit more clearly below:

  • Bicep Curl into Shoulder Press
  • Shoulder Press into Tricep Extension
  • Tricep Extension into Bicep Curl

Station Workout

A Station Workout is a large circuit that is generally taken for time. How it works is you must establish five or more “stations”, and at each station you perform an exercise for a certain amount of time. Once this time is up, you will move onto to another station, and repeat this process. You can go around the station several times, and these workouts are excellent for total body and cardio work. An example is listed below:

  • Station 1 (1:00): Calf Raises
  • Station 2 (1:00): Squats
  • Station 3 (1:00): Bridges
  • Station 4 (1:00): Lunges
  • Station 5 (1:00): Fast Feet
  • Repeat 3 times

Progression Set

A Progression Set is an interesting twist to a circuit. How it works is that you will perform a circuit once, and the second time that you perform the set each move will be slightly intensified or complicated. An example is below:

  • Circuit 1: 15 Push Ups, 15 Squats. 15 second Plank
  • Circuit 2: 15 Push with shoulder taps, 15 Squat Jumps, 30 second Plank
  • Circuit 3: Plyometric Push Ups, 15 Squat Jump Thrusts, 60 second Plank

Well, that’s all ten! I want to stress that these are by no means the only ways to create your own workouts. I encourage you to further your research online, and adopt the ideas of other people in the fitness industry as well so that you can continue to challenge your body in different and creative ways! If you use and combine these ten designs, all while manipulating the information provided in my previous article “A Beginners Guide to Exercise Volume 1”, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to create a personalized workout that will get you the results you so desire!

This is a guest post by Alex Perelló, click here to view his bio and other articles!

Posted by Scott V.H.

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