Let’s face it, you’re busy and you can’t go to the gym more than 1 – 3 times a week, but you really want to strengthen your overall body. We’ve put together this collection of exercises to give you the maximum, full body return for each of your gym visits. It includes exercises that isolates each of your muscle groups for all around strength training.

If you’re doing this workout multiple times per week, be sure to give yourself a day or two rest in between. Supplementing this workout with cardio (treadmill, bike, elliptical, rowing, jump rope, etc.) will also give you great results while maintaining your cardiovascular health.

Exercise no. 1

Wide Grip Lateral Pulldown

4 sets of 10 reps

  1. Start by sitting at a lateral pulldown cable pulley. Keep your feet planted and adjust the knee holders (if available) to the correct height. Attach a wide bar to the pulley.
  2. Reach up and grip on the shorter angled portions on each side of the bar, with you palms facing forward. Lean back at a 25 – 35 degree angle with your chest sticking out. This will give your back a natural curve.
  3. Exhale while slowly pulling the bar down towards your chest. You should feel your back squeeze together at the bottom of the movement.
  4. Pause, then inhale while slowly letting the bar back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

Tip: Be sure to not swing with your back to pull the bar downwards. Be sure to also keep your back stable through the movement.

Exercise no. 2

Tricep Pushdowns

4 sets of 10 reps

  1. Attach an EZ bar or rope attachment to a high pulley. Stand 1-2 steps away from the pulley with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. If you’re using an EZ bar hold the bar on the inside grips with your palms facing down and your hands in an almost upside down V following the natural curve of the EZ Bar. If you’re using a rope attachment hold the ends of the rope out in front of you in an upside down V shape.
  3. Keep your elbows into your body and your upper our stationary. While exhaling, slowly bring the EZ bar or rope downwards towards your legs as far as you can. During this movement it’s very important you keep your wrists as straight as possible – rotating them with the movement to avoid injury.
  4. When you get to the bottom of the movement pause for moment. Now slowly inhale while bringing the bar up towards the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.
Exercise no. 3

Lateral Raises

4 sets of 10 reps on each arm

  1. Start by picking a pair of dumbbells that will allow you to complete the recommended number of reps. Stand straight with your feet about shoulder width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  2. Keep your torso upright and your back straight while holding both dumbbells on to your sides. The inside of your hands should be facing each other and your fist should be facing downwards almost as if you’re going to punch the ground.
  3. Lift the both dumbbell up directly up towards your sides until your arms are slightly above your shoulders. Your elbow should be slightly bent but the rest of your arm should.
Exercise no. 4

Barbell Squats

4 sets of 10 reps

  1. Start with the barbell supported on top of your traps. Your chest should be up and the head facing forward. Maintain a hip-width stance with the feet turned out as needed.
  2. Descend by flexing your knees, refraining from moving the hips back as much as possible. This requires that the knees travel forward. Ensure that they stay align with the feet. The goal is to keep the torso as upright as possible.
  3. Continue all the way down while keeping the weight on the front of the heel. When the upper legs contact the lower legs, reverse the motion, driving the weight upward.
Exercise no. 5

Barbell Deadlifts

4 sets of 10 reps

  1. Approach the barbell so that it is centered over your feet. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder-width allowing your shoulder blades to protract. Typically, you would use an alternating grip.
  2. With your grip and feet set, take a big breath and slowly lower your hips and flex the knees until your shins contact the bar. Keep your chest up, look forward with your back arched. Begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
  3. Once the bar passes the knees, aggressively pull the bar back. Pull your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
  4. Lower the bar to the floor by guiding it and bending at the hips.
Exercise no. 6

Barbell Bench Press

4 sets of 10 reps

  1. Lie back on a flat bench. With a medium width grip (a grip that produces a 90-degree angle in the center of the motion between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight above you together with your arms locked. This is your place.
  2. From this position, as you inhale and slowly come down until the bar touches your middle chest.
  3. After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting place while breathing out. Concentrate on pushing on the bar using your chest muscle. Squeeze your chest at the peak position of the movement, hold for a second and then begin coming down slowly. Tip: Ideally, lowering the weight should take about twice as long as raising it.
  4. Repeat the movement for the amount of repetitions.
  5. When you’re done, set the bar back in the rack.

Additional Tips:

  • If you’re new at this Exercise, it’s recommended that you use a spotter. Also, be conservative with the amount of weight if you don’t have a spotter.
  • Beware of letting the Bar drift too far forward. Ideally, you want the bar to touch your middle chest
  • Don’t bounce the weight off your chest. You should be in fully control of the barbell at all times.
Exercise no. 7

Alternating Dumbbell Curls

4 sets of 10 reps

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the body and the palms of the hand should be facing your thighs.
  2. While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the right dumbbell as you rotate the palm of your hand until they are facing forward. At this stage continue contracting the biceps as you exhale until your bicep is fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. As you squeeze the biceps hold this position for a second. Tip: During this exercise, the forearms should only move.
  3. As you breathe in, slowly bring the dumbbell back to its original position. Tip: Remember to twist the palms back to the original position as you come down.
  4. Repeat this movement with the opposite hand. This equals one repetition.
  5. Continue alternating hands for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Linda Piyawadhanachai

I first got into weight lifting when I got hired into an office job. I found myself eating junk food and fast food all the time. I knew if I kept this up, I would later regret it in the future. I wanted to make a change and want to help others make a change too!
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Kiyan Sheikh

My goal is to inspire others to reach their fitness goals and become a confident, better version of themselves. Being fit doesn’t just mean going from fatty to lean, people that are lean also need help increasing things like their cardio or endurance.
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