When it comes to working out, I have already written about how I create my own tools. I like to research what ideas work for others, but then tailor them to what I need. I prefer to make my own, build my own, and even program my own. Specifically, I prefer to build my own workout programs.
I build my programs with five blocks designed to take about ten minutes each. After a good warm-up block, I transition to a pure strength exercise. Depending on the day, I do bench press, squats, dead lifts, or rows. Each set is done in a 5×5 set (five sets with 5 repetitions in each set). I do my best to lower the weights as slowly as I can and then explode with the upward movement.
Following the strength set, I do a set of five accessory lifts. I mix in a variety of these workouts depending on the upper body or leg focus of the day. Some of my upper body lifts are upright rows, pull-ups, push-ups, and kettlebell swings. Some of my leg lifts are dumbbell squats, step-ups, wall sits, and single leg deadlifts. After four of these lifts I finish with a core exercise like planks, ab roller, or medicine ball activities.
My next block of workouts involves my homemade suspension trainer system. I do different body weight exercises, usually in groups of three, on the trainer. They include things like rows, dips, and flies. Using the trainer system is great because it uses my body weight in a functional movement.
My final block is my hardest, and is a good mental toughness set. It involves doing an activity, or set of activities, as many times as possible in ten minutes. When I am tired at the end of my workout it would be easy to finish with a relaxing set. The mental toughness part comes in really pushing myself to finish as strong as I possibly can. My end sets include doing “man makers” (adding an extra push-up after each row), rope climbs, and a set of 10 pullups/15 push-ups/50 mountain climbers.
By programming my own workouts, I can tweak things so I am getting in the work that I need to improve (for a sample program, click on the link at the end of the post). Personally, I like to leave my “gym” with nothing left in the tank. Doing my own research and programming allows me to do just that…speaking from experience.