You need to workout if you want to improve you body in many different ways.
Physical fitness also affects your mental fitness and working out properly is a way to greatly improve both.
The right workout will improve strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and body composition.
This page is going to be your workout guide so you know exactly what you need to do to improve your fitness levels in all possible ways.
There are a huge number of different workout types that you'll find on this page.
A great workout plan will take you exactly where you want to go and can be found right here at Weight Lifting Complete.
Workout Table of Contents
Due to the very large amount of information on this page, I have included an easy to use table of contents below. Use the links to take you further down the page.
- Workout Routines
- Fitness Workout
- Best Workout
- Bodybuilding Workouts
- Cardio Workout
- Abs Workout
- Workout Plan
At the end of each of the sections above, there will be a link to bring you right back to here. This allows you to navigate this workout guide quickly and easily.
I always check to see the top results in search engines so I did the same for workouts.
This gives me a good idea of what most of you are seeing out there and learning across the Internet.
What I found for workouts is mostly trash. I actually had trouble finding anything good, which means you will too.
For example, I see these workout videos with a 7-minute workout. The exercises aren't bad, but there's absolutely no plan for you to follow at all.
When there is no plan to follow for extended periods of time, you'll go looking for another random workout routine and do that one next.
There is no progression and programming of exercises to ensure you are making progress. For instance, if you do the same body weight reverse lunge for every workout for the same repetitions, you will not make ANY progress!
There are many bodybuilding workouts out there that don't really explain too much for you.
Every workout program or workout plan that you want to use must have all the details laid out for you. If not, you won't know what to do when you arrive at certain situations.
For instance, how much are you going to increase the weight between workouts and when are you going to increase the weight lifted?
Or, what are you going to do when you are having trouble increasing the weight and reaching the target number of reps?
Mis-Information About Bodybuilding Workouts
When I searched for bodybuilding workouts, I found some of the following questions:
- How long do bodybuilders workout a day?
- What is the best workout schedule to build muscle?
- How many days a week should I lift weights to build muscle?
- What body parts to work on what days?
- Do bodybuilders workout every day?
- How many times do bodybuilders workout?
- Do you have to lift heavy to get big?
- How often should a beginner lift weights?
- Which split is best for muscle building?
The answers that I found to the above questions were absolutely horrible.
For instance, “bodybuilders workout 6 to 7 days per week and twice per day most days.” What kind of person spreads this information? People see this and think they need to lift weights all the time to build a great body.
This is 100% false. Most people will do way too much after reading things like that.
And then I find German Volume Training as a recommendation. The combination of German Volume Training with 6 to 7 twice a day workouts will literally kill someone. This is the type of information people are finding about bodybuilding workouts. Not good.
Bodybuilding Split Routines
Some of the worst information that I've ever found has to do with split routines.
Each and every “expert” out there believes that you must split your workouts into body parts or muscle groups.
A typical split routine might look like this:
Monday: Chest and Abs
Tuesday: Back and Traps
Wednesday: Quads and Hamstrings
Friday: Shoulders and Calves
Saturday: Triceps and Biceps
What “experts” don't seem to understand is when you work your chest you are also working your back muscles, shoulder muscles, biceps, triceps, and more.
You Can't Split Muscle Groups Very Well Anyway
And when you work your back, you are working many other muscle groups. Those same “experts” will then correctly recommend compound weight lifting exercises and then tell you that you need to wait 7 days before working that muscle group again.
The reason is that your muscles need a full 7 days of rest to recover properly. They will then tell you that full body workouts are horrible because they don't allow enough rest for your muscles to fully recover.
What they don't understand is that you are using all of those muscle groups when you perform the big compound weight lifting exercises!
This is just another example of bad information that does affect how you workout and what you choose to do.
Cardio workouts have started to look more and more like weight lifting workouts.
For instance, I see a fat burning cardio workout video with all of these squat and lunge movements.
Then I see the people taking breaks constantly. This is not what you will find here at Weight Lifting Complete.
Burpees, jumping rope, and other exercises are more for conditioning that cardio because you can't keep going on these for long periods of time.
Conditioning workouts are used during muscle building cycles when calories are higher.
Cardio workouts are longer period workouts in which you continue moving without any rest periods. You instead use active rest periods in which you slow down or decrease the intensity. You don't stop and rest.
You Don't Need Squats, Lunges, and Step Ups in Your Cardio Workout
Don't mix all of these weight lifting movements like squats and lunges into cardio workouts. Save those for your weight lifting workouts nd let those muscles recover between workouts. Use steady state cardio to help that recovery and not make it more difficult on those muscle groups.
Many “experts” say that steady state cardio doesn't work because look at all the people at commercial gyms that do endless amounts of cardio and stay the same.
This isn't why they are staying the same. There are other reasons for that.
They are doing the same amount, same machine, same intensity, and eating unhealthy foods most likely. They aren't improving because they aren't making the right changes. It's not the steady state cardio!
You now see all of these different cardio workouts instead of steady state cardio. Steady state cardio for longer periods of time should form the basis of your cardio workouts.
Ab workouts are everywhere. There are entire websites and networks of websites dedicated to ab workouts and ab exercises.
This is a huge waste of time. Yes, your abdominals are very important to your body but ab exercises don't even work your abdominal muscles very well.
Big compound weight lifting exercises like the squat, deadlift, push up, row, overhead press, and chin up will work them much better than any sit up or crunch.
And yes, most ab exercises are just some silly variation of a sit up or crunch done in some ridiculous manner that your body never uses.
Stop wasting time with these ridiculous ab exercises and start doing compound weight lifting exercises. Focus on the best exercises in your workouts and don't waste time with inferior exercises.
If your abs truly need more work than compound exercises, you can add an exercise or two to your workout routine.
The typical ab workouts with crunches aren't going to get rid of your belly fat, waist fat, or much of any body fat. The exercise ball isn't the savior for your abdominals. This is the truth.
An increase in physical fitness is the goal of fitness workouts.
Physical fitness increases can be caused by any or all of the following factors:
- Body Composition
Any fitness workout program should combine different types of workouts and exercises to ensure you are increasing in each of the above factors of fitness.
Weight Lifting Workouts
Weight lifting workouts that you'll find here at Weight Lifting Complete will increase all physical fitness factors when using the WLC System in accordance with each workout.
Cardiovascular exercise is completed as steady state cardio or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that allows you to increase endurance greatly.
Some weight lifting workouts will also use higher rep training which increases endurance.
The main goal and focus of weight lifting should be to get stronger. With strength gains, you will build muscle and increase muscle size. This is especially true if you are eating all healthy foods with a calorie surplus.
The Goal of Any Workout is to Get Better!
The goal of any workout, including weight training, is to get better and make progress. Progress in strength training is lifting heavier weight or increasing repetitions completed with the same weight.
From year to year with weight training, you should be seeing good strength increases on each of the best exercises.
These best exercises are the squat, deadlift, bench press, row, overhead press, chin up, and dip. All programs here at Weight Lifting Complete focus on those 7 movements. Work on getting very strong on those 7 exercises and variations of those exercises.
An example variation or alternative for the squat is the lunge. Lunges are a great substituion for the squat if needed. There are a huge number of variations in all of those 7 core movements.
You will find an absolute huge number of free workout routines out there.
Most all of them you are going to find are split routines. I've already discussed split routines some, but many of the workouts are going to use a huge number of exercises and sets for each muscle group.
For instance, I see this as a free dumbbell workout with 8 to 12 reps for each exercise:
- Dumbbell Bench Press, 5 sets
- Decline Dumbbell Bench Press, 3 sets
- Dumbbell Floor Press, 3 sets
- Seated Dumbbell Press, 4 sets
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise, 3 sets
- Dumbbell Tricep Overhead Extension, 3 sets
To me, a workout like this is ridiculous because I don't need to do 4 different pressing exercises and 15 total sets of 8 to 12 reps each exercise. This is simply a waste of workout time. Then, I'll add lateral raises and overhead extensions too.
So Many Isolation Exercises Are a Waste of Workout Space and Time
And then, I'll wait another week and do all of that madness over again. This type of workout is popular in all of the big time websites and magazines. Most people won't be happy with the exercises so they will end up adding even more.
For the normal person, this can be way too much for the chest and shoulders depending on how close you go to failure. For instance, if you stop the rep when rep speed slows down, this may work well for you.
I highly recommend full body workouts multiple times per week for most people as this gives you the opportunity to practice each of the best exercise movements more often than once per week split routines.
Once you make great progress with full body workouts and become very strong, then you might want to try a reduced frequency with split routines. I even teach you and show you to implement different styles of training with the WLC Workouts.
Here's the definition of routine: “A sequence of actions regularly followed.”
A good exercise routine is going to help you get into a sequence of actions that you regularly follow.
For example, with the WLC System based exercise routine, your weekly schedule might look like this:
Monday: Weight Lifting Workout A, Cardio Workout A
Tuesday: Rest, Cardio Workout B
Wednesday: Weight Lifting Workout B
Thursday: Rest, Cardio Workout C
Friday: Weight Lifting Workout A, Cardio Workout A
This is just an example that will get you into regular exercise with weight training, stretching exercises, and cardiovascular exercises.
Results Must Be Measured and Changes Made Accordingly
With the WLC System, you measure results on a weekly basis and make adjustments as required. For instance, if fat loss begins to slow just slightly, you might add more time to your cardio workouts or add another cardio session for the week.
Then, you measure results the following week and see if you hit the sweet spot for fat loss. This is what a good exercise routine will do for you. Measuring results is a must if you want to continue getting results from any exercise program.
There are too many exercise routines of all types all over the world that do not show you or teach you how to make progress. The same things are done over and over without any progress being made.
Full Body Workout Routine
A full body workout routine is my absolute favorite and most highly recommended workout style.
You will find recommendations to continue with full body workout programs until you are very strong, and you might even continue with them after that too if they continue working well for you.
There are some good split routines out there, but most of them use a ridiculous amount of volume (number of exercises, number of sets, and number of overall reps per muscle group).
Many of those routines come from big time bodybuilders who use steroids to build maximum amounts of muscle. This doesn't work for the natural weight trainer like you and I.
Trust me, I know because I've tried all of them in the past. Those types of routines can work for the select few who have absolutely amazing genetics and recovery abilities.
Example Full Body Workout Routine
Here's an example of a full body workout routine:
1. Squats, 3×5 (3 sets of 5 reps)
2. Weighted Push Up, 3×5
3. Pendlay Rows, 3×5
4. Dips, 3×8
1. Squats, 3×5
2. Overhead Press, 3×5
3. Trap Bar Deadlifts, 3×5
4. Chin Ups, 3×8
You would alternate those full body workouts every other day with at least a full day of rest between workouts.
You might take 2 days rest on the weekend or the middle of the week depending on the schedule that works best for you.
You may notice that there aren't any isolation exercises within the full body workout routine. Many people will get upset if there aren't arm exercises like curls and ab exercises like crunches.
Compared to the exercises listed in the full body workout routine, curls and crunches are an absolute waste of time. If it's something you truly need (arm muscle weakness or ab weakness that needs to be prioritized), then you can add an isolation exercise.
Adding Exercises and More Volume Increases Recovery Requirements
Just remember that the more exercises you add, the more recovery time required. You should first make sure you can handle the number of exercises and sets with the big compound exercises first.
If you're getting good results (strength gains continuously), then you can try to add one isolation exercise. See if the results continue. If so, you can handle the increased volume.
This is just an example of how you learn more about yourself and your abilities to recover from workouts.
Some people will need to do less and some people will need to do more. This work capacity can and will change over time the more you lift weights and perform cardiovascular exercise.
This is also why cardio workout routines are important as they can lead to more work capacity and better results from strength training.
Weight Lifting Routines
I do not recommend any weight lifting routines that are single workouts with no plan of progression.
A huge variety of exercises in a weight lifting routine with no regular period or sequence of repeating exercises is also not recommended (at all).
There are single workout routines everywhere. People want a shoulder workout so they go looking for a single shoulder workout. Then they want a chest workout and they find one and do that one once. And so on.
This routine of finding single workouts continues and many times major muscle groups like the legs are neglected. Imbalances begin to form throughout your body when you do things like this.
Instead of finding single workout routines, you need to find weight lifting routines that build a completely balanced body with the best overall weight lifting exercises. Always make sure to have a balance between the upper body and lower body muscle groups.
It's also very important to work opposite muscle groups as well. For example, don't over work the quadriceps and do nothing for the hamstrings.
Big compound exercises prevent this type of issue as a large number of muscle groups throughout your body are worked on each compound weight lifting exercise.
Kettlebell Workout Routines
Kettlebells are highly recommended and are similar to dumbbells but the weight distribution is much different giving a much different feel to the same exercise.
Explosive movements or “ballistic” movements are also a characteristic of kettlebell exercises and this is one of the main reasons I highly recommend kettlebells as another workout tool.
For people who want to work their core or abs constantly, throw a kettlebell exercise into your workout program. With the WLC System, you are allowed to make exercise substitutions if they fit the plan correctly. For instance, you might substitute heavy kettlebell swings for the pull thru exercise in of the workouts.
You would then work on getting really strong on the kettlebell swing.
When you go looking for kettlebell workout routines, you're also going to run into a bunch of horribly designed (or you could say not really designed as the exercises are just thrown together with no plan) routines so be careful.
I don't recommend using ONLY kettlebells in your workout program as I believe in a mixture of different types of weight loads. But, I do recommend using kettlebells and mixing kettlebell exercises into your workout routines (with a plan of course).
For instance, I don't think you can obtain sufficient loading for low rep ranges of heavy squats or deadlifts with just kettlebells.
Home Workout Routines
Home workout routines are highly recommended. In order to workout properly, though, you need the right weight lifting equipment.
You can always begin with just bodyweight workouts, but you need a good plan of progression over the course of a few months of working out.
For instance, you might start out with just 5 bodyweight squats in the first workout. If you worked out every other day for a year, you would have about 180 chances to get better on body weight squats.
If you increased the number of bodyweight squats each workout by just 1, you could be up to 185 body weight squats. No one wants to do 185 bodyweight squats as that will take a good amount of time and most of the reps aren't “effective” muscle building reps.
In order to save time and provide yourself with more effective workouts, you would start loading the squats with some type of resistance. This is where a low cost pair of adjustable dumbbells would come in handy.
Create Effective Workouts By Increase the Resistance
You could start increasing the dumbbells by just 5 pounds each week. This would be an increase of over 250 pounds for the year. Most people don't want to attempt to hold 125 pound dumbbells in each hand and do squats.
Dumbbells this heavy will be difficult to get into place, but you would get amazing results progressing from body weight squats to 250 pounds squats.
Since very heavy dumbbells are difficult to use for heavy squats, this is where a barbell or safett squat barbell comes into play. Now, it's much easier to load the squat with weight plates and a barbell.
This is why I recommend a power rack, Olympic barbell sets, dumbbell sets, weight bench, pull up station, and a dip station as a minimal home gym. From there, you can add more home gym equipment such as a trap bar, hip belt, cable system, and more.
With the weight lifting equipment I have listed out for you, any home workout routines can be completed.
You also should add 2 to 3 cardio machines in your home gym for convenience and for days with bad weather. Cardio workouts can also be done in your home gym and outdoors around your home or apartment.
Bowflex Workout Routines
A Bowflex machine is not he greatest or most recommended piece of workout equipment, but many people have these machines and are attempting to put them to good use.
If you're looking to dust off your Bowflex and looking for good Bowflex workout routines, this is the place to find them.
The first rule for a good Bowflex routine is choosing the best exercises to use on your version of this machine. There are what seems like an endless number of models so it's important to find the exercises manual that comes with your Bowflex.
You can usually find the manual for your machine rather easily.
Then, use that manual to find the exercises that are closest to the 7 core exercises: squat, deadlift, bench press, row, overhead press, chin up, and dip.
You Should Find Your Bowflex Workout Manual and Find the Best Exercises
Since the Bowflex doesn't cause the same amount of stress to muscles as free weights, I would put all 7 of the core exercise movements in the same workout routine plus add a few isolation exercises for your weakest muscle groups.
For instance, here's the workout manual for a Bowflex Blaze.
Page 45 shows the squat exercise. You would choose this as your first exercise of every workout.
Bench press is shown on page 18. You would continue until you have 7 to 10 exercises for your Bowflex workout routine. You would then a plan for reps and sets.
You will find Bowflex workout routines throughout the Weight Lifting Complete website so you don't have to worry about putting everything together on your own.
There are all types of fitness workouts that you can do.
The most important aspect for a fitness workout, though, is that you're getting all types of fitness so you build a complete body.
This is the exact problem with most fitness workouts, though!
Many fitness “experts” don't have a clue what they are doing and build these worthless workouts and routines that simply waste time. If you aren't improving fitness substantially, you will most likely give up all the hard work and quit.
This is what happens when people blindly follow all of these “experts” on TV and in magazines. Many of these experts look amazing so people follow them and listen to them. And many of them are there to take your money only.
For instance, you might see some celebrity on Nutrisystem commercials or Weight Watchers commercials. Or, you might see some fitness model advertising for a certain workout program. Most likely, that fitness model or celebrity didn't follow one single thing for that diet program or workout plan.
This is the truth. So let's get straight to the fitness workout that actually works and forget all of that noise.
There are a huge number of fitness routines in existence and there are more and more every single day.
If you've been around Weight Lifting Complete very long, you'll know that our fitness routines never change in terms of the system behind everything. The WLC System always works and continues to work because the system adapts to each and every person.
With the WLC System, you will be doing a combination of progressive weight lifting workouts, steady state cardiovascular workouts, progressive stretching exercises (weighted), and eating a nearly perfect combination of healthy foods packed with nutrients.
You'll also be measuring results and making adjustments as needed. Most fitness routines don't even tell you or show you how to measure results. And if they do that, they don't tell you how to make the right adjustments to continue getting results.
In other words, most fitness routines out there do some things correctly but they are greatly lacking in other areas. This means they are not a complete fitness program.
You can be 100% sure that the WLC System is a complete fitness program. Other fitness routines aren't even close.
A physical fitness test can show you where you currently are and then can be done again at a later time to see if you have improved.
I am here to say that you don't have to do a fitness test.
The typical physical fitness test will direct you to go all out on push ups and sit ups in a single workout to see how many you can do. This will stress your body and apply a load that is very high before you even start a fitness routine.
With the WLC System, you will be measuring progress each workout and each week so you'll know if you are moving forward or backwards.
In other words, there is no reason to do a fitness test as they are actually counter-productive before starting your new exercise prgoram or workout plan.
The best workout will be a series or workout routines that will last anywhere from approximately 6 weeks to as long as you are making progress. This might be for up to 15 weeks or more (which is great!).
The best workout is not some workout video that you repeat the same thing over and over for as long as you get bored of it (which will be rather quickly).
A combination of weight lifting, stretching, and cardio is the absolute best workout program combination.
For instance, you might lift weights 3 days per week with a day or two of rest between weight training workouts. Your cardio workouts can be separate from your resistance workouts. Or, you can do a cardio session before your workout or even after your workout.
There should always be a minimum of 2 cardio workouts per week. This minimum is for people who are trying to build muscle and that requires a calorie surplus. You should never stop doing cardio and ALWAYS include an absolute minimum of 2 cardio workouts per week.
For people attempting to lose weight or have fat loss as their goal, the overall amount of cardio will increase over the weeks depending on your results.
Weight lifting workouts that include dynamic and static stretching along with cardio workouts are the best workouts combination.
Let's take a look at 2 different examples. for the 2 different goals you can choose when using the WLC System: build muscle and burn fat. Yes, these 2 goals are separate because you need to focus on only 1 of these at a time.
Best Workouts for Building Muscle
The best workouts for building muscle are weight lifting workouts in combination with a minimum of 2 cardio workouts. Yes, cardiovascular exercise will assist you in building muscle too! Don't forget: cardio is highly important.
Weight lifting must be done in a manner that allows you to increase the weight you are lifting by large amounts over the course of your workout program.
For instance, let's take the bench press as an example.
You would start out in week 1 and workout 1 by doing (just an example) 135 pounds for 3 reps. This workout will be very easy for you. Just placing a little stress on the muscle groups is the goal of this first workout.
And yes, you might look weak if others are watching you. But really? Who cares? You will be lifting heavy weight soon so don't worry about it.
The next workout you might increase the weight on bench press to 145 pounds for 5 reps. This plan all depends on the workout program or routine you are using.
Increase Weight to Build Muscle
Next, you would increase the weight to 155 pounds for 8 reps on the bench press. Do you see how the plan is coming along? And yes, you need to have specific levels of strength to follow a plan. You will have to plan out your goals for your program.
If you don't know how much weight to lift, you will simply start out with light weights and increase by a small percentage each workout until the exercise is really tough for you. You can then continue increasing the weight and lowering rep ranges.
For instance, if 185 pounds for 15 reps is very difficult for you and you hit failure on the 15th rep, you will raise the weight to 190 pounds and try to get 12 reps. Then, raise it to 195 and see what you get.
The reps will begin to lower while you continue to lift heavier weight.
Weight lifting programs that follow this type of progression will work very well for building muscle and strength. This is just one of the signs of a great workout routine.
Best Workouts to Burn Fat
The secret to burning fat is cardiovascular exercise. Do the right type of cardio at the right intensity for longer periods of time, and you will burn fat.
But, this is not the complete picture. The truth is that cardio is ONLY the secret to burning fat if everything else in your exercise program and diet plan is optimal.
For example, you cannot do endless amounts of cardio and eat a diet filled with junk foods. And you can't starve yourself and do cardio to burn fat. This will lead to fast weight loss, but most of that weight will be muscle mass.
Tell Your Body to Burn Fat Only By Providing a Message that Muscle is Important to You
This is where strength training comes into the picture. If you want to burn fat only, you need to be telling your body that it needs to keep all of the muscle mass.
You do this with progressive weight lifting. Communicate to your body that it needs to keep muscle mass by giving it a muscle building stimulus. Lift weights. This is KEY to burning fat.
Weight lifting will lead to higher levels of fat being burned from your body and much less muscle lost. Due to weight training, you might even be able to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Many people do.
So again, the best workouts for both building muscle and fat loss are the combination you will find within the WLC System.
The best exercises for any workout are weight lifting exercises, stretching exercises (static and dynamic stretching), and cardiovascular exercises.
When you combine all of those together into an intelligently designed workout plan, the results truly are fantastic and jaw-dropping.
This is the truth. Add this perfect combination of best exercises, and you will be amazed at the results.
Best Weight Lifting Exercises
Weight lifting is something that I absolutely love. Weights are a gift from God in my most humble opinion, and I thank Him for this gift that all of us can have. Physical exercise is awesome and resistance training is one of my favorites.
I want to give you a list of the absolute best movements for building muscle and strength.
1. The Squat
There are a huge number of squat movements and squat variations you can do. If you're just starting, bodyweight squats are absolutely perfect for any beginner (just increase body weight reps over time to make progress and start out slow).
This is just a small list of squatting movements:
- Low Bar Squat
- High Bar Squat
- Zercher Squat
- Barbell Hack Squat
- Front Squat
- Goblet Squat
- Lunges of All Types
- Safety Bar Squat
- Hip Belt Squat
- Cossack Squat
I highly recommend at least 1 squat movement be included in every workout program.
Choose a squat exercise or two (based on the specific workout plan) and work on getting really strong on that exercise.
2. The Deadlift
The deadlift is another one of my absolute favorite exercises because of the results it provides.
Some people are built differently and have different strength levels depending on their body advantages (limb length is an example), but the trap bar deadlift is my strongest exercise. This means I can lift the heaviest weight with the trap bar deadlift and heavy weight leads to changes in your body.
Here's a list of different deadlift exercises:
- Barbell Deadlift
- Snatch Exercise
- Trap Bar Deadlift
- Rack Pulls
- Single Arm Deadlift
- Stiff Legged Deadlift
- Good Morning Exercise
- Romanian Deadlift
- Pull Thru
- Sumo Deadlift
You have to be mindful of lower back stress in your workouts. For instance, when you're doing heavy squats and heavy deadlifts each week, your lower back may get fatigued. This means you must lower the frequency of squats and deadlifts when lifting very heavy weight.
This is just something to watch for, and you might be able to limit lower back stress from other exercises (such as the Barbell Row) so you can do squats and deadlifts more frequently as these are more important exercises.
Top 2 best exercises in weight training are squats and deadlifts (in no particular order as it depends more on your needs).
3. The Push Up
The push up movement is one of the best upper body exercises. Many people put the bench press above the push up and the movements are similar, but the push up is a better overall exercise if large amounts of weight can be added safely.
Here at Weight Lifting Complete, you'll see the bench press and push up listed as the same core exercise movement. They can be substituted for one another freely if needed.
- Weighted Push Up
- Flat Bench Press
- Incline Bench Press
- Decline Bench Press
- Close Grip Bench Press
- Reverse Grip Bench Press
- Divebomber Push Ups
- Clapping Push Ups
The overall best exercises for your workout are ones that move your body through space. Push ups do this while bench press does not.
The bench press is still a great exercise because there are many different variations and you can load the exercise with heavy weights easily and safely using the right weight lifting equipment.
4. The Row
The back muscles are worked heavily when doing the row or rowing movement. Don't forget the huge back muscle just because you don't see it as easily in the mirror. Your back is an amazing muscle group.
Here's a good list of rowing exercises for your workout:
- Inverted Row
- Barbell Row
- Dumbbell Row
- T-Bar Row
- Single Arm Row
- Cable Row
- Power Cleans
- Pendlay Rows
- Face Pulls
Always include at least one rowing movement in your workout program.
One of my overall favorite exercises is the 1-Arm Dumbbell Row because there isn't as much stress on the lower back when using very heavy weights. Compare a 150-pound single arm dumbbell row to a 300 pound barbell row and the lower back stress is much greater for the barbell row.
Remember, managing lower back stress with big compound weight lifting exercises is highly important for your workout plan.
5. The Overhead Press
Here's another amazing exercise, and one that I love.
There's something special about lifting heavy weight over your head and reaching to the sky. Try it now. Reach to the sky.
It just feels good.
The handstand push up is actually the best overhead press movement, but it's more difficult to do because you need a good wall to practice getting stronger before going into full handstand push ups.
It will take some time to be able to do a full freestanding handstand push up on your own.
This is the only reason I list the overhead press and not the handstand push up as the 5th core weight lifting exercise.
- Standing Overhead Barbell Press
- Standing Dumbbell Military Press
- Push Press
- Single Arm Overhead Press
- High Incline Bench Press
- Handstand Push Ups
- Pike Push Ups
Some true experts argue that the overhead press is a better test of upper body strength than the bench press, and I would agree.
You must include at least one overhead press movement in your workout plan. Then, work on getting very strong on those movements.
6. The Chin Up
Here's one of my favorites too. Chin ups were tough for me when I first started lifting weights. I remember it well.
I worked really hard on negative only reps from unfinished basement rafters as I didn't have the money to purchase any chin up station or chin up bar back then. Now I can easily bust out a good set of body weight reps, but I cal also add extra weight with my hip belt and perform plenty as well.
You will be able to do the same as well. If I can do it, you can do it. God created both you and I in His image, and that's why I know you can do it too. Chin ups are fun!
- Chin Up (palms facing towards you)
- Pull Up (palms facing away from you)
- Parallel Grip Pull Up
- Kipping Pull Up
- Wide Grip Pull Up
- Suspension Ring Pull Ups
- Weighted Pull Ups
- Rope Chin Ups
You must include a chin up movement in your workout plan. If you can't do a pull up at all, get resistance bands to assist you. This is the absolute best method. Negatives also work well.
Back when I couldn't do one, I used a chair to help get myself to the top of my pull up bar. I would then lower myself under control. You are always stronger on the negative portion and this works well to get stronger.
More muscle mass is actually built from the negative or lowering portion of a repetition than the lifting or positive portion.
7. The Dip
The dip is the seventh and final core weight training exercise. I recommend a dip station for your home gym because dips really are that good.
I personally call the dip movement: “the upper body squat.” You need to ensure you are working through a full range of motion for dips and don't cut the reps short.
- Full Bodyweight Dips
- Band Assisted Dips
- Jump Up Dips with Negatives
- Bench Dips
- Weighted Dips
- Suspension Ring Dips
- Bulgarian Dips
- Gironda Dips
Some people with shoulder issues have trouble doing dips. If you try them, warm-up your shoulders very well. This should be a normal part of your pre-workout warm up as your shoulders are very important to warm up.
If you haven't ever done dips, they will be difficult at first. Use a resistance band for these too. Just keep wrapping around the dip station until it gives you enough support.
Best Stretching Exercises
There are all types of stretching exercises that are included with the WLC System. For instance, before weight lifting workouts, you will need to perform some static stretches and some dynamic stretches.
The choice of those stretches are yours, but here's an example of a pre-workout warm up I just did today:
- Light Cardio for 5 minutes (treadmill walking)
- 15 Front to Back Leg Swings (dynamic stretch)
- 15 Side to Side Leg Swings (dynamic stretch)
- 10 Toy Soldiers (dynamic stretch)
- Quad Stretch (static stretch)
- Hamstring Stretch (static stretch)
- Shoulder Circles (dynamic stretch)
- 10 body weight squats
- 5 body weight push ups
- 20 jumping jacks
The above doesn't take long at all because I do them back to back and this really gets me warmed up and ready to lift heavy weights. I like do jumping jacks at the end as this really gets you going and alert.
During the workout, I perform weighted stretches in which I count the number of deep breaths I take during each stretch.
Then, you would work on progression with the weighted stretches by increasing the resistance and increasing the duration or number of deep breaths.
As you can see, with the WLC System, you will be performing a good number and variety of stretching exercises.
Best Cardiovascular Exercises
The best cardiovascular exercises for use with the WLC System are steady state cardio exercises like walking, jogging, running, swimming, and biking.
I highly recommend any activity that allows you to continue at a good pace for long periods of time.
For instance, sprinting is a great exercise but not the best cardiovascular exercise as sprinting is more anaerobic in nature. I save sprinting for conditioning workouts during muscle building cycles when calorie intake is increased.
Soccer is another good example of a not so recommended cardio exercise for a cardio workout. This is more like high intensity interval training or HITT, which is still great but includes periods of anaerobic exercise and can last for very long periods of time.
This is great for burning calories, but this adds a lot of stress to your body and makes it very difficult to build muscle during soccer season.
The elliptical machine, incline walking on the treadmill, the rowing machine, stepper machine, exercise bikes, and even roller blading are all great steady state cardio activities for your cardio workout.
You can even change between cardio activities during your cardio workout.
Best Workout Music
The absolute best workout music is going to be music that provides you with an emotional response.
I used to believe in heavy metal music, as an example, for workouts as it really got me pumped up.
After I learned more about God and Jesus, I no longer listen to heavy metal music as most of it just produced anger for me. And most of that music is not good at all.
Instead, I personally enjoy Christian music very much or some very good Country music (which is hard to find at times) as I grew up on a cattle farm and heard Country music throughout my childhood.
For me, Christian music is very uplifting and helps me to lift better and to perform better. I count on God for all my strength so Christian music helps me very much. This music reminds me of what I have left behind and don't need any more. I feel free because of the gift that Jesus Christ has given me.
My Go to Workout Music is Christian Music
During my workout, I take the time to thank God for all that He has done for me. I consider my workout as a period of worship to God as I listen to music that helps me to do this.
So for me, Christian music is the best workout music.
For you, the best workout music might be something else. I hope one day that you will join with me in listening to Christian music. For instance, one of my favorites will always be “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worhsip.
“Who am I that the Highest King would welcome me?” That's the start of the song, and I'm not sure how you get any better than that. Try it. You'll learn more about God and see that He only wants the absolute best for you. I am who God says I am and not anything else. God is for you.
Bodybuilding is a favorite of mine but not the typical sport of bodybuilding with illegal drug users who shorten their lives with steroids (selfish because there are people who need you and love you).
I love bodybuilding because I think everyone should work on their bodies and be aware of what they are eating and putting into their bodies.
Some people believe bodybuilders simply care about what they look like too much. And yes, there are those types of people. But I care for the right reasons.
I want to be here for my wife and my children for a long time. My appearance is highly related to my health. My main goal is to be healthy and bodybuilding workouts with the right goals will help me to reach that goal.
The best bodybuilding exercises are weight lifting exercises. We've been over the absolute best 7 exercise movements, but I want to take this a little further.
You need to understand the point of bodybuilding. Symmetry is a huge aspect of body building. For instance, my calves and lower legs were always a weak point of mine. My chest has always been a strong point of mine even before I started weight lifting.
These are the genetics passed down to me from my Dad and Mom, and I am thankful to be given what I have been given. I am most thankful for the life that I was given (did you know the chance of YOU receiving life is about 1 in 400 trillion?).
So instead of being upset that I was given small lower legs, I did something about it because God gave me the abilities to do something about it. He gave you those same abilities.
You Can Prioritize Muscle Groups That Are True Weaknesses
I started prioritizing my calves in my bodybuilding workouts. If you have a weakness in a specific muscle group, you can do the same thing.
Bodybuilding exercises are like tools in a construction toolbox. For instance, if I want to lay 3/4″ oak hardwood flooring, I need to have a pneumatic flooring nailer, a flooring hammer, an air compressor, and the right staples.
Since I wanted to prioritize my calves, I needed the right bodybuilding exercises for my workout. This would be standing calf raises, seated calf raises, squat raises, and reverse calf raises. These are in addition to leg exercises like squats and lunges that work the calf muscle very well.
When prioritizing muscle groups, you have to be careful to not add too much overall volume. Your body must be able to recover from each and every workout.
A good way to know if you are recovering is to make sure you are getting stronger each workout (any increase is good).
A good bodybuilding workout will build a balanced body for you.
So pay attention to the balance between muscle groups.
If you have very strong legs and a weak back, you need to work on bringing your back strength up to par with your leg strength.
The 7 core weight lifting exercises or movements should be included in every bodybuilding workout program.
For instance, your base workout plan might look like this:
2. Overhead Press
3. Chin Up
2. Bench Press
You would alternate workouts with a day or two of rest between workouts.
If you need to prioritize your posterior legs and glutes, you can add a single exercise to the workout program so that it looks like this:
2. Overhead Press
3. Chin Up
2. Bench Press
Now, you will be hitting the glutes and hamstrings very well during both workout A and workout B. If you're sure you can handle the volume (sets and reps aren't listed purposely as this will be different for different people), you can add another exercise or two to focus on your legs.
You might do this:
2. Overhead Press
3. Chin Up
4. Cable Kickback
2. Bench Press
5. Pull Thru
Depending on the overall number of sets and reps, this might be too much for some people and others will recover just fine.
Exercises Can Be Substituted to Improve Weaknesses
Another example for building bigger arms might be to substitute bodybuilding exercises versus adding more exercises.
For instance, change the normal chin up exercise to close grip chin ups and focus on using your biceps to lift your body during the exercise.
Substituting exercises in this manner is a great way to prioritize muscle groups that need extra work. This is all done in an effort to balance your body and create better symmetry throughout your body.
Dumbbell exercises can be substituted for barbell exercises when one side of your body is overpowering the other. For example, use lunges versus squats if your left leg is larger and stronger than your right leg. Single leg exercises will start to balance that out for you quickly and nicely.
The same thing can be done for your arms. If your left triceps is bigger and stronger than your right triceps, use single arm dumbbell exercises to balance muscle groups.
Effective Bodybuilding Workouts
The most effective bodybuilding workouts will always be centered around the best bodybuilding exercises.
You shouldn't take as many exercises as possible and put them into a huge and extremely long workout. For instance, some people do 2, 3, or even 4 hour workouts with a huge number of exercises, sets, and reps.
This is not an effective bodybuilding workout for a huge percentage of the population who are all natural weight trainers.
You don't need a huge variety of exercises in your short term workout plan. You need to select all of the 7 core weight lifting exercises (or any variation) and work on getting really strong on those 7 exercises.
When you do this, you will have a very effective workout plan.
There are tons of “experts” now that have moved to HIIT or high intensity interval training for their most recommended cardio workout.
I have not and will not move to that recommendation as steady state cardio is the absolute best cardio workout. HIIT is also a good option, and I recommend both, but will always choose steady state cardio over HIIT.
Some “experts” tell you to stop doing steady state cardio altogether and tell you that you are wasting time. This is another myth and complete lie!
Steady state cardio is amazing and highly recommended here at Weight Lifting Complete. Steady state cardio are longer workouts that you can continue at a medium intensity (notice I did not say a low intensity).
Cardio workouts are amazing because they provide you with a huge number of benefits.
If you didn't already know, cardio assists your body in building muscle by moving nutrients around your body and improving circulation.
You've probably also heard me say that cardio is the secret to burning fat quickly. You can complete a cardio workout, and afterwards, you will less body fat than before you started.
But, you must eat a nutrient packed diet with only the healthiest foods and include weight lifting in your exercise program.
A typical steady state cardio workout would be incline treadmill walking for 30 minutes. You start out with a light warm up and increase the speed and incline until you can stay in that state for most of the workout.
Cardio Workouts Should Not Be Easy
The workouts should not be easy, but they shouldn't be so hard that have to decrease the incline or intensity. You should be sweating during cardio workouts when using the WLC System.
You won't be doing really light cardio, smiling, talking on the phone, talking to the person next to you in the gym, or anything similar.
It should be difficult to talk to the person next to you when doing steady state cardio at a medium intensity. This is pushing your body to the brink of anaerobic exercise but dialing it back just a bit so you can keep going for a longer period of time.
This type of cardio workout burns fat quickly and efficiently.
There are, what seems like, an endless number of cardio exercises. To give you a good start, I've compiled a list of cardio exercises below:
- Walking, Jogging, or Running Outdoors
- Incline Treadmill Walking
- Climbing Stairs (if your fitness level is high)
- Roller Skating or Roller Blading
- Outdoor Cycling
- Indoor or Outdoor Bicycle Trainer
- Skiing or Snowboarding
- Swimming Indoors or Outdoors
- Elliptical Machine
- Stair Stepper Machine
- Rowing Machine
- Exercise Bikes
- Jumping Rope
You can also do many other cardiovascular exercise activities as moving more is the most important thing. Keeping your heart rate up for extended periods of time is what you're looking to do with cardio.
For people who are in great shape, exercises like jumping jacks can be done for extended periods of time. Or, similar exercises can be rotated in the same cardio workout.
For example, you might get on the treadmill for 5 minutes. Then, you would move to the elliptical machine for 5 minutes. Next, you would get off the elliptical machine and do 100 jumping jacks. And so on.
Rotating Exercises Between Workouts or Even During Workouts is Recommended
A rotation of cardio exercises can make your workout more interesting and fun.
I personally enjoy a show from Netflix while I do steady state cardio. This works well for me and keeps my mind busy while I work hard during cardio workouts.
When we built our home, I added a spot in our home gym for a TV on the wall. I simply use a Chromecast (no wires) in the TV to cast Netflex and sometimes You Tube TV. We use You Tube TV to watch sports such as Kentucky football and basketball.
During a game, I'll do cardio as this works very well. Might as well do something instead of sitting on the couch for a few hours.
Cardio Exercise Equipment
The best cardio exercise equipment can be absolutely nothing. Getting outdoors in the sun is highly, highly recommended if at all possible.
It's always good, though, to have backup cardio equipment.
My favorite is a treadmill and an elliptical machine. Exercise bikes or cycling is not a favorite of mine because of the seated position or position that continues to keep your hip flexors in a shortened position.
Jump rope is also another favorite of mine and is a cardio exercise that can be done for long periods of time in a cardio workout once physical fitness levels are improved.
Cardio Workout Plans
With the WLC System, there are 2 different goals you can choose from: building muscle or burning fat.
Depending on the goal you choose, the cardio workout plans are different. These plans are explained below.
Muscle Building Cardio Workout Plan
The recommended number of cardio workout sessions per week while building muscle is 3 sessions with an absolute minimum of 2.
This means you should never go below 2 cardio workout sessions per week.
While 2 is the minimum, 3 workouts are recommended each week. As an example, I will do 3 morning cardio sessions on weight lifting rest days during the week. You can also do the same or plan them for any 3 days and times that work best for you.
The time duration of these cardio workouts are a minimum of 20 minutes but 30 minutes is recommended for muscle building cycles.
You choose a cardio exercise that will keep your heart rate in the recommended fat burning zone for the duration of the workout.
Stay Within Your Fat Burning Heart Rate Zone
As an example, this might be the elliptical machine. Or, this might be incline treadmill walking at a good speed that causes you to sweat throughout the workout.
Steady state cardio for 30 minutes is the most highly recommended cario workout for muscle building cycles.
Also recommended during muscle building cycles is the addition of short conditioning workouts that are high intensity. This might be 5 minutes of pushing or pulling a sled with weights. Or, this might be 5 minutes of sprinting with short rest periods between each 40 yard sprint (as an example).
Conditioning workouts are only added during periods of higher calorie intake. The greater amount of nutrients you are taking in will help with recovery from these short conditioning workouts.
Fat Loss Cardio Workout Plan
During fat loss programs using the WLC System, you will start with 3 cardio workout sessions per week.
You will measure results on a weekly basis when using the WLC System.
When fat loss slows with 3 cardio sessions per week and everything else in your program is optimal (if you are following it correctly), then you will add another cardio workout or two for the next week.
You will then measure results again and see how everything turns out with the additional cardio time. Most likely, your fat loss increased from the additional 1 or 2 cardio sessions you added.
The process of measuring results and making adjustments continue.
This is how you make amazing progress with fat loss when using the WLC System.
The absolute best abs workout is using your eating hand to place the correct foods into your body through your mouth.
Many people get this exercise wrong and use their strong hand to place unhealthy foods and junk foods of all types into their body. This is why people cannot see their abs.
If you want six pack abs (some people can get 8 pack abs), the abdominal workouts you might be looking for just aren't going to do it.
Many people only do ab workouts in an attempt to lose body fat around their waist and stomach areas. This does not work very well at all. You are burning a few calories, but you haven't made all the right changes.
Eating Healthy 100% of the Time is a Requirement for Abs
Eating the healthiest foods all the time is an absolute must if you want to see your abs. Weight lifting is another requirement. Cardiovascular exercise is yet another.
The correct combination of those 3 things will work quickly for you and result in six pack abs as fast as possible.
Any ab workout will not lead to that goal of six pack abs as quickly as the perfect combination of weight lifting, diet, and cardio. Please, always keep that in mind.
The best abdominal exercises are the big compund weight lifting exercises that use very heavy weight loads.
When you lift very heavy weights with the best compound exercises like squats and deadlifts, your abs will be working amazingly hard throughout those exercises.
There is no ab exercise in existence that will work your core as well as the heaviest squats and deadlifts. There is absolutely no comparison.
If you are doing the best exercises in your weight lifting workouts, you won't need to worry about hitting the abs specifically. Stop worrying about your abs so much. I promise that the compound exercises will take care of them for you.
There are 4 main muscle groups in your abdomen area. Here are their names:
- Serratus Anterior
- External Abdominal Oblique
- Rectus Abdominis
- Internal Abdominal Oblique
When most people mention six pack abs, they are looking to work their rectus abdominis muscles.
Six Pack Abs
Six pack abs is a very popular subject and it really shouldn't be. Ab workouts and ab exercises aren't going to give anyone a six pack.
I can see where it only makes sense to work your abs more if you have more body fat in that area. But ab exercises don't burn fat but instead work those muscle groups in the abdomen area.
For example, if you want to build your biceps you would do biceps exercises. If you want to build your abs, you would do ab exercises. You don't do biceps exercises to burn fat in your upper arm. Right?
I hope you see the point I am trying to make. Building your abs will make your body fat stick out even more. It's the body fat that you want to get rid of and not building the abdominal muscles.
Larger Ab Muscles Will Make Your Belly Fat Stick Out More
To get rid of body fat, you don't want to use a typical weight loss program with a starvation diet and a horrible exercise or workout plan.
Instead, you want to use a great diet plan packed with nutritious foods, a weight lifting program that teaches you how to increase the weight, and a cardio workout program that burns body fat quickly.
This is how you achieve 6 pack abs! Doing ab workouts with crunches and sit ups does not lead to a nice set of abs. Compound weight lifting exercises will work your abs much better overall.
When people have lost body fat and can see most of their abs, they will typically start searching for how to get the lower abs to stand out more.
The lower abs will usually retain body fat to the very end of a fat loss program while the upper abs will show up more.
This doesn't mean you need to do ab exercises that target your lower abs more. For instance, “experts” will tell you do to do hanging leg raises to hit the lower abs more.
If your lower abs are truly a weakness and don't look too great after all the body fat is gone, then this can be good advice to bring up a lagging muscle group. But most likely, your lower abs aren't a weakness.
Most likely, you will need to continue losing body fat to see your lower abs better and to complete that quest for six packs abs. You usually won't need a lower ab workout.
A good workout plan will have everything you need to meet your specific goal.
I want to make sure you have this straight, though, before continuing.
A good workout plan doesn't just list out the exercises like below:
1. Squats, 5×5
2. Bench Press, 5×5
3. Rows, 5×5
1. Squats, 5×5
2. Overhead Press, 5×5
3. Chin Ups, 5×5
This is only the weight lifting workouts, but you don't know anything else about the plan. For example, how often do you do the workouts? When do you increase the weight lifted?
What do you do once you have trouble increasing the weight? Do you “reset” the exercises by dropping the weight a certain amount or do you stop the program completely?
There's a huge amount of information that should be included with each workout plan so you know exactly what you need to do.
Good workout plans aren't just a single workout with a list of exercises to do. This is horrible. There needs to be a “programming” aspect to every workout plan.
There are a huge number of free workout plans posted all over the Internet. There is definitely no shortage of workouts!
But that's the problem. There's an absolute overload of too much fitness and exercise information that it's very confusing. I've been doing this a long time, and I'll get confused myself.
Workout plans don't have to be that complicated. You need to start using the WLC System, and you'll always have the best workout plan.
Weight lifting, cardiovascular exercise, stretching, and diet need to be included in the workout plans. Diet is highly important and must be included in the plan.
Your diet or the normal foods you consume must be adjusted throughout the weeks and months to support your goals.
A great diet plan will be one that includes only the healthiest foods. You can think of the healthiest foods as the most natural foods.
If a food is made in a manufacturing plant or production facility, you don't need it.
For instance, you should always choose whole foods over manufactured foods. An example is whey protein versus a grass fed beef steak. Always choose the steak and forget about the whey protein.
Another example might be a jug of skim milk from Kroger versus a glass bottle of raw unpasteurized milk from healthy cows at a small local farm. Choose the small farm milk. Not even close.
Low Fat Foods are Just Another Money Making Scam
Low fat foods are absolutely trash. This is someone manufacturing a food and removing the natural fats from that food. This low fat food is very unhealthy.
Fat is good for you and something your body needs. The right fats in healthy foods are amazingly good for you and will even help you get rid of unwanted body fat. They won't make you fat!
These are just a few examples of characteristics to look for in a good diet plan that supports all of your workouts.
The WLC System gives you everything you need to know to implement the perfect diet plan.
A meal plan assists you with your diet plan and tells you when to eat, what foods to eat, and how much of those foods to eat.
You also need to know what to drink as unhealthy drinks can really destroy a good diet plan.
For instance, a meal plan will tell you exactly when to eat breakfast, which breakfast recipe to use with all food amounts and instruction, and what to drink with your breakfast.
Healthy recipes come into play with meal plans and can really make things much easier for you. The issue is finding the right recipes to support your workout plan.
Weight Lifting Complete also solves that issue for you by providing you with the best recipes that include only the healthiest foods.
Conclusion to Workout
I truly hope this workout guide has helped to open your eyes to many truths about working out.
If there's anything I missed that you need, just let me know.
A good workout routine will definitely take your body to the next level quickly.
Stay consistent with your workouts and plan when using the WLC System, and you will be amazed at the results you can achieve.