The secret to actually working out is to be prepared. Having my gym bag packed and by the door is half the battle. The other preparation I make is to plan out my workouts in advance so I know what I’m going to do at the gym. I’ve been discovering apps to help me with this, which I’ll blog about in the future – I’m still trying them out. In the meantime, I’ve created a workout that I call the OG workout. OG because the exercises are old school and classic but can also be customized for my energy level and to avoid boredom.
Here’s the crux of the workout and then I’ll tell you my variations. Push-ups, “pull-ups,” goblet squats, single leg deadlifts with kettlebell, burpees, step-ups with dumbells, low plank and side plank. I do eight reps of everything (except 30 seconds of plank and 15 seconds each of side plank) and try to get through the workout three times. Doing the whole workout straight through was exhausting so I’m messing around with blocks, e.g. block 1 is three sets of push-ups and “pull-ups,” block 2 is three sets of squats and deadlifts, etc.
Here are my variations:
- Push-ups: sometimes I do them from my knees.
- “Pull-ups:” I can’t even say pull-ups without quotation marks, because I couldn’t do a pull-up to save my life. I’ve been doing jumping pull-ups, where I put the bar on the Smith machine as high as it goes, put my hands on it like I’m going to do a pull-up, and jump up trying to pull myself a little higher. I can also substitute a lat pull from a standing position.
- Goblet squats: I’ve been doing it with a 15 lb. kettlebell but there are so many squat variations. Have a field day.
- Single leg deadlifts: I love/hate this exercise. I hate it because it requires balance, which I suck at, but I also love it because it improves my balance. Plus I can see myself getting better at it over time. I do this with a 15 lb. kettlebell.
- Burpees: Yeah, I put burpees in my routine that I MADE UP MYSELF. No one assigned me burpees but me. I hate burpees more than anything, but they’re good for mobility. Getting up and down off the floor is a life skill that I want to maintain into old age. Although sometimes I do my burpees off a bench which does not do much for mobility but it gets my heart rate up because I’m jumping my legs front and back instead of stepping.
- Step-ups: I do this with 10 lb. dumbells.
- Plank and side plank: I’m a pretty good planker, but by the end of this workout, I’m exhausted and three sets of 30 second low plank and three sets of 15 second side plank on each side is all I can handle.
Feel free to steal or customize this workout. I’ve been doing it about once a week, interspersed with other things on other days. It’s great because you can make it as hard or easy as you want, and believe me, I feel it afterwards.