It’s important to workout, it’s important to be consistent, and it’s important to do it right. These are all things that most of us know, but unfortunately, the questions can often be, “What do I actually do?”

What are the most effective exercises to do?

How should I warm-up?

How many sets and reps should I do?

How often should I do these workouts?

How hard to do I have to work?

How consistent do I need to be to get the results I want (build muscle, burn fat, lose weight, get stronger, etc.)?


We have touched on all these questions in previous posts. In fact, if you combine our post on Core Training for a Beginner, Foam Rolling, proper Warm-up, and Strength Training for a Beginner, you can have yourself a very effective, well-thought-out workout.

If we have all the information already, then what’s the point of this post? Well we’ve realized it’s a lot of information. We like to explain things in detail to help you understand exactly how to do everything.

We decided to create a post that breaks all the information from the previous posts down, so that you can learn how to create a workout program.

We’ll show you how to put it all together to get an effective workout in sixty minutes or less, and then hopefully answer any expected questions.

How often? How intense? Sets? Reps? Rest? Expected Results?

Let’s get started.

Step 1 – How to Put Together a Workout

We have explained this between a few previous posts:

  • Core Training For Beginners
  • The Health Benefits of Foam Rolling
  • Warm-up Before Strength Training – A Quick and Easy Guide
  • Strength Training for Beginners – Learning to do it Right

While these posts provide a lot of good instruction, after writing them we realized a few problems. For one, it’s a tonne of information for people to digest, and two, we didn’t really explain or show how to put it all together, so that you can have an effective full-body workout in sixty minutes or less.

Here is the system we suggest you follow to create the most effective workout possible:

  1. Foam Roll First – 5-10 minutes depending on how sore your selected muscles are
  2. Complete your Warm-up Exercises – 5-15 minutes
  3. Perform your Full Body Strength Training Workout – 30-45 minutes depending on the number of sets completed, and your current fitness level

Now let’s break each of these components of the workout down a little further. By the end, you will know exactly what to do.

Foam Roll First

We won’t get into the benefits of foam rolling in this post. If this is your first time to, and you want to read about why foam rolling is so beneficial, check it out here.

This is a Meat and Potatoes post so we want to get right into how you can get your foam rolling completed in 5-10 minutes, before you start your warm-up.

In the post on Foam Rolling, we showed you twelve different areas of your body you can roll. If you try to do every muscle before you start your warm-up, you are looking at 15-20 minutes at least. Sometimes Shelley and I just Foam Roll our whole bodies for some recovery exercise. It takes us 25-30 minutes easy to foam roll everything.

That much time would eat into the other parts of your workout, especially if you want to get it done in an hour or less like we recommend.

So here is what we suggest:

  • Foam Roll two lower body parts
  • Foam Roll two upper body parts

This will cut down on time spent foam rolling significantly. How do you decide on which areas to roll. We can help with that. Check out the video below:

You don’t need to spend 25-30 minutes foam rolling your whole body before every workout. Just focus on a few areas and rotate through the week. 

Now on to your Warm-Up.

Complete Your Warm-Up Exercises

The post we did on a proper Warm-Up included six exercises that help to restore mobility to the parts of your body that tend to lose it, and enhance stability to the areas that tend to need it.

Again we won’t get into rationale in this post, but feel free to check out the whole post here. For now, here’s what it entails:

  • Three Mobility Exercises
    • One for the ankles (8-12reps/side)
    • One for the anterior hips (30-45sec/side)
    • One for the upper back (6-9reps )
  • Three Stability Exercises
    • One for the knees/hips (8-12reps)
    • One for the core (5-8reps/side)
    • One for the shoulder blades (30-45sec)

This might sound like a lot, but it’s not. Now we do recommend completing 2 sets of this warm-up for the first 1-2 weeks of training. This will help with learning the exercises, as well as slowly adjusting your body to the new exercises (if they are new to you).

It’s also just that little bit of extra work on those commonly restricted areas of the body, and areas that lack a bit of stability. Don’t be surprised if these exercises feel a little funny at first, and a little challenging. Give it time.

The warm-up will take about 10-15 minutes to do 2 sets of, but once you become more proficient with it we regress to just 1 set. This will also be around the time you progress your strength training to 2-3 sets instead of 1-2. More on this in the next section.

This is how to get it done, and get it done quick. We do a few less reps in this demonstration to shorten the video for you, but stick with the prescribed reps that we recommended above:

Notice how we demonstrate the mobility exercises first, followed by the stability exercises. Always follow this order. Mobility before Stability! 


Finish with Strength Training

Now you will move into the main portion of the workout, the real reason why you are here, to strength train. We want to make sure you do it right, to get the most benefit out of the time you are investing in this.

Whatever your goal for doing it is, whether it’s to lose fat/get leaner, gain muscle, or get stronger and have more energy to wrestle with your son, carry your daughter on your shoulders, or be able to get down on the floor easily to play with your Grandkids, a proper strength training program will get you there.

Follow what we are teaching here at and we will get your there.

Just like the foam rolling, and warm-up portions of your workout, we have already written a pretty detailed post on the rationale behind full-body workouts. Check it out here if you want to read more about it, but if you just want to get going, then I promise you can trust us that it works, and works well!

In the beginning, let’s say the first two weeks, you will perform 1-2 sets of the following circuit of five exercises:

  1. An incline Plank (1-2sets/20-60sec)
  2. A Dumbbell Deadlift (1-2sets/8-12reps)
  3. A Dumbbell Floor Press (1-2sets/8-12reps)
  4. A Bodyweight Squat with Shoulder Flexion (1-2sets/8-12reps)
  5. A Quadruped Row (1-2sets/8-12reps)
  6. Go back to number 1, and repeat for desired number of sets

“Rodney, what the heck is all that?” I’m glad you asked!

We have touched on all these exercises in different posts. Here are links to them all:

  1. Incline Plank
  2. Dumbbell Deadlift
  3. Dumbbell Floor Press
  4. Bodyweight Squat with Shoulder Flexion
  5. Quadruped Row

“Rodney, stop trying to make me read all your previous posts. Can’t you just post a short video that shows them all in sequence so I can start trying these workouts?” Once again, I’m glad you asked. Check out the video below:

Notice how you can flow between the exercises to make it more time efficient, and effective. It should be noted that this was the 3rd take trying to do this video while talking! I started to get a bit winded! 

What do you do after week two? Keep going of course! Regress your warm-up to 1 set, progress your strength training to 3 sets, and work on this program for 4-6 weeks. You might be surprised by what you feel (a closer notch on the belt perhaps?), and you may even start seeing some results as well (“Hey Frank, have you lost a little weight?”)

Any Unanswered Questions?

At the beginning of this post, I listed the questions I think most people have when they want to try something new to get in better shape. We should have hit most of the answers throughout the post, but I know we missed some. He is a recap:

What are the most effective exercises to do?

Full-body workouts that challenge your, well, whole body! By following this system we use, you will hit everything and feel like you had an effective workout afterwards. I promise!

How should I warm-up?

We got you covered. We have a step by step warm-up listed with demonstrations to help you get your body ready for your workout. Don’t forget to always foam roll first!

How many sets and reps should I do?

This is listed above as well. Most exercise for sets and reps we recommend 1-2 sets of 8-12 reps in the first 1-2 weeks. For exercises that involve holding for time (stretches and stability exercises), we recommend holding for 30-60sec, for the most part (see above). After two weeks, we recommend regressing your warm-up to 1 set, and strength training to 2-3 sets.

How often should I do these workouts?

We tried to cover everything. For the first two weeks we recommend trying to do this workout twice, with at least one day of rest in between. In the third week we recommend three times with at least one day of rest in between workouts. For example:

Weeks 1 and 2 – Workout on Monday and Thursday

Week 3 – Workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday (who wants to workout Friday evening?)

How hard to do I have to work?

If you want to see the kinds of results that will make your spouses jaw drop (after all, isn’t that the next best person to do this for?), then you need to work hard. Now in the beginning, we encourage you to ease into it. The nice thing is, if you follow our system, you will naturally ease into it.

As you get in better shape you will be able to work harder, do more, and get yourself very winded after a workout. Knowing how hard you can push comes with time.

How consistent do I need to be to get the results I want? (build muscle, burn fat, lose weight, get stronger, etc.)?

I can’t express how important being consistent is! A poorly designed workout plan will work better than one that’s done inconsistently. That’s why you see so many different programs and diets work for different people. The one thing they all have in common, is consistency.

We will write future posts on strategies to maintain consistency. For now though, start working to make this a priority in your life. Set aside 2-3 hours a week that you can get this in. My quickest and best advice is to get a workout partner.

The best one in the world would be your spouse, if you have one. That’s just my opinion. I now workout 5 days a week consistently because of my workout partner.

Thanks Shelley, I Love You.

Conclusion and What’s Next?

Did we answer all your questions? I hope so. This whole working out thing can be made unnecessarily complicated. I hope we have simplified things for you, and that you want to try our workout system.

In our next post, we will be talking all about mind-set. More specifically, making time for yourself to get in the best shape of your life, for the rest of your life.

As with all our posts, please feel free to leave comments, or questions.

All the best!

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