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Ask the Trainer: Episode 2 – Writing Your Own Exercise Routine

Do you have fitness goals but can’t seem fork out the money for a personal trainer or a swanky online workout program? Can’t say that I blame you! Personal trainers are way overpriced. However, what if you were able to write your own workouts, no trainer involved? That would solve all your problems right? Well you’re in luck buddy! Follow these simple guidelines below to build your own workout routine, get in shape, and reach your fitness goals!

1. Warm-Up

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when working out? Skipping out on a proper warm-up! Warming up is important because it prepares your muscles to move, improves exercise performance, and prevents injury! Yes, it may be boring and seem like a waste of time, but it’s 100% necessary! Step 1: Hop on a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, or rower for 5-10 minutes. Step 2: do Dynamic warm-up exercises. What does this mean? Dynamic warm-up exercises active your nervous system and increase your range of motion. You also want to gear your dynamic warm-up exercises toward the muscles you’ll be working. For example, if you’re doing a lower body workout, you’ll want to focus on lower back, hip, knee, and ankle mobility. If you’re doing an upper body workout, you’ll want to focus on shoulder, chest, and upper back mobility. Get the picture? My suggestion is to YouTube some warm-up sequences that suites your needs. There are plenty of videos to choose from!

2. Compound Exercise (1 exercise)

The first major exercise you complete should be a compound exercise. Compound exercises involve multiple muscle groups and two or more joints. They generally require more energy, which is why you want to do them first. Examples of compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups. Keep in mind that there are many variations for these compound exercises. Don’t feel like you need to use a barbell each and every time! Linked at the bottom of this article are some great databases that will give you specific exercise ideas and instructions.

3. Accessory Work (6 to 9 exercises)

Next at bat is your accessory work. Accessory exercises increase your strength for your compound lifts. This is where lunges, shoulder presses, Romanian deadlifts, chest flys, and tricep dips come in – just to name a few. Pick 6-8 of these exercises to complete after your compound lift. *See links below for exercise ideas*

4. Core Work (1 to 3 exercises)

Don’t neglect your core! A strong core improves exercise performance, increases balance, and prevents injury. *See links below for exercise ideas*

5. Stretch!

For some, stretching is no fun. However, it’s a necessary evil! It’s just as important as your warm-up.  It reduces muscle fatigue, increases blood circulation, improves flexibility, and helps you recover faster.


Now, you may be asking yourself, “Great! But how many sets and reps should I be doing?” The answer to that question can be found in my other article linked here.


Exercise Databases:





Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from self.com, mayoclinic.org, & fitday.com


*** All images are Royalty free from Pixabay.com

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