Move It Monday – Lifting Workouts

Hello friends and welcome to the first edition of my new Move It Monday series! Aka Fitness Friday, just on a new day. I like the idea of starting the week off with a little workout motivation.

Now that I am back in Toronto, I have access to my personal training notebook of workouts.

I have designed a ridiculous number of individual-specific workouts during my time as a trainer. It’s high time I get better about sharing these moves with all of you!

The following are two workouts that I tweaked to be suitable for most people. If you need any ideas for modifications, leave a comment and I’ll let you know what to do instead. Enjoy!

30 Minute Novice Strength Training

1. Squat to dumbell shoulder press.
3 sets x 15 reps


2. Single arm cable pull with rear lunge.
3 sets x 12 reps each side


Start standing with your right arm outstretched gripping the cable. Lunge back with your right leg while pulling the cable towards your body using your back muscles. Return to the starting position. Complete one set on one side, then switch to the other.

3. Single arm chest press with rotation.
3 sets x 12 reps each side


With a dumbbell in one hand, lie your back on a stability ball with your hips in the air to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Bring the dumbbell next to your chest and press it diagonally toward the ceiling so it is above the center of your body. Lift your shoulders off the ball into a crunch, then bring your arm and shoulders back down. Repeat to complete set then switch arms.

4. Hamstring curl on ball.
3 sets x 15-20 reps


Lying with your heels on top of a stability ball, lift your hips off the ground toward the ceiling, and roll the ball in towards your butt. Keep hips off the ground throughout the entire set.

5. Stability ball roll out.
3 sets x 15


Start on knees with hands together in fists near front of stability ball. Place bodyweight into hands, contract abs, and roll forward onto forearms. Keep a straight line in your body, hold briefly like you would a plank, then roll back to the start. That’s one rep.


Advanced Full Body Interval Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Surrender 3 12 each side
1b. Medicine ball push-ups  3 10-20
5 min cardio sprints*    
2a. Barbell split squat  3 12 each side
2b. Barbell bent-over row  3 12
5 min cardio sprints*    
3a. Mountain climber on medicine ball 3 60 sec
3b. Ab roll up holding medicine ball 3 20
5 min cardio sprints*    

*5 min cardio sprints (on treadmill, elliptical, stairmill, etc):
0:00 – 0:30 = easy (3 RPE)
0:30 – 1:00 = moderate (6 RPE)
1:00 – 1:30 = hard (9 RPE)
1:30 – 2:00 = easy (3 RPE)
2:00 – 2:30 = moderate (6 RPE)
2:30 – 3:00 = hard (9 RPE)
3:00 – 3:30 = easy (3 RPE)
3:30 – 4:00 = moderate (6 RPE)
4:00 – 4:30 = hard (9 RPE)
4:30 – 5:00 = easy (3 RPE)

Don’t forget to warm-up 5-10 minutes before each workout and to cool-down and stretch after. Have fun!!

Posted on March 7, 2011, in Move It Monday, Workouts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Love this! I may know yoga, but I always forget my lifting options! I usually just end up doing a few sets of bicep curls and overhead presses and up neglecting the rest of my body! Maybe you should get that notebook published!

  2. that picture of the woman doing squats made me think of a question! How far down should you ideally go when doing squats? I’ve heard in many classes that you should aim for your thighs to be parallel with the ground, but when I do that I feel like I am leaning my upper body forward too much and I arch my back. So I suppose the question is whether it is better to aim for a lower squat or a more upright upper body?!

    • Yes, you should aim to get your thighs parallel (the woman in the picture definitely isn’t far down enough). Too high or too low can put too much stress on your knees. A lot of times people have trouble keeping their upper body upright when squatting because they just don’t have the leg and glute strength to bring their butt back without bending forward. Just keep working on it! And supplement with other lower body exercises to keep building up strength in your glutes. For now just really concentrate on keeping your chest up and coming down until you really feel it in your butt and quads. And don’t add too much additional weight (like a barbell) until you’ve mastered it. You’ll get there!

      • Glute strength! That makes A LOT of sense…the inclination to sit back is hindered by not enough strength to hold you up back there.
        Pulling back from so much weight to concentrate on form for a bit sounds like a good idea…I will try that!

  3. Great post! I love these types of compound moves :D

  4. Thanks for sharing these workouts with us! :) I will add them into my rotation. I need to get in shape for a Warrior Dash.

  5. Great workout! Thanks for the ideas!

  6. Thank you! I will be doing these tomorrow at my gym!

  7. Oh, I did have one question for modification. If I do not have access to the barbells (or the big muscular guys are using them all)? How can I do those exercises without the barbells?

    • For the barbell split squat, you can just hold dumbbells to your side. I like the barbell because it can add an extra dimension of instability to make you work harder (and supports a heavier load). But dumbbells will get the job done! You can do the bent-over rows with dumbbells as well. Just make sure they’re good and heavy!

  8. Nice workouts! They both keep things interesting. Do you have suggestions for people who aren’t lifting next to a cardio machine?

    • Yes! This is my favourite way to do cardio in a small room without a machine. Replace these with the easy/moderate/hard intervals:
      30 sec marching in place (easy)
      30 sec high knees (moderate)
      30 sec burpees (hard)

  9. I’m so glad I found you! I just started a food and fitness blog. Move it Monday is a great idea! I recently got certified as a personal trainer with NASM. I’m definitely going to follow your blog. :)

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