by Branden Hayward, Physique Coach
It’s your girl, Branden, personal trainer / nutrition coach on a mission to empower my queer siblings.
Have you ever felt insecure in the gym?
If any of the following are present:
-impressive-looking lifters doing heavier / fancier shit than me
-honestly, just humans. period.
-a time – sensitive schedule …
I am predisposed to second guess myself.
What’s the best, fastest way to get rid of this?
Hitting the gym with a PLAN, homey. In WRITING.
Here are my professional tips for building a great workout piece by piece!
You can think of it like the process of sitting down to a fine dining experience…
*1. “Sit down, phone off, napkin in lap.”
CORRECTIVE EXERCISE WARMUP
Most people don’t spend time mobilizing the ankle and calf area, even though it’s usually tight, and has a direct impact on the entire body.
A few professional pointers *free of charge* follow my signature at the bottom of this email.
*2. “Appetizer” –
GLUTE AND CORE/AB ACTIVATIONS
A simple but effective regimen follows my signature at the bottom of the email.
*3. “Main Course”
COMPOUND LIFTING (4-16 sets)
*A. *Bench presses, incline bench presses, dips, squats, lat pulldowns/pullups, deadlifts, weighted lunges, weighted bridges, overhead presses, bent over rows. *HINT*: A great circuit could include an upper body pushing exercise, an upper body pulling exercise, and a lower body exercise.
*B. *These will activate multiple muscle groups at once, release testosterone and growth hormone, which you need to gain muscle and lose fat.
*C. *How many sets and how many reps? That depends on your goals, and what you’ve been doing most recently. Write me for more assistance with the specifics.
*4. “Dessert” – OPTIONAL –
SPECIALIZED LIFTING (4-12 sets)
Now that the grueling work is out of the way, you can enjoy exercises that focus on specific body parts that are important to you. Overhand grip bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, lateral shoulder raises, rear delt flyes, calf extensions, etc.
*5. “After dinner coffee/drink” – OPTIONAL –
METABOLIC FINISHER / CARDIO (4 – 20 minutes)
Examples include machines likes the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical, and rowing machine. They can also include dynamic bodyweight exercises like walkouts, squat jumps, etc.
*TIP*: a succinct, brutal way to incorporate a metabolic exercise at the end of your workout would be to perform an exercise Tabatta – style.
Here’s how: perform the exercise for 20 seconds. Take a 10 second rest. Repeat that process seven times (reminding yourself how dope you want to look this summer, for motivation!).
Put it all together:
Highlight from Step 3 an upper body pressing exercise, upper body pulling exercise, and a lower body exercise that appeal to you. If you have time, select one-two exercises from Step 4, and select one exercise from Step 5.
Take this email with you to the gym. Scroll down and perform steps 1 and 2 verbatim.
Scroll back up, and perform your selected lifts from Step 3, and, if applicable, Steps 4 and 5.
Want me to develop customized, step-by-step workout programs for you that are delivered through a streamlined and user-friendly smartphone app? Write me back, and I’d be happy to chat more with you.
EVEN IF THIS EMAIL ISN’T FOR YOU AT THIS TIME, PLEASE CONSIDER PASSING ALONG this cheat sheet to a friend who could use it. You may be saving them a great deal of stress!
DETAILS ON STEPS 1 & 2
1. ANKLE / CALF MOBILITY
Here’s a simple routine to stay ahead of the game. You will need one foam roller or softball (the edge of a small dumbbell can do in a pinch).
A. Seated or standing on one foot, lift one leg up and make 10 clockwise circles with your ankle, trying to decrease speed and increase range of motion as you go. Repeat on the other leg.
B. Next, sit upright on the floor, with legs in front of you.
Take the foam roller or softball and place it underneath the calf of your left leg.
Bend your right leg, keeping your right foot on the floor.
Place both hands behind your butt. Use your upper body strength to push your butt up, one inch off of the ground.
You should feel a portion of your body’s weight bearing down on your left calf.
Begin to slowly – one inch per second – roll back and forth over the ball, maintaining pressure between your calf and the roller/ball.
Use your right leg and foot to help propel you gently back and forth.
You should travel the entire distance from just below the back of your knee, to just above your Achilles heel.
Go to the spot that felt the worst / most tender. When you relocate it, sit your butt on the floor. Let your weight sink into that calf for 30 seconds. For more intensity, cross your right calf over the left leg, immediately above the ball/roller.
Repeat on the right side.
C. Stand, find a wall. Pressing into it with extended arms, take your right foot about 12-18 inches behind your left foot. Keeping both heels down, guide your left knee as far forward as possible, until you feel a stretch in your right calf. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides.
2. GLUTE / CORE ACTIVATION
A simple but effective routine could be:
A.One minute plank on your forearms. Facing the floor, prop yourself up so that only your forearms, elbows, and feet are touching the floor. Breathe slowly as you gently pull your navel up to your spine.
B. 15 glute bridges. Lay on your back. The entirety of both feet will remain on the ground throughout the entire exercise. Pull feet in towards your body until your fingertips can touch your heels. Press through your feet until your hips lift off of the ground. Continue pushing your pelvis to the ceiling, feeling your butt muscles squeeze. Pause at the top. Lower slowly, and without pausing, repeat right away.