Young woman doing one-leg split squat

How to design bodyweight workouts

In Bodyweight workouts, I provided bodyweight training workouts that you can use temporarily when you can’t make it to the gym and do not have access to training equipment. For those of you who enjoy bodyweight training, I provide instructions on how to design your own bodyweight workouts below. As you will notice, I’ve made the process as easy as possible for you.

Being able to design your own bodyweight workouts will allow you to incorporate lots of variation into your bodyweight training, which will keep you engaged and your body challenged.

If you enjoy designing your own bodyweight workouts, you might also enjoy designing your own circuit training workouts.

Instructions on how to design bodyweight workouts

Step 1

Refer to the list of exercises by body part below. Choose at least one exercise from each of the following:

  • Quadriceps, glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Back, posterior shoulders, biceps
  • Chest, anterior shoulders, triceps
  • Lower back
  • Abs, hip flexors
  • Obliques

Any other exercises that you choose will be a bonus. Men might want to choose additional exercises for elbow flexors and extensors (biceps and triceps), whereas women might want to choose additional exercises for glutes and inner/outer thighs.

Exercises by body part

Step 2

Arrange the exercises in the same order as the list is presented (for example, back exercises should come before biceps exercises).

Step 3

That’s it! Now, just follow the workout instructions.

Workout instructions

  • Complete the workout either every other day (i.e. AX, where ‘A’ is a workout day and ‘X’ is a rest day) or three days a week (AXAXAXX)
  • Perform at least two sets of each exercise
  • Rest for only 20 to 30 seconds between sets
  • Rest for only 60 to 90 seconds between exercises
  • Try to increase the number of reps that you perform
  • Warm up before the workout with five minutes of dynamic stretching (see How to warm up, in the Weight Training Guide)
  • Stretch your muscles after the workout with five minutes of static stretching (see How to stretch, in the Weight Training Guide)

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