Are Basic Exercises the Real Secret?

Yes, there are certain basic exercises you must do to develop a healthy body. Besides doing some form of aerobics like running, walking or biking there are basic resistance movements like squats and lunges for the legs, push-ups and bench press for the chest, pull-ups and rows for the back, shoulder press and laterals for the shoulders, curls for the arms, elbow extensions like pushdowns for the triceps and a few basic dynamic movement drills with a medicine ball for flexibility and athleticism. Why have these exercises and movements been around for so long? They have been around for so long because they work.

If most people went to the gym and just did these basic exercises they could achieve an incredible looking and healthy body without getting overwhelmed and confused looking for the secret exercises or the new class that only a lucky few with the great bodies know about. I’ve been working out myself for over 30 years and training clients for over 20 and I’ve seen it all. Sticking to the basic exercises is the quickest and safest way to achieve a great looking and healthy body.

Here’s an example of a full body workout made up of basic exercises:

  • Warm-up with dynamic movement in all three plains of motion with a medicine ball.
  • Squat or Leg Press: one warm-up set then one hard work set, 15 to 20 reps.
  • Lunge: one warm-up set then one hard work set, 15 reps
  • Standing Calf Raise: one warm-up set then one hard work set, 20 reps
  • Bench Press: one warm up set then one hard work set, 12 to 15 reps
  • Push-ups: one warm up set then one hard work set, as many as possible (AMAP)
  • Pull-up or Lat-pull-down: one warm up set then one hard work set, 12 to 15 reps (Pull-ups AMAP)
  • Seated Row: one warm up set then one hard work set, 12 to 15 reps
  • Shoulder Press: one warm up set then one hard work set, 12 to 15 reps
  • Biceps Curl: one warm up set then one hard work set, 12 to 15 reps
  • Triceps Push-down: one warm up set then one hard work set, 12 to 15 reps
  • Hanging or Lying Leg Raise: one hard set, AMAP
  • Lying Bicycle with knees to elbows: one hard set, AMAP
  • Cool-down with full body active stretching

Note: Work Set means hard 90% to 100% effort in good form (technique).

If you have any questions about how to perform these exercises, let me know.

This is a great full body workout that you can do twice per week on the days you’re not doing hard aerobics.

If you are looking for a great shoulder program, checkout Simpler Shoulder Solution by Max Shank or one of his other programs like Ultimate Athleticism.

Best – Mike Cola

 


About Mike Cola

Mike Cola has well over 50,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience. He started his own personal training studio in1989, Mike Cola Fitness, which is located in New York.Connect with Mike @ Google+

3 Responses to “Are Basic Exercises the Real Secret?”

  1. While we may be wooed by the unique, these moves are the core underpinnings of fitness. Thanks for reminding us! There are no secrets or “special sauces”, just solid, continuous, commitment.

  2. Definitely those basic exercises should be the foundation of any muscle building/strengthening routine. However I believe that you should also incorporate some more sophisticate and challenging moves that require more skills. The more different exercises you do, the better you prepare your body for real life applications. Of course here comes the question what are your main priorities – looks or functionality?

  3. Felicia Baker-Carr February 17, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Hi Mike. It’s Felicia, the trainer from Equinox in Scarsdale. I haven’t seen you in the gym in a long time. I just wanted to say that I love your website and train my clients with much of what you say in mind. I hope you are well and that you keep this website going. Thank you and take care.