My Go To Warm Up

Unless you have an injury or nagging pain that needs to be specifically addressed before you start your workout, the warm up should be short and simple. After all, the point of the warm up is to simply prime you for the training that lies ahead.

This is a dynamic stretching routine that I use with clients and classes on a full body or lower body training day. Prior to starting, I normally give the client or class 3-5 minutes of easy steady state cardio to increase blood flow and raise the body temperate. Sometimes we’ll jog 1/2 a mile, row 1k or cycle a mile. After completing the drills, I’ll sometimes throw in some high intensity drills to wake up the central nervous system. Sprints, kettle bell swings, slam balls, plyometrics…these all work well for getting your mind right and body warm before starting your actual workout.

Here is my go to warm up:


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An On The Fly Lower Body Workout

It’s that time of the year again when we hear lifters whining about how their precious squat rack or leg press is being taken over by new year gym goers. This happened to me the other day as I went to a franchise type gym I train at to use machines. Everything I needed for my workout was taken. But instead of ranting on social media about how I loathe this time of the year as a gym goer (not as a trainer as this time of the year is like my Christmas) I opted from doing myself a disservice by completely skipping my training and leaving frustrated through getting a little creative and using what I had available. The only equipment that was available: a couple sets of kettlebells and a 5×5 space in the corner. So I grabbed a 53lb and 26lb kettlebell and set myself up in the corner to knock out an alternative lower body workout on the fly. Here is what I did:

*Bike x1.0 mile then a quick 3:00 minutes of lower body mobility

A. Every 3:00 minutes for 5 rounds:

  • Bulgarian split squat x12/side (holding 26lb kb in hand opposite of working leg)
  • Jumping split squat x12/side @ bodyweight

B. Every 3:00 minutes for 5 rounds:

  • Single leg RDL x12/side (holding 26lb kb in hand opposite of working leg)
  • Single arm kb swing x12/side (using 26lb kb)

C. Every 3:00 minutes for 3 rounds:

  • Goblet squat x20 with 53b kb (heels elevated on 10# bumper plate)
  • Prisoner jump squats x20

And that’s it! Literally a 45 minute workout…tons of volume and quite the conditioning crusher. What really makes this painful is coupling the plyo/explosive movement with a similar movement pattern and muscle group focus. Though it’s not often I incorporate plyos for my programs with clients looking to gain muscle, it was the only way I could squeeze in the needed volume to stimulate muscle growth on limited equipment availability. So next time you show up to a swamped gym and there is no equipment available to execute your initial lower body workout, either get creative and use what you have or give my workout a try. I promise it won’t disappoint!


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A Simple Four Week Strength Cycle

I have written hundreds of personalized strength specific programs. Some for beginners, others for intermediates, and a few for competitive powerlifters. And though I may use a variety of progressions and training splits, I’ve found that it’s the ones that look simple on paper that drive the best results.

I wrote this plan because I am at a point now in my coaching where I receive a handful of repetitive questions. These are often strength related and could be answered by simply referencing an article. So if you have any friends who are bugging you for a free strength plan, you know where to send them 🙂

The Plan

This four week plan is intended to bring up your big three and pack on size. The exercises stay the same as the intensities and volume slightly undulate (this is why it’s important that you know your 1 rep max). This plan consists of three training days per week and the workouts should take anywhere between 60-90 minutes. If you truly want to get stronger and can’t devote 3-5 hours a week to your training then you might need to re-access your goals and priorities.

This is a good training plan to start if you have taken some time off lifting. With that said, I recommend anyone who does this plan takes a de-load week and tests their 1RM to get their new numbers (I will be posting an article on how to properly do a max testing day). If you are transitioning from the typical bodybuilding split, this program will work well with getting you used to training with heavier weights.


  • For any type of strength training, the focus is quality movement through maximal force. With that said, your goal is to execute each repetition as vigorously as possible under textbook form. This is why it is key that you stay within the prescribed rest intervals. In other words: make each rep look the same!
  • The secondary exercises (B-D) are all done with higher volume. Don’t go through the motions on these. Progressively move up in weight during the warm up sets without over fatiguing yourself before the initial work sets. Focus on quality form and keep tension along the working muscles.
  • Stay with the weights and sets prescribed! The percentages are listed for a reason. If you feel like you have more left in the tank, save it up for the testing day that follows this program.
  • Warm up: do whatever you need mobility wise. Just make sure you are warm and mentally ready to go before you put a barbell in your hands. If you need more warm up sets before the prescribed percentages, feel free to do so.
  • Cool down: I have you running 1 mile at the end of each day. This is simply to increase blood circulation and get a small amount of aerobic training. If you can’t take it upon yourself to run a mile at an easy pace, then I question your mental toughness and work ethic. If you absolutely cannot run because of an injury (get that checked out before self diagnosing), then you can row x2,000 meters, jump rope x10:00 minutes, ride the airdyne for 3 miles, or anything that can be done for 10-15:00 minutes steadily at an easy pace.

What You Need

  • Focus
  • A barbell
  • A gym that allows you to drop weights and make ridiculous war cries while you grind out your heavier sets
  • Your 1RM in the squat, bench press, and deadlift

Training Split

You can start the training on any day of the week. Just keep the days in order and leave a day of rest in between each training day as the intensities are practically the same for each workout. This is what the training split should look like:


Weeks 1-4

You can download a PDF of the program here:  A Simple Four Week Strength Cycle

w1 w2 w3 w4

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