Over the past few weeks, I have been simplifying my personal workouts. More often than not, the session consists of just 3-4 exercises. Over the last four Sundays, I have been focusing on one workout in particular that includes just three exercises, but it keeps me extremely focused and has built up my strength and stamina in just those few short weeks.
I like knowing I only need to focus on a few things on days when I don’t really want to train (yes, it happens). It allows me to dial in my energy and get a great training session in despite not feeling 100% motivated.
I wanted to share this workout with you today, because it’s one that I would encourage you to add into your routine once per week for 4-6 weeks or whenever you are having one of those low motivation days.
The advanced version of this workout contains a barbell back squat, a bench press and a deadlift. That said, you can substitute other versions of the exercises based on your experience. For example, a dumbbell goblet squat can be substituted for a back squat, a chest press machine can be substituted for a dumbbell or barbell chest press and a straight leg dumbbell deadlift can be exchanged for a traditional barbell deadlift.
STEP 1 – SQUAT. You will complete 20 reps of your back squat at a weight that you would normally do 15 reps. How do you get through the set? After you get 12-15 squats, you want to complete the set by doing breathing squats. This is an old bodybuilding technique where you will do a rep and then at the top of the squat, you’ll take 8-10 breaths and then complete another rep. Do this until you get to 20. Sometimes you may be able to get two or three reps in a row after a breathing break. Just get yourself to 20 reps, but keep that perfect technique.
STEP 2 – REST THEN BENCH PRESS. Then you will rest 1 minute and move on to your bench press. If you are in the gym this circuit may be tough to set up (working around other people), so I like to do a dumbbell bench press. You can choose to use a machine and/or do it flat or at an incline. You’ll simply select a challenging weight that you can get at least 12 reps, and you want to push for a maximum effort set. Do as many reps as you can, going almost to failure but keeping that technique.
STEP 3 – REST THEN DEADLIFT. Then you will rest another minute, and move to your deadlift (traditional or straight leg). You want to get 20 reps on this exercise. I don’t use the breathing technique on my dead lift, as I find that most people are stronger in this movement. So select a weight that would be close to your 15 rep max and then push for 20. With the deadlift, you can do a traditional stance or a sumo stance, whatever is more comfortable for you.
STEP 4 – REST & REPEAT. Once you finish your deadlift, you will rest 1-2 minutes and repeat. Complete three sets of this. It may seem simple, but it’s an extremely taxing session that will challenge your strength, stamina and nervous system.
• 20 reps of barbell back squats at your 15 rep max
• Rest 1 minute
• Bench press for max reps
• Rest 1 minute
• 20 reps of deadlifts
• Rest 1-2 minutes
• Repeat for 3 sets
Track your weight and your time for completion and try to improve that week to week. Don’t perform these lifts if you have any injuries or if you have not done the barbell movements before. This is an advanced workout and requires a lot of focus. If you are just starting out, you can do a version of this with dumbbell goblet squats and a dumbbell or kettlebell deadlift.
Leave a comment below if you are going to try this workout and let me know how it went for you.