What should be in your workout

When you are in the gym, have you ever wondered “what should be included in my workout program?”  Before I became a certified personal trainer I use to wonder if what I was doing was effective or if I was doing all I could to benefit my time in the gym.

So I came up with a list of 5 areas that I think are critical to a workout program.  I use these 5 areas with my personal training clients.

1.  Aerobic exercise-you need to get in 75-150 minutes of cardio a week.  Pick something you like and that increases your heart rate.

2.  Strength Training- at least 2 times a week, 3 times a week if you want to see results quickly.  Use heavy enough weights so  your muscles are “feeling it” by the 10-12th rep.  A great total body strength training exercise is the step up to balance with a shoulder press.  It works all the lower body muscles, balance, core and shoulders.

3.  Core training-I think this is the MOST important area of the body to train.  If you have a weak core it can lead to low back pain, injuries, tight muscles…etc.  The plank is one of the single most effective exercises to strengthen your core.  Put your forearms and knees on the ground, draw your stomach in and keep your butt in line with your hips and shoulders.  Hold for 30 seconds. Advanced option is to go to your toes.


4.  Balance training-if you don’t use it, you lose it.  Balance training helps with improve your stability.  Examples: Do bicep curls while standing on 1 leg or do squats on the bosu.

5.  Stretching-it increases your joint range of motion and helps lengthen tight muscles.  Stretch after you exercise when your muscles are warm.  Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.

If you have any questions on what exercises to do, just ask.

Have a great day!

Lisa Holtan





  1. Kevin

    April 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    How do I know if I am using correct form in my strength exercises and cardio. How critical is it?

    1. Lisa Holtan

      April 25, 2013 at 2:07 am

      It is critical to use correct form while doing strength exercises. If you are using incorrect form you could hurt yourself or not get the results you are hoping for. If you are unsure of your form you can work with a personal trainer for a session so they can help you correct your form.

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      May 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

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