The Workout Routine You Can Stick To, From Personal Trainer, Shane McLean

When you read a contract for the first time, do you turn straight to the fine print? No, of course not, unless you like all that legal mumbo jumbo. Starting at the beginning is usually easier.

However, when it comes to getting in shape, people often overlook simple and jump straight to complicated. CrossFit anybody? Exercise routines that are simple and easy to follow will help you be more consistent in your efforts.

Consistency equals results and that’s why we exercise, to get better, not worse.

However, exercise can be overwhelming for the general population looking to get fit and healthy. It’s not a lack of information that’s stopping them, it’s information overload. Google workout and see for yourself.

So where do you start? You start by keeping it simple.

A strength coach named Dan John has broken down exercise into six fundamental human movements, which are

  1. Squat
  2. Push
  3. Pull
  4. Hinge
  5. Carries
  6. Ground work

Although there’s a ton of other moves (hello, bicep curls) you can do, sticking with the fundamentals will make your workout routine less complicated and easier to stick with.

The following is a three-day-a-week circuit training program (performing one exercise after the other) using the fundamental human movements just mentioned. Read on if you want results.

The Exercises

I’m assuming you’re at different places in your fitness journey, so I’m breaking the first four movements and the groundwork exercise into beginner, level 2 (intermediate) and level 3 (advanced) exercises.

1. Squat

 Beginner: Stability ball squat (add weight if necessary)


Level 2: The body weight squat


Level 3: The Goblet squat

2. Push

Beginner: Incline push up


Level 2: Dumbbell bench press


Level 3:  Push up

3. Pull

Beginner: Standing single arm cable row (do both sides)


Level 2: Kneeling lat pull-down


Level 3: Inverted row

4. Hinge

Beginner: Swiss ball hip extension (add weight if necessary)


Level 2: Dumbbell Romanian deadlift


Level 3: Rack deadlift

5. Farmer’s carry

6. Ground work

Beginner: Baby crawl


Level 2: Leopard crawl


Level 3: Spiderman crawl

For example, a beginner circuit training would look like this.

  1. Stability ball squat
  2. Incline push up
  3. Single arm cable row
  4. Swiss ball hip extension
  5. Farmer’s carry
  6. Baby crawling

Workout Instructions

Day one – Complete six reps (select a weight that allows you to do all six reps) of exercises one – four. For the farmer’s carry walk forward 20 yards and then walk back for 20 yards for a total of 40 yards.

For the ground work do 10 crawls forward and then 10 backward. Do this for a total of four circuits and rest when needed between exercises and circuits.

Day two – Choose a lighter weight than day one. Complete three sets of 10 reps of each exercise one – four.  For the farmer’s carry/ground work, follow the day one instructions. Complete three circuits and rest when needed between exercises and circuits.

Day three – Do 15 reps (using a lighter weight than day two) of each exercise one – four. For the farmer’s carry/ground work follow the day one instructions. Complete three circuits and rest when needed between exercises and circuits.


This workout can be done either on Mon – Wed – Fri or Tues – Thurs – Sat. Make sure you warm up properly before each workout. If you’re unsure about warming up, watch this.

Grab your equipment beforehand to minimize set-up difficulties and rest time between exercises. Don’t forget to smile and have some fun. 

Wrapping up

Do this training for four weeks in total. If you need more than 48 hours to recover between workouts, take it. When the current level of an exercise becomes easier, go up a level. When the weight becomes less challenging, go up by 5 pounds. Don’t hold yourself back.

Keep this simple and the results will come.

About Shane McLean

Shane “The Balance Guy” McLean, is an A.C.E Certified Personal Trainer working deep in the heart of Texas. No, Shane doesn’t wear a cowboy hat or boots but he loves kettlebells and Chuck Norris.