Saturday, 16 February 2013

My current gym routine

Due to a bit of tendonitis in my elbow, I have had to change my gym routine a bit these last couple of weeks.

The point of this post is not to whine about a sore elbow or the fact that exercises that use my arms are off-limits but to share with you how it has forced a change in my gym routine.  

I do a full body workout each time I go as I can't always guarantee the times and days I can get to the gym and I'm afraid of missing muscle groups. 

TRX pistol squats

As I can't do a lot of upper body work at the moment because of my elbow - pull ups, chin ups, shoulder raises and press, chest press etc are all out of the window -  I have decided to focus much more on my legs and core.  No choice, really!

So, rather than doing either deadlifts superset with TRX reverse lunges or bar bell squats superset with TRX pistol squats, I am doing both as well as air squats, split squats, leg press and TRX hip raises.  I can't do kettle bells at the moment.

I am now regularly experiencing DOMS where before it was becoming more rare.

Bar bell squats
TRX reverse lunges
And since my workouts take so much less time without the arms, I have also decided to up the sets I do.  I learnt on my PT courses that you do 3 sets of everything but why?  Why stop at 3?  I've been upping my sets to 4, 5 or 6 which has also made a big difference   I've had to up my rest times in between sets a little, from 30 seconds or a minute to 1 min 30 or 2 minutes and the last couple of sets often have to include fewer reps.  This way I am really going to failure and pushing myself a lot more.

TRX hip rasie
Without my elbow 'injury' I might not have thought to change my workout.  It becomes so easy to just go to the gym and do the same thing over and over and wonder why things aren't changing.  Sometimes it takes being forced into making a change to do just that.

Shoulder press
It's really difficult not to do any arm exercises at all and so I am listening to my body carefully and introducing light-weight shoulder presses with greater reps and sets than normal to compensate for the lighter weight.

The other thing I've been doing is upping my ab exercises - a lot.

I used to stick on a bit of token core work at the end of my workout but now I am putting it in the middle of the workout to place more emphasis on it and am making sure I do at least 3 sets of everything, including exercises like hanging knee and leg raises with a view to moving onto toe2bar although I can't do these at the moment because of my elbow.

Focusing on my core strength has paid dividends in that my squats and deadlifts are so much easier to do with good form.

Here's one of my current core workouts:

200 butterfly kicks

100 Russian twists

30 second plank

30 second v-sit

10 stability ball rollouts

20 stability ball jack knives

50 TRX mountain climbers

30 second side plank with rotation on each side
15 stability ball back extensions

Here's one of my current leg workouts:

50 air squats

12 50kg back squats
12 TRX pistol squats
x 4

12 60 kg deadlifts
12 TRX reverse lunges
x 4

10 60kg leg press
10 split squats
x 4

12 TRX hips rasies
x 4

50 air squats

I am looking forward to bringing back chest press, pull ups and chin ups, shoulder raises and harder shoulder press, bicep curls, cable machine exercises and Dragan presses in a week or two.

I'd love to know your favourite workout routines - leave a message here and tell us what have you been doing in the gym recently!


  1. I had had to adapt my routine until recently due to a suspected fractured cocyx. I was unable to do squats, sit ups and even chest presses and flys were hard as i couldn't roll down with the heavier weights in my hand. But it just proves that you don't need injury as an excuse not to work out. There is always something you can do

  2. It's so frustrating, isn't it? You just have to find a way round it. Are you back to your old, determined self now?

  3. Whining wasn’t going to make your injury go away, so kudos to you for deciding to change your workout routine rather than dwelling on it. I also think that introducing changes to your routine every so often is a good thing. While the body does need time to adjust to the new regimen, it’s a good way to test your level of comfort and limitations.

  4. Thanks for your comment!
    You're right! It is still sore but I'm working around it.
    It gets boring sticking with the same routine as well. It's fun to mix it up a little as well as challenging your muscles in a different way and I'm all for testing those comfort zones!

  5. Excellent workout routine! I think it’s perfect to increase whole body strength and improve quality of life. I also do ball exercise daily.back and neck pain bergen county