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Gym Workout | Whole Body Training Session

Updated: Jan 19

Two fitness trainers completing a gym workout.

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So, you need a new gym workout to get you back in the groove? We’ve got you covered. The workout below will help to reinvigorate your training routine while delivering truck-load of health and fitness benefits.

To appeal to a wider audience, the gym workout has been designed to target three components of fitness – cardio, strength, and muscle endurance.

However, the ratios of the components can be adjusted to accommodate your exercise preferences and training goals. For example, if you want to focus more on strength, you could reduce the cardio or, if you’re allergic, dispense with it entirely.

At 90 minutes the gym workout is a touch longer than average. A full 30 minutes have been assigned to each component. These timings aren’t etched in stone though. You can adjust them to suit your training time constraints. But more on how to modify the gym workout below.

What you’ll get from this gym workout

Completing the three sections in a single session provides a whole-body workout. The resistance exercises engage all the major muscle groups – and many more besides. Whereas the cardio bout stimulates the heart and respiratory system.

All in all, this gym workout confers a considerable array of health and fitness benefits. A snapshot of those benefits includes:

Cardio conditioning
Muscular endurance development
Increased strength in the major muscle groups
Improved athleticism
Enhanced physical functionality

More muscle, less fat

In addition to those just outlined, we can also include improved body composition. Of all the training methods, cardio is a superior fat burner. Recent studies have revealed that, when compared to other exercise methods, such as resistance, cardio is considerably more effective at supporting weight loss (Exercise: The Science of Physical Activity, Rest & Health).

But the workout doesn’t just help to reduce fat mass. The compound exercises encourage muscle growth. This is the perfect training combination for simultaneously improving your physicality and physical appearance.

How to use this gym workout

Of course, the health and fitness benefit discussed above will not magically appear after one whirl of the workout. To stand a fighting chance of bagging those benefits, you need to adopt the workout as part of your training routine. That means completing it at least once a week.

But this begs the question, won’t the workout get boring after a month or two? Yes, almost certainly.

Personalise the gym workout

However, the design of the gym workout makes it eminently modifiable. For example, keeping the structure the same, you could change the exercises each week.

In addition to making it feel like a new workout, which reinvigorates engagement, changing the exercises will also stimulate your body in different ways. Arnold Schwarzenegger reminds us that this is a key factor in stimulating growth and physical development.

Gym workout

The gym workout begins with a 10-minute warm-up. Because the first phase of the plan involves a series of light resistance exercises, you can constrict the warm-up to 5 minutes if you are short on time.

The first phase of the workout has been devised to serve two purposes. They are 1) to develop muscle endurance and 2) to provide an opportunity to improve lifting technique.

Seldom do trainers set time aside to focus on form. Dedicating 30 minutes a week to polishing and perfecting your technique can pay dividends.

For example, the author of The Strength & Conditioning Bible tells us that improving our lifting technique enables us to maximise the range of movement of the exercise. But more importantly, tightening our form and perfecting our technique minimises injury risk.


The second phase of this gym workout will help build strength. You’ll be progressing through a series of compound lifts. As the focus of the workout has shifted to strength, the training formula has changed to reflect this focus.

Sets and reps have decreased while rest periods have increased. But remember, to promote you must push the poundage.

Cardio finisher

This gym workout concludes with a 30-minute bout of cardio. You have a few options here. Of course, you can reduce the duration of this phase. Also, you don’t have to spend the whole time on a single exercise. Many people find sustained cardio boring. But one simple method to making it more engaging is to change the exercises every 5 minutes or so.

The intensity is set low – between 4 and 6 on the RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) scale. However, if you’re feeling energetic, there’s no reason why you couldn’t push the pace of pit yourself against a fitness test.

Gym warm up

Warming up is the single most important part of any workout. Whether you’re engaging in a low-impact cardio or a Kettlebell Circuit, you should always warm up first.

In The New Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding, we are reminded that ‘warming up properly helps to protect the body from becoming overstressed,’ prepares it for the demands of training, and ‘reduces the chance of injury.’

To ensure that you thoroughly prepared for the workout, we have created an all-purpose 10 minute warm-up for you to try.

A session plan of a gym workout.

Gym workout hints and tips

To reiterate the sales pitch in the introduction, this workout is completely customisable. You can think of it as a framework around which to build a workout more suited to your preferences and training objectives. Ways of doing this include changing exercises. For example, if you wanted the workout to target a specific muscle group, say those of the leg, you would replace upper body exercises with ones that engage the lower body.

Related: Need Exercise ideas?

Other ways of personalising the workout involve altering the ratios of the three core components of fitness. Let’s say that your training goal is to lose weight. Currently, you’re carrying a bit too much superfluous ‘energy’ and you want to tip the scales in favour of fat-free mass – a.k.a. muscle. A simple method of modifying the workout to support this goal is to increase the cardio duration while decreasing the resistance.

Relevant: Get sweaty with this Cardio Gym Workout

The final suggestion I’ll make has to do with how to modify the workout to accommodate time constraints. Don’t feel that the session plan must be completed in its entirety. If you only have enough time to train for 30 minutes, you could focus on a single component of fitness. Alternatively, if you wanted the ‘full fitness’ experience, you could reduce each phase of the workout to 10 minutes.

Related: Try these Four Gym Routines


Enjoyed this workout?

Get your hands on 70 more with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits & Workouts Volume 2 >

This gym workout blog concludes with the hungry4fitness book of circuits and workouts volume 2.


About Adam Priest –

A former Royal Marines Commando, Adam Priest is a content writer, college lecturer, and health and fitness coach. He is also a fitness author and contributor to other websites. Connect with Adam at

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