TheĀ Inside Out StrengthĀ Blog

Simple and practical strength training, nutrition, and mindset content for the busy dadĀ looking to build muscle and burn fat effectively

4 Must Haves For Getting Ripped (With Only 12 Exercises Per Week)

Feb 29, 2024

In an average week of working out, I only do 12 exercises per week

The same goes for my clients that have primary goals of body recomposition (getting lean), losing weight, and building strength/muscle

There were times in my life when I would do 12, 15, or probably even 20 exercises in a single workout

And I would repeat that over and over across working out 4, 5, or 6 times a week

I thought that's what it took to get results

Man, was I wrong.

This year, I've stuck to my word I made to myself at the beginning of the 2024

I haven't worked out more than 3 times in a single week

Yet my weight body fat percentage is as low as it's been in a long time

My strength isn't suffering either..

  • In the past week I squatted 345 for 8 reps and deadlifted 405 for 6 reps without much of a struggle
  • Weighted pullups are getting back to feeling like a breeze, and my pressing strength is finally coming back after a lingering shoulder injury
  • This was the exact same approach I followed for 14 months straight prior to going from ZERO running to finishing a 100 mile race in 3 months of prep time

Needless to say - I know it works.

It's worked for myself and other clients that have followed the exact same approach

These workouts (which I'm giving away for free when you join the Reverse Dad Bod Community) are extremely focused and effective

But whether you follow the workout I've seen work time and time again for myself and my coaching clients, or a completely different workout program, there are four things you need to make sure you have dialed in to see success.

Especially when it comes to MORE fat loss and muscle building in LESS time

There are plenty of workouts out there that can get you results, but also require you spend 5-10 hours per week at a minimum

Unless you get paid to workout (like those people often do), you probably don't have that kind of time, or that kind of desire, to workout that much

So if you're after maximum results in minimum amount of time, here is what you have to make sure you are accounting for to get the results you desire:

1) Compound Movements

When your goal is more results in less time, your program better have a heavy emphasis on compound movements

Unless you're trying to get stage ready for a bodybuilding competition, you need to quit wasting your time on isolation movements that accomplish very little for changing your strength or your physique

I would estimate ~75% or more of an average week of our programs are focused on compound movements

Things like deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, bench press, rows, pulldowns and pullups (real pullups, not kipping or butterfly ones), lunges, etc

That's because these movements recruit the most muscle at the highest load possible

Which makes them incredibly efficient

Now I believe isolation exercises have their place, but they should be the side dish and not the main course

The purpose of isolation or accessory movements are simply to round out your weaknesses to help you get stronger across the main compound lifts

For example, we regularly include accessory triceps work that help with your lockout strength on your bench or overhead press

However, that usually accounts for only one, maybe two, exercises per week with only 2 sets needed

2) Technique

One of the most overlooked variables to any workout program is your technique

Squatting 275 for 5 reps on squat, with lousy form, is far less effective than squatting 225 for 5 reps with rock solid form

If your technique is off, you might just be wearing down your joints and doing very little to grow your muscle

When your technique is dialed in, and you understand what it means to create tension with your lifts, then the result is that you protect your joints, you better stimulate your muscles, and you eventually get stronger in the long run

In other words - you set yourself up for more results, and more consistent results, over time when it comes to burning fat, building muscle, and boosting your strength numbers

Most people follow a random program online with very little feedback on their form with their main lifts

Maybe you've worked with a personal trainer for a few months or you consult a friend who's been working out for a while

That may seem helpful, but it can be a slippery slope if they don't have a trained eye in proper technique

If you don't get the right advice, you're results will suffer (at best) and you might be setting yourself for unnecessary injury (at worst)

3) Progression

Your program has to include progressive overload to get stronger, plain and simple.

Performing 'maintenance' work is an excuse to not push yourself, in most cases, and is probably hurting your potential to look and feel the way you really want to

You don't have to add weight to the bar every single session, but you do have to be progressing to continue to see results

Our programs use what's called double progression (thanks to a system we use called Reverse Pyramid Training)

This allows for you to progress on either weight or repetitions each workout

After you've been working out for some time, the weight will often stay the same, but you can build by a repetition or two on a given workout

These progressions are small week over week, but when compared to months (or years) the results are significant

4) Intensity

You don't have to leave each workout feeling like you're going to puke, but you do have to hit a certain level of intensity to get the results you want 

Most programs make up for a lower intensity with more volume. That means the program accounts for you working out a lower intensity, and makes up for it by adding more exercises, sets, and reps

This can be fine if you're not comfortable with getting uncomfortable, but just know it's going to take far more time each day and each week to get the same kind of results

When you can push the intensity to the right level each workout, you actually need rest days in between to properly recover (and this is when you actually build muscle and make your progress)

You can also get away with only doing 10-12 exercises per week and get incredible results

If you're stuck in a rut when it comes to your workout program, and you want an approach that works long-term for your muscle building and fat loss goals, click below to join our community for Busy Dad's and get the full workout program for free

I'm literally giving away everything - from the program, to the nutrition recommendations, to everything you need from a lifestyle standpoint to burn fat and build muscle effectively

Click here to join the Reverse Dad Bod community and access the full RDB Workout Program

Dr. Dave

P.S. If your goal is MORE muscle building and fat loss in LESS time, click here to join the Reverse Dad Bod Facebook Group. Join today to get free access to the full workout program, weekly video trainings, the RDB full nutrition protocol, and join a community of like minded men

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