Structuring an Effective Workout

How do I set up an effective workout?! Glad you asked....

First, let me say that I use a lot of other people’s workouts that I have tried, used and found very effective. Kayla Istines (BBG) is always good for a killer and sweaty leg day and  Lauren Gleisberg is one of my absolute favorites when I want to hit the weights. Their programs are tried and true and have given a lot of people wonderful results, so check them out!

Personally, I CRAVE a good sweat. I love to leave the gym dripping and feel like I really pushed myself. Drew makes fun of me a little bit because he doesn’t think I’ll ever go to the gym and just lift weights without throwing in some cardio or jumping on the treadmill. He’s usually right. My personal workouts come from a hybrid of my love of running, weights and plyometrics (explosive, jumping movements). I usually do some type of 30-40 minute run or stairmaster followed by a weight-focused circuit workout. 

Obviously you have to structure YOUR workout to help you reach YOUR goals, but I’m just going to tell you what I do and maybe that will help you. I’m not trying to gain crazy amounts of muscle, but I’ve learned that really isn’t easy to do even if a woman IS trying, so I’m not afraid to lift weights. With that being said--I love the combination of weights with plyometrics to really challenge the muscle both anaerobically and aerobically. This gives you the ability to tone muscles while burning calories and trimming fat (most women are pretty onboard with that).

So here we go:

  1. Pick a muscle group(s): Legs, chest/shoulder, biceps/back, Abs

  2. Choose 4-8 weighted exercises for your group

  3. Choose 3-4 Plyometric Type exercises that target the whole body or that group (could be running, jump rope, box jumps, jumping jacks, burpees, etc)

  4. Complete 2 weighted exercises (12-20 reps) back to back followed by 15-30 reps of the plyo exercise  and repeat that three times, then move on to your next “circuit”

Here is an example of a leg-focused workout that can be adjusted depending on fitness level:

Circuit 1 (3x total)


20 Walking Lunges


20 Sumo Squats


30 Alternating Jump Lunges

Circuit 2 (3x total)


20 Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Circuit 3 (3x total)


20 Hip Thrusts


15 Squat to Shoulder Press


15 Step-Ups Each Leg


15-20 Burpees


15 Broad Jumps


  1. If you are not looking to gain any size in a muscle group, choose lower weights and higher rep ranges.

  2. If you are looking to build or grow a muscle group (booty, shoulders, biceps), challenge yourself with the weight and opt for lower repetitions (8-10)

  3. Make sure you don’t compromise form in order to finish or lift a certain weight

  4. Try to only rest after you have completed an entire circuit. The higher you can keep your heart rate, the more calories you will expend.

Happy Sweating!