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The Workout

  • Perform the workout up to four times a week on nonconsecutive days.
  • Always choose a weight — or variation — that makes the move challenging on your final few reps. For example, you’ll use more weight in week 2 when you’re doing sets of five reps than you used in week 1 with sets of eight.

1. Half-Kneeling Press

a man performs a lunge with overhead press
Full Instructions
  • Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell at shoulder height in your right hand, assume a half-kneeling position, with your right knee on the floor and your left foot standing in front of you.
  • With your torso braced and upright, exhale strongly as you press the weight from shoulder height to a locked-out position overhead.
  • Slowly inhale as you lower the weight to the starting position.
  • Repeat for reps, then perform the same number on the other side.
Week 1: Three sets of eight reps.
Week 2: Five sets of five reps.
Week 3: 25 reps total, breaking up the reps into as many sets as you need.
Week 4: Same rep scheme as Week 1.

2. Suspension-Trainer One-Arm Rows

a man performs a one armed row using a trx
Full Instructions
  • Holding one of the handles of a TRX or equivalent in your right hand, face the anchor point and walk back to create some tension on the band.
  • Keeping your body straight and your shoulders and hips square, walk your feet forward to increase the load (the farther forward you place your feet, the tougher it will be).
  • Place your left hand behind your back and keep it there throughout the set.
  • Keeping your gaze on the anchor point, pull yourself upward by retracting your shoulder blade and bending your right arm, keeping your elbow close to your side throughout the movement.
  • Reverse the move, slowly lowering yourself back to the starting point.
  • Repeat for reps, then switch sides and perform the same number with your left hand.
Week 1: Three sets of eight reps.
Week 2: Five sets of five reps.
Week 3: 25 reps total, breaking up the reps into as many sets as you need.
Week 4: Same rep scheme as Week 1.

3. Goblet Squat

a man performs a goblet squat while holding a kettlebell
Full Instructions
  • Hold a kettlebell in both hands by the horns — the two base points of the handle — against your chest just under your chin (you can also hold a single dumbbell, vertically, against your chest in the same manner).
  • Assume a shoulder width stance with your toes turned slightly out.
  • Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, your chest up and out, slowly bend at your knees, ankles and hips, sitting down as far as you can while keeping your back flat.
  • Pause in the low position, reverse the movement, and repeat for reps.
Week 1: Three sets of eight reps.
Week 2: Five sets of five reps.
Week 3: 25 reps total, breaking up the reps into as many sets as you need.
Week 4: Same rep scheme as Week 1.

(For additional form tips, see “BREAK IT DOWN: The Squat“.)

4. Glute Bridge

a man performs the glute bridge
Full Instructions
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat and shoulder-width apart.
  • Tuck your pelvis and push through your feet, raising your hips as high as you can.
  • Contract your glutes as hard as you can and hold for a one-count.
  • Slowly lower yourself, stopping just before your sacrum is on the floor, and repeat.
Week 1: Three sets of 10.
Week 2: Three sets of 12.
Week 3: Three sets of 15.
Week 4: Four sets of 15.

(For additional form tips and variations, see “BREAK IT DOWN: The Glute Bridge“.)

5. Suitcase Carry

a man performs a kettlebell suitcase carry
Full Instructions
  • Hold a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell by your side in your left hand.
  • Maintaining excellent posture (chest up, shoulder blades on your back, head stacked over your spine), walk forward for 20 to 60 seconds. No space? March in place.
  • Switch hands and repeat for about the same time frame (you can also count steps: go for double the number of seconds indicated — so if you’re trying to hit 20 seconds, take 40 steps).
  • Change the duration of each set week to week according to the following parameters.
Week 1: 45 seconds/side, 3 sets.
Week 2: 60 seconds/side, 2 sets.
Week 3: 20 seconds/side, 4 sets.
Week 4: Week 4: 15 seconds/side, 3 sets.

(See “BREAK IT DOWN: How to Do a Kettlebell Carry” for additional form tips and variations.)

This was excerpted from “Resilience, Rediscovered” which was published in the March 2022 issue of Experience Life magazine.

Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Danny King
Andrew Heffernan

Andrew Heffernan, CSCS, is an Experience Life contributing editor.

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