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Your Workouts Reviewed: Limited Equipment Workout

Our expert assesses a reader submitted workout for people with limited access to workout gear.

Everyone's got a workout of their own—your "go-to" routine. But is your "go-to" routine good enough? We asked our Men's Fitness Facebook friends if they had a killer routine to share and subject to the scrutiny of our readers. The big catch? Our team of training experts also review it, critique it and tweak it if necessary.

Workout Submission

Men's Fitness Facebook Friend: Andrew Gutman

“I only have access to limited equipment and my goal is to bulk while leaning out. I know barbells would be nice, but I don't have a lot to work with so from my research and knowledge this is what I threw together.”

Chest/Biceps

-Dynamic Warmup
-Incline DB bench press: 4 sets of 8-10
-Incline DB flys: 4 sets of 8-10
-Flat DB bench press: 4 sets of 8-10
-Flat DB flys: 4 sets of 8-10
-Machine Preacher curls: 4 sets of 8-10
-Hammer curls: 4 sets of 8-10
-Incline alternating DB curl: 4 sets of 8-10
-21's: 3 sets of 21

Back/Triceps

-Wide grip lat pull downs: 4 sets of 8-10
-One arm DB row: 4 sets of 8-10
-Straight bar push down: 4 sets of 8-10
-DB pull over: 3 sets of 10-12
-DB french press: 4 sets of 8-10
-Tricep kick backs: 4 sets of 8-10
-DB overhead press: 4 sets of 8-10

Legs/Shoulders

-DB goblet squat: 4 sets of 8-10
-Leg extension: 4 sets of 8-10
-Hamstring curls: 4 sets of 8-10
-DB lunges: 4 sets of 8-10
-DB military press (seated): 4 sets of 8-10
-Rear delt row: 4 sets of 8-10
-Lateral raise: 4 sets of 8-10
-Incline rear delt raise: 3 sets of 10-12

I also mix in sprints and ab work (sprints twice/wk., abs once/wk.)

Expert Assessment 

Dan Trink C.S.C.S., CPT is the Director of Personal Training Operations at Peak Performance NYC and the trainer in our 8-Week Fitness Transformassacre Follow Trink on Twitter @TrinkFitness

Pros: I like the pairings in these workouts. Since the smaller muscle groups are not acting as true synergists to the large muscle groups (so, for example, the biceps don’t really come into play when you are working your chest), you can hit each muscle hard in every workout. You’ve got the concept of training the larger muscle groups and more complex movements early in the workout and saving the isolation stuff for later. That is key to workout performance. Finally, they may not be fancy, but it’s hard to beat good ol’ sprints when it comes to conditioning and fat loss.

Cons: Even though I love the fact that you’re getting a lot of work done with minimal equipment, you could be getting a bit too much work done. Seven-8 movements per workout when you are only training two muscle groups may be a bit much. And though I like the fact that your sets and reps aren’t all over the place, you seem to be riding the “4 sets of 8-10 horse” a little hard. Feel free to vary those up when appropriate.

Overall: I think you can lose some of the less “bang for your buck” exercises. I mean, do you really need flat AND incline flyes? Are triceps kickbacks getting you much (other than strange stares from the strong guys at the gym)? Focus on doing the most effective exercises really well. Since your goal is to improve body composition you could probably increase the rep range of the isolation movements you do perform up to 12-15 reps per set. Finally, if you want to lean out, the most important factor is going to be nutrition, so make sure that is dialed in. Remember, you’re only at the gym for a few hours per week. The other factors that will help get you ripped—nutrition, sleep, recovery, stress management—are 24/7 jobs.

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