Pairing Exercises If You Train At A Commerical Gym

We have all probably trained at commercial gym and maybe still do to this day.  However, when I think about what I accomplished at a commerical gym compared to how I train at a facility like Endeavor it hits me right in the face how horribly inefficient I was for 2 years.  Besides the fact that my workout then looked something like this I can tell you that there is a much better way to get more work done in a shorter period of time even if there are tons of people wasting away in the squat rack doing bicep curls.

So much useless crap, I would not where to start either


-5 mins on treadmill

A) Hang Clean 6 x 3

B) Bench Press  x10, x 5, 3-5×6-10 reps

C) DB Incline Chest Press 3-4x 8-12

D1) Tricep Cable Pushdowns 3 x 12

D2) DB Chest Flys 3 x 12

Besides being completely ridiculous for “training”, (this was the upper:chest /tris) for this day, look how much stuff I actually did…5-6 exercises with no dynamic warm-up, no mobility or corrective exercise work, no soft-tissue work etc…Today, I can can fit all that stuff and still finish before I was done a typical workout like that.  The main problem that I have heard from people with training at a commercial gym is that they cannot really leave the equipment they are on because some meathead who thinks he knows what he is talking about comes over and steals it right from you.  I recently was asked to help a friend out in making a program and I tried to make it in a way where he could pair exercises and/or core/mobility etc. without leaving the equipment while getting in more work (training density).

Upper Body Examples

For upper body day emphasis we basically have any of these main lifts : Bench Press, Rows, Overhead presses, Chin-Ups.  If the first exercise were bench press and since everyone loves to hop on that thing soon as someone takes 5 steps away from it, one way would be to pair some type of upper back activation drill, t-spine mobility, or some core work that can easily be done right next to the bench.


A1) DB Incline Chest Press 4 x 6

A2) Prone T Hold 2 x (10x2s)

A3) Front Plank March 2 x 8/side

The same could go for Rows.  You could have seated  low-pulley row as the main lift for that tri-set.


B1) Seated Low-Pulley Row 5 x 8

B2) Push-Ups 3 x 12-15

B3) 1/2 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch 2 x 30s/side

I picked antagonistic exercises and push-ups can easily be done right next to the row.

Lower Body Examples

Another example is if you perform exercises on a cable pulley like cable pullthroughs you can easily switch to other core exercises like belly presses which also use a cable without having to leave that area.

A1) Hip Dominant Exercise – Cable Pullthroughs or Stability Ball Hamstring Curls  3-4x 10-12 reps

A2) Standing Belly Presses 3 x 10/side

A3)Split Squat IsoHold  3 x 30s/side  (do not need any equipment for this so it works well to fit that in)


B1) Deadlift 4 x 6

B2) Ankle Mobilization 2 x 10/side


These are just some examples of how you can get more work done even if there are a lot of people using equipment.  The main idea is to think of pairing exercises where you would not have to leave the area (which you know your gym set-up).   A good example would be where you cannot necessarily pair rows and chest presses because maybe the dumbbell or barbell rack is not near the low pulley row.  This is why rows and push-up is more conveniant.  Typically, if you pair a major lift whether it be an upper/lower body push/pull or hip dominant/kneed dominant with a core and then mobility/activation exercise you will be 100% more efficient than the others at the gym and quicker to get results.




Categories: Strength Training

1 reply


  1. Articles. « Killsession Musings

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