Fitness Pro's Total Body Workout

After repeated requests for a total body workout, Raphael has designed a comprehensive program that will get you in the best shape of your life. By following his advice, you can realise the body of your dreams!

“The whole basis of my program is balance,” Raphael explains. “I have designed a fitness routine that includes resistance training, cardiovascular training, flexibility training and core training.”

When it comes to making the most of your exercise sessions, Raphael’s total body workout really covers all the bases. Best of all, this exercise program has been designed to work for people at all levels of fitness.

Even if you are new to exercise, you can follow this workout program, provided you follow the proper form for each of these exercises. Raphael reminds everyone to consult a physician before beginning any new exercise program.

Raphael’s Total Body Workout

Monday: Weight Training and Cardio

The first day involves antagonistic weight training (working opposing muscle groups) and cardiovascular exercise. According to Raphael, antagonistic training helps create balance in the body. You should be able to complete the following exercises in approximately 30 minutes.

1A. Dumbbell Incline Press (chest)

• Lie on your back on an incline bench with your spine in a neutral position.
• Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest level with your elbows at a 90-degree angle facing outward and palms facing forward.
• Contracting the chest muscles, press both arms upward above the chest until the arms are fully extended with a slight bend in the elbows.
• Slowly return to the starting position.

1B. Lat Pull-Down (back)

• Extend your arms up and reach for the bar with an underhand grip, arms shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in the elbows.
• Sit facing the cable machine with your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle.
• Contracting the upper back muscles, pull the bar down leading with the elbows stopping when the bar is just above your chest.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the weight stack touching.

“Perform a set of incline presses and immediately go to the lat pull down unit,” Raphael says. “After a 45-second rest, perform two more cycles of 12 reps. Each one of these exercises should be done for two sets total.”

2A. Dumbbell or Machine Flys (chest)

• Lie on your back on an incline bench with your spine in a neutral position.
• Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms out straight and parallel to the floor with a slight bend in the elbows.
• Contracting the chest muscles, raise the arms over the chest toward each other until the weights are just short of touching.
• Slowly return to the starting position.
• Exhale while lifting the weight.
• Inhale while returning to the starting position.

2B. Seated Cable Row (back)

• Stand facing the cable machine with legs shoulder-width apart.
• Hold a straight bar from the lower cable attachment with your palms facing your thighs.
• Contracting the upper back and shoulder muscles, raise the bar stopping when the bar is level with your shoulders.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the weight stack touching.

3A. Dumbbell Lateral Raise (side delt)

• Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
• Place your right hand on your right hip.
• Hold a dumbbell in your left hand with your palm facing your leg.
• Contracting the middle shoulder muscles, lift your left arm out to the side until the arm reaches slightly above shoulder height.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the weight touching your body.
• After completing the set on the left side, repeat on the right side.

“As you get stronger and begin to use heavier weights, you may want to hold on to a chair or wall for balance and support,” Raphael says.

3B. Dumbbell Bent Over Rear Delt Raise (rear delt)

• Sit on a bench or chair and bend forward to a 45-degree angle.
• Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging at your sides and the palms facing one another.
• Pull your shoulders back and lift your chest up.
• Contracting the rear shoulder muscles, lift your arms out to the sides until they are at shoulder height.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of your arms touching your legs.

“Again, do two cycled sets of each exercise,” Raphael says.

4. Seated Dumbbell Press

• Sit on a flat bench with feet on the floor.
• Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, raise your right arm up toward the ceiling keeping a slight bend in the elbow.
• Bring your left arm across the top of your head and hold your right upper arm just below the elbow with your left hand for support.
• Lower your right arm until the elbow forms a 90-degree angle.
• Contracting the triceps muscles, slowly return your arm to the starting position stopping when the arm is fully extended with a slight bend in the elbow.

5. Fitball Crunches

• From a seated position on the ball, walk your feet out until the ball is fully supporting your mid to lower back region.
• Place your hands lightly behind your head.
• Contracting the abdominals, raise your upper body about half way up.

5A. Lying Bent Knee Leg Lift

• Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and knees slightly bent.
• Place your hands under your head for comfort, not support.
• Contracting your lower abdominal muscles, draw your knees toward your chest until they form a 90-degree angle with the floor.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the feet touching the floor.

“Complete three cycled sets of these exercises with 40 seconds between sets,” Raphael says.

Cardiovascular Training:

“Complete 20 minutes of the cardiovascular activity of your choice, along with a 5 minute warm-up and 5-minute cool-down, ” Raphael says. “Don’t worry about heart rate at this point. Just build to a good capacity. Not overly challenging, but still at your best speed for 20 minutes.”

Stretch 10 Minutes:

“Choose two to three upper body stretching exercises and two to three lower body exercises,” Raphael says. “Hold each exercise for 20-30 seconds and complete two sets of each."

For upper body stretching exercises, Raphael recommends the chest/shoulder stretch, the triceps stretch, and Supermans. For lower body stretching exercises, he suggests the quadricep stretch, the hamstring stretch and the calf stretch.

“Tuesday is a day off to recover,” Raphael says. “We make our best progress when we recover. For whole-body workouts, you really do need a day off.”

Wednesday: Weight Training and Cardio

“This weight training workout should take about 30 minutes to complete,” Raphael says.

1A. Squats (or Leg Press)

• Slowly begin to lower your body by bending from your hips and knees stopping when your thighs are parallel with the floor.
• Contracting the quadriceps muscles, slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of your knees fully extending.

1B. Hamstring Curls (seated or prone)

• Contracting the hamstrings muscles, draw your heels up toward your butt stopping when your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the weight stack touching.
“Complete two cycled sets of 15 reps with 45 seconds rest between sets,” Raphael says.

2A. Dumbbell Lunges

• Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Position one foot in front of your body and the other behind for balance.
• Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
• Stand tall, relax and focus on the muscles of the inner thigh.
• Keeping one leg straight, begin by slowly bending the knee on the opposite leg until the thigh is parallel with the floor or you get a full stretch of the inner thigh muscle.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping when you leg is fully extended with a slight bend in the knee.
• After completing the set on the right side, repeat on the left side.

“If you have one leg that is more dominant than the other, start out with the less dominant leg first,” Raphael says.

2B. Leg Extensions

• Affix an ankle cuff to the right ankle from the lower cable attachment.
• Stand with your back to the cable machine. • Grasp something for balance (a chair or handle on the machine).
• Lift your right leg so that your knee and hip are bent at 45 degrees.
• Contracting the quadriceps muscles, extend your lower leg out keeping the upper thigh stationary.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the weight stack touching.

“For these exercises, complete two cycled sets of 15 repetitions,” Raphael says.

3. Calf Raises

"Complete 2-3 sets of 20 repetitions,” Raphael says.

• Stand facing the cable machine 18 to 24 inches away with a straight bar from the lower cable attachment in your hands with an underhand grip.
• Your knees and elbows should be slightly bent.
• Contracting the calf muscles, lift your heels off the floor.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the weight stack touching.

4. Dumbbell Curls

• Sit upright in a chair with your legs bent, feet forward and your head a natural extension of your spine.
• Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the arms hanging down at your sides and palms facing your body.
• Keep your wrists straight throughout the exercise.
• Contracting the biceps muscles, bend your right arm at the elbow while turning your wrist until your palm is facing the ceiling stopping when the weight is just short of touching your shoulder.
• Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the elbow fully extending.
• Repeat motion with left arm and alternate right and left for eight to 12 repetitions on each side.

4A. Lying Extensions or Pushdowns

• Lie on a flat bench with your spine in a neutral position.
• Hold a barbell with both hands about shoulder-width apart.
• Extend your arms straight up above your chest leaving a slight bend in the elbows.
• The palms should be facing toward the feet and the wrists should be a natural extension of the forearm.
• Lower the barbell down by bending at the elbow stopping just short of the barbell touching your chest.
• Contracting the triceps muscles, slowly return to the starting position.

“For these exercises, complete two to three cycled sets of 10-12 reps,” Raphael says.

5. Abs (same as day one)

Cardiovascular Training:

“Complete 30 minutes of a different cardiovascular exercise than the one you performed on Monday,” Raphael says. "Thursday is a day off to recover."

Friday: Weight Training and Cardio

“On Monday and Wednesday, we split the body,” Raphael says. “On Friday, we are going to work the entire body.”

Weight Training:

“This is a flush day where the entire body is worked,” Raphael says. “Choose one to two exercises per muscle group and do only two sets for each exercise. Stay in a 10-12 rep range. These exercises should take about 25 minutes. Be sure to leave about 30 seconds between sets.”

Raphael suggests the following flow of muscle groups: Chest, Back, Legs, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Calves and Abs. On this flush day, he lets you get creative and pick the specific exercises you’d like to do.

If you’re a member of our online programme, you can simply access our Virtual Trainer under the fitness plan and choose from over 200 animated exercises with complete descriptions.

Cardiovascular Training:

“Complete 30 minutes of cardiovascular training,” Raphael says. “Try to choose a different form of cardio than you did on Monday and Wednesday.”

Stretching:

“Complete 10 minutes of stretching, the same as on day one,” Raphael says.

Saturday: Pilates (core training) or Yoga (flexibility)

If you belong to a gym, Raphael recommends joining a Pilates or yoga class. If you prefer, you can complete your yoga or Pilates training with a workout video.

“There is no other workout unless you want to do a moderate 2-mile walk -- but no weight training,” Raphael says.

“Sunday is also a day of rest,” Raphael says.

“The entire workout is effective and brisk,” Raphael says. “The antagonistic fashion of working opposing muscle groups also allows for a bit of recovery, but keeps overload on the muscle. The workout is also good for the cardiovascular system and will help to accelerate fat loss.”

Raphael has seen clients achieve dramatic results by sticking to this workout program for just four weeks. After four weeks, you can stay with the same parameters of the workout but change the individual exercises. According to Raphael, your body will adapt to any workout in about four to six weeks.

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