Move It Monday: Basics 101 Workout

by tinareale on August 13, 2012

move it monday

I think it’s no secret – I love to mix up things in my workouts. I love new moves, new workout styles, new equipment…pretty much anything you can throw my way, I would feel excited to try. As much as I believe in variety within workouts, I also believe in the basics.

Certain moves and exercises have lasted for years and formed the backbone of workout programs over and over for one big reason. They work. They target the body and give you a lot of bang for your “fitness buck”, so to speak. The Basics. The singular moves that if I could only pick one exercise per body area to do for all time, that I would choose without a second thought. They. Work.

So, I thought we could work those basic moves together in one full body workout. It may seem simple at first glance. After all, how could a workout day with only THREE exercises possibly do much of anything? Well, those reps add up. They add up fast. This workout may be called “Basics 101”, but it is far from easy!

basics 101 workout

For this workout, you will only complete the following 3 moves. One to challenge the lower body; one to work the upper body; and one to strengthen the core.

  • Squats: either Barbell or Dumbbell
  • Push – Ups: either on your knees or toes or on a decline for greater challenge
  • Planks: either elbow, straight arm, or on your knees if needed

For the squats and push-ups, you will complete 10 Sets of 10 Reps for each exercise – a total of 100 Reps per exercise. For the plank, you will complete 10 sets of either a 1 minute plank or holding until failure.

You can do it in a circuit format – doing a set of squats then moving directly to a set of push-ups and right into a minute of planking before resting and repeating – or as straight sets by completing a set of squats, resting for 60 seconds, and moving to the next set of squats (repeating until completed for all sets) before moving to the push-ups or planks.

Rest adequately between sets. Use appropriate weight and adjust as needed as you go through the workout. If you are new to strength training or feel your form suffering from the endurance style of this workout, complete less sets and build up to the full 10 set workout over time. Above all else, use proper form and listen to your body. You complete this workout at your own risk.

Your Turn – What are some of your favorite basic moves?


1 Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean August 13, 2012 at 6:56 am

so freakin’ simple, yet hard! i love it!!

2 [email protected] August 13, 2012 at 7:00 am

Squats and Lunges! There are so many variations! I’m also a burpee fan…side burpees, burpee toe touch, squat jump burpee :)

3 MizFit August 13, 2012 at 7:03 am

It is as simple—Nd hard. I’ll admit :-) – as the basics.

4 Michele @ Nycrunningmama August 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

You are right!! Sometimes the moves that appear to be the easiest might be the easiest to follow but are the hardest on our bodies!!!

When i’m not pregnant, I try to do leg/ab workouts 3x/week after my morning runs – usually include squats, lunges, and planks. I tend to shy away from pushups these days b/c they were forced on me for so many years when I was in the Army (and I hated them with a passion – haha!)

5 tinareale August 14, 2012 at 7:25 am

Push ups are definitely one of my love to hate exercises!

6 Glenneth August 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

love this! i am a huge fan of squats!

7 Lee August 13, 2012 at 8:02 am

I hate, hate, hate pushups. Which probably means that they are really good for me!!

8 tinareale August 14, 2012 at 7:26 am

They are one of the best all around upper body exercises….but yea. They do stink when doing them!

9 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers August 13, 2012 at 8:12 am

definitely pinned this!!! RIGHT up my alley. i freakin’ love your workouts, tina.

10 tinareale August 14, 2012 at 7:26 am

And I freakin’ love YOU! :)

11 Kierston August 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

Simple and hard! Love it! :)

12 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries August 13, 2012 at 9:19 am

This looks awesome! I love simplicity and the challenge that comes with it!

13 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats August 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

The 100 push ups sounds pretty scary to me! But broken down I’m sure it’s totally do-able! I love planks as a basic move!

14 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast August 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

This is exactly what I need today- at my in-laws, just did a short run and need something that requires no weights or gym equipment. I already did a few rounds of each of these exercises this morning, but I love the goal of 100 of each and 10 1-minute planks. Going to complete it now! :)

15 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights August 13, 2012 at 10:32 am

Oh man, this looks like such an awesome workout! I love the simplicity, and yet I KNOW it will kick my butt!

My favorite basic move is definitely a squat!

16 Shanna, like Banana August 13, 2012 at 11:00 am

Dips! I do them all the time while watching tv.

BTW, the 2/4/2 in the BBB killed!

17 tinareale August 14, 2012 at 7:27 am

Haha! That tempo is a beast to push through since it’s so different than the flow of most workouts. ;)

and I’m a huge lover of dips too!

18 Paige @ Your Trainer Paige August 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

Good call on this post, Tina! I think we get so caught up on creating fancy, “sexy” workouts, but sometimes ( a lot of time) it’s best just to go back to the basics.

19 Tamara August 13, 2012 at 11:18 am

I would add lunges to your list. And I agree, while there are lots of ways to make basic movements more interesting, they’re still just squats, pushups, lunges and planks!
Thanks for sharing!

20 tinareale August 14, 2012 at 7:28 am

I definitely love lunges, but tried to go with 1 lower, 1 upper, 1 core. Lunges are SO great though too!

21 Maria August 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I love basic moves and always make up my own workouts based on them: squats, push ups, lunges, deadlifts, shoulder presses…and dare I say…burpees.

22 Kristin August 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm

My favorite basic moves are push ups, burpees and planks. Such simple moves, but boy do they get me sweating. I’m definitely going to do this basic circuit tonight but I think I’ll add burpees to the mix to get my heart rate up! Thanks for sharing this :)

23 Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl August 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

All the stuff I just love to do! {Not}. That’s how I know it works. Great ‘basic’ workout. ;)

24 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf August 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I have a love-hate relationship with push-ups. They are so good for you but so hard!! Kind of like burpees. But you’re absolutely right – these moves are the basics and backbone for so many other moves. It’s great to get back to them from time to time.

25 [email protected] August 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

LOVE it! I totally LOVE squats. Love, love them. Any kind, too. Hah.

26 Heather (Where's the Beach) August 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Basics – tried and true for a reason!

27 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama August 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Simple yet effective! No need for fancy schmancy.

28 purelylori August 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I do planks everyday!! love the basics

29 Katelyn August 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Squat, pushup, plank. BOOM!

30 Marcia August 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm

So simple yet so effective! I adore pushups and squats. Love me some lunges too…or box jumps…

31 [email protected] August 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

So true- the basics work, thats why they’ve been go-to’s for every fitness professional for years. Push ups are some of my favorite exercises because they really make me feel like I’m getting a good workout in. If you do enough of them in a row it can even be a somewhat-cardio workout. I’m going to try and use this workout a couple of times a week with 10 sets of 10 and 1 minutes planks. Thanks for the good ideas.

32 Thais @ Eats n Miles August 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm

This work out looks hard!! I am definetely trying it at home today!!

Previous post:

Next post: