Evidence-Based Workouts

I’m currently on Week 8 of PWR at home by Kelsey Wells of BBG Sweat app. It’s a resistance/strength training program that’s 12 weeks long. I started it as soon as I got the thumbs up from the OB to workout again post-partum. I started with PWR at home beginner then moved my way to the PWR at Home 1.0. It’s a great workout to be able to do at home while the kids nap. The program is divided into chest/triceps, arms and abs, legs, back and shoulders. Basically, the goal is to do 5 resistance workouts/week with 3 LISS workouts and 1 HIIT. Well, in a busy world, it’s tough to fit in 5x/wk workouts.

So, it got me thinking and researching: What are the best evidence-based workouts out there?

Being a science-driven person (thank you med school!), I dug into the science looking for journal articles and browsing the thoughts of experts in the field. Here is what I found….


SAMPLE WORKOUTS

Home full body workout from Built With Science:

Workout A

Workout B



  • TransparentLabs.com: The Best Science-Based Workout Routine For Beginners
    • Workout Instructions:

      • Perform 12-15 reps 
      • Use weights that create fatigue, but not to create failure, (if you can’t complete 12-15 reps, reduce your weight).
      • Complete one set of each exercise, moving from the first to the second, to the third, etc.
      • Transition to the next exercise without a break
    • Dumbbell Front Squat
    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    • Barbell Bentover Rows
    • Dumbbell Split Squats (each side)
    • Dumbbell Chest Press on Swiss Ball
    • Wide-grip Pullups
    • Dumbbell Step-ups
    • Medicine Ball floor slams
    • Barbell Hip Thrusters
    • Decline Pushups
  • Built With Science Best Full Body Workout
    • Workout A
      • Barbell Bench Press: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Barbell Back Squat: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Pull-Ups: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Lying Hamstring Dumbbell Curls: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
      • Standing Overhead Press: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Face Pulls: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
      • Drag Curls: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
    • Workout B
      • Barbell Deadlift: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
      • Bulgarian Split Squat: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Chest Supported Row OR Inverted Row: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
      • Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
      • Incline Dumbbell Kickbacks: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
      • High to Low Chest Cable Flies: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Stephanie Buttermore: Full Body Workouts
  • AthleanX: The PERFECT Total Body Workout (Sets and Reps Included)
    • Here is how to construct the perfect total body workout A:
      • 3D Lunge Warmup – 2-3 x 7 reps each direction
      • Barbell Squats – 3 x 5
      • Barbell Hip Thrusts – 3-4 x 10-12
      • Barbell Bench Press – 3 x 5
      • Weighted Chin Ups – 3 x 6-10 to failure
      • DB Farmer’s Carries – 3-4 x 50 steps with half bodyweight
      • Face Pulls – 2 x 12 (using 12 sets of 1 mentality)
    • Here is how to construct the perfect total body workout B:
      • 3D Lunge Warmup – 2-3 x 7 reps each direction
      • Deadlifts – 3 x 5
      • Barbell Squats or Barbell Reverse Lunges – 3-4 x 10
      • Barbell OHP – 3 x 5
      • Barbell Rows – 3 x 10-12
      • DB Overhead Farmer’s Carries – 3-4 x 50 steps with one quarter bodyweight
      • Face Pulls or other corrective – 2 x 12 (using 12 sets of 1 mentality)
  • AthleanX: The Perfect Abs Routine
    • Here is how to construct the perfect abs workout for beginners:
      • ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds
      • Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions) REST 30 SECONDS
      • Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds
      • Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds REST 30 SECONDS
      • Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side
      • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
      • Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds
    • Here is how to construct the perfect abs workout for more advanced lifters:
      • Hanging ‘X’ Raises x 30-60 seconds
      • Hanging Leg Spirals x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left twists) REST 20 SECONDS
      • Tornado Chops x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left chops)
      • Opposite Scissor V Us x 30-60 seconds REST 20 SECONDS
      • Sledgehammer Swings x 30-60 seconds each side
      • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
      • Plank Punchouts x 30-60 seconds
  • Stephanie Buttermore: Ab training everyday
    • Month 1-2: leg raises (3-4 sets of 20)
    • Month 3-4: ab crunch (3-4 sets of 20)
    • Month 4-5: crunch machine (3-4 sets of 20)
  • Jeff Nippard: 6 pack abs
    • 6 Pack Abs 55% type 1 vs 45% type 2 fibers
    • Weighted 6-12 reps | Unweight 15-30 reps
    • Training: 3-6 sessions per week | 2 exercises per session | 3-4 sets per exercise
    • Recommends: one crunch type movement | one leg raise type movement
    • Sample Exercises: hanging leg raises, lying leg raises v-ups, reverse crunches Cable wood chops, side bends long lever planks (elbows in front of eyes, posterior tilt =squeeze glutes)
  • Stephanie Buttermore: Glute and Hamstring focus
    • Warmup – 5-10 minutes
    • Dynamic stretching: leg swings, wall sit
    • Stiff-leg deadlift with barbell- 4 sets, 4 reps, 8 RPE
    • Machine hack squat- 3 sets, 8 reps, 8 RPE
    • Dumbbell frog pump- 2 sets, 30 reps, 8 RPE
    • Eccentric-accentuated lying leg hamstring curl- 3 sets, 6 reps, 8 RPE
    • Cable standing hip abduction- 2 sets, 20 reps/leg, RPE 8
    • Cable pull through- 11:25
    • Machine-standing calf raise- 3 sets, 8 reps, RPE 7
  • Jeff Nippard: The Most Scientific Way to Train Hamstrings
  • Jeff Nippard: Advanced Glute Training Science Explained
    • Day 1 – stretcher (squat), activator (hip thrust), pumper (banded side walks)
    • Day 2 – activator (hip thrust), pumper (machine hip abduction), pumper (side lying clams)
    • Day 3 – rest
    • Day 4 – rest
    • Day 5 – stretcher (romanian deadlift), activator (back extension), pumper (frog pumps)
    • Day 6 – activator (cable pullthroughs), pumper (elevated glute bridge), pumper (squat bouncer)
    • Day 7 – rest –> periodization –change up workouts every 1-3 months
  • Jeff Nippard: The Most Scientific Way to Train Glutes
    • Back Squat 2 sets | 5 reps (warm up) 3 sets | 4 reps (working)
    • Plate-Loaded Single Leg Hip Thrust 3 sets | 12-15 reps per leg
    • Walking Barbell Lunge 3 sets | 30 total strides
    • Lower Back (Hip) Extension 3 sets | 15-20 reps (load with a plate help to your chest)
    • Hip Abduction (machine, cable or plate) 3 sets | 15-20 reps
  • Chris Thompson: 30 minute full body
    • 2 sets, 8-15 reps, want to go to failure. Little rest as possible bt sets and exercises.
    • Bench Tuck
    • Calf Extension
    • Abductor Machine
    • Hyperextension
    • Hamstring Curl
    • Leg Extension
    • Squat Machine
    • Pull Up
    • Row
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
    • Dumbbell Curl
    • Barbell Bench Press
    • Dip

The more I started reading about strength training, the more I came across articles and blogs about CALISTHENICS. I’m still a bit confused as to what it is, but it seems like the gist of it is to use your own bodyweight and for full body exercises that can be done anywhere.

Given all this strength science, there must be data out there for workouts that have been around for centuries such as YOGA.


After reading about all this yoga information, I thought… What about PILATES?


My Plan


  • Kris Home Workout Full Body A (with abs and glutes)
    • Barbell Bench Press: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • Barbell Back Squat: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds
    • Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions)
    • Pull-Ups: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • Lying Hamstring Dumbbell Curls/Swiss ball glute bridge leg slide: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds
    • Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds
    • Standing Overhead Press: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • Face Pulls: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side
    • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
    • Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds
    • Farmer’s Dumbbells weighted walk – 50 steps
    • Dumbbell bench tricep skull crushers (go farther overhead, not straight above head)
    • Drag Curls: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
    • Back extensions: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Cable standing hip abduction- 2 sets, 15 reps/leg, RPE 8
    • Single leg lateral lunge (for adduction) – 2 sets, 15 repts/leg

  • Kris Home Workout Full Body B (with abs and glutes)
    • Barbell Deadlift: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
    • Hanging ‘X’ Raises x 30-60 seconds/ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds
    • Hanging Leg Spirals x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left twists)/Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions)
    • Bulgarian Split Squat (alternate upright vs leaned over like sprinter): 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps – if no weights, then jumping
    • Chest Supported Row OR Inverted Row: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
    • Eccentric-accentuated lying leg hamstring curl- 3 sets, 6 reps, 8 RPE
    • Tornado Chops x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left chops)/Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds
    • Opposite Scissor V Us x 30-60 seconds/Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds
    • Gliding leg curl (legs up on row seat): 3-4 sets of 10-15
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Incline Dumbbell Kickbacks: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Cable pull through- 11:25
    • High to Low Chest Cable Flies: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Dumbbell frog pump- 2 sets, 30 reps, 8 RPE
    • Sledgehammer Swings x 30-60 seconds each side/Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side
    • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
    • Plank Punchouts x 30-60 seconds/Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds

  • Kris Home Workout Full Body C (with abs and glutes)
    • TransparentLabs.com: The Best Science-Based Workout Routine For Beginners Workout Instructions: Perform 12-15 reps 
      Use weights that create fatigue, but not to create failure, (if you can’t complete 12-15 reps, reduce your weight).
      Complete one set of each exercise, moving from the first to the second, to the third, etc. Transition to the next exercise without a break
    • Dumbell Reverse lunge
    • Farmer’s overhead dumbbell walks – 50 steps
    • Machine-standing calf raise- 3 sets, 8 reps, RPE 7
    • ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds
      Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions)
    • Barbell Bentover Rows or Seated Row
    • Dumbbell Split Squats (each side)/Walking lunges
    • Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds
    • Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds
    • Dumbbell Chest Press on Swiss Ball
    • Lying single leg gliding leg curls on floor
    • Wide-grip Pullups
    • Dumbbell Step-ups
    • Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side
    • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
    • Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds
    • Medicine Ball floor slams
    • Face Pulls
    • Barbell Hip Thrusters
    • Face Down Arc (lay on belly – slow snow angel faced-down, not go above shoulders)
    • Decline Pushups
  • Kris Workout Full Body D (short on time or gym access)
    • Chris Thompson: 30 minute full body 2 sets, 8-15 reps, want to go to failure. Little rest as possible bt sets and exercises.
    • Bench Tuck
    • Calf Extension
    • Abductor Machine
    • Hyperextension
    • Hamstring Curl
    • Leg Extension
    • Squat Machine
    • Pull Up
    • Row
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
    • Dumbbell Curl
    • Barbell Bench Press
    • Dip/bench tricep pushes

Author: Kris

Grew up in a small Texas town. Heavily involved in extracurricular activities: piano, violin, dance (ballet/jazz/tap), tennis, horseback riding (english/western), taekwondo, basketball, soccer, volleyball, percussion, drumline, orchestra, band, mascot, pageants. I had the typical Tiger Mom upbringing. Went to college, medical school, residency, and fellowship. Amidst the ups and downs of life, allow me to share with you my journey...as an "ordinary" person who happens to be an MD.

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