Go Kaleo Basic Lifting Routine

Basic Lifting Routine

My Basic Lifting Routine is a simple, straightforward, progressive resistance program that can be useful for people of any fitness level. It includes 6 short but intense full body workouts, each incorporating compound multijoint exercises that improve strength, functionality, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. We focus on the basics here (hence the name): squats, deadlifts, presses, rows and an array of bodyweight exercises that will be both doable for the beginner, and challenging for more experienced exercisers. When you complete the 6th workout, you start over, adding weight, reps and/or intensity each subsequent workout, so this routine can be used indefinitely: you will continue to get stronger and faster.

48 thoughts on “Go Kaleo Basic Lifting Routine

  1. I downloaded this yesterday and did the first workout this morning. I definitely feel it already! I’ve been doing split routine weight lifting (off and on) for the last 22 years. I’m excited to do something new/different. And my body has definitely gotten to a sticking point where it needs something new (I got the book too).

    One suggestion (if I may be so bold). I noticed in the comments here that you recommend doing warm-up sets of the weighted exercises. But since the downloadable work-out didn’t say to do that I didn’t. I will going forward, but it would be nice if the instructions included this detail.

    Regardless – I have high hopes for this program and my ability to do it “consistently!”

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  4. About to start this program next week. I usually do 30-45 minutes of cardio before my weights program, usually either cycle class or treadmill sprints. Is it ok to still do this?

  5. I just downloaded your lifting program which I’m excited to start next week. I usually do either a 45min spin class or 30min sprints on the treadmill before my weights program, is this ok to still do before your workout?

  6. I’m trying to get my mother to do this workout with me, because we both could stand to lose a few (many!) pounds and build up some muscle to replace the fat. She absolutely refuses to do squats out of concern for her knees. What exercises would you recommend as substitutes for her?

  7. How much equipment do I need for this routine? Would a gym be necessary? I have 50 lb. adjustable dumbbells at home, but no bench or bars.

  8. I can’t believe I am asking this… I have read so much conflicting information and I would like your advice. What is the most effective schedule for lifting and cardio? Meaning, is 3x lifting optimal with 2 days of cardio and 2 of rest? Is 2x per week enough for lifting to be most effective? Obviously schedules vary, but in a perfect world what would you say is the best breakdown of time in the gym?

  9. Just purchased your Basic Lifting Routine and am looking forward to beginning today. I’ve been doing random lifting for a few years but lately be struggling with motivation, so this “direction” is a good thing–thanks!
    In looking over the BLR, I see a couple of things that are off-limits for me due to arthritis in my forefeet and recent bi-lateral foot surgery: burpees and walking lunges. Can you recommend substitutions? I usually do Bulgarian split squats for lunges. Thanks!

    • You can keep doing the split squats in lieu of lunges. Maybe try jump squats instead of burpees? Anything plyometric really.

  10. I need some advice… I have read and re-read Taking up Space (Love it!). Everything about it and your story totally resonantes with me. I am the target of this entire subject (obsessive calorie counting, dieting, low/no carbs has RUINED my metabolism). FInally at the end of my rope (and realized that I literally could not eat any less or do any more cardio) I started a re-feed a la Matt Stone in March and let myself add the calories and eat the food (nutritious delicious real food) and the wieght came on. I have gained about 13 pounds to what was already a high for me weight. I have checked out the claculator for calories you suggest and I don’t usually get to the max that I should have, but have added considerable amount. Inflammation is killing me… the weight keeps heading up… That is deifnitely keeping me from adding even more calories. I have cut my cardio a bit and added weight training which feels soooo good! All of that said I am starting to panic and have heard so many conflicting stories about calories and macros etc… I am trying to heal. To get off the crazy diet train… but I feel like im chasing my tail and don’t want to go back to my old bad habits. But I have an entire closet full of clothes that I cannot wear (and it’s not like these are dream of being skinny clothes). Just my usual, normal wardrobe. Panic. Freaking. Anxiety. I may have to start wearing mumu’s and they just don’t work with the SF lifestyle. Dear God can someone help me

    • I’m sure you won’t need to start wearing mumus! :) Weight gain is a very normal part of the recovery process, and 13 pounds is actually a pretty modest gain in the grand scheme of things. What you’re experiencing is normal, normal, normal. Have you joined the Eating the Food facebook group? You would find lots of support there. Also consider seeking out professional eating disorder treatment, this is a very emotional process and difficult to do alone. You aren’t alone. There are many of us out here ready to support and encourage you.

      Eating the Food

  11. I have just started the basic routine. I have done weight lifting in the past, but the workouts were always a lot longer. I enjoy cardio and do a lot of it but I need more weight training. I am just wondering if this is a good start to get back into it. Are these routines enough? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the fact that there aren’t numerous exercises. Thanks!

    • This is all you need, I swear! You’re working every muscle group through all ranges of motion, you’re good to go. It’s based on powerlifting philosophy, and you’re probably used to a more budybuilding approach.

  12. Just to be clear, there are 6 workouts. If one works out with weights 3x a week, they would do workouts 1, 2, & 3 the first week. The second week would be workouts 4, 5, 6. Week 3 would repeat 1, 2, 3 with heavier weight/ higher reps. Week 4 would repeat 4, 5, 6 but more intense than week 2 and so on. Correct?

  13. Just wanted to leave a review of the basic lifting routine! I purchased it a couple of weeks ago, and have now just started cycle 2 of the workouts. I’m very pleased with the results! I felt a little skeptical at first because it was a little different than what I had been doing'but I’ve specifically noticed increased upper body strength and conditioning, which was a weak point for me. I have always been especially bad at pushups, but I’ve noticed I’m getting a lot better at them, as well as progressing nicely and right on target with the other lifts. I like how simple but effective the routine is, and I also really liked the video resources since I didn’t know some of the exercises. Thank you very much Go Kaleo, for this routine! I love it! :)

  14. Hi, just got this, and yes I was expecting this huge document! totally NOT disappointed, in fact relieved that I don’t have to read any unnecessary info and straight to the workout, unlike others I have bought. The only reason I thought there must be more as there was no ‘closure’ to the document. ie thanks and good luck!. I thought I run out of ink lol! anyway Amber can you tell me how the Cycles work? is each workout for each week? Thanks! I love your site :)

  15. I just purchased and I’m brand new to this so very excited. I looked up most of the exercises on YT to make sure they are what I think they are. :) What do I do if I don’t have a bar for doing chinups/pullups/ir? (I’m large, couldn’t even do one!) Is there something to substitute, especially for an overweight beginner?

    • Did you see the video tutorial for pullups using a table? If that isn’t an option, any pull will do, I’d sub in dumbell or barbell rows for the pullups until you’re able and have access. HTH! :)

  16. Can’t wait to try this out, I’ve been looking for a SIMPLE program for way too long. I’ve worked with trainers and I’ve done my own research and everything I come across seem way too complicated. All I want is something consistant that will will show me results.

    For so long I’ve been brainwashed into thinking that eating less and running hard (cardiocardiocardio!!!!) was the only way to be fit–HA! Fit is STRONG…not starving, tired, and disgruntled.

    Yay for a new workout, thank you so much! Here’s to a happier and stronger ME! :)

  17. I just downloaded this and I am very disappointed. I used the code for 25% off, so my total purchase is $13.49. However, what I received is a 3 page PDF document. Definitely not worth it.

    • Indeed Alice, as I said in the description, it is a simple 6 workout program. Workouts do not need to be long and complicated to be effective.

      I can make the font bigger if the number of pages is really your measure of the value of a program.

    • According to Kevin Nations, who makes tens of thousands of dollars from from small events, it should be ONE PAGE, so Amber is ripping you off by giving you 2 extra pages :(

      • It just occurred to me that some people might not get my sarcasm, and some might not watch the video (sorry for it being huge).

        Kevin charges about $8,000-$10,000 per month for business coaching/mentoring. He’s not some hack making stuff up. In the video, he says that if you’re selling a $5,000 eBook, ideally it would be one page, and that page would get well over $5,000 in results for the person reading it.

        Amber’s workout eBook is 3 pages and provides WELL over $20 in results (or whatever the cost is).

  18. When you’re doing the first part of each workout do you have to perform 1 set of one exercise, rest, perform set 2, rest, and then do set 3 or is it possible to do 1 set of exercise 1, then go to exercise 2, then 3, etc so that you’re constantly moving? I tend to get bored and feel like I’m wasting time when I’m resting a particular muscle group.

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        • Kaleo! I’m really enjoying this routine! I was thinking of doing this cycle for 12 weeks, or what would you recommend? Also do you do this 1x a year then go and do a crossfit style wods 3x a week? The other days I prefer to do trail hikes (over and hour) and I would like to start swimming :)

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