Full Body Gym Workout | Moderate Intensity Strength Training

by Marianne  - May 11, 2012

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I am excited to have finally set a date to launch my NEW Online Individual Exercise Form Coaching Service. It will launch on Sunday 13th May 2012.   This is the first of 3 services I will be providing here.  I think many of you will benefit from this service, and I am excited to be branching out, by being available to help you in a more direct way. As you know I am a stickler for great form, and I only want the best for you at home 🙂

Over the past week, I have been talking about my new Stretch Routine in my attempt to try and help my SI Joint pain. I mentioned that I would upload a post on what I am doing etc. The delay is down to me trying to make time to do a little more research into the topic (to ensure I give you all the best information). I don’t want to post something about what I am doing, without allowing you to make a more informed decision about what to try yourself. Of course we can all experiment with what other people are doing, but I want you to have great advice from other sources too.   That’s why it’s taking me a while to compile.

Today, I headed to the gym to do a Full Body Strength Workout. I was going with the intention to take it easy, as my left SIJ/Glute muscles were a little sore.   At first I was being very cautious, because I have been warned to take it easy. However, in the past, I just went with how I felt and let the pain guide me.  Flare-ups rarely happen these days, so I am almost tempted just to do as I have always done (aka – be a stubborn ass).  But there’s another part of me that wants to give my new routine a chance … but I hate that I have already lost strength!!! Not just in lower body exercises, but upper body exercises too! I don’t think it is true loss of strength, but rather a mental block from the instruction to “take it easy”. It’s like I have given myself permission to be weaker.  This irks me!  So half way into the workout, I told myself to suck it up and quit guarding.  By being too aware of the problem, I was being over-protective of my left side and this was affecting my form badly, making each movement feel more awkward.  For the past 8 years of my life I have lived with this chronic pain and managed most flare-ups by continuing to move in spite of the pain. I need to apply all the same type of thinking to my pain as I do to all other areas of my life …

… In other words, I have to stop focusing on the pain and focus on what I want. Healthy movement!

Ever since this training session, I have been free of the “P” word! 😀 And moving well.  Tension and stiffness come from awareness of a problem. I need to be solution-focused and feel good about moving.  I even visualised myself dancing around my kitchen as I did just last month each morning as my coffee brewed, and this made me smile and relax. This is what I plan to do tomorrow morning … Crazy-ass dancing will return!

Anyway, enough about all that. Now let’s get down to my training.

The Workout

Keeping the weights and rep range moderate today, I completed a great workout and felt amazing after it. The set-up was 3 Sets of each exercise, with the reps mostly between 7 and 12 (except for the Bench Press).

  • Front-Loaded Reverse Lunges – SET 1: 30kg x 10 reps, SET 2: 40kg x 8 reps, SET 3: 45kg x 6 reps (took it easy with these and felt as though I was guarding too much … form felt “off”).
  • Changed to Front Squat (to a box because very low squats hurt my SIJ) – SET 1: 35kg x 12 reps, SET 2: 40kg x 10 reps, SET 3: 45kg x 7 reps (thought I did 8 🙁 ).
  • Glute Bridges (these make my back and SIJ feel great) – 2 SET at 90kg x 12 reps, the SET 3: 100kg x 12 reps
  • Super-set Chin-Ups and Bench Press: 7 Chin Ups for 3 SETS  of Bench Press – SET 1: 30kg x 12 reps, SET 2: 40kg x 6 reps (had 2 more in the tank), SET 3: 45kg x 4 reps (probably had more in the tank here too).
  • Feeling bad that I didn’t have another Hip Dominant exercise in, I added some RDLs at the end.  3 SETs at 50kg x 8 – 10 reps (these felt good).

And that was it.

Hope you enjoyed the update and the workout (for all you gym goers). Remember that you can adapt most of my gym workout to your home environment and equipment too 🙂




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  1. Hi Marianne:

    First of all, thank you for such an incredibly comprehensive resource. Yours and Bret Contreras’s websites have become my “must-visit” online destinations.

    I was introduced to kettebell training a couple of months ago by my physiotherapist, whom I started seeing due to an SI joint issue. Have you ever been told you have a twisted pelvis? For me, this is has been the key to treatment: massage and facilitated stretching of the iliopsoas on the same side that gives you pain, and the same for the quadratus lumborum on the opposite side. Like you, even though my pain mostly manifests where the glute med/min/max overlap, the real key is the iliacus, lower psoas, and the QL. It hurts like hell to have it worked on, but it really helps to even out the pelvis and get the SI joint moving within its proper range of motion. Hope this is helpful info.

    Take care,


    1. Thank you Allyson! This is very helpful. I now think my quadratus lumborum is a huge factor in all of this and it may explain why I get pain around my 12th rib and the top of the posterior aspect of my iliac crest! I will add what you describe 🙂 I was seen by physio friend of Nia’s in Kentucky and she said I had a twisted pelvis. Thanks again!

  2. I can see you activating your glutes and abdominals at the top of your lunges and front squats. Looking back at your old videos the progress in your physique and training technique is inspiring.:-). Your attention to detail definitely makes you stand out.

  3. Lovely routine Marianne!
    Do you have a contact page or an email where I can send you a personal message?
    I’d love to do a little interview with you on my blog!
    Isabella 🙂

  4. Dear Marianne, I have always loved your blog, your FB page, and the GGS group. I was really looking forward to your SIJ routine. I pulled the ligaments around my SIJ on *Tuesday* (less than a week). I could not even get up and I somehow crawled home. It has been getting better by the day. Although it happened during a deadlift, I think I had worn out all the muscles around my hips from before. I could not move for a couple of days and I still have only a 20 degree range of forward bend motion and cant stay in a position for too long. But the pain has subsided a lot. How many days do you rest after a flare-up? How do you know when it is time to push a little and when it is right to rest? I mean, do you wait for the sharp upper glute pain as you sit and get up to subside completely before you do anything? I have been recommended to stay off deadlifts for a LONG LONG time till my glutes and hamstrings are strengthened- sigh! So this routine came at the perfect time for me. I am just trying to figure out when I should start with it. Thanks for reading my loooong post! :).

    1. Hey Lila, sorry to hear you are having these issues too! My advice is if you are still getting sharp pain, I would rest. Or do light body weight exercises and some stretches for your hip flexors, glutes, hammies etc.

      What I have seen so far is that there is no actually definite answer on rest verse not rest, or how long for. Or even on corrective routines. And, considering my issues come from an underlying auto-immune disease, my treatment might be better to include exercise, were as someone who has actually injured their SIJ, might benefit from full rest. This is why I was reluctant to post my routine, because I don’t want anyone getting hurt more by doing the same as me.

      I hope this makes sense. But I know how frustrating this type of pain is … and how it seems to get better one day, then it get even worse 🙁 Hope you feel better soon!

  5. Good on ya! Great that you’re moving p-word free! My girlfriend has been struggling with SIJ pain for the last four years, and I’ve been trying to get her into more strength training. I’m sending her this post and hope that it inspires her to not give up on finding the right road to living pain free.

    And I hope you dance like the wind in the morning!!!!!


    1. It’s really important for her to find her right road! I know only too well of the temptation to just STOP. SIJ pain can be so debilitating, so I hope she gets better. 🙂

  6. When she is doing her chest press, there is a guy a few rows down that is doing pullups. He can’t seem to do them full range of motion…just those little pumps…poor thing

    1. I know! lol! I was going to include my 100kg Glute Bridge, but there were guys in the background doing God-awful Stiff-Leg Deadlifts and their form was shocking!! Those pullups were something else. And ladies are intimidated by men in the weights room?? See, there is no reason to be … no one knows what they’re doing! 🙁

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