GEN POP GROUP TRAINING — Simple Goes a Long Way

March 29, 2024 3 min read

GEN POP GROUP TRAINING — Simple Goes a Long Way
By Shane Robert

In the long ago, before COVID drastically changed everyone's lives, I was a full-time trainer with a very packed schedule. My average day was 10 hours and I had no opening for new clients. To reach more people, as well as save them some money while making more myself, I started doing small group training sessions. I would train anywhere from 3-6 people at a time because that felt to be about the capacity of the gym space. Everyone would do the same workout scaled to their ability. The weights were based on very,very, conservative “maxes” and we simply had the goal of nudging the weight up a little every 1-2 weeks. Over 8 or so months, I had one male lifter take his deadlift from 175 to 390. A female lifter started with 65 pounds and finished with 240, at a body weight of around 115 pounds.

The training we used, presented below, was so simple, and yet, everyone got (a lot) stronger and their bodies made noticeable changes. 

Every day would start with the following warm-up done as a circuit: 

Back extensions or kettlebell swings- x15
Leg Lifts - x15
Jumps - x5

Complete 3 rounds, then move to the main work of the day.


Front Squat 

50%x5, 60%x5, 70%x5

Overhead Press

50%x5, 70% 3x5 (superset w/inverted rows)


50%x3, 60%x3, 70%x3


Then, as a circuit, the following would be completed using weights based on a 10 rep max, which means 100% is 100% of your 10 rep max, not, I should hope this is obvious, your 1RM.

Leg Press / Dumbbell Bench / Lat Pulldowns

60%x10, 80%x10, 100%x10, 40%x10+ (drop set after 100%)

Finish the day with sets of some kind of carry, drag or push.



20 reps starting with somewhere between ¼ and ½ of body weight. Progress over time to body weight or more

Bench press

10 RM for the day, try to nudge upward over time

Then we would finish the day with some conditioning complexes. If you aren’t familiar with complexes, you can check out our other post here about them. To recap – a complex is a series of exercises done back to back with the same implement, without rest. You complete all of the reps of one exercise before moving on to the next. Only put the bar down once you’ve done all 36 reps of a set. Ours looked like this:



Clean/High Pull

Front squat


Back Squat 


6 sets of 6 reps of each movement


Day 3 was essentially a repeat of day 1, just with some slight changes to the assistance circuit.


Front Squat 

50x5, 60x5, 70x5

Overhead Press

50x5, 70 3x5 (superset w/inverted rows)


50x3, 60x3, 70x3

Then, as a circuit, the following would be completed using weights based on a 10-rep max.

Leg Press / Slight Incline Dumbbell Bench / DB Row

60%x10, 80%x10, 100%x10, 40%x10+ (drop set after 100%)

Finish with 2 sets of carries, drags or pushes. 

That’s it. Like I said above, there is nothing fancy about this. But every one of the clients who did it saw significant improvement, and these are the most gen pop clients imaginable. These were parents and people with full-time jobs who only thought about the gym from the 5 minutes before they started to 45-60 minutes later when they were done. No one was tracking their food. I only asked that they have 40 grams of some kind of protein post-workout, and no one was watching psych-up videos or taking pre-workout. If things didn’t feel great one day, we’d scale back a little and were in no rush to add weight if they didn’t move with the requisite technique and speed. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in looking for the flashy and new, that we lose sight of the fact that simply showing up and putting in the work can go a long way.

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