Expert’s Pick: Personal Trainer Arron Cowie’s Favorite Workout

The director of personal training at Kalorama Balance Gym says this is his go-to total-body workout.

By: Laura Wainman

No one understands the importance of minimal yet effective workouts better than personal trainers, and Washington is chock-full of them. But do personal trainers actually practice what they preach? Arron Cowie, the director of personal training at the Kalorama Balance Gym, showed us his personal favorite total-body workout, and we were definitely impressed.

How to Perform the Workout
Cowie’s favorite quick circuit-style workout involves five exercises for 45 seconds each with 15 seconds of rest between each transition.

Squat: Using bodyweight, squat down as deep as you can without your tailbone tucking under.

15-second rest

Push: Regular pushups (Cowie says if you can’t do full pushups, it’s better to do modified pushups off a raised surface, such as a couch, rather than on your knees.)

15-second rest

Pull: Either bent-over rows with dumbbells or standing rows using a band.

15-second rest

Plunge: Alternating forward lunges

15-second rest

Plank: Standard plank

1-minute rest. Repeat circuit three times.

“If you have a whiteboard, its great to write out the workout in a chart style and write down how many reps you complete in every round, so you can try to perform more reps the next time you try the workout,” says Cowie. “But I would only go for speed on the lunges, pushups, and squats. You really want to be able to feel the muscles on the rows, so stick to a cadence of three seconds eccentric, one second concentric.”

How to Cater the Workout to You
“Each of the moves I’ve listed can be altered to add an extra challenge,” says Cowie. Try a spider pushup by performing a pushup then bringing your right knee to your left elbow, then left knee to your right elbow. Or try squat jumps.

Cowie doesn’t recommend trying to make any advances until you’ve mastered the basics of each position.

The Verdict
We stuck to the basics of each move this time, but we love that each round of the exercise can be varied to keep things fresh.

“This is a total-body workout for your legs, chest, triceps, core, back, biceps, legs, and anterior chain,” says Cowie. “If you do nothing else, this would be a great workout to do three times a week for a month.”

Are you a local personal trainer with a favorite personal workout? Send it to us at wellbeing@washingtonian.com and we may share it on Well+Being.