A complete fitness program does not only consist of going to the gym three times a day to lift weights. While that would work for those looking to dramatically increase their muscle mass or strength output, just lifting weights neglects other aspects of fitness like endurance, speed and agility, flexibility, and overall ability to make your body perform as you want it to.


If you want to be fit all-around, you may not necessarily have to do CrossFit, though that could provide you a good foundation for the body you want to build. It would be a better idea to keep weight lifting at the core of your fitness program, but to complement it with endurance, speed and agility work on your active recovery days. It may require you to change up the way you work out, however, you will be dividing your energy and recovery among more fitness goals. But if you are not training to be a competitive bodybuilder or powerlifter, you don’t really need to train as they do.


You can lay out your weekly program as follows:


Monday – Weights
Tuesday – Speed and Agility (do abs)
Wednesday – Stretching/Foam Rolling (do abs)
Thursday – Weights
Friday – Endurance
Saturday – Stretching/Foam Rolling (do abs, low-volume body-weight work)
Sunday – Rest (do abs)


As you can see, weights are only done twice a week to allow you maximum recovery between workouts. You can still push yourself and make good progress in the weight room with two workouts a week. During your stretching days, you can do abs plus maybe a few sets of a few repetitions of body-weight exercises just to get your blood flowing. Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling) is another great component to add to your arsenal of healthy habits. Foam rolling therapy relaxes contracted muscles, improves blood and lymphatic circulation and stimulates stretch reflex in muscles. Simply stated, it helps put your body back together after a hard workout.


For speed and agility work, sprints are your best option. You can do straight sprints, side-to-side sprints, or even hill sprints if you feel up for the challenge. The key here is to maximize intensity while minimizing the time under stress so that you can get the most benefit while allowing for faster recovery. This also gives great cardio benefits. Here is an article on high intensity cardio and its fat loss benefits.


For endurance work, you have two options – running or swimming. Between the two, swimming is the better choice. It trains the entire body as a unit, provides some resistance that has positive effects on strength and muscular endurance, and gives you great cardio. Running can also provide good endurance work, but you have to watch your form so that your knees don’t get beat up too much.


Stretching should be dynamic. Static stretches should only be done after weight training. You can do full-range movements with very light weight, or just move your limbs through the maximum range of motion repeatedly. You can also opt to do yoga, which involves some isometric work along with stretching.


Yoga is great for overall fitness.

Yoga is great for overall fitness.


Working out your abdominal muscles should not be too complicated. Focus on doing three main movements – the side-to-side bicycle crunch, leg raises, and planks. Alternating these three exercises each time you work abs will give you great results while targeting the entire abdominal area.