A Succinct Guide to Getting Shredded

Greetings Raptors! Whether you want to bulk up or are someone looking to get some energy out after school, this is the guide for you.


This summer, like many teens across the US, Ashleigh Smith (12) and I decided to take advantage of the Planet Fitness Teen Summer Program. Motivated by a free gym membership and aspirations of looking like female hulk, we set off on our gym journey. As our journey winds down (our free membership expires at the end of August), I would like to document some vital gym information. 

Arguably the most important part of working out is documenting every time you enter a gym on your gym story. Your friends and acquaintances will be super appreciative. To level up, include which muscle group you’re working on that day. 

Don’t know where to begin? Here’s a solid starting point to help you find your groove.

My sister demonstrating correct form for a weighted dab.

Arm Day:
1. Weighted dabs– the secret to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s success, weighted dabs are where it’s at. This exercise looks fairly simple, but is a real workout for the triceps. You may think of dabbing as an outdated exercise better left in 2015. If you don’t want Linda Hamilton arms, I suppose that’s true. But, if your Pinterest fitness inspo board is filled with images of super toned, probably digitally enhanced arms, pick up a pair of hand weights and start dabbing.

2. Assisted Pull Ups– a source of great pride for Ashleigh and me, the assisted pull-up machine was the first machine we maxed out on. While not necessarily helpful for #gains, it is a great confidence booster.



Me effortlessly executing a one handed assisted pull-up at maximum weight


3. Rows– saving the best for last, finish arm day strong with some rows. The most patriotic exercise you can do, channel your inner Continental soldier and pretend you’re crossing the Delaware River for your country. I find I best perform this exercise while listening to raging river sounds or winter storm sounds. Luckily for us, the temperature in Planet Fitness is usually not 30 degrees and I have yet to be pelted by sleet. 


“I only went to Planet Fitness once for leg day but if I had had this arm workout regimen I would’ve gone back” – Cooper Smith (12)


This routine has real results, just ask Jeffrey Song (12), who “used to only be able to curl half a grape” (I’m not completely sure, but I think he is joking).


Ashleigh on her namesake.

Leg Day:

1. Smith machine– the holy grail of leg day. The crème de la crème of Planet Fitness. The Smith Machine. Arguably the only exercise worth doing on leg day.

2. Smith machine

3. Smith machine 

Other tips: Pre workout is good. While experts recommend not taking more than 400 milligrams per day (something about too much caffeine causing increased blood acid levels, irregular heartbeat, and possibly death) this is just a gimmick to keep you from reaching your full potential. I recommend taking a full container’s worth of pre workout (270g)*. This is a sure way to absolutely crush your workout. 

Now go forth and get that pump!**

*I do not actually recommend this.

**If you’re feeling especially inspired by this article, many of these exercises can be replicated in our very own weight room (weighted dabs anyone?). Mr Perlmutter, Mr Strawderman, and Mr Cook have been working hard this summer to bring AMHS a new and improved weight room. There is a bunch of equipment available to you. See here to learn more.