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96 / Creating A Challenging and Sustainable Workout Routine with Holly and Arryn

Many people think that a workout should leave you feeling like a puddle of sweat on the floor every day. That’s just not sustainable and could leave you with some nasty injuries. Instead, a well-balanced and carefully crafted exercise routine will help you reach your long-term goals without negatively impacting other parts of your life.

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Holly and Arryn are a strength coaching duo from Portland, Oregon. In 2018, they started a business together to encourage their students to become their strongest selves. With their help, their students build confidence to work toward any challenge of their choosing, in the gym and beyond. 

Experimentation is a large part of Holly and Arryn’s approach. One thing they do differently is building in longer than normal rest breaks. They find that a few sets of something intense followed by a lengthy break increase the overall power you put out. By spreading out the reps, you’ll find that they’ll be of higher quality throughout the whole routine.

A key part of their programs is variability. Holly and Arryn promote mastering a wide range of exercises with built-in rest and recovery periods. This more balanced approach won’t leave you so exhausted that you can’t perform your everyday functions. 

How do you build rest into your workout? Let me know in the comments below! 

In this episode

  • The value of incorporating long rest breaks into your workouts
  • Having a wide range of exercises as part of your routine
  • Challenging yourself without pushing too hard too often
  • What a bent press is and how it will lead to gains where other movements don’t
  • How movements can be adapted to help those with injuries
  • Making rest and recovery an integral part of workout regimens


“We want people to be challenged appropriately so that it doesn’t impact them negatively throughout the rest of their day or the rest of their training.” [10:23]

“A big part of rest and recovery is not doing too much in the first place.” [26:39]

“Pain is a part of all of our lives and it’s not necessarily that you never experience any form of pain. It’s how you adapt to pain.” [33:15]

“Oftentimes we have this idea of how long a goal should take to reach. People are surprised when I say that it took me over a year to build my pull-up to get to Iron Maiden. Don’t lose the process in pursuit of the end goal.” [38:26]


Find Holly and Arryn online

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Explain Pain by David Butler and G. Lorimer Moseley