How often do you come to the gym and repeat the same moves, lifts and routine? If you're saying "regularly" to yourself, then you're going to love this plan I've put together.

While having a routine helps, it also becomes a liability to building your body because when done long enough without enough change, it actually will hurt progress and create greater injury risk.

This plan is something that has taken me 15 years to learn, months to practice and more years to refine. But like everything that is incredible quality, it looks simple on the outside, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

An example of things looking simple on the outside is like in the recent Olympics, and specifically Michael Phelps. He makes it look so easy, but on the inside, tons of work, nuances and more work. Further on the point of simple, everything that is simple is actually very complex, because if it were simple, people would be doing it. Take the simple act of drinking enough water during the day.....every day. How often does that happen consistently? And yet hydration is fundamental to building great health and bodies.

So, now that you're about ready to ditch your old routine to try mine, consider your old routine 'the-way-to-where-you-are-physically' plan. It showed you some things to do to improve your body and health, but now it isn't delivering. This is simply because you need a new "rulebook" to get to the next level.

Old rules gave you what you have, new rules will get you to the next level, and so on. So once you get the rules learned for this plan below, it will be time for new rules. At the end of the article, I'll talk more about how to get a new 'rulebook' for the next level.

Training Plan Overview

I broke this plan into 3 days of total body work, and 3 days of recovery training. Yes, there is dedicated training for recovery and if current you're plan doesn't have that piece, then you are not going to get the those sought after, consistent results along with a guarantee that you will run into a health problem- injury, pain, plateauing, fatigue. It's just a matter of time. My clients understand that they choose their recovery days first, and then their workout days second when we a design a new plan. It's that crucial.

One day of the plan is a total body program and the other two programs split the body into lower and upper.

Workout A will be done on Monday, Workout B on Wednesday and Workout C on Friday.

Recovery training will be done on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Each week, the workouts will also rotate to improve progress and side-step things getting stagnant. 

Something new for many in this program is called Tempo. This is speed of how you move during any exercise. Do not overlook this key ingredient.

See the week-by-week layout example below:

Week Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Off W:A R:A W:B R:B W:C R:C
2
Off
W:S R:A W:C R:B W:A R:C
3
Off
W:C R:A W:A R:B W:B R:C
4
Off 
W:A R:A W:B R:B W:C R:C

Pre-workout warm up (before every workout). If you don't want to get hurt, then do not skip the pre-workout stretch and warm up. You'll pay the price at some point if you skip it.

More what to stretch at the end of article.

Workout A:  There are six exercises with a movement in each direction to make sure you have balance in your program. It's total body and you'll do three sets of 10-15 reps per exercise. Do each exercise one after the other without much rest until you've done all six exercises. Rest for 1 minute and then do two more sets. 

It's a quick workout, so if you finish it in under 30 minutes you did not do something wrong.

EXERCISE TEMPO VOLUME % OF 1RM REST NOTES
Plank Row 1 sec. Up, 1 sec. down 3 sets of 10 (per arm)
60%
:00 With dumbell
Decline Push-Up
1 sec. Up, 1 sec. down
3 sets of 10
n/a :00 Feet on 12" box
Chin Up
1 sec. Up, 5 sec. down
3 sets of 5-10
n/a :00 Jump from a box up, slow going down
Single Leg Reverse Lunge
1 sec. Up, 1 sec. down
3 sets of 10 (per leg)
60%
:00 With single dumbell racked on shoulder
Thruster
1 sec. Up, 1 sec. down
3 sets of 10
60% 1:00 Squat to 16" box, stand up, do a shoulder press, repeat

Recovery Session A: Do 20 minutes of non-intense cardio, such as stationary bike, elliptical, stairmaster. It needs to be light intensity, so a heart rate of 65% of your target heart rate.

To figure target heart rate, take 220 minus your age. Then take 65% of that number which will give you the heart rate range for this recovery cardio.

After the 20 minutes is over, follow the stretching for Recovery Session A (see at end of article).

Workout B:  For this workout, you'll have a section of abs in the beginning. Do those four exercises in a row without rest. Then move on to the upper body part of the workout, doing two sets back to back (super-set), resting for 30 seconds and then repeating the set. After the second set, move onto the next part of the workout and so on.

EXERCISE TEMPO VOLUME % OF 1RM REST NOTES
Cheat Up
1 sec. Up, 5 sec. down
1 Set of 15 n/a 0 Hands at ears

Knee Up

3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 15
n/a
0 On floor, arms across chest
Toe Touch
1 sec. Up, 5 sec. down
1 Set of 15
n/a
0 Feet on 12" bench, hands at forehead
Lower Body Twist
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 15
n/a
1:00
Incline DB Curl
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 12
60% 0 Sitting on incline bench, palms up
Incline DB Curl
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 12
60%
0 Palms facing up
Incline DB Curl
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 12
60%
1:00 Palms facing down
Tricep Press Down
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 12
60%
0 Using high cable, palms facing up
Tricep Press Down
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 12
60%
0 Palms facing in
Tricep Press Down
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 12
60%
1:00 Palms facing down
Pullover Hold for 3 sec at Bottom
1 Set of 12
60%
0 With dumbell, palms facing in
Chest Fly
Hold for 3 sec at Bottom
1 Set of 12
60%
0
With dumbell, palms facing in
Seated Shoulder Front Raise
Hold for 3 sec at Top
1 Set of 12
60%
0
With dumbell, palms facing in
Back Fly
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 12
60%
1:00
With dumbell, palms facing in
Chest Press
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 15
60%
0 Flat bench, with dumbells
Seated Row
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 15
60%
0 With palms facing up
Seated Shoulder Press
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 15
60%
0 With dumbells, no seat back
Lat Pulldown
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 15
60%
1:00 With palms facing in

Recovery Session B: Do 15 minutes of non-intense cardio, such as stationary bike, elliptical, stairmaster. It needs to be light intensity, so a heart rate of 65% of your target heart rate. 

After the 20 minutes is over, follow Recovery Session B (see at end of article).

Workout C: In this lower body workout, you'll again start with abs. Do all four of the abs exercises in a row without rest, then move to the next part of the workout. For the lower body parts, do four exercises in a row without rest. Rest for 60 seconds, then repeat all four exercises for another set. Then move onto the next part of the workout, doing the same format you just followed.

EXERCISE TEMPO VOLUME % OF 1RM REST NOTES
Cheat Up
1 sec. Up, 5 sec. down
1 Set of 15 n/a 0 Hands at ears

Knee Up

3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 15
n/a
0 On floor, arms across chest
Toe Touch
1 sec. Up, 5 sec. down
1 Set of 15
n/a
0 Feet on 12" bench, hands at forehead
Lower Body Twist
3 sec. Up, 3 sec. down
1 Set of 15
n/a
1:00
Single Leg Extension Hold for 3 sec. at top 2 Sets of 12 (per leg) 60%

0

Single Leg Curl
Hold for 3 sec. at top
2 Sets of 12 (per leg)
60%

0

Wall Sit
1 sec. down, 2 sec. down
2 Sets of 5 Drops
60%
0 Start at the top, drop 3" every 10 sec. 
Lateral Lunge
Hold for 3 sec. at top
1 Set of 12 (per leg)
60%
1:00
One dumbbell on opp. side of stepping
Leg Abduction 
Hold for 3 sec. at top of range
1 Set of 12
60%
0
Leg Abduction
Hold for 3 sec. at bottom of range
1 Set of 12
60%
0
Single Leg Bridge
Hold for 3 sec. at top
1 Set of 12 (per leg)
60%
0 On floor
Single Leg Deadlift
Hold for 3 sec. at bottom
1 Set of 12 (per leg)
60%
1:00
Stand near a wall

Recovery Session C: Do 20 minutes of non-intense cardio, such as stationary bike, elliptical, stairmaster. It needs to be light intensity, so a heart rate of 65% of your target heart rate.

To figure target heart rate, take 220 minus your age. Then take 65% of that number which will give you the heart rate range for this recovery cardio.

After the 20 minutes is over, follow the stretching video for Recovery Session C.

Nutrition Plan Overview

The nutrition part of the plan coincides with your workouts, so that they work in tandem, giving consistency with your results. Too ofter do people make the mistake of not lining up their eating with their training on a long term scale. For example, drinking a protein shake after each workout is short term focused, but the long term will become a problem since the body will require that after each workout and protein shakes will cause inflammation at some point. No bueno for the body and six pack.

If you want your testosterone flowing and your muscle-wasting hormones low, then you have to make sure your digestive system (gut) is working right.

If it doesn't work right, then you can all the protein shakes in the world and not only will it not help, it will make things worse for your body, health and results.

So for Week 1, you're nutrition guidelines are to drinking enough water, drink hot water right after you wake up and after each meal. As for meals, you're going to pick 2-3 meals per day (starting with just 2 meals) and make sure you have more green, cruciferous veggies than you do protein or carb. Good luck with that one, because I have clients where it's taken them two months to master that. But once they did, their results spoke for themselves.

See green veggies list below:

 FREE VEGETABLES
These veggies can be eaten anytime and added to any meal. Veggies should be added to at least three meals daily.

Arugula

Eggplant

Snow Peas

Asparagus

Lettuce

Spinach

Broccoli

Mushroom

Tomato

Brussel Sprouts

Okra

Watercress

Cabbage

Onion

Zucchini 

Cauliflower

Peppers

Cucumber

Radish

Week 2 you'll continue doing what you did the first week, but every meal will have more veggies than protein or carb. Having the veggies like this  along with drinking enough water and it being hot gets the digestive system not only working, but working better. 

See carb and protein list below.

 PROTEINS
Beef Poultry Pork and Lamb Shellfish Fish Eggs and Dairy

Brisket

Chuck Roast

Dried Beef

Eye Round

Filet Mignon

Flank Steak

Ground Beef 95% Lean

New York Strip

Rib Eye

Sirloin

Skirt Steak

Chicken, Breast

Chicken, Leg

Chicken, Thigh

Chicken, Wing

Turkey, Breast

Turkey, Leg

Turkey, Sausage

Canadian Bacon

Ham, Fresh 95% Lean

Lamb, Leg, Chop

Pork Chop, Sirloin

Pork Loin

Pork Tenderloin

Clams

Crab

Lobster

Oysters

Scallops

Shrimp

Anchovy

Bluefish

Cod

Flounder

Haddock

Halibut

Herring

Mackeral

Orange Roughy

Salmon

Sea Bass

Snapper

Swordfish

Tilapia

Tuna

Egg White

Cottage Cheese

Mozzarella Cheese

Protein Powder

Whole Egg

 

LOW-GI/GL CARBS
Legumes Fruits Veggies Other Grains

Black Beans

Black-Eyed Peas

Chickpeas

Green Peas

Kidney Beans

Lentils

Lima Beans

Navy Beans

Pinto Beans

White Beans

Apple

Apricot

Blackberries

Blueberries
Cantaloupe

Cherries

Cranberries

Grapefruit

Grapes

Honeydew

Kiwi

Mango

Orange

Peach

Pear

Pineapple

Plum

Raspberries

Rhubarb

Strawberries

Watermelon

 

Artichoke

Beets

Carrots

Pumpkin

Rutabaga

Squash

Sweet Potato

Yam

 

Barley

Buckwheat

Cream of Rice

Oat Bran

Oatmeal

Quinoa

Rice: Brown, Jasmine or White

Week 3, you'll continue with Week 2 targets.

Week 4, you'll carry all the prior week targets with you and eat from the carb list below.

Closing notes- take this program slowly and don't skip or rush anything. I never skipped anything when I developed my training methods and never skipped anything my mentors taught me. It pays for itself.

You can download this whole program into a PDF (along with getting videos of each workout) by clicking here along with getting more details about extending this plan and learning the next set of rules or next 'rulebook' if you're interested.

Will Maloney is is a men's healthy lifestyle blogger who writes about building a reliable, healthy body. He's a nationally-ranked Equinox trainer, a former strength and conditioning coach at Stanford, and founder of Metabolic Kitchen.

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