The hangover is over.
It’s time to grab the New Year by the figurative bull horns.
Like everyone else, you want to get in shape, get ripped, get big, finally get the muscles.
I started the 5 stage human machine based on the several observed aspects of fitness and this year let’s set our focus on the two aspects most likely to make this the best year ever.
That’s right, let’s focus on two of these things this year… So this time next year, you can fondly remember 2014 as the year you built muscle and got big.
Step one, your human machine is a complicated beast, so check under the hood to make sure all your hormones are in proper working order. This also includes that you dedicate yourself to performing the best muscle building, fat burning exercise there is…the 8 hour night of proper sleep routine.
So, go to your doctor and get your thyroid and testosterone tested. If you’re younger, then you probably don’t have to worry…that is, only worry if you just can’t lose weight and you’re young and active. If you’re a bit more…seasoned…then no matter what, get those testes tested. You want high testosterone results, no middle of the road. You want to make sure your thyroid is pumping out plenty of the good thyroid hormone to keep your metabolism burning.
If you get bad results, there are ways to fix it (naturally and pharmacy assisted). But for now, get tested.
Step two, let’s focus on your fitness goals for this year. You are strong, already, aren’t you? You can squat at least your own weight, right? That’s basically the baseline here. If not, then you need a strength crash course, which will be covered elsewhere. If you already have the strength, then let’s go.
This year, focus on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Unlike marathon runners who run an 11 hour pace, you are going to focus on going fast and getting done quickly. Think about it, boxers and MMA fighters go for minutes at a time. Football players go full speed for 15 seconds at most. When you play basketball at the Y or soccer on the weekend, you have momentary bursts of speed that are more important than simply jogging along. That is what you are going to go for this year.
HIIT also has the benefit of increased fat burn, increased testosterone, and maxed out athletic performance.
Simple goals this year.
Base line cardio fitness: doing yoga and increasing your base speed when you jog.
Second tier goal: going fast.
Third goal, maintaining strength.
Baseline cardio is easy enough. You aren’t training to run long distances, just be able to do two types of slower running exercises, be able to jog-run three miles and also be able to do the one-mile run from the cops fast mile.
The real goal, going fast.
Sample routines include:
Sample Workout #1Tabata Sprints.
What are tabata sprints? Well, basically some guy claims he invented wind sprints. That’s cool, it’s a good idea that’s been around forever.
Tabata Sprints are simply wind sprints. Find a safe place to run fast, a field or a track and let loose at full speed for 50 yards or until you can’t sprint any longer, usually around 20-40 seconds. While Mr. Tabata would have you only rest for 10 seconds (because he thinks you’re using this exercise to escape from lions, apparently), you can rest anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes between sprints. Obviously, the best practice is to build up the time you rest between sprints as you get more and more tired. The goal is to perform the exercise and you will need to recover a bit to keep running.
These can be done alone or in combination with your regular three mile jog. My favorite routine is to job three miles, do a quick high rep RM10 bench press, and then wind sprints. Of course, Tabata Sprints can be done alone and still kick your ass.
Sample Workout #2
Plyometric routine (jumping around). I’ve adapted my routine from the P90X set of dvd’s. Some of it is familiar, I just discarded the weird stuff that seems more like filler or a bad joke, designed to break your legs.
This is an ass kicker, and one that I found that will make your legs more sore than after a heavy day of squats. And you will feel a bigger spring in your step once you recover.
Note: I prefer to do these jumps on a cushioned mat (about 1/2 inch thick, moderate to heavy springiness…not too soft) to protect the knees and other joints. But I am heavy because of muscles, if you are light, then no worries.
warm up, do some short sprints and run in place. Next, do standing squats and lunge squats. That is, do a good bit of lunge squats, rest, do standing squats. That’s it, up and down.
The routines. These are performed until exhaustion or at least 30 seconds with increasing rests between sets. Your rest can start at zero or thirty seconds.
jump squats, running stance squats, heismans, circle run
squat reach jumps, running stance jumps, double heismans, the jumping twist combo
Repeat each set at least twice in a row before progressing to the next set. As you notice, I’ve discarded most of Tony’s knee busters. These exercises will put you in the zone well enough.
Modifications to the exercises. Between each set, I add a core routine which focuses on the outer abs. For example, I prefer to do a set of V-Up/Roll-Ups (from Mr. Horton’s awesome ab-ripper X). I also do what I call a core-core exercise, the reverse plank for at least 30 seconds.
Another exercise to add is the rope. This way, your upper body gets in the mix.
Add clap push ups.
Another killer app, if you can pull it off, depending on where you work out, is a heavy bag. If you can kick or hit that thing for a minute each set, then you are winning.
Thus, your sets can easily include 4 additional exercises that round out your body. With resting periods, each set could take nearly 7 minutes to perform. Of course, use your resting periods wisely. Start off with zero, fifteen, or thirty seconds. At a certain point, you will lose your pop, your legs will not jump like before. That is when you start taking two minute breaks. You normally take two minute breaks when you lift, so why not when you go full bore?
Simply repeat until exhaustion, set 1, rest, set 1, rest, set 2, rest, set 2, rest, set 1…and so on. You will be tired. You don’t have to do more than 25 minutes to get results.
Part Three, maintaining strength. You worked hard to get here. You should perform a modified texas routine once a week:
This session can include squats RM5, press RM8, bench press RM8, deadlift RM3, pull ups to fail over three sets.
Instead of bench pressing, perform your 100 push up routine.
And of course, add curls and pull downs to your hearts delight.
Your week would then look like:
Day 1: plyo
Day 2: rest
Day 3: strength
Day 4: plyo
Day 5 cardio
Day 7 rest
You may be wondering, where can I do this plyo exercise. I have discovered the perfect place. Find an unused municipal tennis court.
It’s enclosed and ready to be used by you whenever you want. You can do your sprints around the perimeter, jump wherever you need to and even use the net apparatus to anchor your rope. I’ve even considered rigging a place in a corner to hoist my heavy bag (it is only 70 pounds).
Resting and recovery is important, so gauge yourself. Two days off in a row may be necessary. Days 3-5 you can pyramid down your routine as I will discuss in my ebook. After that 3 day blast, give yourself a rest.
There you go….get out and get tested and get fast. Everything else should fall into place.