After following part 1 of the Rock Hard Challenge for four weeks, it’s time to change things up. (If you missed it last issue and want to get on the program now, go to mensfitness.com/rhc2013.) It’s also time to ramp things up. Part 2 increases the intensity to help you maintain muscle mass while incinerating body fat. In part 1, you laid the groundwork for a great physique by increasing your work capacity. This month, we’re putting that capacity to the test.
During the next four weeks, you’ll perform a group of intensity sets in every workout—see the Rock Hard Challenge page at mensfitness.com for definitions of terms we introduced last month. For this phase, we’ve switched up the weight-training moves and replaced slower-paced exercises like the stepup with sets of jump rope to speed your heart rate and increase fat burning. For complete rules for the 2013 Rock Hard Challenge and details on how to enter, along with the nutrition and supplement portions of our program, click here.
In addition, we’ve added 10 x 10 sets—see the next page for an explanation—a great way to pump your target muscles to help them maintain their size while you’re further reducing your calorie intake.
We’ve also cut down on the number of sets you’ll do each workout. Your goal during this phase is to get in the gym five days a week for an hour each session. Shorter, more intense sessions help jack up your metabolic rate, encouraging fat loss. Follow the program, and by Week 8, you’ll have the rock-hard body we promised.
You’ll train five days a week, on back-to- back days, then rest on the weekends (or any two successive days you choose). Be sure to visit mensfitness.com/rhc2013 to reference the directions on how to perform the specialty techniques we introduced last month, such as intensity sets and burnout sets. Paired exercises (marked “A” and “B”) are done as a super- set: Complete a set of the first move, then the next, without rest in between. Repeat until all sets are done.
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10 x 10 Sets
What it is: A collection of sets performed for time, designed to pump your target muscle group for that day while accelerating your heart rate and metabolism.
What you’ll do: Using a watch, clock, or phone, you’ll time yourself so that you perform 10 sets of 10 reps in less than 10 minutes. To begin, start your timer and perform your first set, which should take about 20–30 seconds. Then rest until one minute has elapsed (see note below).
Benefits: This technique exhausts your target muscles, stimulating growth. It also encourages your body to draw energy from its fat stores, even during rest.
Note on Rest: You won’t rest for 60 seconds; you’ll rest only for the remaining time left in that minute, which should be about 30–40 seconds. As soon as your timer reaches one minute, you’ll perform your second set, and keep doing this until you’ve completed 10 sets in 10 minutes.