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Year Long Workout: Phase V Intro

The fifth installment in our yearlong series builds a beach-ready body

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There's an old expression in the fitness industry: "If you want results you've never had, you need to try something you've never done." In the case of this program, it's high-rep training. OK, to be honest, we started you out with high reps to build a base of endurance and stability, but for the last three months, you've enjoyed a pretty steady diet of heavy weights, low reps, and plentiful calories. We hope you enjoyed it, but it stops now.

Your goal this month is to lose fat, giving the muscle you've worked hard for a chance to really show, and high-rep sets are the weapon we've chosen. One reason is that it's been a while, and every time you expose your body to a stress it's not accustomed to, it shocks it into response. Another reason is that a higher volume of training burns lots of calories, bringing you closer to the deficit you need to lose fat. In Phase V you'll return to a lower-rep, heavier-load protocol, ensuring that your muscles stay pumped.

On the nutrition front, you should already have a pretty good idea how many calories you eat in a day. (If not, start reading food labels and keep a food journal for several days.) Cut 500 calories from whatever you're currently taking in, making sure those calories come from sugars, starches, and junk foods-not whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Keep your protein intake at a little less than one gram per pound of body weight every day.

Though we haven't included it here, some kind of cardio workout three days a week would be useful in losing the extra fat. Rather than long jogs on the treadmill, try interval cardio (sprint for a minute, then jog for two minutes). Combined, these strategies should have you losing between one and two pounds of pure fat each week.

Directions

Frequency: Phase V is broken into two parts. Part I consist of Workouts A, B, and C, and should be followed for four weeks. Part II consists of Workouts D, E, and F, which you'll also follow for four weeks. Complete all of the workouts in Part I before moving on to Part II. Perform each workout once per week, resting at least a day between each session.

How To Do It: Perform each pair of exercises (marked A and B) as alternating sets, resting the prescribed amount of time between each set. In these workouts, there is no rest after the first exercise in the pair-so you'll do one set of A, then one set of B, rest, and repeat for all the prescribed sets for each exercise. Perform the remaining exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for an exercise before moving on.

An exercise that calls for "21" reps is done as follows: Perform seven reps in the hardest range of motion. For instance, for the dumbbell shoulder press, you would press the weights from shoulder level to about halfway overhead. Then perform seven full-range reps as normal. Finally, complete another seven reps in the easiest range of motion (from halfway overhead to lockout on the shoulder press).

Tempo: The first digit is how many seconds you should take to lower the weight. The second digit is how long you should pause at the bottom (when your muscles are under the most tension). The third digit is how long you should take to lift the weight. A "0" means to move right to the next digit, and an "X" in place of digits means to perform each rep with explosive speed.

Weight: Use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed repetitions for each set.

Phase V Workouts:

~ PART 1: Follow workouts A, B, C for four weeks
~ PART 2: Follow workouts D, E, F for four weeks
Workout A
1A Medicine-Ball Lunge w/Rotation
1B Underhand-Grip Seated Row
2A Swiss-Ball Leg Curl
2B Rotational Dumbbell Overhead Press
3A Jump Squat
3B Swiss-Ball Plank
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Workout B
1A Single-Leg RDL w/Row
1B Mixed-Grip Pulldown
2A Overhead Squat
2B Swiss-Ball Pushup
3A Stiff-Leg Deadlift
3B Kneeling Cable Push/Pull
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Workout C
1 Reverse Lunge w/DB Hold
2A Dumbbell Bench Press
2B Neutral-Grip Dumbbell
3A Sumo Deadlift
3B Reverse Crunch
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Workout D
1A Walking Saxon Lunge
1B Bentover Row
2A Elevated Dumbbell Deadlift
2B Dumbbell Push Press
3A Hurdle Jump
3B Forward Ball Roll
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Workout E
1A Reverse Lunge w/Cable Row
1B Assisted Chinup
2A Squat
2B Swiss-Ball Jackknife w/Pushup
3A Plate Push
3B Split-Stance Cable Woodchop
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Workout F
1 Turkish Getup
2A Alternating Medicine-Ball Pushup
2B Inverted Row
3A One-Arm Dumbbell Swing
3B Hanging Knee Raise
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