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Yearlong Workout: Phase I Intro

Stay fit throughout the year with our improved plan

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We'll start you off slow. If you're brand new to weight training or you're coming back after a several-week holiday layoff, we strongly suggest you take this period seriously, as it will lay the foundation for all the workouts to come. The goal is to develop intramuscular coordination (your central nervous system's ability to recruit muscle fibers at will) and strength endurance, and to condition your joints for the harder work to come. Make sure you pick a conservative weight to use for your sets, and pay close attention to the tempo (or lifting rhythm) that's assigned to them. These workouts are not to be done heavy.

As the program begins, you'll also start correcting muscular imbalances you may have developed in the past. We've taken the liberty of assuming that you, like the vast majority of men out there, have tight hip flexors and rounded shoulders-problems that are common for anyone who spends much of the workday sitting at a desk. To remedy these problems, which can lead to injury and prevent you from lifting heavy, this month's workout will have you doing numerous pulling exercises and lots of glute work. Once you've begun to even out the front and back sides of your body, you'll be able to get the most out of each period that follows as the year progresses.

Directions:

Frequency: Perform each workout once per week, resting at least a day between each session.

How To Do It: Perform the exercise pairs (marked A and B) as alternating sets, resting 60 seconds between each set. So you'll do one set of 1A, rest, then one set of 1B, rest again, and so on. Complete two sets for every exercise in the workout. Perform exercises that are not marked with a letter as straight sets, resting 60 seconds between each set.

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.

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

Phase I Workouts:

Workout A
1A Step Up
1B Dumbbell Shoulder Press
2A Wide-Seated Grip Row
2B Pushup
3 Woodchop From Lunge
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Workout B
1A Seated Row To Neck
1B Partial Co-contraction Lunge
2A Swiss Ball Leg Curl
2B Dumbbell Pullover
3 Prone Cobra
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Workout C
1A Overheated Squat
1B Swiss-Ball Jackknife
2A Single-Leg Bridge
2B Cuban Press
3 Plank
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