I hope you’ve had a chance to read yesterday’s email and it all made sense about getting the right amount of calories and not just running a huge, unsustainable deficit.
This is a common mistake. People reduce their calories, but then they just keep reducing them way past the point of being sustainable. They’re trying to rush to the end result but in doing so they’re ensuring they never get there.
Taking a more measured approach and having more patience means you’ll actually get there in the end, and makes it a FAR more enjoyable experience!
Onto the workout plan!
So, you’re probably dreading this part.
This is the part where you see what sadistic torture methods I’ve devised for you to put yourself through…
Actually, no. It’s not going to be like that.
Just like with the diet side of things, the workouts actually need to be sustainable.
These shouldn’t take you more than 40 minutes, and I strongly recommend you workout 3 times per week.
You’ll have to either download this as an excel document, or save a copy of it to your own Google Drive.
This will allow you to make edits and record your own weights and reps.
You’ll notice there’s a tab for the gym based program, and a tab for the home based program.
I’ve also got a library of videos which you can access here, which will explain how to do the exercises.
You should probably bookmark both those links above.
If you want an app on your phone for tracking everything, I recommend Stronglifts (android) or Heavyset (iOS). This will allow you a really simple app to enter your reps and weights, and you can easily see what you did last time – which will help you to progress over time.
These are 3 day, full body workout plans.
That means you will work out 3 days per week, and you’ll work all of the major muscle groups in your body when you do so, rather than splitting up workouts by body part.
Do not do these workouts on consecutive days. You should allow a rest day between workouts targeting the same muscle groups.
Therefore, Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday are acceptable workout days, but Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday are not.
Action for today
Plan when you are going to do your workouts. Figure out how this will work around your life at the moment. Try to pick something that will not just work for now, but will work long term too. You want to be able to continue this habit well after the 2 weeks of this challenge.
Start as soon as possible – today would be great! You could do Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday this week, then switch to Monday, Wednesday, Friday from next week.
Or you could just do 2 workouts this week (Wednesday and Friday) and add the Monday workout from next week.
Do not worry about other people when you’re in the gym.
I know this can be a struggle. I really struggled with it when I was a beginner in the gym, and I wasn’t even overweight.
It’s common to think everyone is looking at you, even laughing at you, and feel self conscious because you don’t know what you’re doing.
This is even more the case when you venture into the free weights area of the gym (which is where you’ll have to go with these workouts). It seems like everyone is ripped and jacked, and all know exactly what they’re doing. It feels like they’re judging you for being in their domain, where you don’t belong.
Don’t feel like this!
No one was born ripped and jacked. Everyone had to work for it, and they did so in the free weights area. That means they started somewhere, which probably wasn’t that different from where you are now.
No one is watching you. No one really cares about you, and they’re definitely not going to laugh. If anything, they might want to give you a helpful tip but perhaps feel awkward about approaching you.
Just focus on yourself and getting better.
Your First Workout!
Today (or tomorrow if you’re starting then) will see you do Workout A, which is one of the two full body routines you will perform on a 3 day alternating schedule.
That means you’ll do Workout A, then Workout B, then Workout A this week, while next week you’ll do BAB, then back to ABA the following week.
You shouldn’t work the same muscle groups on consecutive days, and as these workouts both work all muscle groups, you should leave a rest day between workouts. So Monday, Wednesday, Friday works well, or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, etc.
Dumbell Goblet Squat
I like to include some sort of squat in all workouts. Squats are great because they work so many muscles at once and burn a lot of calories compared to other exercises.
You’ll be working your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abs, lower back and more!
The dumbell goblet squat is a good place to start for beginners. With this type of squat, you hold a dumbell in front of you (like a goblet) and squat down until your hips go below your knees, then stand up again.
Key things to watch are keeping your feet flat on the floor, ensuring your knees don’t cave inward, and keeping a neutral spine (not curved or rounded).
Chinups are a difficult movement (perhaps practically impossible for beginners) which is why we’re going to do them assisted. If you do have the strength to do them unassisted, then have at it.
Chinups will work your biceps and pretty much every muscle in your back, as well as your abs.
If not, you’ll need a resistance band or a chinup station with a platform that assists you.
Try to keep your scapulae (shoulder blades) retracted (pulled back). Make sure you don’t kip, or use momentum to get over the bar. Don’t crane your head back and strain to get your chin over the bar (you can give yourself a neck injury). The best thing to do, is use the assistance that you need, and stop when your reps are JUST starting to get sloppy.
Seated Dumbell Press
The seated dumbell press is a great exercise for developing your shoulders and triceps (the muscles on the back of your upper arm).
You’ll need to find a bench where you can raise the back fully upright, so you sit in it like a chair. Some gyms have dedicated seated shoulder press chair. Use this if they have one. It looks like a bench, but it is fixed into the “chair” position and can’t be adjusted. It has rests for your feet too.
With this exercise you’re going to start with the dumbells on your knees as you sit on the bench. You can use your knees to help you “flick” the dumbells into position over your shoulders, about next to your ears.
From there you need to push the dumbells up above your head and lower them back down under control. Don’t touch them together at the top (it takes tension off the muscles).
Dumbell One Arm Row
This is another great exercise for your back and it also works your biceps too.
Watch out for doing this with a rounded or curved spine. You don’t want to get a back injury. Make sure your spine is neutral. You can practise this in the mirror at the gym if convenient.
You want to start with the dumbell on the floor next to the bench. Place your left hand and left knee on the bench, with your right foot down on the floor. Your back should be neutral and perpendicular to the floor. Use your right hand to lift the dumbell up towards your hip and lower it back down under control.
You can do these with a barbell, a kettlebell or dumbells.
This is one that people really struggle to get the form right.
You start standing upright with the weight held in front of you at about hip level, arms hanging straight down.
From there you need to lower the weight down, keeping it in contact with your body and legs, by HINGING at the hip, NOT flexing/bending your spine.
Think about your hips going back to initiate the movement, NOT bending at the waist or back.
You don’t need to go all the way to the floor. Just as far as your range of motion will allow.
You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings when you’re doing it right.
That’s all for today, plenty to be getting on with! Post your form videos in the Discord Server for feedback if you want help! You’ll have to upload them somewhere (Google Photos or Drive works well) then share the link.