Sun’s out, guns out… Let’s just get it out of the way – you’ll have been expecting that line somewhere along the way in an article about getting in shape for Spring Break.
Your workout will begin from scratch. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a body builder, or looking to get into shape, the workout will start and end the same no matter what your level of experience. The varying factors will affect your ability to recover and your capabilities in terms of strength and endurance. For example, the aim for many weight-lifting resistance exercise will be to lift a certain percentage of your overall one-rep-max. This means the most weight you can lift (while performing perfect technique) in one rep of a particular exercise.
The other variable, which depends on your own knowledge of your ability to recover, will determine how long you need to rest between sets. Your workout week involves three sessions with active rest days in between. Let’s find out what you’ll be doing.
Aim for 40% of your one-rep-max
☐ Squats – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
☐ Deadlifts – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
☐ Incline bench press – 3 sets x 8-12, Pause/Control reps
☐ Overhead Triceps extensions – 3 sets x 8-12 reps, Tempo reps: 2 seconds down, 2 seconds up, hold at top for 1 second
☐ Weighted decline abs crunches – 3 sets x 15 SUPERSET decline leg raises – 3 sets x 12-15
☐ Bent over rows – 4 sets x 6-8 reps
☐ Lateral pull-down – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
☐ Barbell curls – 3 sets x 8-12 reps
☐ Roman chair extension – 3 sets x 15
☐ Lunges – 3 sets x 12-15
☐ Barbell shoulder press – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
☐ Roman press – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
☐ Leg press – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
☐ Calf Raises – 4 sets x 12-15 reps
☐ Skull-crushers – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Cardio is where you will burn those extra calories. See our next paragraph on nutrition for more information on that. Cardio should take place at the end of your weights session and should take no more than 10-15 minutes. What we’re talking about is high intensity interval training (HIIT). The aim is to get your heart rate up high with intense bursts of activity, followed immediately by low to no activity. The ratio for this is initially 1:1, meaning you would (for example) sprint for one minute and do a slow jog for the next minute, then repeat.
For this you can take your pick to vary things, but whatever you choose, be conscious of over-exhausting the muscles you’ve used. Good examples are: stair-climber, running, boxing, rope tossing, cycling.
Your body needs a minimum of protein and calories in order to build, recover and grow. This also takes into account the fact you’re aiming for a more shredded look than bulky look. You need to consume 1.5 – 2 g of protein per pound of your body weight each day and because of the one-off-one-on approach to training over the coming weeks, you’ll need to factor in recovery and keep up those energy and protein reserves.
A rough estimate for calorie intake is multiplying your body weight, in pounds, by 15-17 calories. This means if you are a 180 lbs male, you’ll need to be consuming 3000 calories a day. This is your energy resource, of which you’ll need an excess for weight lifting. Remember, you’ll also be burning off a lot of this during cardio.
We suggest the following supplements.
✓ Pre-Workout, MYPRE – Start your workout as you mean to go on. Our pre-workout shake will give you everything you need at the start of your gym session. Lay off this on rest days.
✓ Impact Whey Isolate – This shake will see protein quickly absorbed into your system. Perfect for recovery and getting the protein your body needs to make gains.
✓ Micellar Casein – Broken down over a long period, you should take this at night before you sleep.
✓ Impact Whey Protein – An all-around powerhouse to help keep your muscles fueled and muscles recovered.
Active Rest Activities
These are rest days, which are just as valuable in developing muscle as the work in the gym itself. This is when your muscles recover and grow. Your activity can therefore be a light jog, cycle or swim, for example. Don’t build up too much of a sweat and think low intensity. This is to keep you loose and to take the edge off the calories you’re consuming.
This is what your week is going to look like:
Day 1 – Workout 1
Day 2 – Active rest
Day 3 – Workout 2
Day 4 – Active rest
Day 5 – Workout 3
Day 6 – Active rest
Day 7 – Active rest
What Results Can You Expect After Week 1?
By the end of the week, if you’re going from zero to hero, you’ll have burned a lot of calories, felt a few aches and pains that are normal if you’ve not been doing such rigorous training, and you will have improved your overall strength. Even if it feels like small steps at the moment, you are laying a foundation upon which you can begin to seriously build.