Well it’s that time of year again. New Year’s resolutions.
New year, new you. You’ve spent the past 4-6 weeks huddled up under the comforting blanket of holiday carb-fests and cookies and it’s turned into a bad habit.
Let’s also not forget the fact that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season (family get togethers, office parties, last minute shopping trips) may have caused you to miss a workout here and there.
Combine that with people’s tendency to be less active outside once the temperature drops and it’s easy to see why this joyous time of year is detrimental to the average gym warrior’s fitness level.
So, it’s time to get it together and hit the ground running (literally) for 2017.
You may already have a great tried and true workout routine that you love but here are three killer routines that will help shed those unwelcome holiday pounds and build muscle at the same time.
New Year's Workout 1
Workout #1 is one of my favorite templates for getting shredded - heavy push and pull supersets with running in between. Now before you look at this workout and wonder why the reps are relatively low, remember, it’s imperative to continue lifting heavy when trying to get lean.
A major mistake I see when people are on the “shred plan” is they abandon heavy weights in a low rep range in favor of marathon sets with light weight. That may be great from a pump perspective, but to avoid losing muscle along with unwanted body fat you must still lift heavy weights.
The conditioning aspect in this workout comes from supersetting the exercises together with cardio in between.
Start this workout by doing a set or two of pull ups and pushups to get everything loosened up. The first superset is 5 reps of bench press, 8 reps on T-bar row, followed by a 90 second jog on the treadmill. You want the pace on the treadmill to be comfortable but NOT easy.
It shouldn’t tax you to the point you are unable to immediately begin the next superset, but it shouldn’t be a walk in the park either. Leave the treadmill running as you step off carefully (holding the hand rails), so you don’t waste any time transitioning back to the jog in-between sets.
Do 5 consecutive rounds and then take a 1 minute break as you transition into the next super set.
The second superset starts with a set of dumbbell incline chest press. Perform the reps in an iso-style - start with both of the dumbbells fully extended at the top position and keep one locked as you rep the other side. Alternate sides with each rep.
Once you have finished the set of dumbbell iso-reps, hit a set of 1-arm dumbbell rows for 8 reps on each side. Then, transition onto the treadmill for a 1 minute incline jog. Set the incline at 8-10% and take 1-2mph off of your flat jog speed from the first superset.
If your jog speed on the first circuit was 7mph, then an incline speed of 5-5.5mph would be appropriate. Leave the treadmill running and complete 5 rounds.
The final giant set alternates between a heavy bicep and tricep movements, before finishing the arms off with 2 higher rep detail exercises. In between each of the 3 rounds, hop back on the treadmill for a 2 minute speed walk (3-4mph) on a 15% incline. Finish this workout off with 5 x 12 on the ab wheel and call it a day.
|1a. Bench Press||5||5|
|1b. T-Bar Row||5||8|
|1c. Treadmill Jog||5||90 sec|
|2a. Incline Dumbbell Iso-Press||5||8 each arm|
|2b. Dumbbell Row||5||8 each arm|
|2c. Treadmill Incline Jog||5||60 sec|
|3a. Barbell Curl||5||5|
|3b. Dumbbell Skull Crushers||5||5|
|3c. Dumbbell Curl||5||10|
|3d. Tricep Press Down||5||20|
|3e. Treadmill Incline Speed Walk||5||2 min|
|4. Ab Wheel||5||12|
New Year's Workout 2
Workout #2 is a killer mix of bodyweight exercises and running. Start by running a mile at roughly +1 minute over your mile PR time (if your best mile time is 6 minutes, then run this first mile at 7:00 or better). As soon as you finish the mile rest one minute or less and begin the bodyweight circuit with 30 pull-ups.
If you can do the set of pull ups unbroken that is ideal, but you can break the total number on each exercise into mini sets with a small amount of rest. There is two different strategies for that, the first being to keep doing max reps until the target number is achieved (example: 15, 11, 4).
The other strategy is to break the total number down into sets of ten reps. So, for the pull ups you would do 3 x 10 with as little rest as necessary. I would just recommend sticking with which ever strategy you pick for the entire round, and finish all of the prescribed reps before moving on to the next exercise. Once the pull ups are complete, move to the dip bars for a total of 40 dips.
Next up is a set of 50 ring rows (or slant rows if you don’t have access to rings). Lower the rings to waist height and lay underneath them with only your heals in contact with the ground. Keep your body completely rigid as you “row” your chest up to the rings and lower under control.
Once you have 50 total rows complete, transition to the ground and knock out 60 pushups. Immediately upon completing the circuit it’s time for another 1 mile run. On the second mile shoot for a target time of 1:30 above your mile PR time. Complete 3 rounds total of the circuit with a run before each one.
The third and final mile should be no more than 2 minutes slower than your best mile time. Once you have completed 3 mile runs with a full circuit in between each, finish up with a 6 minute plank. Switch to side planks when necessary but try not to take any breaks.
|1a. 1 Mile Run||3||-|
|1b. Pull Ups||3||30|
|1d. Ring Rows||3||50|
|1e. Push Ups||3||60|
New Year's Workout 3
Workout #3 is an hour long grinding EMOM, which stands for Every Minute on the Minute. Set a timer or watch the clock for 1 hour and perform the following triset at the top of each minute for 60 minutes straight: 3 kettlebell hips swings, right into 5 pull ups, then drop to the ground and rep out 8 push ups.
The idea is to complete the circuit as fast as possible (with crisp form of course) so that you have the remainder of the minute to “rest” before starting another round at the beginning of the next minute.
This one not only requires physical endurance, but mental endurance as well. 60 trisets in 60 minutes is quite a task, and you had better be focused and prepared for the fatigue that will start to set in about a third of the way through.
I recommend using a heavy kettle bell, perhaps one that you could not do more than 5-6 swings with, and keeping the pull ups and pushups as strict as possible. Good Luck!
|1a. Kettlebell Swings||60||3|