Whether you were in control of your circumstances or something unexpected took place, most people who are dedicated to fitness occasionally take time off and, often times, it shows when they look in the mirror.
Unfortunately, instead of recommitting to achieving that body and shape they want, they end up feeling discouraged and unmotivated. But just because you aren’t where you feel you should be doesn’t mean you can’t get there.
Let this routine help you lose that unwanted fat and return to the glory that you once felt and enjoyed.
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This six week routine will have one series of workouts. Most programs change exercises and sets/reps schemes. That won’t be the case here. What changes is the training split over the course of the program.
Now if you follow a sound nutrition plan, stay dedicated to the workouts, and get enough rest, then you should see other things change as well – like strength levels, clothes sizes, the development of your muscles combined with increased definition, and yes, the scale.
You’ll find that there isn’t much that is too complicated about this program. The exercises are basic and simple in design.
These training sessions are created so they can be done in a gym as well as many home gym setups. You will need a rack, barbell, plates, a bench, some version of dumbbells (either fixed or plate loaded), and fitness bands. If you don’t have those items, you can check out some at home or bodyweight alternative exercises you can do based on what you do have readily available.
You’ll be doing some form of cardiovascular exercise every day. Don’t skip a single day doing this. First thing in the morning, before you have breakfast, you’ll go out for a walk or exercise on a cardio machine if you have access to one at a moderate pace. Drink a little water, slip your shoes on, and go.
The length of time you’ll do this will increase gradually over the course of the eight weeks and that schedule is below.
- Weeks 1 and 2 – 20 minutes
- Weeks 3 and 4 – 25 minutes
- Weeks 5 and 6 – 30 minutes
The other sessions you do will take place after your weight training session and those will be High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. You can pick the type of cardio you do based on what you have access to.
The length of those sessions will be as follows.
- Weeks 1 and 2 – 15 minutes (60 seconds moderate, 30 seconds high intensity)
- Weeks 3 and 4 – 18 minutes (60 seconds moderate, 30 seconds high intensity)
- Weeks 5 and 6 – 20 minutes (45 seconds moderate, 15 seconds high intensity)
Most smartphone app stores have apps that include timers based on HIIT settings. Find one to download and follow the instructions provided on how to set up the timers based on the above recommendations. You can also go old-school and watch a clock.
These sessions are based on muscle groups you’ll be training. Make sure you check out the training splits at the bottom because that is how you will plug these workouts into your schedule. Commit 10-15 minutes to warm up before you start training and do at least one warm-up set of each exercise before going into work sets. The guide below only includes work sets you’ll perform.
Try to add weight each set if possible. If you can’t do so then slow the speed of the reps you perform to make them more challenging. For example, if you do a two second negative on the first set, do a three second negative on your second.
Return to Ripped Day 1: Chest and Shoulders
|Incline Dumbbell Fly||3||8-12||1min|
|Flat Barbell Bench Press||3||8-12||1min|
|Pushup with Band or Feet Elevated||3||10-12||1min|
|Barbell Front Raise||3||8-12||45s|
|Seated Lateral Raise||3||8-12||45s|
Return to Ripped Day 2: Legs
|Lying Leg Curl*||3||10-12||1min|
|Single Leg Squat||3||12||45s|
|Seated Calf Raise||3||15||45s|
|Single Leg Standing Calf Raise||3||15||45s|
|*Machine, Bands, or Dumbbell Between Feet|
Return to Ripped Day 3: Back and Abs
|Dumbbell or Barbell Pullover||4||8-12||1min|
|Two-Arm Dumbbell Row||3||8-12||1min|
|Single Arm Lat Pulldown*||3||10-12||1min|
|Dumbbell Reverse Fly||3||10-12||45s|
|Lying Leg Raise||3||12||45s|
|Side Plank (each side)||3||20-30s||45s|
|*Machine or Band|
Return to Ripped Day 4: Arms
|Lying Tricep Extensions||3||8-12||45s|
|Band or Cable Curl||3||12||45s|
|Cable or Band Pressdown*||3||12||45s|
|*Substitute Close Grip Pushup if you can’t do this exercise.|
The Workout Split
The workouts above look simple enough to follow but that isn’t where you will notice the increase in intensity and effort over the course of the next six weeks. You will find that in the way you perform the above split.
What you’re going to find is that this split doesn’t follow a seven day protocol. Whatever the day is in the week just happens to be the day that you do the corresponding workout. The guide below should make this easy to follow.
The First 2 Weeks
In Weeks 1 and 2 you will perform the workouts every other day. So it will be one day on and one day off.
The first two weeks of your program will look like this:
- Days 1 and 9 – Chest and Shoulders
- Days 2 and 10 – Off
- Days 3 and 11 – Legs
- Days 4 and 12 – Off
- Days 5 and 13 – Back and Abs
- Days 6 and 14 – Off
- Day 7 – Arms
- Day 8 – Off
That might appear confusing at first but again, don’t look at this as a weekly plan. Take it one day at a time.
The Next 2 Weeks
Here is where you will notice the first big change. For Weeks 3 and 4 you will perform the workouts with a two days on, one day off split. That second day of training in a row will challenge the body so it will have to respond accordingly. This also means you might notice a difference in strength.
Keep in mind the goal is physique development, not powerlifting. Do whatever it is that challenges the muscles while minimizing the risk of injury. You’ll pick up the workouts where you left off at the end of Week 2 so follow the guideline below for this phase of the program.
- Day 15 – Arms
- Day 16 – Chest and Shoulders
- Day 17 – Off
- Day 18 – Legs
- Day 19 – Back and Abs
- Day 20 – Off
- Day 21 – Arms
- Day 22 – Chest and Shoulders
- Day 23 – Off
- Day 24 – Legs
- Day 25 – Back and Abs
- Day 26 – Off
- Day 27 – Arms
- Day 28 – Chest and Shoulders
The Last 2 Weeks
For Weeks 5 and 6 we start with a day off but then the split increases in intensity again. Now you’ll train for three days in a row before taking a day off. Keep in mind you should be doing the cardio post-training as well. By now you should be seeing positive results and that will be the source of motivation to push you through to the finish.
- Day 29 – Off
- Day 30 – Legs
- Day 31 – Back and Abs
- Day 32 – Arms
- Day 33 – Off
- Day 34 – Chest and Shoulders
- Day 35 – Legs
- Day 36 – Back and Abs
- Day 37 – Off
- Day 38 – Arms
- Day 39 – Chest and Shoulders
- Day 40 – Legs
- Day 41 – Back and Abs
- Day 42 – Finish (Arms Workout Optional)
By the end of the six weeks, you should have noticed a decrease in overall weight as well as significant fat loss. If you haven’t reached your goal just yet, then take a week off and repeat this program for another six weeks.