Do you want to shock your system? Our fitness article for August is not about sharing fundamental knowledge, but is a full-body 30-day challenge to shock your system and help overcome those plateaus by getting you completely out of your normal routine.

The following 30-day program is designed to be a challenging full-body workout and is geared for the intermediate level. The program has a duration of 4 weeks for 5 days per week – you rest on the weekend. After all, you do need to take some time to have fun.

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Do not attempt this program initially until you can do at least 25 consecutive push-ups without resting. However, you may perform the resistance exercises. If you do not have access to a gym, just perform the Burpee’s. And hey, if you cannot do them all at once then, do as many as you can, rest 1-2 minutes and do as many as you can again until you complete all the reps.

The program is rigorous, but we recently had a 62-year old who performed it with flying colors although, he is in better shape and most that are half his age. So, if he could do it, likely you can too!

Our workout programs are separated into warm-up, core exercises (Day by Body Part), and warm-down segments. To begin, perform the warm-up exercises each day then, move into the daily exercises. After completion of the daily exercises, choose 3 of the listed warm-down exercises to complete your daily workout. Warm-Up and Warm-Down exercises are described at the top of each 30-Day Program so that you can gain familiarity with them. Additionally, commonly known exercises are only listed, not described. So read the warmup and warm-down exercises to familiarize yourself with them then, begin the program.

At the beginning, the program may seem a bit easy. If it does, this would be a good time to add perhaps one or two additional weak-area training exercises for specific muscle groups you’d like to work on. You may continue to do this throughout the program, but once you get into the last 1 ½ weeks, perhaps 2, the energy requirements for doing the burpee’s and other listed exercises may be a bit much to contend with. So, adjust your training accordingly.

Month 1 – Week 1

Warm-Up Exercises

Warm-ups will work the upper body, mid-torso, and lower body to ensure your entire body is ready for your workout.

  1. Shoulder Flexors (3 sets of 12 reps each) – grab a stick of approximately your body length and place your hands on it palm down so that your hands are as far apart as you can reach initially. Let the stick rest on the front of your thighs. Without bending your elbow(s) and in one smooth motion, raise the stick in front of you, over your head and touch the small of your back with it then, reverse the motion back to the starting point – all in one smooth motion. To increase flexibility as your progress in your programs, reduce the width between your hand grips, which will stretch your shoulders more.
  1. In-place Squats (4 sets of 8 reps each) – stand with your feet about shoulder width apart while folding your arms across your chest and perform a basic back squat in place. Squatting down then, standing back to starting position is one repetition. Note that those in CrossFit programs erroneously call these ‘Air Squats.’
  1. Sit Ups (your choice – 4 sets of 20 repetitions each).

Warm-Down Exercises

Do not just leave the gym after your core exercises each day. As you warmed your body up, you must also warm it down, which will help you relax. You have worked all your muscles and are likely mentally drained from being ‘psyched’ as you have moved with speed and balance. The warm-down will help set the stage for your next workout and take the ‘edge’ off. It is also called a ‘cool down’ by many. Performing the warm-down will also help your body recover more quickly from stress. Choose three of the following after each workout. Choose 2 warm-down exercises from numbers 1-5 below and 1 exercise from numbers 6-8 (the latter are core exercises). Thus, you will perform 3 warm-down exercises after each day’s workout. Choose different exercises each following day from the list; do not do the same ones every day.

  1. Slow Punch (2 sets of 12 repetitions each) – take a 1-2 lb dumbbell in each hand and raise both hands to your chest so your hand are on about a 30-45 degree angle, palm down. Slowly punch forward with your right hand so that your palm rotates completely palm down, horizontal with the floor and with your arm extended all the way forward, but not locked at the elbow. The ‘punch’ will end up on a mirror image of yourself at about the center of the chest. Return to starting position and then, repeat. After all repetitions per set are done on your right side, do same number of reps on left side. A full set is accomplished when both arms have done the specified reps. You should do the exercise slowly and smoothly going away from the chest into the punch and return – one smooth motion.
  1. Front Split Stretch (2 sets 30 seconds each leg) – This is sometimes called a kneeling lunge stretch. Kneel on one leg ensuring front knee does not extend past your toes. You rear leg is basically in an ‘L’ shape at this point. Next, square your hips with the back knee and shin (toe of foot extended so instep is also on floor) flat on the floor. Brace your hands gently aside your front leg for balance and square your shoulders then, stretch your body forward gently into a nice stretch while holding it for about 30 seconds then, reverse position and perform movement with opposite leg forward.
  1. Bike (5 minutes)
  1. Walk (5 minutes)
  1. Deep Breathing (5-8 minutes with music)
  1. Plank (3-5 reps initially) – the plank works the entire core, as well as your upper and lower body muscles. Lie face down on your stomach. Lift your body off the floor with your forearms (keeping your elbows at 90° degrees) and your toes. Keep your body position straight as you can (without arching your back). Hold position for 30-60 seconds. If this is too easy, lift one foot in the air for added difficulty. You can also do a variation of the plank on a Swiss ball in two ways: (1) Place your forearms on the Swiss ball with your feet on the ground or, (2) Place your feet on the ball with your forearms on the ground. Keep your abs and glutes tight without arching your back. Hold the position as long as you can. For a more advanced workout, move the ball slightly from side to side.
  1. Superman’s (5 reps initially) – lie face down on a mat with your arms stretched above your head (like superman and if you are just beginning, try placing your hands behind your head). Raise your right arm and left leg about 5-6 inches off the ground (or as far as you comfortably can). Then, hold for about 3 seconds and relax – repeat with the opposite arm and leg. If you desire greater difficulty you can do the Superman with a twist. To perform it this way, at the top of the raise, twist to one side, return to the center and twist to the other side. Lower your torso to the ground to complete one rep. Hold a two- to five-pound weight for even greater difficulty.
  1. Supine March (1 rep each side initially) – this exercise is particularly good for running type athletes because it builds good core stability by working the transverse abdominis (a deep abdominal muscle that needs to hold the right amount of tension to prevent excessive movement of the pelvis and lumbar spine during running). This exercise helps to maintain the appropriate tension while the legs move freely and alternately. To begin, lie face up on the floor with both knees sharply bent and both your feet flat on the floor. Press your lower back into the floor. As you concentrate on keeping your lower back pressed to the floor, lift your right leg until your right foot comes even with your left knee. Now lower the foot back to the floor. Repeat with the left leg. Continue until you begin to feel an uncomfortable burn in your abs; usually about 20 reps per leg.

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Month 1 – Week 1

Day 1: Full Body

  1. Back Squat (6 sets of 6 reps)
  2. 5 Burpee’s

Day 2: Full Body

  1. Sit ups (4 sets of 40 reps)
  2. 10 Burpee’s

Day 3: Full Body

  1. Dips (4 sets of 10 reps)
  2. 15 Burpee’s

Day 4: Full Body

  1. Latt Pull-downs (3 sets of 8 reps)
  2. 20 Burpee’s

Day 5: Full Body

  1. Alternate Dumbbell Curls (4 sets of 4 reps)
  2. 25 Burpee’s

Month 1 – Week 2

Day 1: Full Body

  1. Front Squat (4 sets of 12 reps)
  2. 30 Burpee’s

Day 2: Full Body

  1. One Arm Dumbbell Rows (3 sets of 10 reps)
  2. 35 Burpee’s

Day 3: Full Body

  1. Triceps Extensions (your choice of type – 3 sets of 20 reps)
  2. 40 Burpee’s

Day 4: Full Body

  1. Step-ups on Bench (with or w/o weight – 4 sets of 12 reps)
  2. 45 Burpee’s

Day 5: Full Body

  1. Lunges (8 sets of 10 reps)
  2. 50 Burpee’s

Month 1 – Week 3

Day 1: Full Body

  1. Bench Press – wide grip (5 sets of 6 reps)
  2. 55 Burpee’s

Day 2: Full Body

  1. Split Squat – approach bar on rack and place bar atop shoulder as you would to do a back squat. Stand with feet apart and step with one leg backward into a lunge position. From lunge position, squat down and up until all repetitions are complete, reverse position and perform on opposite leg (4 sets of 6 reps).
  2. 60 Burpee’s

Day 3: Full Body

  1. Standing Broad Jumps – assume standing position and squat about half way down. Maintaining your balance, jump as far forward as you can from your current position, landing softly as you can on both feet. An alternate is to jump as high as you can in place, just like the completion of a Burpee (3 sets of 4 reps)
  2. 65 Burpee’s

Day 4: Full Body

  1. Bench Press – close grip (6 sets of 4 reps)
  2. 70 Burpee’s

Day 5: Full Body

  1. Bent-over Row – use straight bar (2 sets of 12 reps)
  2. 75 Burpee’s

Month 1 – Week 4

Day 1: Full Body

  1. Seated (Military) Press (6 sets of 4 reps)
  2. 80 Burpee’s

Day 2: Full Body

  1. Straight-bar curl (3 sets of 16 reps)
  2. 85 Burpee’s

Day 3: Full Body

  1. Single Pulley Row )3 sets of 10 reps each side)
  2. 90 Burpee’s

Day 4: Full Body

  1. Front Raises (4 sets of 4 reps)
  2. 95 Burpee’s

Day 5: Full Body

  1. 100 Burpee’s

Congratulations, perhaps 0.5% of the people in the country can do this!

 

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