8 Weeks to a Better Body

If you’re looking for a really good workout plan for the gym, this is one I LOVE! It’s great whether you’re a seasoned veteran stuck on auto-pilot or just starting out and need some direction.

It works on the premise that you’ve got to keep hitting your body with something different or else it gets used to common movements and doesn’t improve. So the first week is Circuit Training, second week is Heavy Sets, third week is High Reps (or Light Sets), fourth is Supersets, and then back ’round again but it takes it all up a notch.

Here’s a link to download the program:
8 Weeks to a Better Body

You’ll see that it scopes out exactly what to work on each day. For specs on what’s involved in Circuit Training, Heavy Sets, etc. there’s info at the bottom of page 3. I got all this from Muscle & Fitness Hers so rep counts are tailored for women.

Guys can use the same program, just reduce the reps as follows:
• 10-12 max for Circuit and Supersets
• 6-8 max for Heavy
• 12-15 max for High Reps

Checkboxes are there so you can chart your progress. Put this somewhere you’ll see it (ie. your fridge) and as you start checking off boxes, you’ll want to keep the flow going. Helps you stick with the program if you can see it.

For the different kinds of exercises you can do, Bodybuilding.com is a great resource with detailed instructions and videos: View Exercises Here

Click any exercise and there are tabs at the top, too, for Male and Female.

Enjoy!

ps. If you need a good gym nearby, I go to the Gold’s Gym down the road at Clocktower. I think membership right now is $29.99/month. It’s open 24 hrs a day and awesome.

Day 10 – Shoulders & Arms

I’m showing progress in every category, except for one, the In-Out bicep curl.  That same muscle in my left shoulder/back gets exhausted very quickly when doing standing curls.  I can also feel it when doing upright rows.

The dramatic growth in the orange line is chair dips.  I only went from 20 to 24.  Not nearly as impressive as the graph makes it look.

Progress Graph

I’m switching up my diet slightly. I’ve quietly been doing Eat. Stop. Eat. as part of my fat-loss program and am pleased with the results, not just fat loss but also in focus and energy levels. What it boils down to is that two days a week, my “fast days”, dinner is my only meal.  My fast days have been Tuesday and Thursdays, which also happen to be  strength training days.  I’d like to be able to take my supplements after a strength workout, but that would interfere with my fast.  So I’m going to switch my fast days to Monday and Wednesday.  Monday is a rest day and Wednesday is Plyo/Cardio, so those seem like good days for it.

Weekend Update

After a bit of slacking (I skipped Yoga and Legs/Back on Friday and Saturday) I got back into the swing of things on Sunday and did a tremendous Back & Legs routine.  During the exercise it seemed like my cardio was getting the brunt of the workout: my legs still felt strong until the very end.  It wasn’t until this morning that I realized that that wasn’t the case.  I’m feeling it every time I stand up.

The diet is good.  I’m down 2.5lbs since this time last week.  I think this is accurate, on Thursday I was down even further, but I think that was water weight.

Day 03 – Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps

Good workout this morning.  I’m putting up good numbers that are at the top end of anything I’ve ever put up in P90X before.  I’m setting a solid base that I can use for improvement.

During the videos Tony Horton is constantly pushing you to write down what you did.  He’s right.  My workout sheet has a single page for each workout type.  So next week, when I’m doing this workout again I can immediately see what I did today and I can push myself further, even if it’s a tiny bit: 2.5 more lbs or 1 more rep.  In two weeks I can look back and see that I’ve improved and push even harder to keep that momentum.

Only one sour note today: my knees are very unhappy. Thankfully, they didn’t get much action this morning.  I’ll try Plyo X again next week, but if they start complaining again I’m going to have to swap in Cardio X instead.

Near the end of the workout, one of the support muscles in the back of my left shoulder started tweaking and spasming.  From previous experience I know that that muscle would have stayed tight all day and possibly put strain on my neck as the two muscle fought.  My neck is one of my historic weak points for injury.  A lady holding the two sizes of RumbleRoller

So I pulled out my RumbleRoller and set to work.  (thanks to Tom K. who told me about RumbleRollers)  After a minute of discomfort I felt the muscle stop spasming.  So go RumbleRoller.

On a side note, completely unrelated to working out, but something that I’m excited about: my iPad 3 is in transit and should be here tomorrow 😀

Day 02 – Plyometrics

I may have to switch to Cardio X.  Or maybe just be sure to do Plyo in the morning.  I was off work today so I didn’t have to immediately workout when I woke up.  So I procrastinated until the afternoon.  My knees were not happy.  I did about 20 minutes before I had to stop 😦

Good news is that my muscles are only a little sore from yesterday.  Three months ago during P90X round 3 (I’m currently on round 4, for those counting) my triceps were agony on this day.