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Over the years I've seen many, many training programs go in and out of style. Each of them offered an advantage, if it helped a sedentary person get up and move. Despite the popularity of some "flash in the pan" fitness fads, I have a recommendation that will never go out of style. It worked 50 years ago, it works today, and it will work 50 years from now. It's called strength training. It worked for me as a young man, and it's worked for me at 50 years old. I guarantee it will work for you.
Effective strength training is not complicated. It's not easy, but it's not complicated. It's exactly what you need to transform from an achy, tired person into one that radiates health and vitality.
That's why the Back to Fit program is based on basic exercises and a proven methodology that will make your muscles stronger, help you burn fat faster, improve your cardiovascular health, and increase your natural energy levels.
It's important to remember that you won't ever return to the body you had in your 20s. Even if you achieve astounding results, you'll build a body that's unique to your current age. No matter that age, you can increase your health, strength, and aesthetics—whether you're in your 40s, 50s, or 60s. I want you to be as good as you can be right now.
BACK TO Training
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Back To Results
To reap these positive benefits, you only need to put in 25 minutes of intense effort six days per week. That's it. You don't need fancy machines or hours of time to get a good, effective workout. What matters is quality, not quantity or complexity.
Working for such a short amount of time, however, means that you'll have to train with intensity. Muscles grow when they adapt to a new stimulus. In order to create that stimulus, you need to overload your muscles beyond their usual capacity. If you're in the habit of working out in your comfort zone, you won't create any new stimulus. So, for the next 12 weeks, you'll need to dedicate yourself to working hard and pushing yourself past your usual intensity level.
Remember, though, that it's impossible to make consistent, forward progress if you try to get all of your results in the gym. That's just not how it works. Fitness is achieved through the combination of nutrition, exercise, and the right mindset. You need all three aspects working in unison to build a better you, so don't forget to watch all the overview videos before you get started!
Back To Fit Split
The Back to Fit training program is very simple. You'll be doing upper-body, lower-body, and cardio workouts throughout the week.
- Monday: Upper-body workout
- Tuesday: Cardio
- Wednesday: Lower-body workout
- Thursday: Upper-body workout
- Friday: Cardio
- Saturday: Lower-body workout
- Sunday: Rest
You'll notice that there is no "ab" day or workout. Doing free-weight exercises provides a lot of core work because the abs and lower back are under tension throughout every training session. Doing extra sit-ups or crunches isn't necessary. If you do the workouts and follow the nutrition plan, you'll see a reduction in your waist measurement without any specific abdominal work.
Back To Fit Training Basics
In this program, you'll be lifting weights at intense intervals. Intervals are periods of work followed by periods of rest. In general, you'll be working for about 3-5 minutes and resting for 2 minutes. Intense interval training has been suggested to double, or even triple, the amount of fat the body burns compared to an hour or more of moderate-intensity exercise.
Incline Chest Press
Another powerful benefit of intense interval training is that it increases endorphin and serotonin levels, boosts energy, and elevates mood.
Throughout this program, you'll do 5 exercises for 10 reps in a circuit for every workout, although the exercises will change throughout the program. In other words, you'll do every exercise consecutively, taking a short break only when you're moving from one exercise to the other. When you've completed the 10th rep of the fifth exercise, you'll rest for 2 minutes.
Here's an example:
Stick to the same weight for all five sets. By the fifth set, you'll definitely feel it.
Don't grab dumbbells that are so heavy you can't complete the reps, but select a weight that's challenging enough that the last 2-3 reps are pretty tough. By the last circuit, the last few reps should be really tough.
As you get stronger, the weight will start to feel lighter. That's when you should increase the weight on all of your lifts. Remember what I said about creating new stimuli for your muscles? If you don't increase the weight, then you're just sticking to that comfort zone I warned you about.
Lift and lower the weight slowly and with control. Spend 1-2 seconds on both the lifting and lowering portions of the lifts. Breathe out through your mouth during exertion.
Building A Workout
Your workouts for the next 12 weeks have already been programmed for you. However, if you'd like to create your own workouts, you can. You can choose any five exercises you'd like for each circuit.
However, in order to maintain balance and ensure that you're hitting all of your muscle groups evenly, follow these programming suggestions:
- 1 chest exercise
- 1 back exercise
- 1 shoulder exercise
- 1 biceps exercise
- 1 triceps exercise
- 2 hamstring/glute exercises
- 2 quadriceps exercises
- 1 calf exercise
Back To Fit Cardio
Back to Fit aerobic training works in almost exactly the same way the strength-training workouts do. You'll do 5 circuits of 3 exercises for a total of 5 rounds. In all, you'll work for 25 minutes.
You can do the cardio workouts using a spin bike, elliptical trainer, stair climber, or treadmill, or you can even go outdoors. The choices are endless, but the key is to follow this interval pattern:
So, after you've completed your one minute of intense effort, you'll return to mild intensity work for two minutes, then go through the cycle again. There is no complete "resting" period during this workout. The time you spend working at a mild intensity should provide you with enough recovery time to do the next three minutes at the proper pace.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, it might be tempting to do more cardio than I've prescribed. Trust me when I say that it's unnecessary. The combination of interval strength with interval cardio workouts will be enough to stimulate your metabolism and build muscle so you can effectively burn fat throughout the day.
Before You Go Back
Before you dive into your workouts and start Day 1, check out the other overview videos, browse some of the healthy recipes, set up a free BodySpace account to track your workouts and progress, and get mentally ready to embrace the new you!