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In the military, the term Charlie Mike means "continue mission." But you don't have to be in the military to understand the sentiment. I call this six-week fitness plan Charlie Mike because it's your chance to create a mission to build a strong body, a fierce spirit, and a better life.
You don't need to be a competitive athlete to complete this program. All you need are guts and a willingness to commit. If you can bring those things to the table, you'll be ready for anything I can throw at you.
As women, we're often told that we're limited in our strength, our abilities, and our toughness. I say hell no to that, and I want you to feel the same way. I want you to pick up the heaviest weight you can, and I want you to do the work to make it feel lighter. It'll own you at first, but I want you to keep going until you own it.
It's time to continue your mission.
Ashley Horner's Charlie Mike Program Overview
Watch the video - 8:10
Charlie Mike is not for beginners. It's specifically designed for women who are physically and mentally ready to perform challenging lifts and hard-as-nails conditioning work. If you're not there, I don't want you to pretend you are.
I can give you the tools and be in your ear every day, but if you're just going to half-ass it or crap out a few workouts in, you may as well quit before you've even started. Don't waste my time or waste yours. Come back when you're ready, and then commit to the program, commit to me, and commit to yourself.
Charlie Mike is going to kick your ass. Some days will challenge you to go harder, faster, and further than you've ever gone before. But my expectations will remain the same: Never give up, always conquer your weaknesses, and no matter what, continue the mission.
Physically, this six-week program is going to help you get more explosive, more powerful, stronger, and leaner. When you're done, you're also going to feel like a badass. In fact, you're going to feel like a completely different person—and it will show on the outside.
Charlie Mike The Workouts
I've designed the program so that you'll train for two days and then take a rest day. Trust me—after the second day, you're probably going to need a break. However, if you feel like you want to train for 4-5 days and then take a 2-3 day break, you can do that too. Work the program into your lifestyle and schedule however you can.
It's important to start the program by testing your one-rep max in the big lifts and in a timed run and row. You need to know your starting point so you can measure improvements. Throughout the program, you'll be lifting using percentages of that max, so take that first week of testing seriously.
Every day, you'll start with a heavy barbell lift. You'll perform either back squats, front squats, deadlifts, push-presses, or bench presses. Your form needs to be on point, so watch the exercise database how-to videos if you're unsure how to properly execute a lift. These are basic, core lifts that should be a part of every program. They're great whole-body strengtheners and athleticism builders, and they'll make you more aware of how your body moves as a unit.
After your big lift, you'll perform conditioning circuits. You'll never do the same circuit twice, so each day will feel completely different, but they should all be fast, hard, and intense.
At the beginning of this program, you may feel like you're moving very slowly through these circuits. You may struggle to transition and feel comfortable with the exercises. Keep moving forward—I promise you'll get better. As you gain experience and gain confidence in yourself and your abilities, those movements will become second nature, and those transition times will go down.
At the end of six weeks, you'll be able to do a lot of work in a short amount of time.
Charlie Mike The Weekly Missions
Each week, you'll be given a mission to complete. These weekly missions all work together to help you complete your overarching personal mission, whatever it is. Each Monday, I'll provide a short but intense motivational video to help you through it.
Week 1 Mission Try
Your mission for Week 1 is to try to complete every exercise, every set, and every rep. You may be intimidated, you may be afraid, but if you can find the courage to complete the workout each day of Week 1, you'll be on the right track to showing the world just how amazing you really are.
Week 2 Mission Believe
During Week 2, I will ask you to do something you may not have done before: Believe in yourself. You've already been through a week of training, so you know what you can look forward to. Now, it's time to believe that you can do anything you put your mind to.
Week 3 Mission Commit
Week 3 is a notorious dropping-off point for most people. But you're going to do the opposite, and commit to completing. You're going to get through the week and know that you're going to make it to the end standing tall.
Week 4 Mission Conquer
This week, I want you to conquer your fears. Is there an exercise you've been skipping? Have you been slacking on your big lifts or going easy when you know you could push it? Push past your weaknesses and limitations. Conquer.
Week 5 Mission Earn it
This week, ask yourself this question: "What else can I do?" If you want to make everyone in the gym believe you're the badass you already know you are, you have to earn it. Think you can just slide through the final two weeks? No way. If you want to complete your mission, you need to earn the right to do so.
Week 6 Mission Prove it
If you've been doing the lifts and completing the conditioning circuits as prescribed in the program, you're ready. You're ready to prove to the world—and more importantly, to yourself—just how incredible you are. Run faster, row harder, and lift heavier than you ever have.
You're going to be asked to do things you may not know how to do. I'm telling you right now to try. I've provided alternative exercises for all the complex or difficult movements, but those alternatives don't give you a hall pass.
Use this program as an opportunity to learn new skills. Use it as an opportunity to do your own research and determine what type of athlete you'd like to be. Grab an empty barbell or a PVC pipe and practice the snatch or clean and jerk. Watch how-to videos and ask questions in the comments section.
In order to get strong enough to conquer this program, you will have to work on your weaknesses. I do things I'm uncomfortable doing all the time. But, by facing my fears and trying, I make myself better.
The Challenge of Recovery
During the next six weeks, you'll train as hard as you can. In order for that training to work to its full effectiveness, you will need to prioritize your recovery. That means you need to eat well, eat often, and drink a lot of water.
I'm not telling you to count calories or eat specific types of food. Honestly, I don't want you to feel obsessed with food or anxious about what you're eating. However, I do want you to feed your body with whole, clean food—and enough of it. Your body is a machine. Don't fuel it with sugary snacks, chips, and soda. Give yourself the best fuel so you can perform your best each day.
Although hydration is often overlooked, I want you to pay attention to how much water you drink. I drink a gallon of water each day, but that doesn't mean you have to. I just want you to make a conscious effort to drink more water. It's crucial for your body to function at its best, particularly when you're training hard.
Tracking Your Workouts
This program includes a workout tracker that's made specifically for Charlie Mike. In order to gauge your progress and know your times and weights from previous weeks, it's essential that you record how you performed after every workout.
Each time you train, write down how much weight you used for the big lift, how much weight you used for the exercises in the circuit, and how long it took you to perform each circuit. On those long endurance days, keep track of how far you went and how long it took you.
This training log will also serve as a memory book. When you're done with the trainer, you'll be able to look back and see just how far you've come!
The Mission Starts Now
Make sure to read the nutrition and supplementation overview before you begin the program.
Then, it's time to jump into what I'm confident will be a transformative experience that teaches you a lot about yourself. You never know how far you can go or how high you can reach. I'm here to say you are capable of becoming whoever the hell you want to be!