The gym can be a sanctuary at any time, but during a hard winter, its redemptive power is even greater than normal. This is the season to push big weight, leave yourself in a sweaty heap, and walk out into the chill knowing you've done a hard day's work and then some.
Ashley Horner's Charlie Mike 6-Week Fitness Plan is one of our most popular plans among women for the simple reason that it doesn't hold back. In just one heavy, primary movement per day and two three-movement circuits, she'll give your body a loud-and-clear message to start building strength, muscle, endurance, and overall fortitude.
This is barebones training at is finest. Pencil this workout into your schedule for the next couple of weeks, and if you like it as much as we think you will, join Bodybuilding.com All Access to follow the entire six-week Charlie Mike protocol!
Today's workout starts off with back squats, arguably the best exercise to target all the major muscle groups in the lower body. You'll do 3 sets of 8, so pick a weight that has you struggling slightly—not dangerously— for the last rep or two of each set.
Don't take that as permission to do pathetic half-reps, though. For each rep, drop down low enough that your thighs are at parallel (if not lower) to the floor at the bottom of the movement. Think about pressing through your heels and squeezing your glutes as you return to the starting position. By the second set, your glutes should feel like they're on fire!
If it helps you attain depth with good spinal position, put small plates, like 2.5-pounders, under your heels. Alternately, you can invest in some squat shoes, but in most cases those are really only necessary if you're going to be doing tons of heavy squatting or Olympic lifts.
Once you finish your squats, move right into your circuits. Try to complete your 200-meter rows and burpees as fast as possible. For the other exercises, try to move quickly through them, but don't go so fast that you compromise form. Go heavy with the weight, but not so heavy you can't complete the prescribed number of reps.
Rest 5-10 minutes between each circuit, but keep the rest periods between rounds as short as possible.