30 Days Out: Craig Capurso's Extreme Cut Trainer, Training Overview
30 Days Out includes multiple training techniques like Tabata, HIIT, and HVT to get you absolutely shredded in only one month. Get the skinny here!
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People often ask me how to get ready for an event in one month. They don't have 12 or 16 weeks to prepare; often, they only have 30 days to dial it in. My answer for them is always Super 30. Super 30 is the training protocol I use to get lean in a short amount of time. I think it's the best approach for an extreme cut, and it's what we're going to follow together throughout 30 Days Out.
30 days out Training Overview
Watch The Video - 11:34
Lifting Techniques To Dial It In
Super 30 encompasses a lot of different training philosophies. People often get hung up on one idea and one way to do something; that's not the motto of this trainer. We're going to use various techniques to minimize your time in the gym and maximize your results.
We'll use heavy volume training (HVT) to push the intensity and the weight. HVT is built on multiple sets of low reps with heavy iron. The workouts in 30 Days Out each include one exercise at 10 sets of 3 reps. You're going to select a weight heavy enough to cause you to fail at 3 reps—not 4 or 5 reps, but 3—and perform 10 sets of heavy triples. Use a good warm-up to build up to the heavy weight.
Some of the movements prescribed for these HVT sets are high-skill. If you're uncomfortable or unfamiliar with a hang clean and press, or a rack pull, then start with a light weight and work up. Safety is more important than the weight you use. You can also use alternative exercises like a push press or strict press from the rack instead of a hang clean and press, or a sumo deadlift or an elevated trap bar deadlift for the rack pull.
Using the same weight for all 30 reps of your HVT work is pretty unlikely. I want you to drop weight if you start failing at 1 or 2 reps. The point of this program is for you to hit all the reps, so drop the weight as you progress through the 10 sets if you begin to fail before 3 solid reps.
Trisets, pounds per rep, cluster sets
On auxiliary days, we're going to employ trisets by arranging three exercises together with no rest between sets. Throughout 30 Days Out, you'll encounter trisets of biceps, triceps, and calves. You'll hit each muscle group one after another and perform each triset three times.
Some of your trisets involve what I call "pound per rep." When you're doing biceps curls and triceps extensions, for example, you'll do as many reps as the amount of weight you select. So, if you pick up 30-pound dumbbells, then you're going to do 30 repetitions. During my workouts, I usually do 40-50 pounds paired with 40-50 reps.
When you move into the calves exercise of certain trisets, you're going to perform what I call "cluster sets." Cluster sets are similar to rest-pause sets, except you perform the exercise for as many reps as you can in one minute. If you can go the whole set without resting, then you're not going heavy enough. In short: You'll utilize as much weight as you can until you fail, then you'll take a short rest and get right back at it for a full minute.
We're going to use "ascending reps" on specific exercises. Ascending reps call for 30 reps per arm or leg in one set. During the set, you'll alternate sides while increasing the number of reps. You'll do 2 reps with the right arm, 2 with the left, 4 reps with the right, 4 with the left, and keep adding 2 reps per side until you hit 10 reps. In other words, ascending rep sets look like this: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 reps per side, for a total of 30 reps for each side.
The backbone of Super 30 training is precise timing. I'm not giving you more than 30 seconds of rest between each set. In all honesty, I don't trust you enough to work out as hard as you possibly can, so I've eliminated any possibility of going through the motions. You get 30 seconds of rest. That's it. It makes the workouts really difficult, I know. Get through them and get on with your life.
Cardio For Cuts
30 Days Out steady-state cardio options
- Treadmill incline walk
- ARC trainer
- Treadmill jog
- Stationary bike
We'll do a couple different types of cardio in 30 Days Out. Each day and week will vary in the amount and type of cardio you perform.
Low-intensity steady-state cardio (LISS) is the most basic form of cardio. Basically, you're going to hit a machine, like the treadmill or elliptical, and train at a relatively low intensity for an extended period of time.
We'll start by doing 30 minutes of LISS throughout week one, and then it will taper down by the end of the month. I programmed the cardio training this way because I want to make sure that you aren't jumping into high-intensity intervals without building your endurance first.
30 Days Out Tabata options
- Treadmill sprint
- Jump rope
- Speed row
- Kettlebell swing
- High knees
- Shuttle run
- Speed lunge
- Side-to-side box shuffle
- Jump squat
- Stair sprint
- Mountain climber
The Tabata protocol lasts four minutes. You're going to do 8 sets of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of 30 seconds per set. Your work periods should be all-out effort. We'll use the Tabata format to do abs, agility, and high-intensity interval-training (HIIT).
Each week during the major muscle group workouts, we'll increase the amount of Tabata rounds we do after weight training. We'll vary the type of movements we do, as well. During week one, try to stick to tier one exercises. As you progress through each week, you can include exercises from tiers two and three.
When we're training our auxiliary muscle groups, you won't have to worry about doing Tabata for cardio. We'll use Tabata for abs and follow those workouts with a spot of steady-state cardio.
Super 30 Training breaks the body down into two main divisions, major muscle groups and auxiliary muscle groups, for a total of six workouts per week. I consider the major muscle groups to be your chest, back, shoulders, and legs. The auxiliary groups are biceps, triceps, and calves. Here's how each group is split per week:
Monday: Chest and cardio
Tuesday: Back and cardio
Wednesday: Biceps, triceps, calves, and cardio
Thursday: Legs and cardio
Friday: Shoulders and cardio
Saturday: Biceps, triceps, calves, and cardio
I'm making a special note about week three because it's a pivotal point in the program. If you follow any traditional trainer, you know that week three is when people either jump off the wagon or they hunker down and stick to the plan.
When you hit week three, you'll notice a lot of psychological things happening. You'll wonder what you just did for the last 14 days, how your body is responding, and whether you're on track. There may be a lot of second-guessing going on in your head. If you've stuck to the program, week three should be the period of the most change.
Week three is tough too because that's when you're going to start noticing your calorie deficit. It's going to be up to you to hold yourself accountable and bring the intensity to every gym session. If you hit week three hard, you'll be set up for even greater results at the end of week four.
I know that there's another section just for nutrition, but I have to make an important note about it right now. You're only spending one hour in the gym. If you're not spending the other 23 hours focusing on your nutrition, you're going to fail. You must watch the nutrition video before you even think about clicking on day one.
Ninety percent of a successful cut is nutrition. Make it a priority.