The Quick-Start, No-Bull Workout


Start 2015 with This Workout …and Be In the Best Shape of Your Life by Summer!

Here’s a serious 7-day training plan that will jump-start your muscle-building, fat-burning and strength-gaining progress like never before! (For Intermediate-to Advanced-level trainers)

Let’s face it, anyone can make a resolution. Sometimes it’s the post-party hangover talking, but people make themselves big promises: They’ll start eating healthy. They’ll lose pounds of fat. They’ll build the strong, muscular body they always wanted.

Then mid-January arrives. Health clubs across the country, just two weeks before filled to capacity, start to empty out. By February, it’s mostly back to the regulars, who never abandoned their posts — plus a few new faces whose steely determination has kept them from sliding backward into the abyss of broken resolutions.

But what about those who take training seriously, no matter what new digits we find atop the calendar? We want to kick things into high gear too, and since we have plenty of experience under our belts (though perhaps a couple extra holiday pounds), we can handle a training program that’s more challenging than your typical Start-the-New-Year-Off-Right plan.

Enter the Inbox Fitness approach to meeting 2015 head-on. How about an intense week-long training plan that tests your mettle, jolts you past any workout rut you might currently find yourself in, and jams your progress into overdrive?

The following plan, as you’ve now been warned, is far from easy. It’s a challenging concoction of high-impact power movements, CrossFit exercises and time-tested muscle-building fare. And they all come with a twist — variations in rep speed and a timing element that throws out the typical “sets and reps” approach.

Intrigued? Then try our workout plan. It’s worthy of a New Year’s Resolution made by all of you who embrace fitness … not as merely a passing thought at the turn of every year, but a 24/7, 365-day commitment.

Instructions: Do the following three workouts on three consecutive days, then take one day of rest and repeat. On all three days, perform three sets of each exercise listed, or two sets if it’s a “super-slow” series.

So, for instance, on the first day, you’ll do three 45-second sets of bent-over rows, choosing a weight that will lead to failure by the end of that timeframe. (This will admittedly take some trial and error; if you fail sooner, drop the weight and continue). During the third 30-second rest period, you’ll quickly move on to the next exercise, narrow-grip pulldowns.

In addition to the 30-minute workout time, you should also do a 5-10 minute warm-up before and 5-10 minute cool-down after, on the cardio machine of your choice. Just make sure to break a sweat — a warm-up is not a waiting-period, it is work.

The “speed” component tells you how fast to perform your reps. “Explosive” means a strong, fast move on the “up” phase, followed by a standard 2-to-4 second negative. “Standard” style is 2-3 seconds on the concentric (lifting) portion of the rep, and 2-4 on the eccentric (i.e., negative). And “super-slow” means you want to take 8-10 seconds on the concentric phase and 4-6 seconds on the descent. A note: While you’ll watch the time, always finish the last rep you’ve started before terminating a set. Measure your progress by how much weight you can handle with perfect form.

As for cardio, add a long run (3 miles or more) on at least two days, and 30-45 minutes of interval training (all-out sprints interspersed with slower speeds) on three.

Because this week-long training protocol is physically and psychologically intensive, you won’t want to do it week after week, or you may quickly find yourself in an overtrained state. Instead, depending on your fitness level, you may want to follow this with a lighter week of cardio workouts and toned-back weight training sessions before returning to your regular routine. But when you do return to your usual program, you will be tougher, stronger, leaner and, most certainly, resolved!

Day 1Upper Body
Exercise Work / Rest (Seconds) Speed
Bent-Over Barbell Row 45/30 Standard
Narrow-Grip Pulldown to Front 30/30 Explosive
Hammer-Strength Row 60/30 Super-Slow
Smith-Machine Incline Press 30/30 Explosive
Standing Barbell Press 30/30 Explosive
EZ-Bar Upright Row 45/30 Standard
Cable Crossover 60/30 Super-Slow
Close-Grip Bench Press 30/30 Explosive
Standing Barbell Curl 45/30 Standard
Total Time: 29.25 minutes
Day 2Lower Body
Exercise Work / Rest (Seconds) Speed
Walking Dumbbell Lunge 45/30 Standard
Barbell Squat 30/30 Explosive
Hack Squat 30/30 Explosive
Leg Extension 60/30 Super-Slow
Romanian Deadlift 45/30 Standard
Kettlebell Swing* 30/30 Explosive
Burpees* 45/30 Standard
Box Jumps* 30/30 Explosive
Standing Calf Raise 60/30 Super-Slow
Total Time: 29.25 minutes
Day 3Power & Core
Exercise Work / Rest (Seconds) Speed
Hang Clean* 30/30 Explosive
Deadlift 45/30 Standard
Hang Power Snatch* 30/30 Explosive
Kipping Pull-Up* 30/30 Explosive
V-Up 45/30 Standard
Hanging Leg Raise 45/30 Standard
Decline Twisting Crunch with Medicine Ball 45/30 Standard
Ab Crunch Machine 60/30 Super-Slow
Back Extension 60/30 Super-Slow
Total Time: 30.00 minutes

* The starred exercises are meant to be Cross Fitness/WOD-style; for a primer on how to perform them, check out

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