Sunday, December 2, 2012

Workout Wednesdays

As I train for my half marathon in January  I've been very cognizant of not losing too much hard earned muscle mass.  With 3 Tough Mudders on the schedule for 2013, I can't afford to be weak in order to make my run easier.  That being said, less weight is less impact on my joints, particularly my knees and less weight will make the 13.1 miles easier (and actually, the Tough Mudder too!).  So while my cardio is through the roof right now doing the necessary training for completing a half, I've been keeping my muscle mass up with body weight exercises exclusively through November.  Now heading into December I am using another technique to keep muscles lean and strong without bulking up.  I call it the Co Plan (long story short, Co is my nickname for my husband and this is his workout recommendation for lean muscle mass).  It's also the plan that several of my personal training clients* are doing right now and if you're looking for lean muscles and weight loss, I totally recommend trying it.

The Co Plan:


These exercises are done one right after the other (30s or less rest time between) and the reps are higher.  Choose a lighter weight that allows you to complete all the reps but remember, if the last rep is easy, you didn’t go hard enough! Challenge yourself!  The breakdown for the reps is 30 reps in your first set, 25 reps in the second set and 15 reps in the last set.  The last circuit is the shortest at only 15 reps per exercise and I personally like to use that one to try out a heavier weight – you’ll be amazed at what you can do and you’ll really exhaust the muscle since this is at the end of the workout.  Exhausted muscles grow!

Between sets, rest 3-5 minutes as necessary.  There is no specific ab day included because if you’re engaging your core all the time, as you should be, you don’t really need to train abs but if you’re like me and like a challenge, you can do ab exercises in the rest periods between the circuits.


Day 1 – Arms and Cardio
3 sets – 30/25/15
Bicep curl
Tricep pull down
Reverse bicep curl
Dips (on bench or full dips if you can)
Push-ups (full ones preferably, half/lady’s only whenNEEDED)
40m Steady State Cardio

Day 2 – Glutes, Legs and Cardio
3 sets – 30/25/15
Single leg deadlifts
Squats (hip width leg stance)
Leg curl
Walking lunges
Leg extension
30m HIIT Sprints (30s full out, 30s rest)

Day 3 – Chest, Back and Cardio
3 sets – 30/25/15
Bench chest press
Lat pull down (wide grip)
Chest flye
Delt flye
Push ups
20m HIIT cardio (cardio of your choice, 30s full out, 30srecovery)

Day 4 – your choice
Get your heart elevated with something of yoru choice for atleast 60m – this can be yoga as long as it’s power yoga, brisk walking,swimming, biking, hiking etc

Day 5 – Glutes and Cardio
3 sets – 30/25/15
Deadlifts
Bridge hip lift
Squats (weighted)
Jump squats
20m HIITS sprints, 20m steady state (after HIIT)

Day 6 – Upper Body and Cardio
3 sets – 30/25/15
Push Ups
Incline Chest Press
Standing or seated row
Tricep kickback
Bicep curl
15m HIIT cardio, 15m steady state

This is exactly what I am doing all of December, except I am focusing almost all my cardio on running.  Unless you're training for a long run, I do not recommend focusing so much on one type of cardio because it's more likely to lead to burn out and injuries.

Give this program a try and comment on what you think? Do you like it or hate it? Did you get results?  How are you training this days?

*I am studying personal training and nutrition and am not yet currently certified in either.  All nutrition and personal training advice should be taken as informational only and you should always check with your doctor before embarking on any training or nutrition program. 

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