Simple & Effective Program - Free
With the new year coming close, we will soon see many people make a goal of building a "new me." As this transition occurs, many will have a large focus of getting into a fitness routine and working on their physical transformation.
My own training is built very similar to this program - but I've been consistent for a decade (give yourself time)!
One hurdle to this is often having a realistic and appropriate fitness program for their current level. From my experience, most people fail because they cannot sustain what they set out with and are unable to build a consistent habit of this. While this has been discussed in the past on this site, it is important to give precedence as to why this free program is being offered.
Legal Disclaimer - before beginning any fitness program, make sure you are medically fit to do so. If you decide to begin this program, you are choosing to do so with your own understanding of the risk associated with exercise and life in general.
Our aspiration with offering this program is to help more people have a better starting place, and more appropriate progression over time for people. Whether you are a complete novice or a more advanced trainee but has taken some time away and needs to get back into things, this program will offer a great option.
Within the google sheet you'll find 3 levels of training programs - level 1, 2, 3 (no fancy names here) - that allow for varying starting points. Level 1 has more foundational exercises people should learn that will have high transfer to many other exercises. Level 2 is a progression of these, with level 3 being a progression off level 2, plus some added stimulus like drop sets. Each training program is set up with 3 resistance training days per week, where each training session should last anywhere from 40-60 minutes depending upon your experience and attention to the program/videos to learn. Each program has an accompanying video playlist that has a video demonstration with voice over for EVERY EXERCISE - please watch these before going to the gym and use them as a reference when needed.
In each program there is an undulation (change) in reps through the week to help stimulate the best results possible. Each day consists of total body training to help maximize results. The program is mostly set up in superset format (two exercises done back and forth) to help get the most work done in a time period. This helps to not only get more work done and build more muscle, but also allows you to burn more calories in that same time period.
The program has "RTF" prescribed for most of it where this indicates the reps till failure for an exercise. What this means is that if a set is prescribed for 8 reps and has a 2 RTF, you use a weight you could have done 10 reps with, but stopped at 8. Many people limit their total volume and work by going too hard too fast and this allows them to get more work done in the time. Each week the intensity increases (closer to failure) so that you can use more weight each week and stimulate more muscle growth and more calorie burn. Week 4 of every level is a deload where you can recover before moving on.
The program does not need to be done in the format of level 1 -> level 2 -> level 3. While you are welcome to do so, it can be done in anyway you'd like. Some people may start with level 2, some may start with level 3. You are also able to repeat a level if you don't quite feel ready to jump up to the next one just yet.
On the days not resistance training, feel free to either rest or do some low intensity cardio. This is advised for people to get used to training 3 days a week with full body exercise and progressively harder training. Resistance training can offer better results for weight loss in the long run, that is why its focused on so much in this program. If you'd like to do a bit of cardio, just add it in after your normal training or on the off days, but keep it relatively easy instead of getting really aggressive.
Start off slow and controlled - focus on long term sustainability, not a fast drop that then returns when you cannot sustain it!
In addition to the different levels of training programs in the google sheet, you'll also find a few other sheets: Goal & Review, Supplementation, Grocery List, and Nutrition Habit List.
Goal & Review - this can be used to help write out goals for each block and then reflect upon how it went when you complete the block.
Supplementation - this wouldn't be a fitness program without discussion of supplements! Most are B.S. and a waste of your money, in this we discuss what the evidence says in regards to the best backed supplements that are worth your money.
Grocery list - this can be used to help structure your shopping for the week to maximize your nutrition to support your gym efforts.
Nutrition habit list - Habits make things easier. Habits should be made progressively and with effort. Focus on one a week at most - such as is outlined in the list. Going slow and taking time to work your way to building legitimate habits will teach you long term suitability and how to be successful in the long term with nutrition.
If you'd like to use the program, just download your own copy of the google sheet. If you'd like to share it with your friends, go ahead! Just please give us credit for making it.