I’m going to resist the New Year New You refrain.  

Well, whoops, I did it again.

The amount of people who pick up the New Year fitness habit and then in a month, poof, it is gone. The advice that Rome wasn’t built in a day only goes so far.

It’s a well-worn cliché that I bring out every year, but that doesn’t help the people who really need to get healthy. It’s only natural to have unrealistic expectations when beginning any exercise program. Crap, I’ve had plenty of them, especially when ripping workouts out of men’s magazines, hoping to look like the guy on the cover.  

But it never worked out that way.

Before getting into the foolproof workout below, here are your New Year workout expectations. To build the habit, that’s it. This workout will hopefully lay the foundation for a healthier, stronger, and sexier you.

How will this be done? The foolproof workout will be built around the basics. There is a time for workout complexity, but it is best to keep it simple when creating a new workout habit. Keeping it simple means it will be built around the basics.

Basics don’t mean easy because working out does not tickle, but following the foolproof workout will be simple.

Foolproof Workout Basics

The basics have worked since Milo picked up a bull daily to get stronger. But the basics don’t sell well—complicated training and nutrition plans with all the bells and whistles do. Not that there isn’t a time or a place for complex things, just not when you are starting to build the habit.  

Dr. Allan Bacon, Ph.D., an experienced online physique and nutrition coach, thinks you should keep the basics as the main thing.

“The main things to focus on for a beginner are mastering the basics, building a foundation of strength, and establishing a consistent training routine that will allow long-term progress.”

But what are the movement basics? The basics are fundamental human movements, daily movements practiced since birth.

Sitting down and getting back up: Squats.

Bending over to pick something up: Hinging.

Shutting a heavy door behind you: Pulling.

Closing the fridge door in front of you: Pushing.

Walking, running, lunging, carrying groceries, or climbing stairs: Carries and Locomotion.

Many people don’t see the connection between lifting weights and improving their quality of life. What they see is the vanity aspect. Lifting weights will give you muscles you’ll see in the mirror, and that’s great. But as you’ll see from the list above, getting stronger in the gym directly affects your daily activities.

When vanity and practicality meet, the magic happens, and that’s what the foolproof workout is all about. And when you are low on motivation and get up and go, like everyone is, here is an excellent quote from the late great George A Sheehan, which is helpful for motivation but may not be so inspirational.

“Exercise is done against one’s wishes and maintained only because the alternative is worse.”

Isn’t that great? It’s going up my fridge as I type.

Foolproof Workout Instructions

This workout will be set up in a circuit fashion, one exercise after the other, with minimal rest (around 30 seconds) between exercises. Performing the training in a circuit will give you plenty of rest before you get to the same exercise again, helping to keep good form and lessen fatigue.

After completing one circuit, rest from 90 seconds to two minutes before repeating.

The workout is split into Workout A and Workout B, and you will alternate between the two workouts. Ideally, you’ll do each workout once but not more than twice, with three workouts weekly being the sweet spot. Each exercise will be performed three to four times, with reps (unless specified)  between six and 12.

I would start with a weight you can do six to eight times, keep the same weight, and add a repetition when doing the same workout later. When you reach 12 reps, and it feels easy, go up five to 10 pounds, start at six to eight reps, and start the process again. Ideally, each workout is done 12 times for 24 workouts, which will take between eight and 12 weeks.

Each exercise in the circuit will have a progression to make it harder and a regression when the programmed exercise feels difficult or causes you pain. Have you got it? Good; if not, you can message me here with any questions.

Foolproof Workout

Each exercise will be hyperlinked with a video, and you can either copy and paste this workout or upload a PDF here. Download a workout sheet here if you need somewhere to record your sets and reps.

Workout A

1A. Goblet Box Squat

Progression: Goblet squat  Regression: Bodyweight Box Squat 12 reps

1B. Landmine Unilateral Press

Progression: Half Kneeling Landmine Press Regression: Unilateral Dumbbell Floor Press

1C. Tall Kneeling Band Pull apart (15- 25 reps)

Progression: Half Kneeling Band Pull apart  Regression: Standing Band Pull Apart

1D. Single Leg Hip Extension 10-12 reps per leg

Progression: Weighted Single Leg Hip Extension Regression: BW Hip extension 15-20 reps

1E. Dumbbell Farmers Carry (25-50%  of your BW in each hand) 40-100 yards.

Workout B

1A. Goblet Split Squat

Progression: Goblet Elevated Split Squat Regression: Assisted Split Squat 10-12 reps

1B.  Dumbbell Bench Press

Progression: Unilateral Dumbbell Bench Press Regression: Machine Chest Press

1C. Single Arm Dumbbell Row

Progression: Dumbbell Three Point Row Regression: Band/Cable Single Arm Row

1D. Bodyweight Hip Thrust 12-15 reps.

Progression: Weighed Hip Thrust Regression: BW Hip extension 15-20 reps

1E. Dumbbell Suitcase Carry (25-50%  of your BW in one hand) 40-100 yards.

Wrapping Up

The foolproof workout will set the foundation for your health and fitness success and hopefully set you on a path for lifelong activity. Resistance training is not only for sexiness but also for making your life easier. This is the year you don’t give up in February and crush all your wellness goals.

I believe in you and the foolproof workout. Now, go and get it.

Email: shanemcleantraining@gmail.com

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