3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

Three weeks. That's all the time you need to get in shape. It doesn't matter whether you haven't worked out in months or you're a gym rat looking to take your fitness to the next level. Follow this total body fitness program and you'll emerge 21 days later stronger, faster, and more flexible — and looking and feeling better, too. We tapped some of the country's leading strength-and-conditioning experts to create an ideal week of training, a seven-day template that repeats three times, gradually increasing in difficulty each week. All these workouts are scalable, and most take no more than 30 minutes to complete.





This efficiency comes with a caveat: You have to commit. You may be inclined to blow off the warm-ups. Don't. They mobilize muscles so they can handle what's ahead, and they're not easy, either. Follow the instructions to the letter. If a workout calls for 16 reps, hit that exact number; if it prescribes 60 seconds of rest between sets, that's all you get; and when we tell you to take a day off, do it. If you go all-in, we guarantee you'll see results — and you'll realize that getting your fittest is a whole lot easier than you thought.

Day 8: Strength

3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

The first time you did this workout, you started with high volume (16 reps per movement on Day 1) to set in muscle memory for the exercises. Now, for your second time, go up in weight and down in reps. Dumbbells should be two to five pounds heavier, and do 12 reps per exercise — a quantity that's geared more toward building muscle mass.

WARM-UP
Perform two rounds of the following without resting.

  • Toy Soldiers: Stand holding arms straight in front of you, palms down. Step forward and kick right leg to touch left palm, knee locked. Repeat with left leg for one rep. Do 10 reps.
  • Body Weight Squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands behind head. Squat as low as you can, back straight and chest open; stand. Do 10 reps.
  • Bear Crawls: Start on all fours with hips raised. Quickly step hands and feet forward for five steps, then crawl backward for five. Repeat twice.

WORKOUT
Do 16 reps each of the following three exercises, with no rest between moves. Take a 60-second breather at the end, then repeat, for five total rounds. Use lighter dumbbells for the first two rounds, then scale up to do the remaining rounds with a weight that feels challenging but can still be handled with good form, and complete every rep.

Curl-Squat-Press
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight and palms facing body, knees soft. Curl bells to shoulders, keeping shoulder blades down and back. Immediately lower into a squat, pushing hips back, chest open — this is key — and weight in heels. Lower until hips are parallel with or even below knees, then drive through heels to stand and press dumbbells straight overhead, elbows locked. Repeat.

Walking Lunges
Stand with arms extended, a dumbbell in each hand at sides. Lunge forward with right foot, keeping torso upright, until back knee grazes floor. Press through right heel to stand; repeat on opposite leg.

Renegade Rows
Start in push-up position with a dumbbell in each hand on floor, back flat, abs engaged. Keeping hips level, pull right hand to right side, driving elbow back; lower weight to floor. Repeat on opposite side. That's one rep.

Day 9: Light Endurance

3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

Increase workout time by 10 to 15 percent from Day 2 times, as we outline below. Continue to ramp up intensity in the same gradual way.

WARM-UP
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds; repeat once.

  • High knees: Lift one knee, then the other, as high as you can, staying light on toes. Imagine doing a crunch each time you bring knee toward chest.
  • Butt kicks: Kick one heel, then the other, back toward butt; keep torso upright and shoulders down.
  • Side Shuffles: With feet wide and hands in front of you, squat low and shuffle five paces to right, then reverse.
  • Jumping Jacks: Clap hands at top and slap thighs at bottom to ensure full range of motion.

WORKOUT
Choose one of the cardio workouts below. During the first third of the session, go easy; for the second third, crank the intensity up to moderately hard; and for the final third, push it (on a scale from 1 to 10, you should be at 8 or 9). Because different activities require different metabolic demands — rowing is more taxing than cycling, for example — the amount of time you'll work varies by sport.

  • Row: 16.5-17.25 minutes
  • Swim: 16.5-17.25 minutes
  • Run: 33-34.5 minutes
  • Bike: 66-69 minutes

Day 10: Strength & Speed

3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

Add two minutes to Part A — now you're going for as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes. For the sprints, increase from 20 to 25 strides at the top of each minute, and make the first two bouts easy, the next three moderate, and the final five all-out intense.

WARM-UP
Perform two rounds of the following without resting.

  • Fold-Over Walk: Stand with knees slightly bent. Hinge forward to press palms into floor; rise back up a few inches to step feet forward, and press palms down again. Continue 30 seconds.
  • Pause Push-Ups: Start in push-up position with back flat, abs engaged. Lower until chest hovers over floor, and pause three full beats; push up to return to start. Do five reps.
  • Hands-Free Step-Ups: Stand in front of a low box or bench, hands behind head. Step up, pushing through heel to stand. Step down with same foot; switch sides. Do five reps on each leg.

WORKOUT (Part A)
In 10 minutes, do as many rounds of these moves as you can, in order, with little to no rest.

  • 5 push-ups
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 15 squats

Push-Ups
"Before you lower into that first push-up," says Danny Arnold, "tense your core to keep your spine straight." This should be a mental check you do each time you start a rep. As your chest and arms get fatigued, try varying hand position. "Do some with elbows tight to your body, some with elbows wide," he says. If the push-ups feel too easy, "try raising one leg off the ground as you lower down, then switching to raise the other leg as you push back up."

Sit-Ups
Do reps with hands behind head — this prevents your arms from swinging to propel you up — and make sure feet stay glued to floor. Breathe out as you sit up, rising all the way so back is flat and chest is up. Lower back to floor with control; don't flop.

Squats
Don't get sloppy. Squat as low as possible each time, and stand to lock hips at the top of every rep. There's no such thing as too low if chest is up and back is flat.

WORKOUT (Part B)
Every minute on the minute for 10 total minutes: Sprint 20 strides, then walk the remainder of the minute to recover. The first three sprints, go easy. Sprints four through seven should be moderately hard. Then go all out for the final three (on a scale from 1 to 10, you should be at 9 or 10).

Lean In
For high-intensity sprints, your body position should be tipped forward, forming a straight line from heel up to head.

Relax Hands
Keep palms open and light. Clenching fingers or balling hands into fists creates energy-sapping tension.



Day 11: Mobility

3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

Unlike the other workouts in this program, the goal here isn't to boost volume or intensity but simply to feel looser and better in the movements and increase your range of motion. By week two, and certainly by week three, you should notice a marked difference in how your body moves and feels during this session compared to Day 4. To ensure that happens, savor these muscle-soothing moves: Go slow, and if you notice joints or muscles opening up during a stretch, spend an extra 10 or more seconds in that pose. If you complete the entire routine in less than 20 minutes, you're moving too fast.

WARM-UP
Spend two minutes on each of the following foam-rolling moves.

  • Hamstrings and Quadriceps: Sit on a foam roller, palms on floor behind you, legs extended; roll to backs of knees. Flip over and repeat (as shown), starting at kneecaps and rolling up to hips.
  • Upper Back: Place roller under shoulder blades, hands behind head, feet on floor. Roll to neck and then back to start.
  • IT Band And Glutes: On your side, roll from knee up side of leg to hip. Shift body position to hit glutes.
  • Shins and Calves: Kneel on roller, palms flat on floor in front of you; roll from ankles to kneecaps. Flip over, and roll from backs of ankles to backs of knees.

WORKOUT
Do the following four exercises, moving slowly and deliberately through the reps, for three total rounds. Rest as needed.

Shoulder Pass-Throughs
Stand holding a PVC pipe or broomstick in front of you with a wide grip, arms straight. Keeping arms locked, raise the stick up, over your head, and behind back. Reverse the movement, bringing stick back over head to starting position. Do 10 reps.

Squat Stretch
Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes out. Squat as low as possible, pushing hips back and keeping chest up and back flat; place elbows at the inside of knees, and press palms together to push knees out. Hold 20 seconds, then stand. Do three reps.

Deep Lunge and Twist
Stand with arms in goalpost position, shoulder blades pulled down. Lunge forward on right leg, creating 90-degree angles with knees, and, keeping arms raised, rotate torso to right. Press through front heel to stand; repeat on opposite side for one rep. Do 10 reps.

Downward Dog
Start on all fours, hands and feet shoulder-width apart, hips raised as high as possible. For 10 seconds, press into palms to depress shoulders and push hips farther back. Release, coming down to hands and knees. Do three reps.

Day 12: Strength & Power

3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

For your second time on this workout, start round one of Part A with a slightly heavier weight and a slightly higher box than you did in week one. Progress both so that you finish at a heavier and higher endpoint by your third round. In Part B, your goal is to improve your total distance — the meters you covered during the entire 10 minutes — by 200 to 400 meters.

WARM-UP
Perform two rounds of the following without resting.

  • Inchworms: From standing, hinge at hips to walk hands out to a plank; do one pushup, then drop hips to floor to open chest. Return to plank, then walk hands back to feet and stand. That's one rep; perform five.
  • Thrusters: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding one 10-pound dumbbell at chest. Squat low, then stand and press dumbbell overhead. Lower weight back to chest and repeat. Do 10 reps.
  • Jump Squats to a Target: Stand under a target three feet above head. Squat low, then jump up to tap hands to target. Land soft; repeat. Do 10 reps.

WORKOUT (Part A)
Do three rounds of the following four exercises, resting 60 seconds between each round. You'll use a descending rep scheme and gradually bigger weights. For round one, do 12 repetitions of each movement at a moderate weight and use a 12-inch box for box jumps. For round two, do 10 reps at a slightly heavier weight and use an 18-inch box. In round three, it should feel difficult to finish the final reps; do eight reps with heavy weights and use a 24-inch box.

Dumbbell Overhead Swing
Hold the middle of one dumbbell with both hands, and hinge forward from hips to swing weight between legs, keeping back flat and knees slightly bent. Explosively drive hips to propel weight forward and up, continuing until dumbbell is directly overhead, arms straight, elbows locked. Reverse the movement to return to start; repeat.

Box Jump
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, facing a box or bench. Bend knees to load legs and glutes, and, using arms to propel you, drive from heels to jump up and land with both feet flat on box. Step — never jump — back down, and repeat.

Dumbbell Bench Press
Lie flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand at sides, elbows lowered and tight to body. Shoulder blades should be in constant contact with bench, with feet planted on floor, a small arch in back. Press the weights overhead, locking elbows at the top, and then slowly lower back to start.

Bent-Over Row
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended at sides with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Hinge forward at hips until back is at a 45-degree angle to floor. Keeping back flat, pull weights to sides, pause at the top, then slowly lower them back down.

WORKOUT (Part B)
Every minute for 10 minutes, row 30 seconds at a slow, steady pace, then 20 seconds at a moderately hard pace, and then all out the final 10 seconds. Keep track of the total distance covered during each minute, and try to beat that distance with each successive minute. (No rower? You can sub in any form of cardio — running, swimming, cycling.)

Fully Extend
To get the most power from every stroke, knees should be locked, torso leaning slightly back, and handle at chest.

Check Tension
This rower mimics the natural tension you'd get rowing on a lake or river. For other machines, set the resistance to 5 or 6.

Focus on Breath
Practice rhythmic breathing on the rower. Breathe out as you push back; breathe in as you return to the catch position.

Day 13: Long Endurance

3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

In week two, increase workout time by about 10 to 15 percent from Day 6. So if you're running, you should go from 45 minutes to 50 to 52 minutes (as outlined below). Intensity stays the same.

WARM-UP
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds; repeat once.

  • High knees: Lift one knee, then the other, as high as you can, staying light on toes. Imagine doing a crunch each time you bring knee toward chest.
  • Butt kicks: Kick one heel, then the other, back toward butt; keep torso upright, shoulders down.
  • Side Shuffles: With feet wide and hands in front of you, squat low and shuffle five paces to right, then reverse.
  • Jumping Jacks: Clap hands at top and slap thighs at bottom to ensure full and range of motion.

WORKOUT
Choose a cardio workout below. During the first half of the workout, gradually ramp up from an easy to moderate intensity. (On a scale from 1 to 10, you should peak at 4 or 5, tops.) Hold that intensity for the rest of the workout. Again, because different activities have different metabolic demands — swimming will tire most of us far faster than jogging will, for example — the amount of time you'll spend working varies by sport.

  • Row: 22-23 minutes
  • Swim: 22-23 minutes
  • Run: 49.5-51.75 minutes
  • Bike: 99-103.5 minutes




Day 14: Recovery

3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

This is a turning point. You should feel stronger, with more energy to start (and end) your day and to finish a workout. You may notice a difference in how you look — new muscle definition, a couple of pounds down, a hint of an abdominal muscle or two. Use these intrinsic and extrinsic motivators as fuel to pummel through the final week of this challenge.

RELATED: 3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 1

RELATED: 3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 3

3 Weeks Total Body Fitness Program- Week 2

Source: mensjournal.com

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