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The Total-body Comeback Workout Plan | Nick Rana

The Total-body Comeback Workout Plan | Nick Rana

You’ve already decided to make this year yours. If you want to fit into those new clothes—and have the confidence and health to be your best—you need to get on a workout regimen. This program builds muscle and burns fat, whether you’re brand-new to fitness or just returning after a hiatus.

How it Works

Sending you into the gym for the first time (or first in a long time) with just a list of exercises is asking for trouble. Since we can’t be there to spot potential muscle imbalances or restrictions to your flexibility, we’ve come up with a warmup that loosens tight areas and prepares you to lift heavy weights properly. Do it before each session—no excuses—to make sure you get the most out of it.
Once you’ve warmed up, you’ll perform a strength-training routine for the whole body. Note the tempo, or rep speed, assigned to the exercises. Controlling reps builds coordination and conditioning, and helps you develop proper form. Establish good habits now, and you’ll be bigger and leaner—and better—in no time.

Directions

Perform each of the three workouts once a week with at least one rest day in between. When exercises are marked “A” and “B,” do a set of A, rest, then B, rest again, then repeat. Note that a specific warmup has been provided for you on this page. Use the same one before each of the workouts.
Note: Many exercises are assigned a tempo. The first digit is the time, in seconds, you should take to lower the weight; the second is the time you should pause in the bottom position; the third digit to the lifting portion of the exercise; the fourth is the duration of the pause at the end. A “0” indicates no time, and an “X” means you should perform the movement explosively.
For example, an ab rollout with a tempo of 4-3-X-0 would be done like so: Take 4 seconds to roll the wheel out, hold the stretched position for 3 seconds, come back fast, and begin the next rep without pausing at the start.

The Warmup

1A. World’s Greatest Stretch
Sets: 1
Reps: 3 (each side)
Rest: 0 sec.
Get into a deep lunge position so your front thigh is parallel with the floor and your rear leg is straight. Twist your torso in the direction of your lead leg and reach your hand overhead.
1B. Inchworm
Sets: 1
Reps: 3
Rest: 0
Bend forward and plant your hands on the floor in front of you. Walk your hands forward so your torso straightens and you end up in the top of a pushup position— then try to walk your hands out a little farther. Keep your abs braced and don’t let your hips sag. Reverse the motion.
2A. Wall Slide
Sets: 1
Reps: 10
Rest: 0
Stand with your back against a wall and your arms stretched overhead with the backs of your hands against the wall. Maintain contact with the wall as you draw your elbows down to your sides.
2B. Mini-Band Side Step
Sets: 1
Reps: 15(each side)
Rest: 0 sec
Loop a small band around your ankles and bend your hips and knees so you’re in a half squat. Take a small step to your left to put some tension on the band, then walk sideways, left leg then right—keeping the band taut—for 15 steps. Then repeat going the opposite way to return to where you started.

DAY I

1A. Front Squat
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec.
Grasp the bar with hands shoulder-width apart and raise your elbows until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Take the bar out of the rack and let it rest on your fingertips— as long as your elbows stay up, you’ll be able to balance the bar. Step back and set your feet shoulder-width apart with toes turned out slightly. Squat down without losing the arch in your lower back.
1B. Neutral Grip Pullup
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest:60 sec.
Use a chinup station with handles that allow you to pull yourself up with your palms facing each other (if you only have a straight bar, hook a V-grip cable handle—like the one shown for the T-bar row, below—over it). Hang from the bar and then pull yourself up until your chin is over it.
2A. Ab Rollout
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec.
Use an ab wheel, or load a bar with 10-pound plates and kneel on the floor behind it. Begin with your shoulders over the wheel. Brace your abs and roll forward, reaching in front of you until you feel your hips are about to sag. Roll yourself back.
2B. T-Bar Row
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Rest: 60 sec.
Use a T-bar row station, or wedge a barbell into a corner and hook a V-grip handle under it,as shown. Straddle the bar and, keeping your lower back arched, bend forward at the hips so your torso is nearly parallel with the floor. Grasp the handle and row it to your ribs.
3. Leg Press
Sets: 1
Reps: As many as possible in 60 sec.
Sit comfortably with your hips beneath your knees and your knees in line with your feet. Remove the safeties and lower your knees toward your chest until they’re bent 90 degrees, then press back up. Choose a weight that you’re sure you can perform at least 15 reps with but do as many reps as you can in 60 seconds. In Week 2, perform reps for 80 seconds. In Week 3, go for 100 seconds, and in Week 4, 120 seconds.
4. Stretch
Stretch out your lower body, including your hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, and glutes. See mensfitness.com for examples of stretches.

DAY II


1A. Romanian Deadlift
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec.
Hold a barbell with a shoulder-width grip and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your hips back as far as you can. Allow your knees to bend as needed while you lower the bar along your shins until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Keep your lower back arched throughout.

1B. Dumbbell Bench Press
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec.
Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the weights at shoulder level, arms 45 degrees from your sides, and press the weights straight up.
2A. Barbell Hip Thrust
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec.
Rest your upper back on a bench and sit on the floor with your legs extended. Roll a barbell up your thighs until the bar sits on your lap (you may want to place a towel on your hips). Bend your knees, brace your abs, and driveyour heels into the floor. Extend your hips and raise them until your butt and back are parallel with the floor.
2B. Pushup
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec
Place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and set your feet close together. Keep your abs braced and draw your shoulder blades together to lower your body until your chest is about an inch above the floor. Press back up.
3B. Leg Curl
Sets: 1
Reps: As many as possible in 60 sec.
Line your knees up with the machine’s axis of rotation. Curl the pad until your hamstrings are fully contracted. Choose a weight that you can perform at least 15 reps
with but do as many as you can in 60 seconds. In Week 2, try for 80 seconds. In Week 3, 100 seconds. In Week 4, 120 seconds.
4. Stretch
Stretch out your lower body, including your hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, and glutes. See mensfitness.com for examples of stretches.

DAY III

1A. Overhead Press
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec.
Set the bar up in a squat rack or cage and grasp it with your hands just outside shoulder width. Take the bar off the rack and hold it at shoulder level with your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Squeeze the bar and brace your abs. Press the bar overhead, pushing your head forward and shrugging your traps as the bar passes your face.

1B. Back Extension
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec.
Lock your legs into a back-extension bench. Allow your torso to bend forward so that your hips are bent almost 90 degrees, but do not lose the arch in your lower back. Thesqueeze your glutes and extend your hips so that your body forms a straight line.
2A. Lateral Raise
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest: 60 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with palms facing your sides. Raise the weights out 90 degrees until your arms are parallel with the floor.
2B. Swiss-Ball Pike
Sets : 4
Reps: 8
Tempo: 4-0-X-0
Rest:60 sec.
Get into pushup position, resting your feet on a Swiss ball. Bend your hips to raise your butt toward the ceiling and continue until your torso is almost vertical and your hips are bent 90 degrees.
3. Resisted Sprint
Sets: 1
Reps: 8
Attach an exercise band to a sturdy object and loop the free end around your waist. Sprint in place so that you’re pumping your legs hard. Sprint for 10 seconds, then jog lightly for 20 seconds. That’s one rep. Adjust the sprint and jog intervals as follows: Week 2, sprint 12 seconds, jog 18. Week 3, sprint 14 seconds, jog 16. Week 4, sprint 16 seconds, jog 14.
4. Stretch
Stretch out your lower body, including your hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, and glutes.


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