To make big changes to your body, you need to make a big effort and give it everything you’ve got. This four-week training plan is designed to help you train smarter so every minute spent in the gym is building lean muscle mass and torching excess body fat. Follow it for four weeks and see how much your body changes.

How the plan works

This four-week training plan has been designed to be easy to follow and highly effective in helping you add muscle and burn fat fast. To achieve that goal, simply do the following four body part-focused workouts each week – sticking to the exercises, sets, reps, tempo (see below for an explanation) and rest periods detailed – for a month.

The first workout of each week targets your chest and triceps, the second your back and biceps, the third your legs and abs, and the fourth your shoulders. This approach will ensure all your major muscle groups are trained hard each week and will create the ideal metabolic environment for your body to lay down new muscle tissue while burning excess fat.

All the four weekly workouts are made up of five moves, performed as straight sets. This means you do all the sets of move 1, then move on and do the same for move 2 and so on. Because this lifting approach gives you time to rest between sets it’s important you not only stick to the sets, reps, tempo and rest periods indicated, but also lift as heavy as you can without compromising form. This will enable you to make big physique changes fast.

Tempo training

To get the full effect from these workouts, you need to stick to the four-digit tempo code for each exercise.

The first digit indicates how long in seconds you take to lower the weight, the second how long you pause at the bottom of the move, the third how long you take to lift the weight, and the final digit how long you pause at the top. X means that part of the move should be done explosively.

The accumulated time under tension increases your heart rate to burn fat and break down muscle tissue so it’s rebuilt bigger and stronger. Keep each rep smooth and controlled so your muscles – not momentum – do the work.

Workout 1: Chest And Triceps

1 Bench press

Bench press

Sets 5 Reps 8 Tempo 2010 Rest 90sec

Lie on a flat bench holding a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then lower the bar towards your chest. Press it back up to the start.

2 Triceps dip

Sets 5 Reps 8 Tempo 2110 Rest 90sec

Grip rings or parallel bars with your arms straight. Keeping your chest up, bend your elbows to lower your body as far as your shoulders allow. Press back up powerfully to return to the start.

3 Incline dumbbell press

Incline dumbbell bench press

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand by your shoulders. Press the weights up until your arms are straight, then lower them back to the start under control.

4 Incline dumbbell flye

Incline dumbbell flye

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand above your face, with your palms facing and a slight bend in your elbows. Lower them to the sides, then bring them back to the top.

5 Triceps extension

Dumbbell triceps extension

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Stand tall holding a dumbbell over your head with both hands, arms straight. Keeping your chest up, lower the weight behind your head, then raise it back to the start.

Workout 2: Back And Biceps

1 Pull-up

Superset workout one: 1B Pull-up

Sets 5 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 90sec

Hold a pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Brace your core, then pull yourself up until your lower chest touches the bar. Lower until your arms are straight again.

2 Bent-over row

Sets 5 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 90sec

Hold a barbell with an overhand grip, hands just outside your legs. Bend your knees slightly and brace your core, then pull the bar up, leading with your elbows. Lower it back to the start.

3 Chin-up

Chin-up

Sets 4 Reps 8-12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Hold a pull-up bar with hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing you. Brace your core, then pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Lower until your arms are straight again.

4 Standing biceps curl

Dumbbell biceps curl

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand with dumbbells by your sides, palms facing forwards. Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top. Lower them back to the start.

5 Seated incline curl

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Sit on an incline bench with dumbbells by your sides, palms facing forwards. Keeping your elbows tucked in, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps at the top. Lower them back to the start.

Workout 3: Legs And Abs

1 Back squat

Barbell back squat

Sets 5 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 90sec

Stand tall with a bar across the back of your shoulders. Keeping your chest up and core braced, squat down as deep as you can. Drive back up through your heels to return to the start.

2 Good morning

Barbell good morning

Sets 5 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 90sec

Stand tall holding a light barbell across the backs of your shoulders, feet shoulder-width apart. With your core braced, bend forwards slowly from the hips, as far as your hamstrings allow but not past horizontal. Return to the start.

3 Glute bridge

Glute bridge

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Sit with your upper back supported on a bench, holding a barbell across the tops of your thighs. Thrust your hips up, squeeze your glutes at the top, and then return to the start.

4 Front squat

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2110 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with a bar across the front of your shoulders with elbows up. Keeping your core braced, squat down as deep as you can. Drive back up through your heels to return to the start.

5 Barbell roll-out

Sets 4 Reps 6-12 Tempo 2111 Rest 90sec

Kneel on the floor holding a barbell with both hands. Roll the bar forwards so you lower your torso, keeping your core braced. Then use your abs muscles to return to the start.

Workout 4: Shoulders

1 Overhead press

Overhead press

Sets 5 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 90sec

Hold a bar in front of your neck with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and core braced, press the bar overhead until your arms are straight. Lower it back to the start.

2 Rack pull

Sets 5 Reps 10 Tempo 2111 Rest 90sec

Stand tall in front of a barbell resting on safety bars at knee height. Bend and grasp the bar with an overhand grip, then stand up until your back is straight again, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top.

3 Seated dumbbell press

Seated dumbbell shoulder press

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Sit on an upright bench with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Keeping your chest up, press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight, then lower them back to the start.

4 Lateral raise

Dumbbell lateral raise

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall, holding a light dumbbell in each hand with palms facing. Keeping your chest up and a bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to shoulder height, then lower back to the start.

5 Reverse flye

Dumbbell reverse flye

Sets 4 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Bend forward from the hips holding a light dumbbell in each hand with palms facing. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to shoulder height, then lower back to the start.

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