Ever look back at home movies and barely recognize yourself? Aside from the dated clothes and shaky footage, usually the first thing you notice is your physique. Within seconds of turning on the video, you’re saying things to yourself like, “I was so skinny,” “I was so fat” or “I had no calves.”
Maybe one year you lost a good amount of weight. Another could have been the time you started eating everything in sight and lifted like a maniac. Still another could have been your “Hey, why don’t I try to run a marathon?” phase (which in retrospect you describe as “Holy crap, I was too thin”).
The catalyst for many such changes may have been the coming of a new year and a little thing called New Year’s resolutions — that common societal moment when millions of people take stock of their lives and resolve to make changes. Thus, how you look year in and year out could be a direct result of either sticking to a resolution, or starting with great intentions but soon veering completely off course. This year can be different, because now you have the ultimate three-month guidebook to help you , leaner and more muscular.
This first four weeks is all about one thing: strength. That means you’ll concentrate on low reps and heavy weights. In fact, all sets you do during this month will be for 3–6 reps, with up to three minutes of rest in between.
As you increase the resistance you use each week, your reps will drop. For instance, Week 1 reps start out at six per set, then drop to five the second week, four the third week and three the final week. You’ll also do weighted ab work to keep your core strong for the challenges to come. A final note you may like: no cardio. We’ll save that for the leaning-out portion of the program.