Your path to fitness and a better body begins here, with our three-month workout, cardio, nutrition and supplement program - everything you need to succeed.
Undertaking Part 1 of the ProSource Starter Kit program, you get a great feel on how weight training affects your body, and gain valuable experience performing foundation-building exercises.
In the final six weeks of the three-month starter plan, you'll get familiar with a number of new movements, expanding your exercise repertoire. Meanwhile, you'll also split your body into two workouts, slightly increasing the overall volume of work aimed at key muscle groups. All in all, it's designed to help you progress without burning you out - and thus you'll be prepared to stay on the training track for the long term.
PHASE 2 WORKOUTS: Weeks 7-12
Perform each workout twice per week in alternating fashion. For instance, you can do #1 on Monday and Thursday, #2 on Tuesday and Saturday. Rest 45-60 seconds between each set.
|Thighs||Smith-Machine Squat||3||15, 12, 10|
|Thighs||Leg Extension||3||15, 12, 10|
|Thighs||Lying Leg Curl||3||15, 12, 10|
|Upper Back||One-Arm Dumbbell Row||3||15, 12, 10|
|Upper Back||Assisted Pull-Up||2||10, 10|
|Lower Back||Back Extension||2||15, 15|
|Biceps||Standing Barbell Curl||3||15, 12, 10|
|Calves||Standing Calf Raise||2||15, 12|
|Chest||Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press||3||15, 12, 10|
|Chest||Pec-Deck Flye||2||15, 12|
|Shoulders||Seated Dumbbell Press||3||15, 12, 10|
|Shoulders||Dumbbell Lateral Raise||2||15, 12|
|Triceps||Cable Pushdown||3||15, 12, 10|
|Abs||Reverse Crunch||2||15, 15|
(Note: See Part 1 for instructions on how to perform the back extension, standing calf raise and crunch.)
Stand with the bar of a Smith machine across your upper back and traps, holding it with both hands (thumbs wrapped around the bar) just outside your shoulders. With your chest full and high, head up and lower back tight and slightly arched, bend your knees and hips as if you're sitting back in a chair until your thighs reach a position parallel to the floor. Reverse the motion by driving through your heels and bringing your hips forward to return to the starting position.
Adjust the machine so your knees are at the edge of the bench and the ankle pads hit your lower leg just above the top of your foot. Sit with your back supported on the backrest, grasp the handles at each side of the seat, and straighten your legs against the resistance. Contract your quadriceps muscles hard at the top, then lower the weight under control, not letting the stack touch down between reps.
Lying Leg Curl
Lie facedown on a leg-curl machine, knees just off the edge of the bench if possible, placing your Achilles' tendons on the ankle pads. Without lifting your abs up off the bench, bend at the knees to bring the ankle pad toward your glutes in a smooth motion. Stop at the top, squeeze your hamstrings, lower and repeat.
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
Begin with one hand and same-side knee on an exercise bench, with your opposite foot on the floor. Hold a dumbbell at arm's length in your free hand, palm facing in. Keeping your spine neutral (head aligned with your body), pull the dumbbell straight up toward your flank, bringing your elbow as far above the level of your back as you can, shifting your shoulder blade inward. Then reverse the motion to lower the dumbbell back down to the start, repeating for reps.
Set the weight stack to an appropriate poundage (the more weight you select, the easier the exercise will be). Place your knees on the pad of an assisted pull-up machine while holding onto the bar above with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. From there, keeping your elbows out, perform a pull-up, bringing your chin to the level of the handles, then lowering yourself to full extension.
If you prefer, you can instead try regular pull-ups. If you have a partner, he/she can give you assistance by supporting you at the ankles, or you can simply try to get as many as you can on your own. Try to get at least 20 total, no matter how many sets it takes to get there - for example, if you can do six, then rest and do five more, then rest and do four more, then rest and do three more, then rest and finally get the last two, to reach 20 total.
Standing Barbell Curl
Stand upright with a shoulder-width, underhand grip on a barbell, arms extended. Keep your elbows tight at your sides as you bend them to bring the bar up in an arc toward your shoulders, squeeze your biceps at the top, and lower to the start. Don't let your elbows shift forward as you bring the weight up, and don't shift your hips forward to assist in the movement.
Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press
Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie back on a flat bench, holding the weights just outside each shoulder, palms facing forward. Place your feet firmly on the floor. Extend your elbows to press the weights up in a slight arc above you (don't let the dumbbells touch at the top), then lower them to the start. Keep your elbows out and pointed away from your body throughout the exercise.
Sit on the seat of a pec-deck machine, with your back pressed against the pad. Place your forearms and hands on the handles. Flex your pectorals to bring the handles together in a steady motion, squeezing them tightly together at the top before reversing to the start.
Seated Dumbbell Press
Sit on a low-back chair-style bench, with a dumbbell in each hand. Lift them up to a point outside your shoulders (you can use your knees to help get them in position, by quickly lifting your leg while the dumbbell is place on your knee, flat side down). Your palms should face front, and your head should be aligned with your spine as you focus your gaze forward. Press the weights up simultaneously overhead, allowing them to slightly arc together without touching at the top. Once your arms are fully extended, reverse the motion and repeat for reps.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Stand upright and hold dumbbells at your sides, palms facing your body. With no more than a slight bend in your elbows throughout, simultaneously raise each dumbbell up and out to each side in an arc, stopping when your arms reach a point parallel with the floor. Lower the weights down, stopping just short of letting them touch your sides, and begin the next rep.
Stand upright in front of a high-pulley station with a short straight bar attached. Grasp the handle and bring it down so your elbows are locked at your sides and pointed straight down, bent 90 degrees. From there, press the bar down toward your thighs, squeeze your triceps hard when your arms reach full extension, and return to a point where your forearms are about parallel to the floor. Don't let the weight stack touch down between reps, and don't let your elbows stray forward.
Lie face up on a flat bench with your knees bent 90 degrees and feet up in the air. Grasp the edges of the bench behind your head with both hands. Keeping your knees fixed in that 90-degree position, curl your lower body slowly up off of the bench, one vertebra at a time, bringing your knees toward your chest. After your lower back comes off a few inches, stop and lower yourself to the start. Don't rest between reps - keep a steady and controlled pace throughout the set.
Get into the standard push-up position, with one alteration - balance yourself on your forearms, your elbow and hands in contact with the floor. Hold this position, body straight as a plank, for 15 seconds, then lower your hips to the floor to rest for 15 seconds. Repeat this sequence four times total. Over the course of the six weeks, try to extend the amount of seconds you can hold the plank position.
Again in these six weeks, the key remains on getting active, and not worrying about specific cardio programs and heart rates. Just get out and break a sweat. While we recommended at least 20 minutes of cardio a day in Part 1, now bump that up to 25-30.
If you did do your 20 minutes daily as prescribed, but got into a rut where you performed the same workout time after time - for instance, you jogged every day, or used the same piece of cardio equipment at the gym incessantly - break the cycle. Make a conscious effort to mix it up; not only does keeping your body guessing as to what activity you'll do lead to better cardiovascular results (because it can't adapt to your routine), it'll keep you from turning your aerobic workouts into a daunting daily chore.
One last thing to keep in mind as you undertake your first training program: Have a destination in mind. Both short-term and long-term goals will fuel your motivation, and give your workouts and your diets purpose.
Answer these questions: What do you want out of your training? Are you after bigger muscles? Fat loss? Or maybe just elevated fitness levels, agility and strength? Whatever the case may be, keep that in mind as your main goal, and then break it down into smaller, specific, attainable goals that you can aim for in three-to-six week increments.
Once your initial three months are up, you can attack those specific targets, such as losing 10 pounds, or adding an inch to your biceps, or getting a 315-pound bench. Keep your computer mouse aimed at ProSource, where you can find programs for all types of goals and aspirations - we're with you now to help you begin right, and we'll be there for the long haul, with the advice and supplements you need to build the body of your dreams.
[Check out the ProSource starter kit Part 1]