This is going to be a long, well thought out post so grab a cup of tea. For the past few weeks I’ve been doing research on different exercises, workout programs, macronutrients, and meal plans to help me reach my 2016 fitness goals. This year, I wanted to create a routine designed for my body and lifestyle rather than just going for a generic routine that may work for others – everyone is different. This post is going to focus on the exercises and workout program I’ll be sticking to for spring fitness routine that I’ve designed for myself. By sharing it, I’m hoping I can inspire others to start their fitness journey. I’ll go in to the nutrition side of this program in another post so I can add as many details and recipes as I can.
I’ve been on my fitness journey now for about three years, and I want to continue to grow and improve. In 2015, I hit new strength goals and added weight to my lifts that I didn’t think my five-foot frame could handle. For 2016, I’m challenging myself to commit to a cut that is designed to cut fat and maintain lean muscle. I’ve attempted cuts the past two springs, and I’ve done well at it for the most part, but I really wanted to go to a whole new level this spring. I started following more fitness bloggers on social media and YouTube, and it’s been inspiring to hear their fitness journeys and see them reaching their goals.
I originally planned to start my cut in the first week of March, and stay on it for 12 weeks. I ended up starting a week early because I booked a vacation to Los Angeles in April and I want to be bikini ready for the beach! My cut will still last for 12 weeks total including a biweekly exercise routine on a four day split while also doing some HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio days, and sticking to a well thought out nutrition plan.
THE WORKOUT PROGRAM
After doing a lot of searching I was inspired by a routine I found on Muscle and Strength, Doug’s Mega Cutting Routine – a four-day split designed for cutting fat. In the past, I’ve had pretty good results sticking to low weights, high reps for my spring fitness routine so I knew my routine would still contain that. In the past, I’ve done reps in the 16 range which works, but this routine’s sets are in a pyramid design so I should be able to do higher weight than in year’s previous. I did go through this routine and altered it to my liking – I added some exercises that I know I want to continue doing – such as dead lifts – and replaced them with exercises that I don’t really enjoy. During the 12-weeks I want to really enjoy the exercises I’m doing in order to stay motivated.
In addition to the four-day split from this routine, I want to do some high intensity interval training exercises with my kettlebells and jump rope at home. Even though I see good results from the low weights, high reps exercises, I generally see better results with added cardio. I want to be careful with when and how much cardio I’m performing, however, because I don’t want to take energy that my muscles need to maintain strength just to get through cardio workouts. I found an intense kettlebell and jump rope routine on Lifting Revolution that has what I’m looking for to add to my program – cardio, resistance training, and some exercises to challenge my skills.
Week One will be a four day split between shoulder/bicep, back, chest/tricep, and legs. Each day begins with cardio – jump rope or a quick sprint – then goes into tiered lifts. I’m going to use weight at 60% – 70% of my strength and adjust my reps depending on how I feel after the first two weeks. Every workout ends with an ab workout of choice – noted at the bottom of program – and ten minutes of low-impact cardio, the stair stepper being my personal choice here. On my rest day in the middle of the split, I’m aiming to do a day of cardio, and do an simpler kettlebell/jump rope exercise later in the week. While it’s still warming up here, I’ll probably make that a day of a running. In total: 6 workouts a week.
Week Two is only slightly altered and will still be a four-day split however there is a HIIT day in place of leg day since it contains a lot of squats. The HIIT day will be performed at home, either in the backyard or the garage however as it’s still warming up here I’ll stick to the Week One plan until about mid-March. Again, on the rest day in the middle of the split, I’m planning to do a cardio day of running. In total: 5 workouts a week.
This is totally doable for me and I’m excited to challenge myself to the plan. If you want to do this routine with me, I encourage you to download the plan and workout with me – download it here! I originally wrote the plan to save to my phone for the gym, but I thought making it available to others encourages others else to start their fitness journey – even just one person. Having the routine public also holds me accountable to doing to performing the plan that I’ve made for myself. I know this is something I can do once I get started!