18 Week No-Nonsense Training Program

It’s been a while since I’ve put an actual training program together for myself. The results of not having my training program laid out have been variable. Although I have still been consistent with my workouts, I have probably not developed to the extent that I would have preferred over the past year.

In a way, I feel that my lack of a training program has also extended into a relaxation of my nutritional patterns… I haven’t been as strict on my nutrition as I have been in previous years.

I’m going to change all of that in 2013. Laid out below is my training program for the next 18 weeks. This should get me through the first week of May before I need to reevaluate where I am, and what comes next. This program has been adapted from Dr. Clay Hyght’s article “A Tried and True Bodybuilding Program Template” recently published on T-Nation.

18 Week Training Program

The first half of the training program is based on a 4-day-split bodybuilder template, while the second half tapers into a kettlebell training template. As you’ll see, I’ve been deliberately thorough not only in planning my workouts for the day, but even in planning what exercises I’m going to do as much as four months in advance. It’s that attention to detail that I hope will keep me from slacking off, as all of the guesswork has been removed.

In addition to adding more structure to my overall fitness goals, my hope with this program is to pack on some muscle in the first 2 months and really shred fat in the second half of the program. My summer body should be ready to go by May!

I’ll be sure to include updates over the weeks as I progress through this.

Week 1-8 – Training Program

  • Short rest: 20-60 seconds (45 seconds on average)
  • Moderate rest: 1-2 minutes (90 seconds on average)
  • Long rest: 2-5 minutes (3 minutes on average)

Day 1 – Chest & Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell Press 5 5 Long
2. Dumbbell Chest Fly 3 6-10 Moderate
3. Push-Ups 4 12-20 Short
4. Alt. Dumbbell Supination Curl 4 5 Long
5. Incline Curl 3 8-12 Moderate
6. Hammer Curl 3 10-15 Short

Day 2 – Back & Abs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell/KB Dead Lift 4 6-10 Long
2. Dumbbell Bent Row 3-4 6-10 Long
3. Pull-Ups 3 8-12 Moderate
4. 1-Arm Dumbbell Row 4 10-15 Short
5. Bicycles 3-4 6-10 Moderate
6. V-Up 3 10-20 Short

Day 3 – Yoga

Day 4 – Shoulders, Triceps, & Abs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell Military Press 4 5 Long
2. Lateral Raise 4 8-12 Moderate
3. Dumbbell Upright Row 3 10-15 Short
4. Lying Down Triceps Ext. 3 6-10 Moderate
5. Close-Grip Dumbbell Press 3 8-12 Moderate
6. Overhead Triceps Ext. 3 10-15 Short
7. Hanging Leg Raise 4 6-12 Moderate

Day 5 – Legs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Double Kettlebell Front Squat 5 6-12 Long
2. Bulgarian Split Squat 4 8-15 Moderate
3. Double Kettlebell Deadlift 4 6-10 Moderate
4. Hamstring Ball Roll 3-4 8-15 Short
5. 1-Leg Bodyweight Squats 2-3 8-15 Short
6. Unilateral Dumbbell Calf Raise 4-5 6-12 Moderate
7. Plyometric Lunges 3 10-15 Short

Day 6 – Yoga

Day 7 – Rest

Week 9 – Rest Week

Do yoga 2-3 days during rest week.

Week 10-11 – Training Program

Day 1 – Chest & Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell Press 5 5 Long
2. Dumbbell Chest Fly 3 6-10 Moderate
3. Push-Ups 4 12-20 Short
4. Alt. Dumbbell Supination Curl 4 5 Long
5. Incline Curl 3 8-12 Moderate
6. Hammer Curl 3 10-15 Short

Day 2 – Back & Abs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell/KB Dead Lift 4 6-10 Long
2. Dumbbell Bent Row 3-4 6-10 Long
3. Pull-Ups 3 8-12 Moderate
4. 1-Arm Dumbbell Row 4 10-15 Short
5. Bicycles 3-4 6-10 Moderate
6. V-Up 3 10-20 Short

Day 3 – Yoga

Day 4 – Shoulders, Triceps, & Abs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell Military Press 4 5 Long
2. Lateral Raise 4 8-12 Moderate
3. Dumbbell Upright Row 3 10-15 Short
4. Lying Down Triceps Ext. 3 6-10 Moderate
5. Close-Grip Dumbbell Press 3 8-12 Moderate
6. Overhead Triceps Ext. 3 10-15 Short
7. Hanging Leg Raise 4 6-12 Moderate

Day 5 – Kettlebell Circuit – Legs Focus

Day 6 – Yoga

Day 7 – Rest

Week 12-13 – Training Program

Day 1 – Chest & Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell Press 5 5 Long
2. Dumbbell Chest Fly 3 6-10 Moderate
3. Push-Ups 4 12-20 Short
4. Alt. Dumbbell Supination Curl 4 5 Long
5. Incline Curl 3 8-12 Moderate
6. Hammer Curl 3 10-15 Short

Day 2 – Back & Abs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell/KB Dead Lift 4 6-10 Long
2. Dumbbell Bent Row 3-4 6-10 Long
3. Pull-Ups 3 8-12 Moderate
4. 1-Arm Dumbbell Row 4 10-15 Short
5. Bicycles 3-4 6-10 Moderate
6. V-Up 3 10-20 Short

Day 3 – Yoga

Day 4 – Upper Body Kettlebell Circuit

Day 5 – Kettlebell Circuit – Legs Focus

Day 6 – Yoga

Day 7 – Rest

Week 14-15 – Training Program

Day 1 – Chest & Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps Rest Interval
1. Dumbbell Press 5 5 Long
2. Dumbbell Chest Fly 3 6-10 Moderate
3. Push-Ups 4 12-20 Short
4. Alt. Dumbbell Supination Curl 4 5 Long
5. Incline Curl 3 8-12 Moderate
6. Hammer Curl 3 10-15 Short

Day 2 – Total Body Kettlebell Circuit

Day 3 – Yoga

Day 4 – Upper Body Kettlebell Circuit

Day 5 – Kettlebell Circuit – Legs Focus

Day 6 – Yoga

Day 7 – Rest

Week 16-17 – Training Program

Day 1 – Yoga

Day 2 – Total Body Kettlebell Circuit

Day 3 – Yoga

Day 4 – Upper Body Kettlebell Circuit

Day 5 – Kettlebell Circuit – Legs Focus

Day 6 – Yoga

Day 7 – Rest

Week 18 – Rest Week

Do yoga 2-3 days during rest week.

So what do you think about all of that? Do I have all of my bases covered? Is there anything that you would do differently? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Update:

I’m wrapping up my 5th week of this program and really enjoying the definition that’s occurring in my upper body. I’ve deviated in a couple of exercises…

  • Dumbbell Press – On chest days I’ve been doing max reps instead of 5 because I don’t have heavy enough dumbbells to max out at 5. The rest interval is the same.
  • Kettlebell Dead Lift – I’ve been doing a double kettlebell dead lift at 15-20 reps because 6-10 isn’t enough for the weight that I’m using.
  • I sometimes leave out the abdominal exercises because I often do ab work with the bootcamps that I lead.
  • Dumbbell Upright Row – I’ve been doing a kettlebell upright row instead of a dumbbell upright row, just because.
  • Double Kettlebell Dead Lift – I’ve been doing 15 reps instead of 6-10. The rest interval is the same.
  • Hamstring Ball Roll – I’ve been doing a TRX Hamstring Curl instead. I didn’t like keeping a big stability ball inflated in my apartment, and I think the TRX makes this exercise harder anyway.

I feel fantastic and strong as an ox. No over training anywhere!

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