Program Pillar #1: Fuel (Food)
Cycling carbs is an effective fat-burning strategy. The Hardcore 40 diet utilizes a zig-zagging, or cycling of calories and carbs to keep your metabolic fire stoked and high. On a day to day basis, the only macronutrient you will be changing – or cycling – will be carbohydrates. Protein and fat intake will remain consistent throughout all training days, making this a fairly simple diet to follow.
By rotating carbs and confusing your body, you will fight off metabolic adjustment. Fat burning will remain consistent over the next 40 days.
Peak Day. This is a higher carb and calorie day. You will eat 2600 calories, which includes 280 grams of protein, 235 grams of carbs, and 60 grams of fat.
Hold Days. This is an “average” calorie and carb day. You will eat 2300 calories, which includes 280 grams of protein, 160 grams of carbs and 60 grams of fat.
Light Days. This is a lower calorie and carb day. You will eat 2000 calories, which includes 280 grams of protein, 85 grams of carbs and 60 grams of fat.
Eating Cycle – You will following a 4 day eating cycle of: peak day, hold day, light day, hold day. This 4 day pattern will be repeated 10 times during the course of the 40 day program.
Day 1: Peak Day. 2,600 calories, 235 grams of carbs, 280 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat.
Day 2: Hold Day – 2,300 calories, 160 grams of carbs, 280 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat.
Day 3: Light Day – 2,000 calories, 85 grams of carbs, 280 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat.
Day 4: Hold Day – 2,300 calories, 160 grams of carbs, 280 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat.
Program Pillar #2: Fire (Weight Training)
Muscle building over the course of the next 40 days will focus on two metabolism-jolting training styles:
Heavy Complex. (Heavy Weight, Short Rest) Utilizing heavy compound exercises, you will perform 3 sets with only 60 seconds of rest between each set. Compound lifts blast multiple bodyparts, requiring a greater effort and causing you to expend more energy. Training with heavy weight maximizes muscle retention and gains. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
Light Complex. (Light Weight, High Reps) Once again using compound movements, you will perform two higher rep sets with only 60 seconds of rest between sets. During the first set of a “light complex”, you will be working within the 15 to 20 rep range. For the second set, you will drop to a lighter weight and aim for 20 to 30 total reps. If you can’t complete the minimum amount of reps, rack the weight, count to 5, and attempt to knock out the last several reps that you missed.
Workout Frequency – You will be following a 2 days on, 1 day off workout schedule. On training days, you will be performing both weight training and cardio. Off days are truly that – off days. This is a workout frequency of nearly 5 days per week, and may be more then you are accustomed to. Hang in there. Training during this 40 period is intense, but worth it!
Workout Structure – You will be rotating between three workouts: push, pull and legs. Push days focus on hitting the chest, shoulders and triceps. Pull days blast your back, biceps and abs. On leg day, you will hammer your quads, hamstrings and calves.
Push Day – Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Pull Day – Back, Biceps and Abs
Leg Day – Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
Workout Exercises – As mentioned, you will be rotating between heavy and light complexes. During the course of each workout, you will perform 8 total complexes – 4 heavy complexes and 4 light complexes. Each workout should last 45 minutes to one hour.
Progression – One of the keys to challenging yourself during workouts is to work for more reps and weight on every set. This is called progression. Never waste a set! When you hit the high end of the rep range for an exercise, add weight.
Failure – Do not train to failure. Use your instincts, and try to end a set one rep before positive failure. If you have doubts about the next rep, stop the set.
Program Pillar #3: Flash Point (HIIT)
HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a form of cardio used by the muscle building community because of its effectiveness at burning stubborn fat. HIIT training involves alternating between extremely intense exercise periods (in which your heart is beating at about 80 to 90% of its maximum heart rate), and lower intensity periods. Lower intensity exercise can also be substituted with periods of complete rest.
There are many ways to perform HIIT cardio. During the Hardcore 40 Program, you will be utilizing both running and biking. Feel free to insert your favorite form of cardio (such as stairmaster, jumping rope, swimming, etc.) into the program, but remember to stick to the intensity template.
You will be performing HIIT cardio on weight training days only. Resist the urge to do any training on schedule rest days. Your body needs rest to function properly. Too much cardio exercise can actually decrease muscle mass and make it harder for you to recover in between weight training sessions. Here is the intensity template:
Warmup – Warmup for 4 minutes. This period is low intensity, and is used to get the blood flowing.
Intervals – You will be performing 16 total intervals. Each interval consists of a 30 seconds high intensity period, followed by a 30 second low intensity period.
Rest – If you are winded, it is completely acceptable to rest instead of performing the 30 seconds of low intensity work. But push yourself! Try to improve, and make it a goal to complete the entire 20 minute period with no rest whatsoever.
When To Perform HIIT – Try to perform your HIIT sessions immediately after lifting weights. Research reveals you will burn more calories and fat this way.
HIIT Variety – Do you need to stick with only two forms of HIIT training? No. As long as you are “hitting” HIIT on your training days, you can use whatever form of HIIT that works best for you, on any training day.
World Gym World Gym is definitely more of a “gym” than a club. They usually have a great hard-core weightroom with all the equipment you’ll need. It’s nice too because they typically have several of each machine, or else a variety of machines focusing on the same exercises. This is handy when it’s busy [...]
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