I am so happy to see you here! Since you’re here, it means you are down with being my virtual fitness buddy! Yay! And I’m serious here – I need this and I’m sure you need this too. Apparently, having someone who will hold you accountable is one of the BEST ways to actually follow through with fitness programs and stay motivated! Since I do not have a real-life fitness buddy, I thought the perfect way to utilize this wonderful thing we call Internet and connect with some like-minded individuals who want to get fit and stay ACCOUNTABLE. Like you! So yay!
Here’s the dealio. This particular program is based off the eBook by Tom Venuto and it is his Intermediate Conservative model. He has a lot of different models in his book, along with amazing information and educational content about goal setting, fitness, food, weight lifting, etc. I will not get into any of this because, honestly, the book is really long and I’m not an expert like he is, but if you have a few bucks I certainly recommend checking it out! I think it’s definitely worth the money!
Let’s cut right to the chase…
We will be doing the first phase for 4-5 weeks and then switch it up. The plan is very adaptable to your current abilities and preferences! You will need access to a gym OR if you are working out at home, a set of heavy weights. I will not be telling you how much you will be lifting because everyone is different but you will be able to figure it out on your own.
We will be doing weight training three times a week. The weight training days are split into two separate ones: Push and Pull. What this means is that one of the days we will be focusing on doing exercises using muscles that are mostly “Push” muscles in nature and the other are “Pull” muscles in nature.
For the exercises, you have to do 3 sets of each muscle group, 8-12 reps of each exercise (up to 20 for abs and calves), before moving on to the next muscle group.
Day 1 – Push
Chest, shoulders, triceps, abs
There is a faint line between each muscle group, but if you can’t see it that well then just know that each muscle group has two exercises in it. So you do the first two exercises (chest) for 3 sets and then you move on the next two (shoulders) and do those for 3 sets and keep going until you’re done!
Day 2 – Pull
Legs, back, biceps, calves
Same deal as above. Each muscle group has two exercises so you do the two exercises for 3 sets before moving on the next muscle group.
Lying Leg Curl (alternative: stiff legged deadlift)
Low Back Extension (alternative: floor version)
Seated Cable Rows (alternative: close grip DB row)
Lat Squeezes or Pull Ups
Seated Alt Bicep Curl
Calf Raises, Feet In (add dumbbells at your sides)
Calf Raises, Feet Out (Ps. I personally don’t do it where they go down, I just do it like the video above, where I’m standing on the ground and I lift up, while holding dumbbells on my sides to add weight)
What weight should I use?
This is really up to you and your current strength level. You won’t know until you’ve done it at least once so just guesstimate the first time. I wouldn’t go too heavy on your first workout just because you don’t know how much you can handle yet. That’s why I want you to write down in the table what weights you used and how many reps you managed to do with those weights. That way you will know when it’s time to move up in weight. You want to be getting to failure anywhere between 8 and 12 reps. If you get to your 12th rep and you feel like you could have done a couple more, you need to use heavier weights. If you can barely do 8 reps, you need to use lighter weights. Also remember, if you are trying to build muscle size you should opt for reaching failure at 8 reps rather than 12. The more reps you do, the more you train for endurance rather than size.
What is the tempo?
Don’t swing the weights. You want to do it in slow controlled movements. You want to produce tension in the muscle! Tom recommends the following rep speed guidelines for lifting:
2-3 second concentric (lifting the weight)
3-4 second eccentric (lowering the weight)
How long should I rest between sets?
Rest intervals vary depending on your goals and your current ability. 1 minute rest between sets is the standard for general fitness. You might need slightly longer (90-120 seconds) for large muscle groups (legs, back) in order to recover and regain strength and catch your breath.
We will be doing 3x cardio per week which is good for general fitness and well being. If you want to kick your fat burning more you can do it more often, but I’m being realistic for myself and setting a goal of just 3 times a week. This way, I’m not overloading myself with too much. The awesome thing about this program is that the cardio you do is totally up to you! You can do whatever you want!
Cardio workouts that he recommends consist of running outdoors, walking at a fast pace, treadmills, stationary bike, stairclimer, elliptical machine, swimming, or even cardio-based fitness classes such as zumba, bootcamp, and others.
The guidelines for cardio are:
20-30 minutes per session if intense
40-60 minutes per session if moderate
Also, while weight lifting HAS to be done on non-consecutive days, you can do cardio whenever you want. If you would rather exercise 6 days a week, you can do a cardio day in between each weight lifting session (which is what I’m going to be doing for now). If, however, you would prefer to have two or even three days off your workouts, you can do weights in the morning and cardio in the evening, or vice versa on certain days to get it all in. I prefer to have it all split up and consistent and steady. But that’s all up to you!
I am also planning to hopefully add in some yoga in there. I think if the yoga class is a lot of movement, it can count for a cardio workout. 😉
Also remember to stay active each day no matter whether it’s your workout day or not!
Here is my schedule for the workouts:
START DATE: AUGUST 19th!
You can download these images and print them out and bring them with you to the gym with a pen and keep track of how you’re doing so you know when it’s time to move up in weight and it can serve as a visual reminder of how far you’ve come! Each weight lifting image is good for 3 separate workouts!
Disclaimer: I am not a professional or expert in fitness and I do not claim to be one. Please use this at your own risk. Make sure to consult your doctor or physician before starting or changing your current routine. I am not responsible for any injury. This is based on Tom Venuto’s BFFM program. Don’t kill the messenger 🙂
Let’s use the comments down below to say how we’re doing each day! 🙂
Comment on each others posts and let’s make it a fun little team of people! We are all here for each other!
PS. An AWESOME way would be to take a pic after a workout or during a run or whatever, something to let the others know that we are all committed and DOING IT! 🙂 If you have Instagram or Twitter, let’s use the hashtag #FitBuddies (doesn’t seem like that many people are using that one) my username is @xokammie! YAY! 🙂 Who’s excited?!?
GO TEAM! 🙂