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A Strong Lifting, High Intensity Interval Training and Intermittent Fasting Program for Beginners

Building muscle and achieving better cardio endurance is basically the point of any workout regimen, but so few of them can keep you on track due to their simplicity and lack of excitement. After experimenting with many different people and programs, this combination of strong lifts, high intensity interval training, and intermittent fasting seems to be the best starting program to achieve a healthy and strong body. It is great for those who don’t mind spending a lot of time lifting weights, but tend to get bored doing cardio because you only spend a total of one hour on the treadmill all week.

Strong Lifts

Strong lifts are barbell-based strength training exercises that you are going to be doing for an hour and a half, three days a week. Normally, you’ll want to schedule Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for strong lifts, but they should definitely be at the beginning of your week, and one day apart. We’ll want to establish a couple of different workouts to alternate between so that you keep things fresh for your muscles.

To warm up to your strong lifts, do one set of five reps of each exercise first with the empty bar, then with a quarter of your work set weight, then with a half of your work set weight, and finally, 75% of your work set weight. After you have done all three of your planned exercises, move on to the weight that you have built yourself up to.

When you’re starting, you’ll want to begin with an empty bar; that is to say, lift the bar with no weights on it. The first workout will consist of five sets of five reps doing squats, five sets of five reps bench pressing and five sets of five reps doing barbell rows. Add five pounds each new day that you are doing these exercises and work your way up. It will feel good making this progress, believe you me.

The second strong lift workout will consist of five sets of five reps doing squats again, but next you will do five sets of five reps of the overhead press, followed by one set of five reps deadlifting. Again, you’ll want to add five pounds each day for these, except the deadlifts. You’ll want to add ten pounds of weight for each day you’ve been deadlifting.

If you cannot fully complete the program for any reason (not enough reps or sets) tone back the weight and move forward from there. It is vitally important that you have perfect form and you’re able to complete the regimen perfectly before you move up in weight. If you can’t, you simply aren’t doing the program correctly and your results will stray and you will get injured.

High Intensity Interval Training

It’s not called high intensity because it’s easy, but it will prevent you from spending countless hours each week on your home treadmill. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to increase your cardiovascular endurance and speed and it does it in just two 30-minute sessions each week. You’ll want to do them on your Thursdays and Sundays. The exercise can consist of whatever cardio machine you like best, including the treadmill, exercise bike, rowing machine, elliptical, or whatever new fandangled piece of machinery you seem to like that day. The one thing you must make sure of on each, is that you are gasping for breath through your last set. If you’re not, push harder.

First thing’s first: warm up. Spend five minutes lightly jogging before getting into the meat of the HIIT regimen. Beginners will want to start with 30-second sprints, followed by 90-second resting intervals. Do this eight times to constitute the eight sets and at the end, you should be gasping for breath. Make sure that you are really pushing yourself through the sprinting periods and you’ll see the best results.

Once you’re more comfortable with HIIT, you’ll want to move up to ten sets of 30-second sprints and 60-second rests. Remember to keep your feet moving at a good jogging pace for the resting periods and your legs will thank you for it later.

At the end of your successful completion of the sets, you’ll want to cool down with some light jogging followed by some stretching and mobility exercises. Some mobility exercises you’ll want to try are as follows: for the knees, do side-lying leg lifts; for the shoulders, side-lying shoulder rotations. To keep your upper back proper, do a prone y on the stability ball and finally, for your lower back, hit the plank.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is a diet that takes advantage of the benefits of both fasting and high-nutrition post-workout meals. It is really very simple, but for some reason won’t leave you wanting weird foods that aren’t on the list. It is very important that you stick to the schedule so that your body uses the food at the perfect times and you get the perfect results.

You’ll want to eat a small amount of low carb food or vegetables two hours before each workout. The only days you won’t do this are on your rest days, probably Tuesday and Sunday. Right before you start your workout, you’ll want to slam back a protein shake so that your body has what it needs to get you through the workout properly. Right after the workout is when you’re going to want to eat everything else that you were going to eat that day. You’ll want to make sure you get at least one gram of protein per pound of body mass, and that you only eat healthy carbs on strength training days.

High protein foods are going to include, but not be exclusive to: eggs, tofu, quinoa (lesser known grain), whey protein, tempeh, and lean meats. Obviously, there are going to be other high protein foods that come along and rule the trends for a while, but this is a start.

As far as healthy carbs go, here are a few examples that should get you going: fruits and veggies, quinoa, oats, beans and amaranth. Again, you’ll find other healthy carbs, and go for them, but you can make some incredible meals with these.

Rest Days

You are going to be getting two days of rest during this program but what you do with them, or rather what you don’t, is very important. You’ll want to eat small, spaced meals within the regular eating times, unlike the fasting program. Protein is obviously incredibly important so that your newly built muscle mass is protected and maintained. Veggies are also a very important part of this diet so eat them as often as you can. They are cheap and delicious so don’t make excuses; you’re not ten anymore. The other thing you’re going to want to watch is unhealthy carbs. Eating entire loaves of bread in a sitting is something you’re going to have to give up, along with massive pasta dinners every night.

Weekly Schedule
Monday: small amount of low-carb food or vegetables 2 hours before workout, protein shake right before workout, an hour and a half of strong lifts, and finally, eat the rest of your food for the day.
Tuesday: rest day, take it easy but watch bad carbs and make sure your meals are small and spaced out.
Wednesday: small amount of low-carb food or vegetables 2 hours before workout, protein shake right before workout, an hour and a half of strong lifts, and finally, eat the rest of your food for the day.
Thursday: small amount of low-carb food or vegetables 2 hours before workout, protein shake right before workout, a half an hour of high intensity interval training, and finally, eat the rest of your food for the day.
Friday: small amount of low-carb food or vegetables 2 hours before workout, protein shake right before workout, an hour and a half of strong lifts, and finally, eat the rest of your food for the day.
Saturday: rest day, take it easy but watch bad carbs and make sure your meals are small and spaced out.
Sunday: small amount of low-carb food or vegetables 2 hours before workout, protein shake right before workout, a half an hour of high intensity interval training, and finally, eat the rest of your food for the day.

Feel free to do with this program what you will because it will change as you progress with the state of your physical strength. It is, however, a fantastic way for beginners to start building muscle mass and endurance.

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