This is Part 4 of a comprehensive six-month program designed to prepare you for any fitness goal you want to accomplish. Weeks 13–16 appear below. If you missed the previous installments of the plan, go HERE and start it now.

For a nutrition program to accompany the training, click HERE.

Workouts and exercises without descriptions or videos below have been explained in the previous three installments, so check back to them as needed.

6-Month Comeback Plan – Part 4 Details

New Year’s Resolution Series: 6-Month Comeback Plan — Part 4

Tabata

Research has shown that you don’t have to work out for long if you’re willing to work out very hard. The Tabata protocol is the ultimate example.

Perform 10–15 minutes of aerobic exercise such as jogging, cycling, or work on the elliptical trainer. Then complete 8 sets of 20-second intervals for one of the following exercises: burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, kettlebell swings, body-weight squats, treadmill sprint, bike sprint, rowing machine. Rest 10 seconds between sets.

Work at your maximum-intensity pace for every 20-second effort. Afterward, cool down for 5–10 minutes.

A 2012 study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that, when compared to a 30-minute endurance workout, four minutes of Tabata-style intervals improved conditioning and muscle endurance even better.

Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio

Perform 20–30 minutes of light cardio before you have breakfast (black coffee beforehand is OK). Options include yoga, fast walking, light cycling/elliptical/swimming, or taking a hike. If you can’t do this in the morning, do it after dinner, and don’t eat anything afterward.

Light activity done in a fasted state increases the amount of fat you burn for fuel.

NEW Body-Weight Workout

This body-weight routine replaces the one you have been doing. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, resting 10 seconds between moves. Complete at least one round of the exercises, and if time permits, do 2–3 rounds total.

1. Jumping jack
2. Wall sit – stand with your back to a wall and squat down so you’re supported by the wall with thighs parallel to the floor. Hold the position.
3. Pushup
4. Crunch
5. Step up
6. Squat
7. Dip
8. Plank
9. Run in place
10. Lunge
11. T-pushup – perform a pushup and then raise one hand off the floor and rotate your torso to point that hand to the ceiling. Perform another pushup and twist to the opposite side.
12. Side plank

Hypoxic Swim (Short)

Warm up with 500 meters. Now swim 25 meters with no or minimal breathing (try to hold your breath as long as you can). Rest 10 seconds and repeat for 12 rounds. Swim “smoothly”—don’t try to sprint.

“Hypoxia” is a condition where your body’s tissues don’t get enough oxygen, and while it might feel strange or stressful, limiting your breathing during a workout can strengthen your heart. A 2014 study in Physiological Reports showed that short-term hypoxic training may help prevent arteriosclerosis. However, if you have heart or blood pressure problems, SKIP THIS workout.

Metabolic Foam Roller Mobility Routine

This workout combines high-intensity cardio intervals with mobility training and self-massage. I highly recommend using the Rumble Roller.

For video demonstrations of the roller exercises, go HERE.

1. 10 burpees, foam roll right calf and achilles
2. 10 burpees, foam roll left calf and achilles
3. foam roll right hamstring, 20 forward-and-back leg swings
4. foam roll left hamstring, 20 forward-and-back leg swings
5. 10 burpees, foam roll outside of right hip
6. 10 burpees, foam roll outside of left hip
7. foam roll right IT band, 20 side-to-side leg swings
8. foam roll left IT band, 20 side-to-side leg swings
9. 10 burpees, foam roll right adductors (inside of the thigh)
10. 10 burpees, foam roll left adductors (inside of the thigh)
11. 50 jumping jacks, foam roll entire back
12. 50 jumping jacks, foam roll entire right shoulder
13. 50 jumping jacks, foam roll entire left shoulder
14. 10 burpees, foam roll neck (left, right, and back)
15. 10 burpees, foam roll front of both quads

Super-Slow Free Weights

You’ve been doing super-slow training on machines; now you’ll apply it to free weights. Perform the following exercises, spending 90–120 seconds on each set. Choose light weights and go to failure, but stay safe—end the set when you feel your form is about to break down. Execute each rep as slowly as possible and rest only as long as you need between sets.

1. Dumbbell/kettlebell deadlift
2. Dumbbell/kettlebell squat
3. Pullup
4. Dumbbell/kettlebell overhead press
5. Dumbbell bench press
6. Chest-supported dumbbell row

Sauna

Using a sauna stimulates your central nervous system, triggering the body’s adaptive mechanisms to aid in recovery. In this regard, it’s similar to any kind of training you do, but the effect is very mild—the sauna doesn’t stress your body like lifting weights does.

Spend 20–40 minutes in a dry sauna. Focus on your breathing: take four seconds to inhale, hold your breath four seconds, take four seconds to exhale, and hold four seconds before taking another breath. Drink water in moderation (as little as you can get away with). Afterward, take a cold shower. It’s OK if your heart rate increases in the sauna and you feel a bit uncomfortable—try to relax.

Metabolic Sprints

Perform sprints (highly-intense effort) on a rowing machine, exercise bike, or elliptical—or, you can use strength exercises like the kettlebell swing, lunge jump, or squat jump. Do 4 sets of 30-second work bouts at the fastest pace you can maintain for that duration. Rest 4 minutes between sets and keep the rest active—walk, cycle, or jog at an easy pace (don’t just sit down to rest).

Finish the workout with another 5 sprints, 4 seconds each, of all-out effort. Rest 20 seconds between sprints.

4-Minute HIIT Routine

Bike, run, swim, or work on an elliptical machine for 4 minutes at the fastest pace you can maintain. Perform active recovery as you did in the Metabolic Sprints for 4 minutes, and repeat for 5 rounds.

Hypoxic Swim (Long)

Warm up with 500 meters. Now swim 50 meters with no or minimal breathing (try to hold your breath as long as you can). Rest 10 seconds and repeat for 12 rounds. Swim “smoothly”—don’t try to sprint.

Hardest Workout In The World

Do this workout exactly as described here: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/exercise/what-is-the-hardest-workout-in-the-world

Training Schedule

New Year’s Resolution Series: 6-Month Comeback Plan — Part 4

Week 13

Day 1: Tabata; Cold Therapy; Foundation Core Training

Day 2: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; NEW Body-Weight Workout; Hypoxic Swim (Short) (swim is optional today)

Day 3: Tabata; Metabolic Foam Roller Mobility Routine

Day 4: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Super-Slow Free Weights

Day 5: Tabata; Sauna; Foundation Core Trainng

Day 6: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Metabolic Sprints

Day 7: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Hot/Cold Contrast

Week 14

Day 1: Tabata; Cold Therapy; Foundation Core Training

Day 2: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; NEW Body-Weight Workout; Hypoxic Swim (Short) (swim is optional today)

Day 3: Tabata; Metabolic Foam Roller Mobility Routine

Day 4: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Super-Slow Free Weights

Day 5: Tabata; Sauna; Foundation Core Training

Day 6: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; 4-Minute HIIT Routine

Day 7: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Hot/Cold Contrast

Week 15

Day 1: Tabata; Cold Therapy; Foundation Core Training

Day 2: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; NEW Body-Weight Workout; Hypoxic Swim (Long) (swim is optional today)

Day 3: Tabata; Metabolic Foam Roller Mobility Routine;

Day 4: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Super-Slow Free Weights

Day 5: Tabata; Sauna; Foundation Core Training

Day 6: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Metabolic Sprints

Day 7: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Hot/Cold Contrast

Week 16

Day 1: Tabata; Cold Therapy; Foundation Core Training

Day 2: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; NEW Body-Weight Workout; Hypoxic Swim (Long) (swim is optional today)

Day 3: Tabata; Metabolic Foam Roller Mobility Routine

Day 4: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Super-Slow Free Weights

Day 5: Tabata; Sauna; Foundation Core Training

Day 6: Fasted Fat-Burning Cardio; Metabolic Sprints

Day 7: Hardest Workout In The World