New Year’s Resolution Series: 6-Month Comeback Plan – Part 2

In January, we introduced you to a comprehensive six-month program designed to lay the groundwork for any fitness goal you want to accomplish. Whether your ambition is to lose a few pounds, gain Herculean strength, compete in a sport, or simply feel better and be fit again like you were when you were younger, it all starts here.

The following are weeks 5–8 (month 2 of 6) of the plan. You’ll continue with many of the same workouts and habits you established in Part 1 and we’ve added a few more. See below for descriptions of new routines we want you to add to the mix, as well as a schedule to show you how to fit it all in at the bottom of the page.

If you missed Part 1, go HERE for exercise descriptions, videos, and an introduction to the plan. The exercises and instructions that were given there don’t reappear here.

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

6-Month Comeback Plan – Part 2 Details

Super Slow Strength

Warm up with 5–10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as jogging, cycling, or work on an elliptical trainer. Then complete each of the following exercises using very slow rep speeds—take 8–10 seconds to lift the weight and another 8–10 to lower it on each rep. Use very light weight and focus on keeping the muscles tense. You don’t have to count reps, but each exercise should take 90–120 seconds to complete.

Move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest between them. Once you’ve completed all the exercises, hold a front plank for as long as possible. Then repeat immediately for side planks on each side.

Exercises:

● Machine or cable chest press
● Machine or cable seated row
● Machine leg press or dumbbell squat
● Machine or cable pulldown
● Plank
● Side plank (left)
● Side plank (right)

Swim Repeats: 100 meters

If desired, you can substitute a rowing machine or elliptical trainer for the swim, following the same meter requirements for the rowing machine.

Warm up with 500m, alternating 50m of a drill like swimming with a kickboard or doing a particular stroke with 50m of freestyle swimming. Then swim 10 rounds of 100m at the maximum pace you can sustain. Rest 10 seconds between rounds. Cool down with 200–500m at an easy pace.

If using an elliptical, warm up for 5 minutes and then work as hard as possible for 60 seconds. Go easy for 60 seconds, and repeat for 8–12 rounds.

Foundation Strength Training

These full-body workouts will further develop a base level of strength that will lead to more intense weight training down the line. They won’t leave you excessively sore.

Workout A

Warmup: Perform 3–5 minutes of aerobic exercises such as jogging, cycling, or work on the elliptical trainer. Then perform the following exercises.

● Hip flexor kick-outs, 10 reps each side
● Four-step hip stretch, 10 reps each side
● Foam roll hamstrings, 10 reps each side
● Foam roll quadriceps, 10 reps each side
● Foam roll hip flexors, 10 reps each side
● Foam roll calves, 10 reps each side
● Foam roll IT bands, 10 reps each side
● Foam roll low back, 10 reps

Work Sets

Use about 80% of the weight you think you can handle for each set and don’t go to failure on any set.

Alternating Kettlebell or Dumbbell Row in Lunge
Reps: 10 (each side)

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stagger your stance. Bend your hips back so your torso is angled 45 degrees to the floor. Row one dumbbell to your side, drawing your shoulder blade back. Lower the weight and repeat on the opposite side. Switch the leg that’s in front every two steps.

Alternating Kettlebell or Dumbbell Press
Reps: 10 (each side)

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level and press one overhead. Lower it and press the other. Keep your core braced and avoid bending your torso in any direction.

Alternating Biceps Curl
Reps: 10 (each side)

Curl one arm at a time, avoiding letting your upper arms drift forward. Lift the weights with control; don’t swing them.

Cable Triceps Pushdown
Reps: 10 (each side)

Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station and grasp the ends with each hand. Extend your elbows to lockout. Lower the weight with control; don’t let the plates crash onto the stack.

Split Squat
Reps: 10 (each side)

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stagger your legs. Lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Keep your torso upright and your core tight.

Lateral Lunge
Reps: 10 (each side)

See Part 1.

Front Plank w/ Tap
Reps: 10 (each side)

See Part 1.

Cool Down

Hold each of the following stretches for up to 20 seconds (each side, were applicable)

● Down dog
● Single-leg quadriceps stretch
● Calf stretch
● Standing hamstring stretch
● Standing figure-four stretch
● Bridge

See Part 1.

Workout B

Perform the same warmup as in Workout A.

Single-Leg Overhead Press w/ Knee Drive
Reps: 10 (each side)

Hold a dumbbell in one hand at shoulder level. Stand with feet at shoulder width and press the weight overhead while raising the opposite knee above your hips.

Bow Row
Reps: 10 (each side)

Walking Lunge
Reps: 10 (each side)

Single-Leg Bridge w/ Stability Ball
Reps: 10 (each side)

Lie on the floor and rest the heel of one foot on a stability ball. Raise the other in the air. Brace your abs and drive your foot into the ball to raise your hips into the air.

Hip Hike
Reps: 10 (each side)

Fire Hydrant
Reps: 10 (each side)

Perform the same cool down as in Workout A.

Workout C

Pullup or Pulldown
Reps: 10

Hang from a pullup bar with hands just outside shoulder-width apart and palms facing away from you. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. If that’s too difficult, perform the same movement on a pulldown machine.

One-Arm Cable Chest Press
Reps: 10 (each side)

Attach a D-handle to the upper pulley of a cable station and grasp it in one hand. Stagger your stance so that the opposite side’s leg is forward. Brace your core and press the handle in front of you. Avoid twisting or bending your torso.

Straight-Arm Pulldown
Reps: 10

Attach a straight bar to the top pulley of a cable station and grasp it with hands shoulder-width apart. Back up from the machine to put tension on the cable and bend your torso forward to let your arms raise overhead. Pull the handle down to your hips.

Bow Row
Reps: 10 (each side)

Dumbbell Kickback
Reps: 10

Hold dumbbells and bend your hips back until your torso is parallel to the floor. Keeping your upper arms tight against your sides, extend your elbows to lockout, flexing your triceps at the top.

Front Plank W/ Tap
Reps: 12

Straight-Leg Cable Kick Forward
Reps: 10 (each leg)

Attach an ankle cuff to the low pulley of a cable station and slip it onto your ankle. Brace your core and slowly raise your leg in front of you, as if you were kicking. Keep your knee straight.

Straight-Leg Cable Kick Back
Reps: 10 (each leg)

Perform the same as the kick forward but face the machine and kick your leg backward while keeping the knee straight.

Perform the same cool down as in Workout A.

Swim Repeats: 50 meters

If desired, you can substitute a rowing machine or elliptical trainer for the swim, following the same meter requirements for the rowing machine.

Warm up with 500m, alternating 50m of a drill like swimming with a kickboard or doing a particular stroke with 50m of freestyle swimming. Then swim 16–20 rounds of 50m at the maximum pace you can sustain. Rest 10 seconds between rounds. Cool down with 200m at an easy pace.

If using an elliptical, warm up for 5 minutes and then work as hard as possible for 60 seconds. Go easy for 60 seconds, and repeat for 8–12 rounds.

Training Schedule

Week 5

Day 1: Range of Motion and Recovery Circuit; Fabulous Four Injury-Prevention Workout;
Foundation Core Training; Cold Therapy; ELDOA

Day 2: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Fast Foot Mobility Routine

Day 3: Body Weight Workout (A or B); Foundation Core Training; 25-meter Swim Repeats, Row, or Elliptical

Day 4: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Fast Foot Mobility Routine

Day 5: Nature Workout Circuit; Foundation Core Training; Foam Roller or Massage

Day 6: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Easy Recovery Run or Bike; Hot/Cold contrast

Day 7: TaiChi, Kundalini Yoga, Bikram Yoga, or Nature Walk; Foam Roller or Massage

Week 6

Day 1: Range of Motion and Recovery Circuit; Super Slow Strength Training; Foundation Core Training; Cold Therapy; ELDOA

Day 2: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Fast Foot Mobility Routine

Day 3: Body Weight Workout (A or B); Foundation Core Training; 25-meter Swim Repeats, Row, or Elliptical

Day 4: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Fast Foot Mobility Routine

Day 5: Super Slow Strength Training; Foundation Core Training; Foam Roller or Massage

Day 6: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Easy Recovery Run or Bike; Foundation Core Training; Hot/Cold contrast

Day 7: Nature Workout Circuit; Foam Roller or Massage

Week 7

Day 1: Range of Motion and Recovery Circuit; Super Slow Strength Training; Foundation Core Training; Cold Therapy; ELDOA

Day 2: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Fast Foot Mobility Routine

Day 3: Body Weight Workout (A or B); Foundation Core Training; 100-meter Swim Repeats, Row, or Elliptical

Day 4: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Fast Foot Mobility Routine

Day 5: Super Slow Strength Training; Foundation Core Training; Foam Roller or Massage

Day 6: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Easy Recovery Swim, Bike, or Elliptical; Foundation Core Training; Hot/Cold contrast

Day 7: Nature Workout Circuit; Foam Roller or Massage

Week 8

Day 1: Range of Motion and Recovery Circuit; Foundation Strength Training (Workout A);
Foundation Core Training; Cold Therapy; ELDOA

Day 2: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Fast Foot Mobility Routine

Day 3: Foundation Strength Training (Workout B); Foundation Core Training; 50-meter Swim Repeats, Row, or Elliptical

Day 4: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Foundation Core Training; Fast Foot Mobility Routine

Day 5: Foundation Strength Training (Workout C); Foundation Core Training; Foam Roller or Massage

Day 6: Yoga w/ Deep Breathing; Easy Recovery Swim, Bike, or Elliptical; Foundation Core Training; Hot/Cold contrast

Day 7: Nature Workout Circuit; Foam Roller or Massage

Author: Ben Greenfield

Author of the New York Times Bestseller “Beyond Training“, Ben Greenfield’s balanced approach to fitness, nutrition and health comes from his extensive experience in the fitness and wellness industry as one of the country’s leading personal trainers and wellness consultants. In 2008, Ben was nominated by the NSCA as America’s top personal trainer, and in 2013, Ben was voted as one of the top 100 most influential individuals in health and fitness.