Winter is fast approaching and so is the urge to bundle up in a Snuggie and never move from your couch. The only reason you’re salvaging motivation is because the body you want to show off during the summer must be chiseled during these dark, cold months. But how do you know where to begin? What should you do to battle the truckload of stuffing, pumpkin bread, and peppermint bark you’re going to consume during the next few months?

If you’re trying to gain strength, your workouts should focus on lower reps and higher weight on your exercises. If you’re looking to get lean, aim for higher reps and lower weight. It’s always better to try and put on muscle before you try to lean down. That being said, in order to put on muscle you’re going to need to eat. A lot. Don’t be discouraged if your body fat percentage increases when doing a strength training program, since you should be greatly increasing your daily calorie intake to allow you to reach your maximum potential during lifts.

I used to be an advocate of the full body workout. Three times a week I would go to the gym and do the same exact workout each time, hitting virtually every muscle type in my body in one day. The problem with this method was that I was sacrificing each individual muscle group because I did fewer exercises for each.

Now I generally like to spread my week out with four lifting days, two cardio days, and one rest day.

Follow this weekly schedule for six weeks, starting with an amount of weight you can easily perform each exercise with. Each week you should be increasing the weight on every exercise by at least five pounds. Push yourself to reach this goal every week and you’ll gain muscle and strength in just a month and a half.

Sunday: Chest and Triceps

Chest (Sets x Reps)

  • Bench Press (5×5)
  • Incline Press (5×5)
  • Decline Press (5×5)
  • Cable Fly (4×10)

Triceps (Sets x Reps)

  • Dips (4×10)
  • Tricep Extension (4×10)
  • Cable Extension (4×10)

Monday: Cardio

Tuesday: Legs

  • Squat (5×5)
  • Leg Press (5×5)
  • Bulgarian Squat (5×5)
  • Leg Extension (4×10)
  • Standing Calf Raises (3×20)
  • Sitting Calf Raises (3×20)
  • Lying Leg Curl (4×10)

Wednesday: Cardio

Thursday: Shoulders

  • Shoulder press (5×5)
  • Front Lateral Raise (3×10)
  • Side Lateral Raise (3×10)
  • Shrugs (4×10)
  • Arnold Dumbbell Press (5×5)
  • Deltoid Raise (3×10)

Friday: Back and Biceps

Saturday: Snuggie and Couch Potato Day

Don’t stress out if you miss a day or have a sub-par workout. Come back motivated and ready to set the bar higher for your next lift.

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