Training During the Holidays

The Holidays are approaching, Thanksgiving leading the way with Christmas and New Years closely behind. They are a time of joy and happiness. However, unfortunately, it is during this time that most people tend to forget about their workouts. If you are thinking about doing that, let me remind you that the only road that leads to is to a larger waistline. Remember that if you choose the path of laziness eventually the Holidays will end and your joy and happiness will turn into horror as you will be left with having to face yourself in the mirror afterwards.

While I am not advocating to continue going to the gym everyday like the most hardcore of us will do, I am advocating to continue lifting weights at least 3 times a week with cardio activity (that can be done in your own home) in the days in between. For the purpose of continued muscle growth and fat loss over the Holidays, I have used the principles of cycling that I always preach about in order to create a routine that will keep the muscle growth/fat loss process going during the next few months with minimum visits to the gym. While it is a low volume/abbreviated routine, it is by no means an easy one.

Loading Phase (Week 1)

Mon(13-15reps)/Wed(10-12reps)/Fri(8-10reps) Superset:
Incline Bench Press 3sets (No Rest)
Close Grip Chinups (Palms facing you) 3sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Upright Rows 1 set (No Rest)
Bent Over Laterals 1 set (60 seconds)

Superset: Seated Incline Hammer Curls 2sets (No Rest)
Triceps Dips 2 sets (60 seconds)

Giant set:
Lunges 3 sets (No Rest)
Leg Curls 3 sets (No Rest)
Squats 3 sets (No Rest)
Calf Raises 3 sets (60 seconds)
(Use either the machine or Barbell used for Squats)

(Week 2)
Mon(13-15reps)/Wed(10-12reps)/Fri(8-10reps)
Superset:
Incline Bench Press 4sets (No Rest)
Close Grip Chinups (Palms facing you) 4sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Upright Rows 2 set (No Rest)
Bent Over Laterals 2 set (60 seconds)

Superset:
Seated Incline Hammer Curls 3sets (No Rest)
Triceps Dips 3 sets (60 seconds)

Giant set:
Lunges 4 sets (No Rest)
Leg Curls 4 sets (No Rest)
Squats 4 sets (No Rest)
Calf Raises 4 sets (No Rest)
(Use either the machine or Barbell used for Squats) (60 seconds)

(Week 3)
Mon(13-15reps)/Wed(10-12reps)/Fri(8-10reps)
Superset:
Incline Bench Press 5sets (No Rest)
Close Grip Chinups (Palms facing you) 5sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Upright Rows 3 set (No Rest)
Bent Over Laterals 3 set (60 seconds)

Superset:
Seated Incline Hammer Curls 4sets (No Rest)
Triceps Dips 4 sets (60 seconds)

Giant set:
Lunges 5 sets (No Rest)
Leg Curls 5 sets (No Rest)
Squats 5 sets (No Rest)
Calf Raises 5 sets (60 seconds)
(Use either the machine or Barbell used for Squats)

Growth Phase (Weeks 4-6)
Mon(10-12reps)/Wed(8-10reps)/Fri(5-7reps)
Modified Compound Superset:
Incline Bench Press 3sets (Rest 90 seconds)
Close Grip Chinups (Palms facing you) 3sets (Rest 90 seconds)

Upright Rows 1 set (Rest 60 seconds)
Bent Over Laterals 1 set (Rest 60 seconds)

Superset:
Seated Incline Hammer Curls 2sets (Rest 90 seconds)
Triceps Dips 2 sets (Rest 90 seconds)

Modified Compound Giantset:
Lunges 3 sets (Rest 60 seconds)
Leg Curls 3 sets (Rest 60 seconds)
Squats 3 sets (Rest 60 seconds)
Calf Raises 3 sets (Rest 60 seconds)
(Use either the machine or Barbell used for Squats)

There you have it. After week 6 go into Active Recovery (Two full body workouts a week; a routine similar to the Growth Phase above performed only on Mondays and Thursdays with each set consisting of 10-12 reps; perform the same number of sets as suggested above). Also, do 20 minutes of cardio , first thing in the morning on the days off (Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays). Sunday is the total rest day.

The longest routine is the one from week 3. It lasts around 75 minutes. It is exhausting as well. Try it out and provided that you follow a good diet along with it (by just limiting yourself to splurge on Thanksgiving day, Christmas day and New Years Eve; Note that I said days NOT weeks) you should avoid the catastrophic effects that the Holidays leave behind in some people. As a matter of fact, you should look better.

Let me know how you like it if you try it. Also remember that the more you splurge on high protein food items, the less detrimental the effect of the splurge.

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3 Responses for Training During the Holidays

  1. Bob G

    avatar

    December 22, 2009 10:23 am

    Hugo – Am going to give this workout routine a try. Fortunately I was looking for a new rountine to end the year/begin the new year.
    What is the best supplement stack to go along with this workout?? At 59 I need all the help I can get!

  2. December 22, 2009 2:45 pm

    Hello Bob! –

    Glad that this routine will help you out. At your age I would focus on recovery supplements. I am assuming that you are following a proper diet with 5-6 meals a day that include protein, good carbs and good fats. I am also assuming that some of those meals may be protein powders or MRPs. With that said, I would go for some Sorenzymes to speed recovery, EFA Lean for good fats that help with joints and recovery as well (this product is really formidable), Elasti Joint for your joints, Humanofort for increased recovery and testosterone production and finally a product like Super Charge Xtreme prior to the workout. I also like to use BCAAs before and after training.

    Merry Christmas!
    Hugo

  3. Bob G

    avatar

    December 28, 2009 1:02 pm

    Hugo –
    Appreciate the feedback – Will try the stack that you provided. Thanks – Will keep you posted. I am going to be doing the 2010 Challenge. Already have the packet for the Challenge.
    r/
    Bob G