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[WOTM, 01/2016] Upgrade Your Body & Attack 2016 With The 4-Day Muscle Massacre Workout Program

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It’s officially 2016. Pardon our French, but f**k the same “new year, new you” nonsense you’ve been failing at for years.

It’s cliché gobbledygook that lasts, at max, one month. And it’s precisely why gyms are infested for the first half of January, only to empty out 2 weeks later. Instead, come up with a real plan, go HAM from the start, and commit to change that’s designed to lastnot a source of temporary gratification that’s bound to fade before spring hits.

To kickstart the new year with a bang, we’re unleashing the most exhausting, comprehensive workout split of 2016 — The 4-Day Muscle Massacre Workout Program.

January’s WOTM is a weight-driven, 4-day workout split that’s engineered to systematically annihilate the upper and lower body. It leads with HEAVY, compound movements (think deadlifts, squats, lunges, rows, and swings) that build foundational strength, spark muscle growth, and ignite metabolism; and finishes with an oh-so-fun finale that relentlessly attacks the abs—the core is at the center of almost every movement—and arms.

Not only will you develop functional movement patterns that set the body up for long-term growth, but you’ll chisel out gorgeous muscle definition and carve out the beginnings of a stellar six-pack.

Here’s how the workout splits out:

All-in-all, it’ll shock your body out of hibernation and launch a physique that’s strong, battle-tested, and aesthetic as hell.

Get addicted in 2016, the results are tantalizing.


 

[WOTM, 01/2016] The 4-Day Muscle Massacre Workout Program


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Depending on your schedule, fitness level, and desired rigor, The 4-Day Muscle Massacre Workout Program can follow 1 of 3 tracks:

  • (1) Simple Split — 4 days per week. A → B → OFF → C → D → OFF → OFF
  • (2) Intense Split — 5 days per week. A → B → C → D → OFF → OFF → A
  • (3) MASSACRE Split — 6 days per week. A → B → C → D → OFF → A → B

For the fastest possible results (and if you REALLY want to bust your ass) we recommend the massacre split. Go ahead, we dare you.

Rest 1-1.5 minutes in between sets and always complete each workout in sequence, even if you need to randomly skip a day. As you progress, gradually increase the weight over time. Challenge = growth. Use the heaviest weight possible for the given number of reps (without compromising form).

And if you’re new to the lifting game, or training in general, read this first as a primer.

But there’s one key caveat — NONE of the lifting work you put in will matter if your diet is utter garbage. Get it right. Start with a few small steps and gradually improve your eating over time. You’ll find it easier to crush the goals you’ve got lined up for 2016.

Here are our top 5 priority nutritional fixes. And then implement all 17 clean eating tactics.

  1. Eat more PROTEIN. Protein should be the cornerstone of every diet. Eat it at EVERY meal. It helps control appetite and blood sugar levels, which ultimately reduces the chance of your food being stored as fat. Chicken, salmon, eggs, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt are all simple options, amongst others.
  2. Eat higher QUALITY food. Commit to pumping your body with more nutrient dense foods. Whether it’s adding more fruit/veggies or cutting out chips and cookies, enhance the overall QUALITY of your diet. Addition by subtraction is a powerful tactic, use it.
  3. Know your calories. You DON’T have to count calories. You DO have to know (about) how many calories your body burns and what your typical day looks like. It’s a frame of reference to work with, and one that magnifies the impact of a 1,000 calorie burger. Eat at or below your maintenance for weight loss.
  4. HYDRATE. Drink water all day long. Get in the habit of filling up a Nalgene and carrying it with you everywhere you go. You’d be surprised how quickly dehydration hits (and the subtle, but nasty, effects it carries).
  5. Learn to Cook. You don’t need to go to culinary school, but you should learn how to whip up more than eggs and oatmeal. Cooking is the easiest way to control what goes into your body — and a surefire way to cut processed crap out of you diet permanently. Plus it’s sexy. Make it happen in 2016.

Enough talking, ON TO THE WORKOUT.

*Click on each applicable exercise name for a full pop-out video demo. A printable summary of all 3 workout plans is available here.

 

Workout A — Upper Body


 

1. Deadlifts


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How To:

Protocol: 4 sets — 8 reps

Target Muscle(s): Back, Legs, Core, Arms

  • (1) For each rep start in a low squat position and grab the bar with an overhand grip (A). Sit back in your hips, push through your heels, ascend upward, and raise your torso until you’re in a full stand (B) — maintain a tight core and straight back throughout the motion.
  • (2) Slowly lower under control by dropping your torso and hips down until the bar touches the floor (A). Repeat for 8 reps.

 

2. Dumbbell Chest Press


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Image: Bodybuilding.com

How To:

Protocol: 3 sets — 12 reps

Target Muscle(s): Chest, Triceps

  • Lie flat on a bench with two dumbbells pressed straight up above your chest. This is starting position.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells down to chest height, until your triceps are parallel with the floor. Pause 1 second, contract your chest and triceps, and powerfully press back up to start.

 

3. Bent-Over Barbell Rows


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How To:

Protocol: 3 sets — 10 reps

Target Muscle(s): Back, Biceps, Core

  • (1) Hold a barbell in front of your body with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten your core, straighten your back, and drop your torso down to 45º.
  • (2) Powerfully contract your back and biceps, and explosively pull the barbell into the top of your core. Hold for 1s and return to full extension. Repeat.

Make sure that your back stays straight and strong at all times. DO NOT ARCH.

 

4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press


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How To:

Protocol:  3 sets — 12 reps

Target Muscle(s): Shoulders (All), Triceps

  • (1) Sit upright on a bench with your back firmly against the pad. Keep your core tight and feet anchored to the floor.
  • (2) Bring the dumbbells up to shoulder height, raise them out to the side, and powerfully press overhead. Keep the dumbbells separate at the top of the movement.
  • (3) Slowly lower until your triceps are slightly below parallel. Hold for .5s at the bottom and repeat. Make sure to keep your core tight and shoulders pulled back at all times.

 

5. Kettlebell Swings


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How To:

Protocol: 3 sets — 25 reps/30 reps/35 reps

Target Muscles: Shoulders, Legs, Lower Back, Core

For kettlebell swings, use the heaviest kettlebell possible for the prescribed number of reps.

  • (1) Place a kettlebell in between your feet.
  • (2) Maintain a flat back, bend down, and grab the handle with both hands. This is your base position.
  • (3) Powerfully dip down, press through your heels (squeeze your butt), raise your torso, and vigorously swing the kettlebell up to forehead height. Thrust through your hips at the midpoint and keep your arms straight throughout the motion.
  • (4) Let the kettlebell sit at the apex for as long as possible, bend your knees, and slowly allow it to release between your legs — keep your chest up. Repeat.

You’re following an ascending rep protocol. Start with 25 reps in set 1, do 30 reps in set 2, and finish off with 35 reps in set 3.

 

6. [SUPERSET] Pull Ups + Push Ups


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How To:

Protocol: 3 supersets — to failure

Target Muscle(s): Back (Lats), Biceps

  • (1) Do as many Pull Ups as possible (until failure). If you’re unable to do less than 5, substitute lat pull-downs or assisted pull ups instead.
  • (2) Immediately move to the floor and do as many Push Ups as possible (until failure).
  • (3) Rest and repeat 2 additional supersets.



 


Pages: Upper Body | Lower Body | Arms & Abs | Cardio | Recap

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto

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  • Reniestar

    Damn! Lower body day is going to be tough as hell but I’m excited to try this out. Thanks Bryan

  • Claire

    Hi there, the link to the printable versions goes to a different workout. Are these available as a print out anywhere? Looks great!

  • Jason

    Just out of curiosity if I do the 5 day workout, how do I transition at the end of the 7 day period into a new cycle? Am I doing back to back Upper Body workouts on the Sunday into the Monday?

    • You’ll never do back-to-back workouts for the same muscle group. If you’re doing the 5 day cycle you’ll go:

      Mon: A (upper)
      Tues: B (lower)
      Weds: C (ams/abs)
      Thurs: D (cardio)
      Fri: OFF
      Sat: OFF
      Sun: A
      Mon: B
      Tues: C
      Weds: D
      Thurs: OFF
      Fri: OFF

      etc ….

      Don’t pair a workout with a specific day of the week, it won’t line up. In your mind just follow the order, even if you need to take an unexpected day off.

      Once you finish a full cycle, repeat it starting with A.