A New Year, a New Body Week 5: The Metabolic Blast™ Workout Phase II

Editors Note: This is part 3 of Josef’s 4 part, 12 week program. Be sure to check out part 1, and  part 2, and stay tuned for week 9.

Phase II will literally take your breath away, get your heart beating out of your chest, and get your metabolism cranking for a day or more to come. It will do all of this while getting you into the best cardiovascular shape of your life. Get ready to take your body to the next level yet again.

If you're part of the camp that followed-through with parts 1 and 2, then your pants should be falling off your ass. At the very least you should have moved your belt over by 2 or 3 notches and they should be baggy. On top of that, your energy and fitness levels should be through the roof. This should be the best that you've felt since you were 18 – inside and out. Congratulations! If no one else in your life is proud of you, then I am :-).

High fiving a cheetah

By The Way, It's Never Too Late

If you're not in the group that played along don't waste a single, solitary second beating yourself up, or thinking “Oh, it's already phase II. It's too late. I screwed up and I'm never going to get anywhere!”

Nonsense. It's never too late, unless you're actually dead. But then you wouldn't be reading this right now.

You have all the time and opportunity that there is – right here and right now. Cheesy? Sure. Accurate? You know it.

If you're one of those people who would love to be proud to take off their shirt in public, but never got started when New Year, New Body came out, decide that you're going to do something right now. Don't say “later” or “tomorrow”, that's how you got in this situation right now. You may not be able to finish the 20 or so min of homework in part I, but you can at least finish step one and get some momentum started.

Today is yesterday's tomorrow – it's already next month. 2009 is steadily winding down and before you know it will be 2010. Stop whatever you're doing right now and decide that you will go back to part I, get your vision for the body you want and the purpose that will drive you to your destination.

Then resolve to get started on the nutrition tomorrow, and the workout plan next week. Oh, and if you're getting overwhelmed with to-do's just write them down in your calendar so there not in your head. That will get you out of overwhelm immediately.

Metabolic Blast™ Plan – Phase II

All programs that work are based on only one principle – progressive overload. That is they make progressive demands on the body that it must adapt to. This is why people can join a gym, do completely random stuff and still make some kind of progress for the first few weeks – it's a greater demand than there body is used to.

This is also why all programs eventually stop working. In 4-6 weeks your body adapts to a program and has made all the adaptations that it's going to make. If your body has nothing that it needs to adapt to then you will make no progress.

Obviously you cannot just continue increasing the weight forever and expect your body to adapt to that demand. If that were true everyone would be able to bench 400lbs for 10 reps in their first year.

I've done a bunch of things to tap into progressive overload and ensure that your body has to make a whole new batch of adaptations in phase II. Some of those are:

  • The structure of the workouts: we've moved form exercise pairs to triplets (3 exercises in a row without rest)
  • The exercises themselves: some have been made more difficult such as the Bulgarian split squat. We've put your front foot 6-12″ off the ground so that you have to squat lower to complete the rep. It doesn't sound like much of a difference on paper, but you will feel a big difference when you actually do it.
  • The rep range: we've moved from 10 all the way up to 15. Its really important to stick with the rep range and lighten the weight as necessary to be able to get all 15 reps even thougt it will be completely uncomfortable. 15 will be uncomfortable because we've had you adapting to a completely different rep range for a month. That's great, now you'll have to expend a lot of energy getting better at 15 for a month!
  • Changed your interval training: the post workout INT has been shortened and made harder – instead of 2 parts rest to 1 part hard work, you only get 1 of each. Make sure that you still haul ass, and you definitely feel and SEE the difference. Also, your long interval session has just been made longer by adding a 5th round. Keep the tempo and intensity UP in the 5th round!

I kept the Romanian deadlift from last month. The next level up from that exercise is a full deadlift from the floor. Pulling all the way from the floor is a higher skill movement and is generally a bad idea to be doing for 15 reps. It will be really hard to keep your form together on that while your muscles and lungs are burning.

Your Week

(Cycle Workout A and Workout B on lifting days.)

Day 1 – Lift (54 min)

Day 2 – Long interval session (20 min)

Day 3 – Lift (54 min)

Day 4 – Long interval session (20min)

Day 5 – Lift (54 min)

Day 6 – Long interval session (20 min)

Day 7 – Rest (don't be a total slob, but don't do anything really intense like play basketball. Walk to the store, or play Nintendo Wii.)

Total = 3 hours 40min


In the interest of keeping you out of overwhelm I'm keeping the warm-up the same as in phase I. Re-watching the video is probably a good idea because something always gets forgotten – your technique can never get too good.

Exercise Sets x Reps, Rest

A1. Bridge 1 x 10, 0 sec

A2. Quadruped with thoracic extension 1 x 8/side, 0 sec

A3. Inch worm 1 x 5, 0 sec

A4. Leg swing (front to back) 1 x 10/side, 0 sec

A5. Squat to stand 1 x 10, 0 sec

A6. Overhead squat 1 x 10, Done

How To Read Workouts

A1. A2. & A3 are an exercise triplet. That is, you do the reps for A1, then move to A2 and then A3 with NO rest. You DO get rest at the end of each triplet.

Finish all of the A's, then knock out the B's which are only pairs.

Start with only 2 sets for each exercise in week 5, and then progress to 3 sets in week 6, and progressively bump up the weight without decreasing your form.

Workout A

Exercise Sets x Reps, Rest

A1. Back squat 2-3 x 15, 0 sec

A2. DB bent over row 2-3 x 15, 0 sec

A3. Reverse lunge 2-3 x 15/leg, 90 sec

diagonal line break

B1. Bulgarian split squat (front foot up) 2-3 x 15/leg, 0 sec

B2. Push-up with rotation 2-3 x 15/side, 60 sec

diagonal line break

C. Plank with forward reach 2 x 10/side, 60 sec

diagonal line break

D. Intervals 5 x 60sec FAST/60sec Recovery

Workout B

Exercise Sets x Reps, Rest

A1. Romanian Deadlift 2-3 x 15, 0 sec

A2. One arm overhead press 2-3 x 15, 0 sec

A3. Alternating lunge 2-3 x 15/leg, 90sec

diagonal line break

B1. SHELC 2 feet out/1 foot in 2-3 x 15, 0 sec

B2. Underhand grip pull down 2-3 x 15, 60 sec

diagonal line break

C. Ball jackknife 2 x 15, 60 sec

diagonal line break

D. Intervals 5 x 60sec FAST/60 sec Recovery

Interval Workouts

1. Post workout (after lifting) – perform on any piece of cardio equipment:

A. 2 min warm-up

B. 60 sec “all-out,” a 9 on a scale of 1-10

C. 60 sec “recovery,” a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10

D. Repeat for a total of 5 rounds

E. 2 min cool down

Total = 14 min

2. Long interval session (non-lifting days) – perform at home (run or jump rope), or at the gym on any piece of cardio equipment:

A. 3 min warm-up

B. 60 sec “all-out”, a 9 on a scale of 1-10

C. 120 sec “recovery”, a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10

D. Repeat for a total of 5 rounds

E. 2 min cool down (+ the last 2min of “recovery” = 4 min total)

Total = 20 min

Level II Nutrition

I originally thought about doing a very long, in-depth 8-point nutrition program for you, but I decided that for the sake of it actually being implemented I would just make this really simple. Level II is just Green Faces + fruit + 1 cheat meal per week. That's it.

You should already be down 10+lbs of body fat and up a few pounds of muscle, so why mess with what works? When the 12 weeks are over I want you to have a brand new body, so let's keep up the pace.

If you have any questions about why getting your carbs from fruits and vegetables works read my carb article here.

The Fruit

Up to 5 servings of fruit per day. A serving of fruit would be:

  • 1 small apple
  • 1 small orange
  • 1 small pear
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1/2 cup anything else
  • Avoid canned fruit, or any fruit with syrup on it
  • Avoid dried fruit – one little dried apricot is the sugar equivalent of a whole apricot, it is sooooooo easy to pack away the equivalent of 5 pieces of fruit in one sitting with dried fruit because the volume has been reduced so much.
  • Frozen fruit is almost always a good idea (unless frozen in syrup)

The Cheat Meal

The cheat meal is one, moderately sized meal per week that does not comply with the nutrition guidelines. Some people have written entire books saying that having an entire day of cheat meals will actually make you leaner. I have NEVER seen this actually pan out in real life, so even though that book has 300 references I don't care. I don't think it works.

Always remember that what got you fat in the first place was your old lifestyle. This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle change. Doing Green Faces and The Metabolic Blast is great, but neither one can “fat proof” your body. If you go back to your old way then you'll go back to your old body and your old energy levels and poor health.

The point of this is to say that the cheat meal is treating yourself not cheating yourself. Don't look at it as an opportunity to eat as much junk food that is humanly possible in one sitting. Look at is as an opportunity to enjoy a moderate serving of something that you really like, but wouldn't ordinarily eat. Have a few beers and 2 slices of pizza and learn to chew your pizza so that you enjoy it.

General rules:

  • 2 drinks or less
  • Either entrée or dessert, but not both
  • Eat ‘till satisfied, but not stuffed

Is there crack in your food?

For most people that have a propensity to store excess body fat – that's most people – refined carbs are something like an addictive drug. That is when you eat them they often turn on this insatiable appetite for more junk. Just remember to pick a definite stopping point during your cheat meal because your body will probably be telling you “more! More! MORE!” Fat and protein make people feel full, carbs often do not.

Train hard and eat clean and we'll see the brand new you in 28 days.

If you live in the DC are go to www.washingtondcpersonaltrainer.com to find out how you can get a 100% FREE 7-Day Free Trial of personal training with Josef Brandenburg – there are no tricks or strings attached. Space is extremely limited, so sign-up before we run out of space. If you're not in the DC area, go to www.josefbrandenburg.com to learn more from Josef on his blog.