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New Year's Challenge 2019 Program Overview

Crush your fitness-related New Year's resolutions with this 6-week, 5-days-a-week training program.

New Year's Challenge

With the holiday season behind us, it’s a New Year now. And if you’re not currently satisfied with your physique and your fitness, maybe it’s time for a NEW YOU in 2019.

If you promised yourself you’d get in shape last New Year but didn’t see it through, it’s time to put that behind you and focus on the present with my 4th annual New Year's Challenge – a comprehensive training, nutrition, and supplement program that will make you leaner, bigger, stronger, and better conditioned in just six weeks.

If that sounds like the new YOU that you’d like to experience, whether you made official New Year’s Resolutions or not, this is your plan. This year will be different than last. You’ll change your body through proper nutrition and a science-based training program that mixes a proven periodization model with a variety of intensity-boosting techniques.

I’m a bit of a rebel in the world of fitness and strength-training. While many experts will tell you that you can’t lose fat and build muscle at the same time, thousands of JYM Army members are living proof that it is indeed possible. If other programs have failed to deliver the results you wanted, it’s time for something new. New Year, New You.

New Year's Training Split

The New Year's Challenge program employs my Stoppani Full-Split training system, which combines body part split training and whole-body workouts to deliver both muscle gains and fat loss. In each workout, you’ll not only train the focus muscle groups for that day, but you’ll also hit the other major muscle groups with one exercise each to get BIGGER and leaner in the New Year.

For the split training aspect of the program, I’ve broken the body up into two workouts (a two-day split, essentially). In Workout 1, the focus muscle groups are chest, back, triceps, biceps, forearms, and abs; in Workout 2, the focus muscle groups are legs, shoulders, calves, and traps. All 10 major muscle groups will still be trained in all workouts, just with lower volume prescribed for the non-focus bodyparts in each session.

You’ll do these split workouts twice a week for a total of four split-training sessions. I recommend you do them on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, leaving Wednesday available for a non-split workout. I’ll be referring to the “second round” of the split workouts (Thursday and Friday) as “Workout 4” and “Workout 5,” since they involve different exercises for each muscle group than do Workouts 1 and 2.

Why am I not referring to them as Workouts 3 and 4? Because I’ve included a full-body-only dynamic training day to follow Workout 2, before you go back to the split training workout for chest, back, triceps, biceps, forearms, and abs the following day.

The dynamic workout will involve light weight and low rep counts, but all sets will be performed with fast, explosive reps to help you build a new more powerful body in 2019.

Program Overview

All workouts in the New Year's Challenge program – day by day, week by week – can be found later in this article as graphic charts. And then you can download all workouts to your mobile device using the hyperlink at the very bottom of the article. But before that, here's a rundown of the different aspects of the program design, plus some guidelines to follow during the workouts...

Workouts 1, 2, 4, 5 –  Linear Periodized Microcycles

The split workouts (Workouts 1, 2, 4, and 5) follow a linear periodized microcycle scheme for three weeks, and then it repeats for a total of six weeks. Here’s how the reps will progress from week-to-week:

Week 1: 15 reps per set.

Week 2: 10 reps per set, with weight increasing on all exercises from Week 1.

Week 3: 5 reps per set, with weight increasing on all exercises from Week 2.

Week 4: 15 reps per set, with heavier weights than you used in Week 1.

Week 5: 10 reps per set, with heavier weights than you used in Week 2.

Week 6: 5 reps per set, with heavier weights than you used in Week 3.

As you see, the rep counts are the same for Weeks 4, 5, and 6 as they were the first three weeks, but you should be stronger in the second half of the program from the training you did in the first half (Weeks 1-3), so plan on using heavier loads to finish. How about a stronger you in 2019?!

Hitting Your Rep Counts

Keep in mind that you don't have to hit the exact rep count listed on every set. If you're within one rep of the prescribed listing, you're doing fine and can stick with the same weight. For example, if it says 10 reps and you failed at 9, that's close enough. Or, if you did 11 reps (to failure), that's fine, too.

Think about the rep counts more as ranges, where 5 reps basically means anywhere in the 4-6 range; 10 reps means 9-11; and 15 reps means 14-16. That said, if you're only hitting 7 or 8 reps on the 10-rep sets, you should definitely drop the weight a little bit so that you're failing at 9-11 reps; likewise, if you're able to get 12 or more reps on those 10-rep sets, add some weight.

The one exception here is on supersets, specifically after the first set. If the superset calls for, say, 10 reps per exercise, that should be your guide for set #1. If you're doing one or two more sets of the superset after that, however, chances are you won't hit the same reps you did in set #1. That's okay, even if you fall slightly outside of the 9-11-rep range on subsequent sets.

Don't get too caught up in hitting every rep count on the nose. The most important thing is that you're doing the workouts consistently, hitting the volume and intensity, and taking sets to failure.

Intensity Techniques for Better Results

Each of the four split workouts (Workouts 1, 2, 4, and 5) employs multiple intensity techniques to help maximize muscle mass and strength gains while simultaneously enhancing fat-burning and minimizing time spent in the gym.

The three main techniques utilized in the program are supersets, extended sets, and staggered sets. And don’t worry, I designed the workouts such that they can be done in even the busiest gym, assuming you’ll be training among many newbies this January as people flock to health clubs to tackle their New Year’s resolutions.

I’ll use Workout 1 to illustrate the different techniques in the program...

Intensity Technique #1: Supersets

You’ll start the workout by

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