Kickstart: Build – 4 Week Workout plan

workout planWeeks 1 & 2: BUILD

The Plan: A two-phase workout plan for anyone looking to incorporate specific “phases” into their routine, but not quite ready to commit to full bulk/cut cycles. Good for building muscle/fat loss. Would also work well for a person doing a metabolism reset.

How to work it: Alternate days one and two, for a four-day, full body routine. Do the first week as written, “straight-set” style. The second week perform “drop sets” on the third set; immediately dropping the weight after the final set, grabbing a lighter weight (~25%) and going until failure.

Weights: Begin every weight session with a 5-10 minute dynamic warmup and 1-2 warmup sets (using lighter weight). Select a weight that presents a struggle for the last few reps. Remember to log your weight selection, being sure to increase weight whenever possible. If you can do 2-3 more reps than specified with your chosen weight, your weight is too light, and it is time to increase. You must push yourself for maximum results, every set should be challenging. There must be at least 48 hours in between repeating a specific day. Do not perform Day 1 exercises, two days in a row, for instance. End 5-10 minutes of stretching, while the muscle is still warm to prevent injury.

Rest periods: 30-60 seconds (higher reps = shorter rests, low reps = longer rest) for weighted moves, no longer than 30 seconds for core work.

Cardio: Cardio can be performed, as desired on remaining days of the week. During “Build”, 1-2 days/week should be sufficient, not exceeding 30-45 minutes. Start with the minimum amount, only add more if necessary (to reduce muscle soreness, walk the dog, etc). If performing cardio and weights on the same day, opt to do weights first (this doesn’t include the warm-up done before weights).

Food: To truly get the most out of this or any workout plan, the food intake should match the nature of the workouts. During build, eat at TDEE (maintenance) or above, for optimal muscle growth. The EM2WL weight loss calculator (set goal at “build muscle”) will give you an idea of your best calorie range for building muscle. Attempt to eat .8-1g of protein per lb of body-weight (i.e. 150g for 150lb person) or 30% of your calorie intake, and sufficient carbs (around 40-50% of your total intake), especially surrounding your workouts. (If diabetic, insulin sensitive, etc., eat carbs as per doctor/nutritionist orders).

**Want this plan to last longer than 4 weeks? Repeat “Build” for or up to 4 weeks (4 workouts per week), max. Then move on to 2-4 weeks of “Burn“. **

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps & Core




Barbell Bench Press 6-8 3
Incline Dumbbell Flyes 8-10 3
Rocky Presses 6-8 3
Power Partials 8-10 3
Bench Dips 6-8 3
One-Arm Tricep Extension 6-8 3
Reverse Crunch 15-20 3
Plank hold 30 sec* 3

*Start w/30 seconds and continue to progress up to 3 minutes or as long as possible.

Day 2: Back, Biceps & Legs




Barbell Row
6-8 3
Lat Pull-down
8-10 3
Barbell Squat 6-8 3
Leg Extension
8-10 3
Lying Leg Curl 8-10 3
Barbell curl 6-8 3
Concentration Curl
8-10 3
Calf Raise
10-15 3

More of a visual person? Check out the “at-a-glance” options for Day 1 and Day 2

Completed the first phase? Let’s take it to the next level.  Weeks 3 & 4 – Burn

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