Year Long Workout: Phase VI Intro


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Losing fat is a double-edged sword. You love seeing all the muscles you’ve been training finally pop, but you can’t help but get paranoid that you’re losing size and strength as you watch the number on the scale go down. In Phases IV and V, you’ve dieted hard, and we’ll bet you’ve already been asking your lady if your arms look smaller.

Well, big-orexics can take heart-beginning this month, you’re allowed to eat and lift heavy again, because we’re training you for strength. You’ll soon make up for any you may have lost during the cutting phase, and you’ll add new mass and power. But as you’ve come to expect from MF, we’re going about it a little differently than you might think.

We want your strength gains to be as functional as possible, so you’re not just strong on conventional gym exercises, but athletically strong as well. It’s one thing to be a behemoth who can move a lot of weight, but it’s another to be able to move it somewhere-such as carrying a couch up a staircase or dragging your wimpy opponent across the football field.

To get you there, the Phase VI workouts focuses on building life-speci?c strength from unorthodox exercises, such as the plate drag and the dumbbell hang clean. These moves-and others like them-will teach you how to use the muscles around your hips (the strongest in your body) explosively. One classic strength exercise that will not be featured in these workouts is the bench press.

For one thing, we’re guessing you’ve already done it enough to last a lifetime, and we want to keep your shoulders healthy. For another, we want your back and core to be as strong as possible when you’re hoisting heavy loads, so band-resisted pushups and the neutral-grip row to face will be your main upper-body builders. Don’t worry, the bench press will make a return later in the program.

Welcome back, big guy.


Frequency: Perform each workout once per week, resting at least a day between each session.

How To Do It: Perform each pair of exercises (marked A and B) as alternating sets, resting the prescribed amount of time after each set. So you’ll do one set of A, rest, then one set of B, rest again, and repeat for all the prescribed sets for each exercise. In Workout C, you’ll perform a tri-set, marked lowercase a, b, and c. This means you’ll complete one set for each of the three exercises without resting in between. So you’ll do all your reps for 3a, then all your reps for 3b and then 3c before resting.

Perform the remaining exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for an exercise before moving on.

Tempo: The first digit is how many seconds you should take to lower the weight. The second digit is how long you should pause at the bottom (when your muscles are under the most tension). The third digit is how long you should take to lift the weight. A “0” means to move right to the next digit, and an “X” in place of digits means to perform each rep with explosive speed.

Weight: Use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed repetitions for each set.

Phase VI Workouts:

Workout A
1 Squat
2 Hip-Extension Plate Drag
3 Romanian Deadlift
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Workout B
1A Band-Resisted Pushup
1B Neutral-Grip Row To Face
2A Jumping Lunge
2B Dumbbell Push Press
3 Swiss-Ball Plank w/ Leg Raise
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Workout C
1 Dumbbell Hang Clean
2A Close-Grip Chinup
2B Stepup
3A Reverse Crunch w/ Pop Up
3B Reverse Crunch
3C Pop Up
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