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Rock Hard Training Plan Month 1: Start Strong

Make your body a fat-burning, muscle-building machine with this high-intensity routine .

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Dumbbell Chest Flye
Edgar Artiga / M+F Magazine
Dumbbell Chest Flye
Edgar Artiga / M+F Magazine

Ready to rethink your workout? You’ve come to the right place. This is part 1 of our Rock Hard Challenge training program. The keys to success with this program are to weight train with intensity; to include cardio that emphasizes fat burning and helps you avoid overtraining; and to reduce calorie consumption only enough that you target fat loss while preserving muscle mass.

Below is the training split you’ll follow for the first four weeks of our 8-week program. This split not only allows you to train every body part at least once a week, but it also supports recovery so that you’ll be at your peak strength when you attack large muscle groups.

Training Split

Day Body Part Speciality
Monday Legs, abs Steady-state cardio
Tuesday Chest, triceps Intensity sets
Wednesday    
Thursday Back, biceps, abs Intensity sets
Friday Shoulders, calves, forearms Steady-state cardio
Saturday   Rest
Sunday   Rest

Rest Day

What it is: Well, you know what this is: a day where you don’t go to the gym.

What you’ll do: Follow your diet plan and enjoy your life on rest days. You can rearrange your Rock Hard workout so rest days fit your individual schedule better, but you should include two full rest days each week. Keep in mind this does mean rest—no playing intense sports or staying up all night.

Benefits: Bodybuilders often overemphasize their time in the gym and undervalue their recovery. When you’re training strenuously and dieting, your body needs a break. Having two full rest days helps support muscle building and fat burning.

Routine

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Day 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 2 of 44

Lying Leg Curl

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 44

Back Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
4
Reps
15, 12, 10, 8
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 44

Leg Press

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
15, 12, 10
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 44

Walking Dumbbell Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
20-steps per leg
Rest
--
Exercise 6 of 44

Stiff-legged Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 8 of 44

Lying Leg Curl

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
30
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 44

Kneeling Cable Crunch

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment
Sets
3
Reps
30
Rest
--
Exercise 10 of 44

Reverse Crunch

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
20
Rest
--
Exercise 11 of 44

Steady-State Cardio

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
30-min
Rest
--

Day 2

Tuesday: Chest, Triceps, Intensity Sets

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 12 of 44

Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
15, 12, 10, 8
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
4
Reps
15, 12, 10, 8
Rest
--
Exercise 14 of 44

Incline Pushup

Equipment
Box
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--
Exercise 15 of 44

Stepup

Equipment
Box
Sets
4
Reps
20 per leg
Rest
--
Exercise 16 of 44

Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
15, 15, 10, 10
Rest
--
Exercise 17 of 44

Cable Crossover

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment
Sets
1
Reps
30
Rest
--
Exercise 18 of 44

Bodyweight Dip

Equipment
Dip Station
Sets
4
Reps
Max
Rest
--
Exercise 20 of 44

Pushdown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine
Sets
3
Reps
15, 12, 10
Rest
--
How to
Exercise 21 of 44

Pushdown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine
Sets
1
Reps
30
Rest
--
How to

Day 3

Wednesday: HIIT Cardio

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest

Day 4

Thursday: Back, Biceps, Abs, Intensity Sets

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 23 of 44

General Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
4
Reps
To failure
Rest
--
Exercise 24 of 44

Reverse-Grip Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Straight Bar Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
15, 12, 10, 8
Rest
--
Exercise 25 of 44

Barbell Upright Row

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
15, 12, 10, 8
Rest
--
Exercise 26 of 44

Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--
Exercise 27 of 44

Stepup

Equipment
Box
Sets
4
Reps
20 per leg
Rest
--
Exercise 28 of 44

Lat Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar
Sets
1
Reps
30
Rest
--
Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15, 12, 10
Rest
--
Equipment
EZ-Bar
Sets
3
Reps
15, 12, 10
Rest
--
Exercise 32 of 44

Bench Knee-In

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--

Day 5

Friday: Shoulders, Calves, Forearms, Cardio

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 34 of 44

Arnold Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
15, 12, 10, 8
Rest
--
Exercise 35 of 44

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
15
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Smith Machine
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 37 of 44

Bent-Over Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 38 of 44

Dumbbell Shrug

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
20 15, 12, 10
Rest
--
Exercise 40 of 44

Standing Calf Raise

Equipment
Box
Sets
3
Reps
20, 15, 15
Rest
--
Exercise 41 of 44

Seated Calf Raise

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
20, 15, 15
Rest
--
Exercise 42 of 44

Barbell Wrist Curl

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
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