Your New Year’s Resolution Workout Plan: A Year-Long Plan


2016 New Year's Resolution

With the New Year comes a renewed commitment to fitness. Here’s how you can ensure results and stay committed all year!

If I asked you what your New Year’s resolution was last year, would you be able to tell me?

If so, when did you start? How long did you stick to it? Chances are something happened along the way to derail you, and you can’t be blamed for that – even the best of us make mistakes. Make a pact with yourself to make this year different.

More often than not, people walk into a gym with the best intention, their goals are solid and achievable, but what most people forget is that there is a process, a method that you have to adopt to get there. The next question is, with so many plans and theories out there, which one is the best for you?

What’s your goal? Is your goal to get bigger? Is it to become stronger? Are you trying to drop five pounds? Do you want a six pack in time for beach season? No matter what the goal, the workout plan has to be tailored to fit your needs and it needs to progress or keep changing to challenge you and to fit your goals.

New Year’s  Resolution: Get Smart!

The smart way to go about setting a goal is to use the actual word, smart, as an acronym. In this case, the letters S.M.A.R.T. stand for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

A S.M.A.R.T. goal is specific. Make sure your goal isn’t vague. For example, if your goal is to get a bigger bench press record, don’t just set that as the goal. Say something like “I want to add 25 pounds to my bench press.”

Your goal must be measurable. For that same bench press goal, you need to have a starting point. Test your max for however many reps you want. For example, if you want to be able to bench press 250 pounds, five times, make sure what you test at the beginning is your five-rep max, not your one-rep max.

Keep your goal attainable. Shooting for the moon is good, but make sure that you give yourself a lifetime to get there. Consistently making progress along the path to success is more important than making huge leaps and bounds.

Be realistic with your goal. Don’t set an unrealistic expectation on yourself. Be sure to check out a beginner workout plan as well.

Again using the bench press goal as an example, don’t expect to add that 25 pounds to your five-rep max in a month, and certainly don’t get discouraged if you wake up on day two and your five-rep max is still the same as day one.

A S.M.A.R.T. goal should be time-bound. Give yourself a timeline to achieve the goal. If you want to add 25 pounds to your bench press, set an amount of time to do it. As a general guideline, the average weightlifter can, with proper nutrition (we’ll address this later), rest and consistency in the gym, expect to increase strength by about 10% every 6 to 8 weeks. So if your goal is to bench 250 pounds and you’re at 225 pounds right now, 10 weeks is about the right amount of time to reach that goal. Why? Simple, 10% of 225 is 22.5, so a 10% increase would put you at 247.5 pounds. The extra two weeks (weeks 8 to 10) will help you get to an even 250.

New Year’s Resolution: Try The Gayle Hatch Workout Style.

If you haven’t heard of Gayle Hatch, you certainly should look him up. Put simply, many believe he is the best American-born weightlifting coach to grace the United States with his presence. His method of strength training is heavily based on Olympic weightlifting, and we all know the athleticism of Olympic lifters is legendary with the physique to match.

Training in this manner is extremely important. Any good strength coach or exercise physiologist worth his or her salt will tell you that there are three methods to increase muscle size and strength over time. These methods are to lift heavy, accelerate lighter loads (use power) and to use moves that maximize muscle tension.

New Year's Resolution Hatch Style

For example, take an Olympic lifter.

They definitely lift heavy (Hossein Rezazadeh has the 581 pound clean and jerk world record), accelerate lighter loads (training to maximize power, which peaks at about 30% of your one-rep max) and use moves of high tension (a favorite among Olympic lifters is the hanging leg raise, which places huge tension on your core).

So, without further delay, here’s your New Year’s Resolution year-long workout plan using the Hatch method. The plan is split up into a seven-week plan, with three workouts per week. Every eighth week should be a test week, where you test the maximums of four different lifts. These four lifts are the deadlift, squat (front or back), bench press and power clean (or clean pull if you have a shoulder injury). Progress pictures along the way help too if your goal is appearance-based. Test your three-rep max on the clean and your one-rep max on the other lifts.

The Testing Formula You Should Use For Your New Year’s Resolution Workout Plan…

Estimate your one-rep max using a formula. The formula is basically taking your weight lifted and multiplying it by the number of reps. Then, take that number and multiply it by 0.033. From there, you should add the original weight number back into the calculated number you get to estimate your one-rep max.

For example, if you can bench 100 pounds, 10 times, it would be 100 pounds multiplied by 10 reps multiplied by 0.033. Or, if you’re simply looking at the numbers that means you take the 33 derived from your original calculation (as seen in the prior sentence) and add 100 (the original lifted amount) to that number to get 133 as your estimated one-rep max. Your three-rep max should be about 87% of your one rep max.

This Is Your New Year’s Resolution Workout Plan.

Directions: Perform the exercises in the order listed without resting. After the completion of a set, take 30 to 60 seconds to rest and repeat for the prescribed sets. Select a weight that allows you to complete the prescribed reps, but no more. Try to increase weight each week. For bodyweight exercises, try to add a rep every two weeks. Pro Tip: Keep a workout log of each move and the weights you use for each set.

Cycles 1 and 2 (January through April)

Workout 1

Sumo Deadlift x 3

Hip Flexor Stretch x 20 seconds

Plank x 30 seconds

Sets: 4

Barbell Bench Press x 5

Band Pull-Apart x 8

Side Plank x 20 seconds (each side)

Sets: 4

Dumbbell Step-Up x 5 each side

Chin-Up x 5

Crunch x 30

Workout 2

Squat x 5

Hurdle Step x 6 each side

TRX Row-Hold x 20 seconds

Sets: 4

Dumbbell Incline Press x 6

Band Overhead Squat w/ Press x 5

Pallof Press x 6 each side

Sets: 3

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift x 5 each side

X-Row x 6

Plank x 40 seconds

Sets: 3

Workout 3

Standing Barbell Overhead Press x 5

Chin-Up x as many reps as possible

Side Crunch x 30 each side

Sets: 4

Barbell Split-Squat x 6 each side

Romanian Deadlift x 6

Plank x 30 seconds

Sets: 4

Banded Pushup x 6

Seated Row x 6

Standing Rotation x 6 each side

These Are Some Exercises For Your Biceps And Triceps.

Are you worried about not seeing any biceps or triceps exercises? Here’s the good news: You get to pick which exercises you do! Perform three to four sets of each as a superset at the very end of the workout for no less than 10 reps per set. Here are a few options just to get you started:


Dumbbell Curl Cable/Triceps Pushdown

Preacher Curl/Lying Skullcrusher

EZ-Bar Curl/Tate Press

Zottman Curl/Seated Overhead Triceps Extension

This applies to every cycle you complete. Make sure to complete the day’s workout before moving on to arm exercises – the lifts written in are the important ones to make you stronger.


I’ll keep this short and sweet. Lesson number one about nutrition is that 90% of the changes you see in the mirror are due to what you eat. You can work out all day, every day, until you’re blue in the face and you won’t see anything change if you are stuffing your face with pizza and drinking a 2-liter soda at every meal.

There are a few general rules you can use to improve your chances of attaining the type of body you want. First and foremost is to eat clean. Many people say eat clean, but what does it really mean?

Simply put, eating clean is avoiding lots of sugary stuff and making sure food isn’t too processed. A good start would be to buy your own, organic groceries and learn how to make a few simple dishes that you enjoy eating. Cookbooks are really helpful.

Eat until you’re satisfied as opposed to full. Stuffing yourself full of food is generally unnecessary and adds calories to your diet that will only add weight in the long run. If this is your goal, great, but if you want that six pack to show, eat only until you’re satisfied. That stuffed feeling should never be felt.

When possible, drink water instead of soda, juice or any other sweetened beverage. This will eliminate a lot of unnecessary sugar and calories from your diet.

Cheat in moderation. It’s important to reward yourself for good behavior. If you make it through all of your lifts and eat clean from Monday through Friday, there’s no issue with having apple pie after your Saturday night dinner.

New Year's Resolution Nutrition

These Are Your Carb Guidelines.

Eat your carbs within two hours of your workout. Make sure all your carbs allotted for the day are consumed within two hours before or after your workout.

To add bodyweight, consume 2 grams of carbs for every pound of bodyweight. A 200-pound man would need more than 400 grams to increase his bodyweight. To lose weight, consume about 0.75 grams of carbs for every pound of bodyweight. A 200-pound man would need to eat 150 grams or less of carbs.

To keep your current weight, consume about 1 gram of carbs per pound of bodyweight. A 200-pound man would need 200 grams of carbs per day.

You could play around with this a little bit and find what works for you. But, the guidelines mentioned are sure to help you out in some way.

Cycle 3 (May through June)

Workout 1

Clean Pull x 3

Push Press x 3

Sets: 4

Front Squat x 3

Clamshell x 8 each side

Sets: 4

Pull-Up x as many reps as possible

Dumbbell Incline Press x 6

Plank x 30 seconds

Sets: 3

Independent Arm Lat Pulldown x 8

Band Pull-Apart x 8

Crossback Crunch x 30

Workout 2

Hang Clean x 3

Jerks x 3

Sets: 4

Cluster Bench Press x 6×3

Face Pull x 8

Sets: 3

Deficit Reverse Lunge x 6 each side

Bent-Over Row x 6

Pallof Press x 6 each side

Sets: 3

Band Pushup x 6

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift x 6

Hanging Leg Raise x 5

Workout 3

Snatch Pull x 3

Box Jump x 3

Sets: 4

Sumo Deadlift x 3

Monster Walk x 8 each side

Sets: 4

Single-Arm Overhead Press x 5 each side

Bulgarian Split-Squat x 5 each side

Plank x 45 seconds

Sets: 3

Seated Row x 6

Hanging Scapular Retraction x 5

Hanging Leg Raise x 5

BUILD Protein


Most people try to take stock of their health and fitness at the start of a New Year. They also fall short of their goals each year before the month of January closes. With this plan, you can’t fail. All you have to do is the work. Are you ready to succeed and make 2016 your best year yet?

Make it happen!

-Michael Schletter, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D



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