6 Week Program - Get Back into Shape after a Layoff

Workout After a Layoff

There is Always a Chance to Comeback

fitFLEX would like to share with you a six-week program that will get you back into shape after a layoff. We have used this program several times for others.

The program is divided into three sections: weight training, diet and aerobics. Most important, you must have a positive mental attitude, for the mind controls the body. Tell yourself you are going to get into shape and imagine how you are going to look. See yourself losing the excess weight and keep telling yourself, "l can do it."



Do the weights workout at least three times per week (every other day).

1. Warmup: You can use any type of movement that will warm the body and avoid injury. Remember that a piece of hot iron will bend, but cold iron will not. I always do some type of bending to warm up the lower back. A lot of nervous energy is stored in the lower region of the back and once you work this area, the energy will be released. About five minutes of this warmup is sufficient - or at least until you are perspiring.

2. Chest: To work the pectoral muscles, select incline presses flat bench presses or dumbbell fives.

3. Lats: bent-over rowing: This exercise, in my opinion, is one of the best for building stamina. Always remember to bend your knees slightly and bring the weight up to your chest.

4. Rib cage: pullovers: Lying over a bench and stretching the rib cage will increase your lung power and breathing.

5. Deltoids: For the delts do some type of press - military, standing or seated. Alternate dumbbells on one workout and barbells on the next. With barbells do both front and rear presses.

6. Triceps: An excellent exercise is the triceps pushdown, but lying triceps presses or extensions have the same effect.

7. Biceps: You can do barbell or dumbbell curls. For the best results use seated or concentration curls on alternate days.

8. Legs: One of the fastest ways to get into shape is to do squats. Not only does the squat build legs, but it also increases the lung power and cardiovascular system. If you can't do squats you may substitute leg presses, leg extensions or leg curls.

9. Calves: Calf raises - seated or standing - will help to build up the calves, but be sure to stretch the calf muscles on both upward and downward motions.

10. Abdominals: I suggest you work your abs last, but you may prefer to do them at the beginning of your workout. Always do three different types of abdominal exercises: e.g. situps, leg raises, crunches.


First week: The first week do 1 set of 11 reps per exercise except on calves and abdominals where you can do 20 to It reps per set.

Second week: Double your sets from 1 set per exercise to 2 sets per exercise. Keep the reps at 12.

Third week: Now do 3 sets per exercise but drop your reps to 10 per set. Fourth week: Do 4 sets per exercise, but drop your reps to 8.

Fifth week: Do 4 sets of each exercise for 10 reps.

Sixth week: Do 4 sets of each exercise for 12 reps.

Begin with moderate weights, slowly increasing your poundage, and always use strict form. Do not rest for more than 15 seconds between sets, but do rest for 1 to 2 minutes between exercises.


On your off days, when you do not lift weights, do 12 to 15 minutes of some type of aerobic activity, such as cycling, skipping, running or taking an aerobics class. Try to keep your heartbeat at 70 to 80 percent of its maximum. In this type of workout you are working with time, not racing against it. This aerobic workout will help to burn calories and reduce your percentage of bodyfat.

The Diet Plan

Morning: vitamin pak or multi-mineral supplement.

Breakfast: Protein powder, 1 tablespoon mixed with your choice of fruit juice. I suggest you have some type of bran (e.g. a bran muffin), a cup of herbal tea, and a teaspoon of safflower oil, which you could blend into the protein drink. You need this for absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins.

Lunch: Your choice of fish (not shellfish) and a salad. Use cider vinegar and a little safflower oil for dressing. Tuna salad or chicken salad is acceptable. Add a piece of fruit.

Afternoon snack: 1 small piece of fruit. Early evening: vitamin pak or multimineral supplement.

Dinner: I suggest fish, turkey or chicken (broiled), 2 portions of green vegetables, and a small dinner salad. Follow this with a cup of herbal tea.

Note: Eat more sparingly than usual, and never eat to the point of complete satisfaction. One by one eliminate entirely or reduce to a minimum those foods which caused you to gain the excess pounds to begin with. (If I were following this pro-gram I would have to eat fewer bread products and desserts.) This program is bare-bones basic but it will get you back into shape in about 45 days ... safely, surely, and without any danger of sore muscles.

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