For the next forty days, I want you to do the exact same training program every day. Why? Beyond simplifying your life, you will learn how to start and finish something. You will learn that consistency has and always will trump intensity.

 

This program has you focus on five movements:

 

  1. A large posterior chain movement. In this case we are using the hinge pattern, so either kettlebell hinge, deadlift, or swing.
  2. An upper body push. We will use standing overhead presses, 1/2 kneeling, or tall kneeling presses.
  3. An upper body pull, such as pull-ups, rows, or batwings.
  4. A simple, full-body explosive movement. Kettlebell swings do the trick.
  5. A loaded carry and crawling at the end.

 

With this program, you will never plan or worry about the weight or the load. Auto-regulate based on how you feel daily based on other lifestyle factors like nutrition, sleep quality/hygiene, and stress. We will be squatting during the movement prep portion of the training session, so as to not neglect the pattern but to focus on other movements.

 

Most important is that you start and finish the program. That is ultimately the secret to success in any endeavor.

 

Mastery and simplicity

 

The 40 Day Recipe

  • Frequent, low rep, high quality strength work
  • Less frequent, high intensity metabolic conditioning
  • Emphasis on reflexive and low impact cardiovascular conditioning

 

Pressing

Find a moderately heavy kettlebell (dumbbells will suffice if necessary) that you can comfortably press for 3 reps on each side. When you reach sets of '3-3-3-3-3' or '5-5-5-5-5’ add load.

 

Pulling

The Fighter Pull-Up Program

  • Day 1     5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  • Day 2     5, 4, 3, 2, 2
  • Day 3     5, 4, 3, 3, 2
  • Day 4     5, 4, 4, 3, 2
  • Day 5     5, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • Day 6     Off
  • Day 7     6, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • Day 8     6, 5, 4, 3, 3
  • Day 9     6, 5, 4, 4, 3
  • Day 10   6, 5, 5, 4, 3
  • Day 11   6, 6, 5, 4, 3
  • Day 12   Off

 

Kettlebell Swings

Swings should be performed with 1/3 of total bodyweight.

 

Warm Up and Movement Prep

Each day, you will begin with the Turkish get up. Do one rep with each arm for three sets, alternating arms.

 

Then you will do a simple complex of 15 kettlebell swings, 1 goblet squat, and 10 cross crawls. Perform 3-5 sets of this complex, until your body feels fully warmed up and primed.

 

The 40 Days of Movement Daily Plan

Day 1

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 1 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 2

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 1, 2, 1, 1, 1 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 5, 4, 3, 2, 2
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 3

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 1, 2, 2, 1, 1 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 5, 4, 3, 3, 2
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 4

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 1, 2, 2, 2, 1 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 5, 4, 4, 3, 2
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 5

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 1, 2, 2, 2, 2 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 5, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 6

Off

 

Day 7

Off

 

Day 8

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 9

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 2, 3, 2, 2, 2 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 6, 5, 4, 3, 3
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 10

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 2, 3, 3, 2, 2 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 6, 5, 4, 3, 3
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 11

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 2, 3, 3, 3, 2 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 6, 5, 4, 3, 3
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 12

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 2, 3, 3, 3, 3 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 6, 5, 4, 3, 3
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 13

Off

 

Day 14

Off

 

Day 15

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 3 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 6, 5, 4, 4, 3
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 16

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 3, 4, 3, 3, 3 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 6, 5, 5, 4, 3
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 17

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 3, 4, 4, 3, 3 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 6, 6, 5, 4, 3
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 18

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 3, 4, 4, 4, 3 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 7, 6, 5, 4, 3
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 19

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 3, 4, 4, 4, 4 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 7, 6, 5, 4, 4
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 20

Off

 

Day 21

Off

 

Day 22

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 4 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 7, 6, 5, 5, 4
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 23

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 4, 5, 4, 4, 4 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 7, 6, 6, 5, 4
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 24

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 4, 5, 5, 4, 4 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 7, 7, 6, 5, 4
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 25

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 4, 5, 5, 5, 4 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 8, 7, 6, 5, 4
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 26

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 4, 5, 5, 5, 5 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 8, 7, 6, 5, 5
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 27

Off

 

Day 28

Off

 

Day 29

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 5 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 8, 7, 6, 6, 5
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

At this point, you have reached 30 days and made it through five sets of five reps in the big movement of this program: the single arm press. If you have followed the program diligently, you have also completed 120 get ups, 2500 swings, 100 minutes of carries, and 100 minutes of crawling… you get the idea.

 

Now it’s time to increase your weight in the all areas of training and go back to lower rep ranges. Maintain your progress with the pull ups and keep adding reps. If baby crawling is too easy at this point, transition to a more challenging crawl pattern like Spiderman or leopard crawling.

 

Day 30

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 8, 7, 7, 6, 5
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 31

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 2, 3, 4, 5, 1 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 8, 8, 7, 6, 5
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 32

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 3, 4, 5, 1, 2 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 33

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 4, 3, 1, 2, 3 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 9, 8, 7, 6, 6
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 34

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 9, 8, 7, 7, 6
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 35

Off

 

Day 36

Off

 

Day 37

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 5, 3, 2, 3, 5 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 9, 8, 8, 7, 6
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Day 38

  • Single Arm Press: 5 x 2, 3, 5, 3, 2 (each arm)
  • Pull up/Row: 5 x 9, 9, 8, 7, 6
  • Hinge/Swing: 5 x 10
  • Carry: 5 x 1 minute
  • Crawl: 5 x 1 minute

 

Days 39 and 40: Test Days

Grab a kettlebell that scares you a little and try to press it for a new PR. Go for broke on a set of max pull ups. Try Spiderman or leopard crawl for 10 minutes straight without resting. This is what training is all about: to make strong look simple, enhance quality of life, and prepare you to be awesome at the things you like to do.

 

More on training for strength:

7 Markers of a Solid Strength Program

 

References:

1. John, Dan. "Intervention: Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer." Aptos, CA: On Target Publications, 2013. Print.
2. John, Dan, and Pavel Tsatsouline. "Easy Strength How to Get a Lot Stronger than Your Competition - and Dominate in Your Sport." New York: Dragon Door Publications, 2011. Print.
4. "The Forty Day Workout...Again." Dan John. N.p., 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.
5. Petrucci, Kellyann, and Patrick Flynn. Paleo Workouts for Dummies. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
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