Summer is coming to an end – it’s a harsh reality to us sun worshipers and beach bums, but it’s true. While it has been fun for the majority of us, it has come with Fourth of July barbecues, nights out on the town at trendy outdoor bars, and one too many binge eating and drinking episodes that have left our bodies aching, weak, and begging for our attention.

 

As a former professional baseball player, my whole life is centered around fitness, but I am willing to admit I am right there with most of you when I say I have taken time to indulge. But I also take the time to reboot and crack down on my diet and fitness and give my body the attention it deserves, and so can you.

 

Over the next twelve weeks you are going to detox like you’ve never detoxed before, and in the end you will have built a toned muscular base, eviscerated most of your unwanted body fat, and achieved an emotional state that leaves you energized, pain-free, and happier than ever. Pretty neat, huh?

 

Being a beach bum was fun, but now it's time to get back on track.

 

Detoxing. Isn’t That Some Naturopathic Doctor Gimmick?

While you may find “detox” supplements all the rage on your favorite daytime television programs, this is far from the meaning of detox in relation to this training program. When you think of detox, think of removal of unnecessary toxins and bodily waste and not miracle supplements that simply do not exist.

 

For example, taking a cranberry supplement may or may not make you urinate more as it is a natural diuretic, but so will drinking more water. What we need to focus on in this detox is promoting optimal hormonal output of testosterone and growth hormone, in both men and women, that may have been hindered by a bad diet and drinking excess amounts of alcohol. Women produce testosterone too, and if you’re looking for the firm glutes that you see on every fitness magazine, you’re going to need your hormones at optimal levels.

 

What's the Big Deal About a Few Beers?

Scientifically, alcohol has been proven to inhibit protein synthesis necessary for maintaining muscle and building new muscle in response to both acute and chronic consumption. The muscular degradation from alcohol continues in that it interferes with both male and female hormonal output. In men, acute consumption of alcohol can lower testosterone significantly and further when chronically consumed because it is toxic to the testes.

 

"This program was designed to remove the bad from your system and give you a well-rounded base of health in the nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems."

In women, acute consumption of alcohol can cause menstrual irregularities by lowering progesterone and chronic consumption can cause infertility and the disappearance of a menstrual cycle altogether by raising levels of prolactinFurthermore, just a few drinks every night can cause alcohol withdrawals upon cessation of drinking that leads to severe insomnia for a majority of alcohol users.

 

Disruption of hormonal levels in men and women combined with poor sleep due to alcohol have a terrible effect on the body and muscle tissue quality. Because tissue repair occurs during sleep, alcohol throws a wrench into the amount of quality tissue we can build and maintain. Feeling flabby, weak, and in pain is a direct result of less muscle being built and more fat being stored. In order to overcome this pattern of bad choices and a questionable diet from eating out, barbecues, and the fats and simple carbohydrates that come with it, a detox plan is necessary.

 

Alcohol consumption can even inhibit the building of strong bones and can lead to osteoporosis, so you'll be taking shots of compound lifting instead of whiskey to increase the quality of bones throughout your body.

 

Whiskey led you astray? Exercise is a proven remedy.

 

Workouts That Boost Liver Function

In order to return your body to an optimal physical state, the function of the liver must be returned to normal. Your liver filters your blood, removing and neutralizing toxins such as alcohol. Higher than normal alcohol intake and consumption of dense fats can stress the liver and elevate levels of enzymes circulating in the blood because a liver cell has died.

 

"In order to obtain optimal liver function, you must decrease the amount of fat stored in your liver and abstain from further impairment by eliminating alcohol from your diet."

The good news is that exercise, if performed correctly, can lead to a better functioning liver and, thus, better filtration of toxins. Oxidizing fat by working out will lead to less fat content in the liver and lower liver enzyme levels. The goal of a workout beneficial to the liver should be to oxidize fat, and early on that is the first and foremost objective of this workout. Once a significant amount of fat is oxidized, the liver will function better and lead to a healthier you with lower levels of bodily toxins.

 

Connective Tissue Is Important, Too

If you have been on a catabolic (muscle wasting) diet of high fats and alcohol consumption, chances are your joints aren’t feeling too good. That’s reduced protein synthesis not only affects your muscle tissue, but also your ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Decreased protein synthesis affects collagen production, too. Collagen is responsible for healing and repairing your battered joints. A significant amount of joint-mobility and flexibility work is essential to restoring healthy joints.

 

The Program

By now you’re probably sick of hearing about the damage you have done and want to know what you can do to improve the situation. This program runs in three phases – a liver boosting phase, a general fitness phase, and a strength building phase that will leave you feeling incredible.

 

Phase One: Liver Boosting Phase (3 Weeks)

In order to obtain optimal liver function, you must decrease the amount of fat stored in your liver and abstain from further impairment by eliminating alcohol from your diet. In this phase, I recommend consuming 20 oz. of water every hour, as you will be losing a lot of water from sweat.

 

I also recommend that you lower your dietary fat intake to between 10-15% per day with a high percentage of your diet coming from complex carbohydrates you will need for energy and lean proteins you will need for tissue repair. Because the alcohol withdrawal effects may include insomnia, make sure you give yourself enough time to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night, not including time in bed awake. If needed and not contraindicated for you, you may want to use an over-the-counter sleep aid during the withdrawal period.

 

"The post-exercise boost in endorphins will leave you feeling happy, and you will notice in this phase that you find that feeling becoming more prevalent throughout your days."

The workouts are performed in high-intensity circuit style, with a mix of resistance training for muscular endurance and calorie burning and anaerobic/aerobic exercise. Limiting rest periods coupled with high-intensity bouts will produce optimal levels of growth hormone, which is ideal for muscle tissue growth and fat oxidation.

 

The post-exercise boost in endorphins will leave you feeling happy, and you will notice in this phase that you find that feeling becoming more prevalent throughout your days.

 

Restoring joint flexibility and range of motion is also of critical importance so that you not only feel better but as an injury preventative measure. Mobility work will be done pre- and post-exercise.

 

Regular mobility work will help restore lost flexibility and range of motion.

 

Warmup and Mobility - Performed Every Day Before Training:

 

Choose One Warm Up:

  • C2 rower (2km for varied times) Do not use the C2 on Wednesday due to overlap.
  • Stair Master (10 minutes, moderate intensity)
  • Elliptical (10 minutes, moderate intensity). 

 

Mobility:

  • Leg Swing Forward and Back
  • Leg Swing Side to Side
  • Walking Straight Leg Kick  (5 on each side)
  • Walking Quad Stretch (5 on each side)
  • Yoga Plex (5 on both sides of the body)

 

Workouts (Monday, Wednesday, Friday):

Monday

A1. Barbell back squat - 3 sets of 12 reps, 3/0/1/1 tempo, 15s rest

*use light weight or 50% of your 1 Rep Max (1RM)

A2. Cable lat pulldown – 3 sets, of 10 reps, 2/0/x/0 tempo, 30s rest

*use light to moderate weight or 60% of your 1RM

A3. Suitcase Squat (heels elevated) – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/x/1 tempo, 15s rest

*use light weight or 50% of your 1RM

A4. Inverted Row – 3 sets of as many reps as possible (AMRAP), 1/0/x/0 tempo, 60-90s rest

*use only your bodyweight

 

B1. Lateral lunge – 4 sets of 5 reps to the left, 5 reps to the right,  1/0/x/1 tempo, 15s rest

*use only your body weight or a light kettlebell held against your chest

B2. Neutral-grip bench press – 4 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/1 tempo, 60s rest

*use light to moderate weight or 60% of your 1RM

 

Note: A1-A4 means perform all exercises in sequence as a compound set. Do one set of back squats, rest 15s, one set of lat pulldowns, rest 30s, one set of suitcase squats, rest 15s, then as many reps as you can complete of inverted rows. After that, rest 60-90s before performing the same sequence twice more.

 

Make sure you follow tempo requirements to make the workout more challenging and effective. For example, the back squat tempo “3/0/1/1” means to start the exercise by lowering the weight (eccentric) for three seconds, pausing at the bottom for zero seconds (no pause), pushing the weight up (concentric) in one second, and then holding the weight at the top for one second before doing your next rep. If you see an “x” that stands for explode on the concentric portion of the lift - lift the weight as fast as you can.

 

Not all exercises begin with weight lowering (eccentric), like the back squat, so if your lift starts with the weight pushing/pulling (concentric), like the inverted row and lat pull, start with the concentric part of the tempo (third dash mark). Once you have performed all of the “A” exercises, proceed to the exercises in part “B”, which are also performed in the same sequence as A1-A4 (one after the other, repeat two times).

 

Wednesday

A1. C2 rower 500 meters, as fast as possible, no rest

A2. 10 burpees, no rest

A3. 30 second front plank hold, 60s rest

 

B1. Dumbbell push press, 3 sets of 8 reps, 1/0/x/0 tempo, rest. 30s

*use light weight or 40-50% of your 1RM

B2. Lateral Raise, 3 sets of 12 reps, 2/1/2/0 tempo, rest 30s

*use light weight and squeeze deltoid at top of each rep

B3. Rear delt fly 3 sets of 12 reps, 2/1/2/0 tempo, rest 60s

*use light weight and squeeze deltoid at top of each rep

 

C. Seated russian twist 3 sets of 20-30 reps, rotate in a controlled manner but at a quick pace from side to side, rest 60s

*use 10-25 lb. plate, perform on a pilates mat

           

Note: Wednesday is conditioning day. You will start on the C2 rower which will tax your cardiovascular system, then perform burpees with a maximal heart rate, then do an isometric contraction of the abs for time while you are very fatigued. Use your willpower to push through this hard complex as fast as possible and you will burn a maximal amount of fat.

 

Shoulder maintenance work is performed for the health of the shoulders in complex “B” after the complex “A” conditioning circuit. Finally, some working of the oblique and transverse abdominus are performed with seated Russian twists which should be performed on its own, after complex B.

 

Friday

A1. Barbell deadlift - 3 sets of 12 reps, 3/0/1/1 tempo, 15s rest

*use light weight or 50% of your 1RM

A2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/1 tempo, 30s rest

*use light to moderate weight or 60% of your 1RM

A3. Dumbbell Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/1 tempo, 15s rest

*use light weight or 50% of your 1RM

A4. Decline push ups (feet elevated 12”) – 3 sets of as many reps as possible, 1/0/x/0 tempo, 60-90s rest

*use only your bodyweight, put your feet on a bench, your hands on ground

 

B1. Box step-ups – 4 sets of 5 reps to the left, 5 reps to the right,  1/0/x/1 tempo, 15s rest

*use only your body weight, alternate reps between left and right

B2. Neutral grip dumbbell row – 4 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use light to moderate weight or 60% of your 1RM

 

Post-Exercise Mobility - Performed After Every Training Session:

  • Iron cross - 5 per leg
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch (left and right, hold 30 seconds, squeeze glutes)
  • Split-stance kneeling adductor mobs (left and right, 8 reps each, hold for 3 seconds)
  • Child’s pose - hold for 30 seconds, repeat

 

The General Fitness Phase (5 Weeks)

Your body should be well on its road to purification now and will continue to purify over the course of this next phase. You will now force it to adapt to increased stressors (resistance) in order to promote hypertrophy, or growth, of the muscle tissue itself. Growth of lean mass will lead to a firmer and more toned appearance and will also decrease the amount of fat present in the body.

 

Men and women will increase muscle cross-sectional area size, but women need not worry as the hormones present in the female body are not sufficient to give them the bulky look of a man. Men can expect more bulk due to increased testosterone output and women can expect better muscle tone. Greater muscle cross-sectional area will give both men and women the capability to develop more strength and feel better as a result. Combining strength training with high-intensity interval training (H.I.T.T.) finishers will produce greater results than either of these techniques produce alone. The use of supersets will cause even more muscle growth as well as provide a different stimulus for the body to adapt to, helping to avoid plateaus in this phase.

           

Warm Up and Mobility - Performed Every Day Before Training:

 

Warm Up:

Bike, Stair Master or elliptical for 10 minutes at moderate intensity

 

Mobility:

  • Leg swings forward and back
  • Leg swings side to side
  • Walking straight leg kicks (5 on each side)
  • Walking quad stretch (5 on each side)
  • Yoga plex (5 on both sides of the body)
  • Arm circles (forward, backward, and cross-body until you feel loose)

 

Workouts (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday):

Monday

A. Barbell back squat - 4 sets of 8 reps, 3/0/1/1 tempo, 60-90s rest

*use moderate weight or 65-75% of your 1RM

B1. Chest dip – 4 sets of 8 reps, 2/0/x/1 tempo, 30s rest

*use your bodyweight only

B2. Wide grip pull up – 4 sets of 8 reps, 2/0/x/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use your bodyweight only

C1. Dumbbell hammer curl – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 30s rest

*use moderate weight, squeeze bicep at peak contraction

C2. Cable rope tricep extension – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use moderate weight, squeeze tricep at peak contraction

D. Hanging pike – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use your body weight only

 

Tuesday

A. Barbell seated military press - 4 sets of 8 reps, 2/0/1/1 tempo, 60-90s rest

*use moderate weight or 65-75% of your 1RM

B1. Dumbbell alternating lunge – 4 sets of 8 reps per leg, 1/0/x/1 tempo, 30s rest

*use light to moderate weight

B2. Dumbbell iso-lateral Romanian deadlift – 4 sets of 8 reps per side, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use light to moderate weight

C. Lateral lunge with kettlebell held to chest – 2 sets of 5 reps to the left then 5 reps to the right, 1/0/x/1 tempo, 30s rest

*use light to moderate weight

D. Alternating dead bug – 3 sets of 20 reps total (left and right combined), 1/0/1/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use your body weight only

E. High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.T.T.) – 6 sets of 20 second sprint/40 second slow peddling, moderate resistance level

*Use the bike set to a middle level resistance (so for a bike that has level 1 to level 20, select 10) and do a 2 minute warm up of moderate paced cycling. After the 2-minute warm up, perform six “sets” of 20s pedaling as fast as possible followed by 40s of light pedaling to recover. Repeat five more times, then finish with a moderate to easy cool down for 2-3 minutes.

 

Thursday

A. Barbell deadlift - 4 sets of 8 reps, 3/0/1/1 tempo, 60-90s rest

*use moderate weight or 65-75% of your 1RM

B1. Cable lat pull down – 4 sets of 8 reps, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 30s rest

*use moderate weight

B2. Cable crossover (chest fly) – 4 sets of 8 reps, 2/0/1/1 tempo, 60s rest

*use your bodyweight only, squeeze chest at peak contraction

C1. Dumbbell seated Arnold press – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 30s rest

*use moderate weight

C2. Cable seated supinated grip row – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use moderate weight

D. Seated Russian twist 3 sets of 30 reps, rotate in a controlled manner but at a quick pace, rest 60s

*use 10-25 lb. plate, perform on a pilates mat

 

Friday

A. Dumbbell neutral grip bench press - 4 sets of 8 reps, 2/0/1/1 tempo, 60-90s rest

*use moderate weight or 65-75% of your 1RM

B1. Machine leg press – 4 sets of 8 reps, 2/0/1/0 tempo, 30s rest

*use moderate weight

B2. Barbell Romanian deadlift – 4 sets of 8 reps, 2/0/x/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use moderate weight

C. Lateral lunge with kettlebell held to chest – 2 sets of 5 reps to the left then 5 reps to the right, 1/0/x/1 tempo, 30s rest

*use light to moderate weight

D. Leg lifts – 3 sets of 20 reps total (left and right combined), 2/0/1/3 tempo, 60s rest

*perform lying on a mat. Squeeze abs for 3 seconds and the lower slowly.

E. High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.T.T.) – 6 sets of 20 second sprint/40 second slow rowing, moderate resistance level.

*Use the C2 Rower - Do a 2-minute warm-up of moderate paced rowing. After the 2 minute warmup perform six “sets” of 20 seconds rowing as fast as possible followed by 40 seconds of light rowing to recover. Repeat five more times after the first “set” and then finish with a moderate to easy cool down for 2-3 minutes.

 

Post-Exercise Mobility - Performed After Every Training Session:

  • Iron cross - 5 per leg
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch - left and right, hold 30 seconds, squeeze glutes
  • Split-stance kneeling adductor mobs - left and right, 8 reps each, hold for 3 seconds
  • Child’s pose - hold for 30 seconds, repeat

 

The Strength Building Phase (4 Weeks)

By now, you have oxidized a large amount of fat and boosted your liver function and cardiovascular system health. In the strength building phase, you will increase hormonal output, improve bone density, and feel your strongest and most confident.

 

Tissue may not change much in size during this phase, but it will become harder, firmer, and as a result you will appear healthier and stronger. After this four week phase I recommend that you take a week off of lifting and participate in active recovery. Active recovery can be playing recreational sports, going for bike rides outdoors, walking leisurely about town, anything so long as you’re not sitting in a chair all day.

 

"[R]emember to try new programs after your week off, such as a sprint program combined with lighter loaded strength work."

This phase will push your limits, so your joints will appreciate a week off at the end of this program to catch up to the awesome strength and muscle you have built. Plyometrics are introduced in supersets with compound core lifts to build maximal strength and power. Due to the amount of weight being lifted, it is wise to do only three workouts a week in this phase to allow maximum recovery of both muscle and joint.

 

Congratulations for making it this far, and remember to try new programs after your week off, such as a sprint program combined with lighter loaded strength work. Or, go back to the general fitness phase and repeat for more muscle growth and added strength.

 

Warmup and Mobility - Performed Every Day Before Training:

 

Choose One Warm Up:

  • C2 rower (2km for varied times) Do not use the C2 on Wednesday due to overlap.
  • Stair Master (10 minutes, moderate intensity)
  • Elliptical (10 minutes, moderate intensity). 

 

Mobility:

  • Leg Swing Forward and Back
  • Leg Swing Side to Side
  • Walking Straight Leg Kick  (5 on each side)
  • Walking Quad Stretch (5 on each side)
  • Yoga Plex (5 on both sides of the body)

 

Workouts (Monday, Wednesday, Friday):

Monday

A1. Barbell back squat - 3 sets of 4-6 reps, 2/0/1/1 tempo, 30s rest

*use heavy weight or 80-85% of your 1RM

A2. 30” box jump – 3 sets of 5 reps, 1/0/x/0 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use only your bodyweight

 

B. Push press – 4 sets of 5 reps, 1/0/x/0 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use moderate to heavy weight or 75-80% of your 1RM

 

C. Wide grip pull up – 4 sets of as many reps as possible, 2/0/x/0 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use only your bodyweight

 

D. Dead bug with plate – 3 sets of 10 reps, 2/0/1/1 tempo, 60s rest

 

Wednesday

A1. Dumbbell bench press - 3 sets of 4-6 reps, 2/0/x/0 tempo, 30s rest

*use heavy weight or 80-85% of your 1RM

A2. Clapping push ups or medicine ball chest pass – 3 sets of 5 reps, 1/0/x/0 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use bodyweight for push-ups or 10-20lbs for med ball

 

B. Suitcase deadlift – 4 sets of 5 reps, 2/0/x/0 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use moderate to heavy weight or 75-80% of your 1RM

 

C. Dumbbell alternating lunge – 4 sets of 5 reps (10 total reps per set left and right leg combined), 1/0/x/1 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use moderate to heavy weight or 75-80% of your 1RM

 

D. Landmine oblique twist – 3 sets of 10 reps (5 to the left, 5 to the right, alternating side to side),  1/0/1/0 tempo, 60s rest

*use 25 to 45lbs

 

Friday

A1. Barbell Deadlift- 3 sets of 4-6 reps, 3/0/x/1 tempo, 30s rest

*use heavy weight or 80-85% of your 1RM

A2. Broad Jump– 3 sets of 5 reps, 1/0/x/0 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use only your bodyweight

 

B. Barbell bent-over row – 4 sets of 5 reps, 1/0/x/0 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use moderate to heavy weight or 75-80% of your 1RM

 

C. Chest dip – 4 sets of as many reps as possible, 2/0/x/0 tempo, 90-120s rest

*use only your bodyweight

 

D. Front plank holds – 3 sets of 60s, squeeze abs until time is up, 90s rest

 

Post-Exercise Mobility - Performed After Every Training Session:

  • Iron cross - 5 per leg
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch - left and right, hold 30 seconds, squeeze glutes
  • Split-stance kneeling adductor mobs - left and right, 8 reps each, hold for 3 seconds
  • Child’s pose - hold for 30 seconds, repeat

 

Closing Thoughts

After completing this program you have restored liver function through oxidization of fats, improved gas exchange and oxygen uptake/waste removal in the cardiovascular system, built strong connective tissue, muscle, and bone, and even improved your hormonal output.

 

Your body has been purified of questionable summer health choices and is ready to take on any physical task you choose to progress too. You have built a sound base of fitness and strength. This program was designed to remove the bad from your system and give you a well-rounded base of health in the nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems.

 

Remember, progress can only be made in the program with proper nutrition and a healthy balance of complex carbs, lean fats, and lean proteins. Do not be afraid to have a cheat meal or even a drink or two along the way, but remember that you started this program because you know those foods and alcohol are bad for you.

 

You will feel your best if you optimize your nutrition over the course of this workout, and I promise you this: it always gets easier as you go along. Make this your lifestyle and reap the everyday rewards of optimal fitness and health. I think you will be happy that you did.

 

-Dan

 

More Like This:

 

Photos 1-3 courtesy of Shutterstock.

Topic: