Adonis Creed Inspired Workout: Shred Fat like a Contender

Train like Rocky Balboa's protege, Adonis Creed, with this workout program that mixes weight training & cardio for a balanced muscle building approach.

Workout Summary

Lose Fat
8 weeks
75-90 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

Back in 1976, Sylvester Stallone began to inspire generations to become fit to fight.

The original Rocky Saga inspired my parents’ generation to train, and then inspired all the 90s babies as our parents busted out the old VHSes (plural?) to show us the greatest fictional boxer in history.

And we’ve relived that source of motivation for decades with every passing “Rocky Weekend” marathon. The only saga that seems to get more airtime is Harry Potter; no complaints from me on either front.

But in 2015, Sly took the next step in inspiring future generations to work hard when he casted Michael B. Jordan in his spinoff saga, Creed.

Michael B. Jordan, who at that time folks might’ve only associated with Friday Night Lights and Fantastic Four (or The Wire for you OG MBJ fans), brought an insane physique to the role that made literally any guy watching the first Creed say to themselves, “I want to look like that! I really need to start working out.”

Since, Michael B Jordan has continued to inspire the fitness community – most recently with his role as Killmonger in Black Panther.

Michael B Jordan returns to theaters as Adonis Creed this Thanksgiving. And his physique will surely be everyone’s 2019 New Year’s Resolution goals.

Let’s be honest, that’s why you're probably here. So, let me be your Rocky as we get you fit with this Creed inspired workout program.

Introduction to the Creed Inspired Workout

The principles behind this program and the actual training will be centered more so on the fictional character Adonis Creed, as opposed to Michael B Jordan.

We’ve delved deep into the training of Michael B. Jordan fairly recently on Muscle & Strength in the Michael B Jordan inspired workout program. His training is admirable and that article is definitely worth the read if you’re interested in learning more about the actor.

However, for the purposes of this training piece, I want you to envision yourself preparing for the role. I want you to basically become Adonis Creed. It’s a trick a lot of actors use themselves when preparing for movie roles – especially the physical component of it.

The more you can connect to the role, the easier it is to buy into the lifestyle of the character. For Adonis Creed, that’s balancing his boxing career, training/prepping, and his social life.

That’s not to say it’s too far from Michael B Jordan’s lifestyle. If anything, we’ve learned the man is fully committed to the fitness lifestyle and actually enjoys boxing as a form of training himself. That’s probably why his portrayal of the character is so epic.

So, let’s begin by breaking down some of Adonis Creed’s training principles.

Adonis Creed Commits to a Balanced Training Approach

You see a lot of guys in the gym who are scared to look at a treadmill because they might lose a little bit of muscle.

However, if you want to be in prime "boxing" shape – you’re going to want to focus on more than simply weight training. Don’t get me wrong, if you only have time to commit to certain aspects of this program, weight training should be the top priority. That’s why it’s the prime focus of the Creed inspired workout program.

But, to get to the level of conditioning Donny has in the movie, you’ve got to perform some sort of conditioning exercises.

In his training montages, I’m sure you’ll see a mixture of things – calisthenics, jogging, sprinting, shadow boxing, sparring, heavy bag work, jump roping. You get the picture. Balboa’s training protocol for Creed infuses multiple forms of training to help the contender get shredded.

Creed Running for Cardio

Creed Has a Mentor, Coach, and Motivator

Adonis Creed has Rocky Balboa in his corner. Rocky has been through every aspect that it takes to get in the ring. And he helps Creed by mentoring him, coaching him, and giving him the external motivation he needs to push through every training session.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, it might be worth getting a coach or team for your own corner.

Weight lifting is tricky. It can be highly individualized and results will always vary. The program laid out below is a good template, but it never hurts to have a personal trainer help you with your own exercise selection based on your needs and movement patterns.

Same for boxing training. If you want to partake in boxing as your form of conditioning to really buy into the whole Creed role, it’d be worth looking for boxing instructors in your area. It’s a great form of exercise, but likely not one you can fully embrace from watching Youtube videos and reading articles.

And, of course, if you lack motivation – having someone who’s a great motivator helping you along the way will pay off in the long run.

Creed Has an End Goal to Strive For

Creed is preparing for fights in the movie. He has to be in shape, or he’ll be completely embarrassed and left bloody on the ground.

You don’t need to get in the ring anytime soon – and unless you have serious goals to box, I wouldn’t recommend it (this program isn’t intended to be used for that reason).

But, it is important to set a goal and strive to reach that goal. What is your goal for performing this program? How will you measure that goal? Is it a realistic goal to achieve during the 8 weeks of this program? What will you do after you’ve accomplished that goal?

Answering those questions honestly may make or break your results with the following program.

Creed Working on Boxing

The Adonis Creed Inspired Workout Program

Below is an 8 week workout program inspired by the fictional character Adonis Creed portrayed by Michael B. Jordan.

It isn’t the actual workout program Michael B. Jordan used to prepare for the role of Creed, nor is it the actual program Rocky put Adonis Creed through during the movies.

It’s simply a fun program created to help you achieve your goals by putting you in the shoes of the fictional character to help keep you motivated during the next 8 weeks.

The program follows a push/pull/legs split (not in that order) with Sunday being your day for rest and recovery. The beginning of the week will focus more on building strength, while the latter half of the week will incorporate more bodyweight movements and accessory work to help you build muscle.

Each workout day should also include some form of cardiovascular training and/or boxing circuit training. The workouts themselves are pretty intense, so if you lack the time to recover properly, these conditioning sessions should be low impact.

Rest periods on the strength based days should be longer and fall within the 3-5 minute range. On accessory exercises following your strength lifts and on muscle building days keep rest shorter limiting yourself to just 30-60 seconds.

Cue the training montage...

Adonis Creed Workout Day 1: Pull Strength Workout

Warm Up: Stretch, SMR, Perform 5-10 Mins of Jump Roping.

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Deadlift 4 3-5
2. Bent Over Row 4 5
3. Weighted Chin Up 3 6
4. Dumbbell Row 3 8
5. Face Pull 3 12
6. Barbell Curl 4 10

Cardio: Perform cardio intervals for 15-45 minutes. If you’re trying to go the true Creed route, do some heavy bag intervals, speed bag intervals, or sparring.

Adonis Creed Workout Day 2: Push Strength Workout

Warm Up: Stretch, SMR, Perform 5-10 Mins of Jump Roping.

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bench Press 4 3-5
2. Seated Military Press 4 5
3. Weighted Dips 3 6
4. Pec Dec Fly 3 12
5. Lateral Raise 3 12
6. Tricep Rope Extension 4 12

Cardio: Perform cardio intervals for 15-45 minutes. If you’re trying to go the true Creed route, do some heavy bag intervals, speed bag intervals, or sparring.

Adonis Creed Workout Day 3: Legs Strength Workout

Warm Up: Stretch, SMR, Perform 5-10 Mins of Jump Roping.

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Barbell Squat 4 3-5
2. Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 5
3. Leg Press 3 6
4. Hip Thrust 3 8
5. Leg Extension 3 12
6. Standing Calf Raise 4 15

Cardio: Perform cardio intervals for 15-45 minutes. If you’re trying to go the true Creed route, do some heavy bag intervals, speed bag intervals, or sparring.

Adonis Creed Workout Day 4: Push Muscle Building Workout

Warm Up: Stretch, SMR, Jog 1-2 Miles.

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 8
2. Push Ups 4 12
3. Cable Lateral Raise 3 15
4. Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 3 15
5. Triceps Dips 3 15
6. Skullcrushers 3 12

Cardio: Perform cardio intervals for 15-45 minutes. If you’re trying to go the true Creed route, do some heavy bag intervals, speed bag intervals, or sparring.

Adonis Creed Workout Day 5: Legs Muscle Building Workout

Warm Up: Stretch, SMR, Jog 1-2 Miles.

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Front Squat 4 8
2. Trap Bar Deadlift 4 12
3. Dumbbell Lunge 3 12 Each
4. Hyperextensions (Glute) 3 15
5. Leg Curl 3 12
6. Seated Calf Raise 3 20

Cardio: Perform cardio intervals for 15-45 minutes. If you’re trying to go the true Creed route, do some heavy bag intervals, speed bag intervals, or sparring.

Adonis Creed Workout Day 6: Pull Muscle Building Workout

Warm Up: Stretch, SMR, Jog 1-2 Miles.

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Pull Ups 3 12
2. Inverted Rows 3 15
3. Seated Cable Row 3 12
4. Lat Pull Down 3 12
5. Dumbbell Curl 3 15
6. Preacher Curl 3 12

Cardio: Perform cardio intervals for 15-45 minutes. If you’re trying to go the true Creed route, do some heavy bag intervals, speed bag intervals, or sparring.

Adonis Creed Workout Day 7: Rest and Recovery Day

Take this day off from the gym and training. If you feel like working out, perform some very low intensity cardio or perform the Creed ab workout routine.

Rest and recovery is very important to building muscle and getting lean. Take this day to regroup. Prepare your meals for the following week. And spend some time with your friends and family.

Creed Ab Workout Routine

Perform the following ab circuit every other day while performing the Creed inspired workout program. It can be done separate from the workout or immediately after your workout or cardio session.

Exercise Sets Reps
Plank 4 30 Secs
Ab Crunch 4 15
Scissor Kicks 4 12 Each
Bicycle 4 15 Each
Lying Leg Raise 4 12
Sit Up 4 15

Final Notes on the Creed Inspired Workout Program

The 8 week program listed above was inspired by the fictional character Adonis Creed who is portrayed by Michael B. Jordan.

If your goal is to get shredded like Adonis will be in his fight against Drago, it’s a solid template to work off of.

What you do with your diet and sleep outside of the gym will make or break your progress with this routine. Make sure you are getting enough calories and carbs to fuel your workouts. And make sure you’re getting enough protein and carbs to recover from your workouts.

If you need help finding a starting point for the amount of calories you should be consuming, use our bmr calculator.

Eat that amount of calories for your first 4 weeks of this workout and monitor your results. If your goal is to achieve fat loss and get shredded, and you haven’t noticed a difference at the 4 week mark, you may benefit from dropping your calories by subtracting 250-500 calories from your intake.

If your goal is to put on weight and you haven’t noticed a difference after 4 weeks, bump up your calories by adding 250-500 calories to your intake.

If you want to take it a step further and calculate your macros read this article on how to calculate the perfect macros for your fitness goals.

Lastly, you need to sleep to put on muscle mass and burn fat. Make sure you’re getting around 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. This will help your muscles repair and improve your performance inside and outside of the gym.

Be sure to check out the fight against Adonis Creed and Viktor Drago in Creed 2 on November 21st, 2018.

If you have any questions regarding the Creed inspired workout routine, please feel free to drop a comment in the comments section below!

62 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 12/09/2018 - 06:17

Hi Josh,
Currently I'm 5'7 tall, 219 with 28% body fat. My body type is endomorph. With previous workout allowed me to lose about 20 pds but struggled severely with lowering my body fat. I'm interested in following this program for the next 8 weeks. My regular diet is a whole lot of greens, high protein(chicken, turkey and lean beef).
Will this help with lowering my body fat ?
What diet is recommended to go with this workout ? ( A link would be great)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/10/2018 - 10:12

Hi Gardy,

Sure, this program can help aid in fat loss. Tough to make specific diet recommendations as diet is highly individualistic. I'd recommend you:

Start Here:

Go Here:

Finish Up Here:

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Posted Wed, 12/05/2018 - 20:20
Jaime Espana

Hi! I am 6.3' and 240lbs with 25% body fat. Can I do this on a calorie deficit?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 12/06/2018 - 12:16

Hi Jaime,

Yes, you can - this program was designed to help shred fat. Just ensure that along with the deficit you eat adequate protein to maintain lean muscle mass during your cut.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 12/04/2018 - 03:43

Morning. Can you tell me what 'SMR' before the 1st 3 workouts means please

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 12/04/2018 - 09:46

Hi Nik,

SMR refers to self-myofascial release aka foam rolling.

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 14:18

Are the deadlifts on days 1 & 5 supposed to be ramped? Or is it four sets of the same weight?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 15:56

Hi Ron,

You can do either or. Personally, I'd go with ramped.

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 16:10

Thanks again Josh

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 16:48

You're welcome! Hope you're enjoying the program!

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Posted Sun, 12/02/2018 - 13:30
Corn Beef

I am doing Keto, lost 50 pounds in 6 weeks, I want to start the gym. Can i do this on Keto? I want to avoid carbs as much as possible.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 09:42

Hi Corn Beef,

I would not recommend this program on a ketogenic diet. You're going to need carbs to fuel these long workout programs.

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Posted Sat, 12/01/2018 - 00:14

How effective is 1 day rest for legs ? I just completed the heavy leg day and now my legs are stiff and sore. How will I get through the second

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 09:44

Hi Al,

If you need to, start off with just the one leg day per week until you are to recover effectively from the first leg day. This workout is very contingent on your ability to recovery from your workouts. With the amount of volume and frequency, it's advisable to go lighter than you typically would each training day.

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Posted Mon, 11/19/2018 - 10:35

This program would not be effective for getting a body like creed. This will get your more buff and potentially give you some strength gains. The volume of training is far to low for muscle building. Muscle is built through mechanical tension and metabolic stress then program fails to incorporate both of those aspects into the program. Feels more like a beginning strength and conditioning program.
If your were creating a program for creed I would put this type of routine if I used it at all in the first phase a mesocycle for a beginner with no strength and no current muscle mass.

To lose fat full body routines not splits is what you should be doing. There is not a single workout consisting of full body metabolic conditioning on the weight training days instead it’s all splits. Met-cons run a boxers fitness routines example Deadlift, heavy bag, push up, bent over row, jump rope 4 minutes performed as a circuit (this will get you lean ) but again is only part of the routine.

I think the recommended split will leave you lacking proportion and carrying too much body fat. The routine is unbalanced no upper chest work, no external rotation. I’d put someone on full body routines full body push , full body Pull, Met-con, Cardio.

My credentials: 10 years personal training , Indiana University School of Public Health.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 11/30/2018 - 16:59

Hi Henry,

I appreciate your feedback. Obviously, I'm going to have to disagree with your opinion a bit on this one. I have to defend my work afterall ;)

Fat loss is greatly dictated by the caloric balance of the diet one chooses to follow with any given program, as well as the amount of muscle-sparing protein they decide to consume. Some seeking out this workout may actually benefit from a surplus instead of a deficit depending on their starting point.

This particular workout, as mentioned in the comments below, is geared more towards looking like the superstar boxer - not performance based. Had that been the case, I would've alter the training ideology to fit those needs. It was also written for those with a significant amount of time to dedicate to the gym. Most who aren't young (the target demo for this program) likely wouldn't succeed with this program.

For hypertrophy sake, there's plenty of volume for all of the muscle groups to ensure proportionality in my own personal opinion. And it's laid out in a way to capitalize on training frequency without sacrificing recovery.

It's not perfect for everyone. But for those looking for a free workout and a fun concept to help encourage them to perform in the gym (i.e. training to look like one of their idols) this program will work wonders.

Thank you again for your feedback.

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Posted Sat, 11/17/2018 - 20:13

Want to know if the 15 to 45 minute cardio must be done after the training for the creed workout thank

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/19/2018 - 10:31

Hi Christian,

Not necessarily - it can be performed anytime of day you are able to do it. And if you don't have time, you can cut it out and still see decent results.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 11/10/2018 - 10:01

Hi josh, I’m a 15 year old, Weigh 60kg,quite tall, I have been at the gym for 4 weeks now doing the same old plan, now I’m looking to change things up, is this Suitable but I’m trying to gain muscle fast specially chest back and legs muscles are the ones I’m really trying to grow and I don’t mind doing long sessions at the gym, the one I’m currently doing is roughly 1 and half hours long but I don’t feel like that’s challenging me enough, is this one suitable or do you have any recommendations.thank you

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/12/2018 - 11:30

Hi Sergio,

I wouldn't recommend this program to a 15 yr old. It's quite a lot of volume for someone your age.

I'd recommend starting off by reading this:

It should help answer most of your questions.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 10/29/2018 - 17:37
Jamson Kirton

Hi josh i have been trying to find a workout that best suits me, i am 5 7 and weight 219 what do you recommend for me

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 15:25

Hi Jamson,

If you're new to weight training, I'd recommend one of these:

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2018 - 23:46
Alexander Kopff

Hi Josh I used to be really into weight lifting and fitness lifestyle. I just started dieting again and have no problem doing harder exercises since I’m not new to the fitness scene. But I’ve gotten fat again and was wondering if this Adonis Creed workout is going to help me lean out while gaining lean muscle. Or if you have a workout regiment that you would recommend for me thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:37

Hi Alexander,

Even though you have prior experience, I'd still recommend starting with a beginner program coming off a layoff. Maybe go with one of these:

The reason being, after a layoff, your body become deconditioned. It's important to recondition yourself before tackling more advanced programs such as this one.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

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Posted Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:36
Elijah Garland

I am boxing in an amateur fight. I was looking for a good workout routine to couple with my boxing lessons and make me all around more prepared. Any suggestions or is this workout good for that?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/30/2018 - 16:13

Hi Elijah,

This workout is more for body recomposition. For actual sports performance, there are better ways to train. We don't currently have a whole lot of sports-specific workouts on this website, however, it is something we're looking to add in the future.

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Posted Mon, 08/27/2018 - 18:06
Gédéon Isezerano

I was going through these workouts and one of the exercises (weighted dips) I have trouble with. What would be a good replacement exercise for it? Or is there a better solution to this problem?
ps. the problem is in my shoulders when I try to do the dips.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/28/2018 - 08:38

Hi Gédéon,

How're you performing the dips? Are you using the dip bars or performing on a bench?

If on a bench, try performing on the dip bars. If on dip bars, try making the bars thicker by using fat gripz. If neither of these options help, discontinue and work on your shoulder mobility for a while:

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Posted Sun, 08/26/2018 - 22:57

Mr. England,
Im looking for a program thats focused on preparing and training Soldiers specifically special forces operations. My goals is to improve my endurance(running), be able to move long distances while heavy loads, be explosive, and be maintain strength. Do you have a plan geared towards tactical athletes?

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Posted Sat, 08/25/2018 - 15:02

I've been losing weight by only drinking a protein shake and eating one to two meals per day. Is this a healthy way of losing weight or should I revise this plan?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/27/2018 - 08:46

Hi Roman,

That's pretty vague - depending on how many calories you're consuming at those meals it does sound like you may be undereating.

To figure out an appropriate diet for yourself:

Start here:

Go here:

Finish up here:

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Posted Mon, 08/20/2018 - 17:07
Nathan G

Can anyone reccomend a good workout routine that'll actually give me results in losing fat? I'm not fat or anything, I just want to tone up and regain muscle I lost. My goal is a Tom Hardy build or Ben Affleck build from Batman vs Superman (Only example I can think of). I can handle some pretty intense workouts.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/21/2018 - 08:58

Hi Nathan,

As mentioned on one of your previous comments on another post, we'll have a Tom Hardy inspired workout published around Sept 5th. Stay tuned.

Side note: Fat loss is predominantly going to happen due to your diet, not necessarily your workout. You have to be in a calorie deficit to achieve fat loss.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 08/20/2018 - 15:52
Nathan G

I am about 5'4 and 175lbs. Im not fat, but I am a little chubby. I have muscle tone, but would this plan help me get more muscular and tighten and build more muscle mass on my chest? I box for about an hour than I weight lift. So will this plan help me get a Tom Hardy type build? Or just tone up and lose belly fat and other excess fat?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 08/24/2018 - 10:15
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Posted Mon, 07/30/2018 - 09:49

What is the recommended weight lifting % per left. For example on strength days should you be attempting 90% of your max?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/30/2018 - 15:07

Hi DHall,

85-100% of your working max for the rep range, although I'd be hesitant to go all the way to 100%.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/08/2018 - 09:53

Why are the pull days 1 and 6? Therefore after day 6 only 1 day of rest to do more pull exercises.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/09/2018 - 09:23

Hi Adam,

To avoid pulling before a leg day. The second pull day is significantly lighter. You should have ample time to recover before your next pull day.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/06/2018 - 22:28

What are the rest periods between sets?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/09/2018 - 09:24

Hi Nick,

"Rest periods on the strength based days should be longer and fall within the 3-5 minute range. On accessory exercises following your strength lifts and on muscle building days keep rest shorter limiting yourself to just 30-60 seconds."

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 04:24

Hi, is this routine good for adding on size or this is for strength?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:14

Hi Ajmal,

Yes, this routine can be used to build mass so long as your calorie intake aligns with that particular goal.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/01/2018 - 15:26

When and how should the cardio portions be performed? Immediately before after the workout? Fasted first thing in the morning? Some other scenario? Thanks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:13

Hi Richard,

Ideally, they'd be broken up and cardio would be performed in the morning. However, that's not always doable so whenever you're able to get it in will work fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/01/2018 - 12:42
Cedric Smith

Do you repeat the same routine for 8 weeks? I only see the first week.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:12

Hi Cedric,

You perform the listed workouts on this page and on the PDF for 8 weeks. While other fitness platforms have popularized the need to change your workouts weekly, this isn't the case. Keeping the workouts similar allows you to better track your workouts so you know when you're capable of progressing in the amount of weight you use.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 12/07/2018 - 15:08
Anthony perez

I know its only 8 weeks but would doing the same thing week after week not cause you to plateau?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/10/2018 - 10:16

Hi Anthony,

No, actually. The point of doing the same workouts is to allow you to track the weight you use for each set. When you do this you know when you'd be capable of increasing the weight you use. Which actually leads to less plateaus during the program.