New Year, New Body: Quick Start Workout Guide & Eating Plan

Brad Borland
Written By: Brad Borland
January 1st, 2014
Updated: June 13th, 2020
147.1K Reads
Build the body you want using the fundamentals. Focus your will to succeed and get bigger, stronger and leaner during the new year with this complete workout & diet plan.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

Brad Borland is a strength & conditioning specialist, cancer survivor and the founder of WorkoutLab.

2014 is upon us and, like millions of others, you have made some resolutions: spend smarter, kick old habits and commit to a new training and diet plan to add some muscle and strip some fat. New Year new you, right?

Unlike those said millions you will succeed. You will execute a sound plan and reap those glorious results that many only dream of. With an effective workout and diet plan in place you will carry out what you promised yourself.

Since it is a new year let’s wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. Let’s (for now) throw out all of the cutesy stuff that isolates this and targets that and get back to the good ole fundamentals that put together such physiques as those admired from the 1960s and 70s bodybuilding era - real, raw muscle without the fluff.

Let’s start over and build our foundation of muscle and strength into something substantial. Let 2014 be the year of you, just bigger, stronger and leaner. Make no mistake; it will take genuine effort, dedication and a will to succeed, but that is where this 2014 Quick Start Training and Diet Guide comes in.

Within this plan you will have everything you need to make 2014 the start of a brand new physique. This plan takes out the guessing game when it comes to sets, reps, rest, meals, calories and everything in between. It is designed to add muscle while stripping away unwanted body fat.

Think it can’t be done? Read on, take action and see for yourself!

Dumbbell Press

Training 101

Let’s keep it short and simple. You will lift mainly compound movements (multi-joint) to pack on some serious muscle. More muscle also translates to more calories burned (namely fat) and keeps the metabolic furnace burning.

You will utilize mostly free weights (barbells and dumbbells). This will require more muscle fibers to be recruited for a more effective workout. The more fiber recruitment, the more muscle you can potentially pack on.

Although the sets and reps will remain somewhat constant throughout the program they will vary slightly to keep your body off guard and sustain gains in muscle and losses in fat. Variety will also make things a little more interesting as you progress.

You will perform cardio but most will be in the form of high intensity interval training (HIIT). These intervals will burn more fat long after training is done for the day. Burning fat while at rest – who could ask for more?

Training Notes

  1. Always conduct a proper warm-up between sets. A purposeful warm-up primes the body to perform at a higher level. Extra blood flow and central nervous system activation proves significant when it comes to handling heavy loads and increased volume. It’s a new year, let’s do it right.
  2. Pay close attention to rest periods - these are detrimental to your success. The longer you rest, waste and abuse your time between sets, the tougher it will be to stay in the zone and regulate your overall training volume. Some moves will require less and some will require more rest, but just keep an eye on the clock when training. The goal is to train not to catch up with friends.
  3. If you find yourself having difficulty with a certain move or it causes pain find a substitute. There is no reason to continue to perform a move if it has the potential for injury. However, don’t kid yourself and shy away from the difficult lifts. Challenge yourself and practice those hard to perform lifts to perfection. Always adhere to proper form and function.
  4. HIIT cardio will be performed with a 2:1 ratio, low/high intensity on your choice of activity. Some examples can be treadmill (walk/run or run/sprint), recumbent or stationary bike, elliptical trainer, any outside activity, kettle bell circuit, body weight circuit, etc. For intervals you will begin with a two to three minute warm-up and then perform at a high intensity for 1 minute and a low intensity for two minutes. Be sure you challenge yourself on the high intensity portion. Afterward, you will cool down for another two to three minutes.
  5. As mentioned above this is a six week starter plan to help you build a solid foundation of muscle and strength – a new beginning if you will. Rest days are built in but don’t hesitate to add a rest day or two when needed. We all have busy lives and find ourselves faced with extraordinary stressors at times. Pay attention to warning signs and take appropriate action.
  6. Strive to be progressive. Either try to complete more reps with the same weight or complete the same reps with heavier weight for most workouts. There will be days when you don’t reach this goal, but don’t be discouraged. Simply keep up the intensity and compete each workout.
  7. Once you have achieved the upper portion of a rep range simply add weight and progress up in reps once more. This stair-step effect will enable you to gain strength and subsequently more muscle mass.
  8. You will have a choice of training days per week: either three or four. With the three day plan you will train on three nonconsecutive days of the week such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. With the four day plan you will train on two consecutive days before taking a day off such as Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday or Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It’s your choice, but be sure to keep rotating all of the training day appropriately.

Dumbbell Curls

Training days will look something like this:

For 3-days per week

  • Monday: Training Day 1
  • Wednesday: Training Day 2
  • Friday: Training Day 3
  • Monday: Training Day 4
  • Wednesday: Training Day 1
  • Friday: Training Day 2

Or for 4-days per week

  • Monday: Training Day 1
  • Tuesday: Training Day 2
  • Thursday: Training Day 3
  • Friday: Training Day 4

AMAP = As many reps as possible

Training Day 1
Quick Start Workout
Exercise Warm-up Sets Work Sets Rest (sec)
Incline Bench Dumbbell Press 2x12 3x6-10 1 min
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press   3x8-12 1 min
Wide-Grip Pull-Up 2x12 (Pull Downs) 3x AMAP 1 min
Bent-Over Barbell Row   3x6-10 1 min
Standing Barbell Press 1x12 3x6-10 1 min
Seated Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise   3x8-12 1 min
Hanging or Flat Bench Leg Raise   3x15-20 30 sec
Steady-State Cardio   20 min  
Training Day 2
Quick Start Workout
Exercise Warm-up Sets Work Sets Rest (sec)
Standing Calf Raise 1x15 3x10-15 30 sec
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 2x15 3x8-12 1 min
Barbell Squat 2x15 3x8-12 1 min
Walking or Stationary Lunge   3x10 1 min
Barbell or Dumbbell Curl 1-2x12 3x8-12 45 sec
Parallel Bar Dip 1-2x12 3x AMAP 45 sec
Floor Crunch   3x15-20 30 sec
HIIT Cardio   16 min  
Training Day 3
Quick Start Workout
Exercise Warm-up Sets Work Sets Rest (sec)
Incline Bench Dumbbell Press 2x12 3x8-12 1 min
Flat Bench Barbell Press   3x6-10 1 min
Close-Grip Pull-Up 2x12 (Pull Downs) 3x AMAP 1 min
One Arm Dumbbell Row   3x8-12 1 min
Shoulder-Width Grip Barbell Upright Row 1x12 3x8-12 1 min
Seated Dumbbell Press   3x8-12 1 min
Hanging or Flat Bench Leg Raise   3x15-20 30 sec
Steady-State Cardio   20 min  
Training Day 4
Quick Start Workout
Exercise Warm-up Sets Work Sets Rest (sec)
Single-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise 1x15 3x10-15 30 sec
Barbell Front Squat 2x15 3x8-12 1 min
Bulgarian Split Squat   3x10 each leg 1 min
Stiff Leg Deadlift 1x15 3x8-12 1 min
Incline Bench Dumbbell Curl 1-2x12 3x8-12 45 sec
Barbell Nosebreaker or Diamond (Hands Close) Push-Up 1-2x12 3-8-12 or AMAP 45 sec
Decline Bench Crunch   3x15-20 30 sec
HIIT Cardio   16 min  

Diet 101

As mentioned with training, let’s keep the diet simple as well. There are a ton of diet plans out there some fairly simple and to the point while others can seem like trying to figure out a calculus problem. There are also plenty of diet and eating plans that are very trendy right now which also includes, which appear to be, countless testimonials from celebrities right down to your next door neighbor.

For simplicity’s sake, not to mention your own sanity, we will keep it simple, healthy and easy to follow cutting out extremes and crazy practices. Wiping the slate clean with diet and relearning the proper nutrients, habits and self-discipline will stoke new fire into your efforts and build some muscle and burn off some fat at the same time.

One cannot stress the importance of diet regarding building a new physique. It goes hand-in-hand with training to invoke the transformation you ultimately want to achieve - that vision you have of a new you.

One arm rows

Diet Notes

  1. Don’t think of it as a traditional diet per se; instead visualize food as fuel for your body, not only as energy for training but also everyday life in general. Food is necessary and vital to both physical exertion and work but also for basic existence. Starving yourself to lose fat or conversely gorging yourself to gain muscle will only leave you disappointed and miserable. That is no way to eat or live. Keep it simple and something you can live with – not just for 6 weeks.
  2. This diet is designed to fuel the body, repair tissue from training and burn unwanted fat. It may be an adjustment for some but you will adapt in short order. When you change your perspective on food and eat to live and for performance, you will then have a better grasp on your eating habits and take control.
  3. The diet will focus on whole foods, a few optional supplements and will be void of a lot of processed foods. Whole foods digest easier, are healthier than the so-called diet foods and provide more satiety.
  4. The diet will include a training day menu and a non-training day menu. Training days will have a pre and post training meal and total six meals while non-training days will consist of five meals. This is to fuel the body for repair and to avoid long periods of not eating preventing you from splurging and overeating.
  5. Protein is king! This vital macronutrient performs countless tasks in the body namely builds muscle, repairs other tissue and provides a feeling of fullness to the stomach. Sources can include chicken, lean beef, fish, eggs (with yolks), lean ground beef, lean ground turkey, beef jerky, Greek yogurt, low fat cheeses and whey protein powder.
  6. Fat is necessary. Once thought of as the bane of the American diet, fat has emerged from the pits of solitude to offer a host of important functions such as providing satiety, energy and helping regulate hormone levels. Healthy sources include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, nuts, olive oil, egg yolks (in moderation), avocado and omega-3 supplements.
  7. Carbohydrate isn’t essential bit still necessary for those looking to keep and build muscle. Much like fat a few years ago, carbs have gotten a pretty bad reputation as of late. Contrary to the media, carbs are not all bad. This diet will utilize whole wheat/grains and vegetables and avoid the highly processed and sugary choices. Great choices are oatmeal, 100% whole wheat bread, sweet and white potatoes, white and brown rice, whole grain pasta, all types of vegetables (especially the green leafy kind) and beans.

Note: This plan is based on someone weighing approximately 180 pounds. Also, be sure to drink at least one gallon of water per day.

Training Day Meal Plan

  • Meal 1 - ¾ cup oatmeal combined with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter, cinnamon and a calorie-free sweetener, 3 whole eggs scrambled or 1 scoop of whey protein combined with water.
  • Meal 2 - 1 cup of Greek yogurt or 1 serving of beef jerky, 1 oz. of mixed nuts.
  • Meal 3 - 4-6 oz. of turkey or chicken, 2 slices of whole wheat bread or Ezekiel bread, mustard, tomato, lettuce and 2 slices of low fat cheese, 1 banana, apple or piece of fruit of choice.
  • Meal 4 - (Pre workout) 1 apple and 1 scoop of whey protein combined with water.
  • Meal 5 - (Post workout) 2 scoops of whey protein combined with 1 ½ cups of skim milk.
  • Meal 6 - 6-8 oz. of lean beef, fish, chicken or turkey, 1 cup of mixed vegetables or any vegetable of your choice (green, leafy preferred), 1 medium sweet potato or 1 ½ cup of rice - cooked, salad of choice with 2 tbsp of oil-based dressing.
Rest Day Meal Plan
  • Meal 1 - ½ cup oatmeal combined with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter, cinnamon, calorie-free sweetener, 3 whole eggs scrambled or 1 scoop of whey protein combined with water.
  • Meal 2 - 1 cup of Greek yogurt or 1 serving of beef jerky, 1 oz. of mixed nuts.
  • Meal 3 - 4-6 oz. of turkey or chicken, 2 slices of whole wheat bread or Ezekiel bread, mustard, lettuce, tomato and 2 slices of low fat cheese, , 1 banana, apple or piece of fruit of choice.
  • Meal 4 - 1 apple, 1 scoop of whey protein combined with 1 cup of skim milk.
  • Meal 5 - 6-8 oz. of lean beef, fish, chicken or turkey, 1 cup of mixed vegetables or any vegetable of your choice, ½ medium sweet potato or ¾ cup of rice – cooked, salad of choice with 2 tbsp of oil-based dressing.

Training day totals: Approximately 2800-3000 calories, 200 grams of protein, 350 grams of carbs and 60 grams of fat.

Rest day totals: Approximately 2300-2500 calories, 180 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbs, 55 grams of fat.

Clay Walton
Posted on: Wed, 04/08/2015 - 17:04

What kind of diet would you recommend for someone who is trying to lose a LOT of weight, around 100 lbs? I'm lifting pretty hard but am going to start this program to see if it will get better results than what I'm doing now.

Ian Hutchinson
Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2015 - 11:33

Would it not be better to do HIIT incline sprints on the non leg day?
I found it impossible to complete properly after the leg workout using as much weight as possible.
Can the cardio be swapped or is there a reason for it on leg day ?

Posted on: Sun, 06/14/2015 - 17:48

I like doing the HIIT in the morning vs right after the leg workout.

miles friend
Posted on: Thu, 09/18/2014 - 16:26

can i loss fat with plan if so can I use some fat loss supplements.I'm looking that lean muscular look

Posted on: Sun, 01/04/2015 - 14:21

Brad I find it amazing that you don't answer the concerns of other comments but you defend your diet.

Posted on: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:58

This says that the meal plan is based on someone weighing approx. 180lbs. How much would the portions, etc. change, if any, for a male weighing approx. 200lbs.?

Nathan Wilson
Posted on: Sun, 01/26/2014 - 15:43

Hey Brad,
Just about to start your program but had a question about protein powder. Would it be alright to take Pro Complex by Optimum Nutrition and cut the servings in half? 1 scoop instead of 2...following your diet for 180lb male. Also going to take a muti vitamin "mega men" from gnc. Haven't worked out for about 3 years now do to neck problems...really need to build some muscle around the neck and traps...wanting to start things out right.


Posted on: Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:57

should the cardio be done before or after the weight lifting

Posted on: Sun, 01/19/2014 - 08:00

Hi there,i want to gain a weight and build a nice muscles,is this the plan i can use?Because i like this one is really complex!And what about those warming sets,how much should i pull?

Posted on: Sat, 01/11/2014 - 23:59


Posted on: Fri, 01/10/2014 - 04:14

Hi there, great workout, can you recommend the next work out to move on to after this one?

Posted on: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 16:33

Listing a diet with 5-6 meals per day is unnecessary and based on outdated research. Meal frequency really doesn't matter and is more of personal preference. As long as you're hitting your caloric and macronutrient levels for the day then you can eat 1-2 times/day 3-4, 5-6, or whatever works for you.

Posted on: Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:51

Hi Augie,
I must disagree in part to your statement. The diet plan I have devised above is not outdated. You are correct in a way that total daily (and weekly) calories are what really matter. What I am going for is frequent feedings make it easier to get in more protein, stave off hunger and you are able to absorb more nutrients without eating a couple of huge meals per day.

You actually made my case by stating that it really doesn't matter making your comment mute.

I write diet plans and workout programs for countless people that get REAL results. I do not base ANY of my plans off of the latest fad or what's crawling on the internet. Yes, right now less frequent feeding and IF are big search terms (for example) on the net, but I challenge you to ask ANY of the individuals I work with of what I recommend doesn't work.

I am after results. I read a ton of research as well, but sometimes that research is inconclusive and many times is interpreted with a slant. Not to say at all that there isn't some truth. Most studies are also done on untrained individuals as well (as another example).

But I must digress and thank you for your comment. I am always interested in hearing other's opinions and thank you for reading.


Posted on: Sun, 01/04/2015 - 12:36

None of these comments address the REAL reason that no particular diet works for everyone. Most experts don't know that TOXIC chemicals are the REAL reason why some people don't respond to reduced calories. It is now known that chlorine, flouride, bromine, mercury, BPA, and Sucralose drastically harm the thyroid -- thus decreasing metabolism. "Calories in = Calories out" is NOT scientifically valid, because TOXIC chemicals can reduce one's metabolism by up to 60% -- making it impossible to lose weight -- or to know how many calories you are burning. Do a google search and see for yourself! There are thousands of websites that confirm what I wrote, but most fitness experts are ignorant of these new FACTS!

Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:45

Something is not adding up on these calories I am way lower than they are suggesting. I am using my fitness pal and I only have dinner left and I still have 1200 calories to make it to 2500. What's the deal??

Posted on: Sat, 01/04/2014 - 15:42

I've got a little bit high cholesterol so my doctor recommended staying away from egg yolks. Instead of 3 scrambled eggs, how many egg whites should I use? Also, since this is based on a 180lb weight, how do I scale down the food for someone weighing 135 lbs.

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2014 - 17:50

Can't wait to start this workout on Monday, thanks and Happy New Year.

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2014 - 16:20

can i add deadlift in there somewhere? and clean press ? or power shrugs

Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2014 - 15:19

Is this possible to person get six pack without eating meat ? what is the alternative you suggest for Meat ?

Hector Cabrera
Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2014 - 15:07

I'm at290 want to lose 117is this plan good for me?

Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2014 - 14:41

I am looking forward to this workout routine! I do have a few questions, what are different foods I can substitute in place for others? And I sometimes will do this in the morning, not late afternoon how can we go about with mixing up meal plans and protein drink scheduling and stuff? And when would it be ideal to take fat burning pills with this workout routine?

Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2014 - 01:01

Hi! Great workout! As a woman of 149 pounds, fairly in shape already, how would I calculate the intake of food I would need? Thanks!

Kelly Fitzgerald
Posted on: Wed, 01/01/2014 - 20:24

This looks great! I have a question regarding the Training Day Meal Plan. If I work out first thing early in the morning. Should I switch Meal 4 (Pre workout) with Meal 1? Thanks for your help.

Posted on: Wed, 01/01/2014 - 20:12

One of the best workout routines I have ever seen

Jeff Fanning
Posted on: Wed, 01/01/2014 - 18:43


I will be starting this workout next week (4 day). Thanks for the tips and I will let you know how this goes, I have always been able to make gains but never had the body I truly desired. I will keep you posted on my results, Happy New Year!

Benjamin Munroe
Posted on: Wed, 01/01/2014 - 18:21

These posts are awesome and are a big help.

William M. Walk...
Posted on: Wed, 01/01/2014 - 18:05

Thanks and Happy New Year!