Remember, for those who have been working out consistently and are looking to increase the intensity — and results — the advanced plan should be your choice. Everyone is different so remember to use these workouts as guides and don't be afraid to modify the workout or switch to a different level to fit your needs. It's time to get started!
If you're an amateur in exercising, I advise you to proceed with caution, as this plan is more suitable for athletes and people who are used to intense workouts and have years of fitness experience under their belt.
The advanced fitness plan places more emphasis on weights rather than on resistance bands. Unless you have a variety of weight-lifting equipment at home, it is better to do this routine in the gym. You can hire a personal trainer to help you out.
Your workout frequency is definitely a notch higher than the intermediate level, with at least five times per week. Your routine includes:
Here's a workout schedule you can follow:
The advanced routine uses minimal equipment. But unlike the intermediate plan, you may want to put more focus on using weights instead of using resistance tubing and bands. Even if these are portable, inexpensive, and versatile (resistance tubing even come in different resistances, which are color-coded for distinction), these devices may pose certain problems.
For example, using tubes with elastics and with one end fixed may create resistance patterns that do not ideally match the torque-joint angle curves of your body. This is because the bands increase resistance fairly linearly throughout the range. Here are a couple of charts that show the difference in muscle tension between free weight resistance and resistance tubing:
Fig. 1 — Bell-shaped ascending-descending strength curve displayed with free weight resistance
Fig. 2 — Linear ascending strength curve displayed with resistance tubing
(Figures adapted from "Hartmann & Tunnemann, Fitness and Strength Training for All Sports," 1995, pg. 51)
Noticed how resistance tubing causes a linear ascending strength curve? This looks problematic, because it means that it encourages the disproportionate development of accelerators versus decelerators. This may lead to injury in the long run.1
The Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises
That being said, I advise you to do bodyweight training, where you use your own body weight, instead of resistance training. Bodyweight exercises, such as pull-ups, chin-ups, and push-ups, are especially helpful and have less of a risk of injury than resistance training.2 When it comes to bodyweight exercises, proper form is crucial. You need to prioritize quality over quantity.
Another factor that will make bodyweights more efficient is the rep speed. By slowing down movement, you will effectively decrease your repetition range. Most of the time, the appropriate speed is a slow count of 3, 2, 1, then pause, and repeat.3 Injuries can be prevented with slower reps because at the first sign of pain, you can stop working out before you hurt yourself. These exercises can also establish your mind-muscle connection.
Another good tip to remember when doing bodyweight exercises is to vary your grip positions, such as when doing push-ups. This will create muscle confusion, which helps you build more muscle and increase fat loss. You can also use midrange motion — stopping about halfway instead of pulling yourself all the way up — to induce muscle confusion.