Get in Shape Fast With This 3-Week Conditioning Program

STACK Expert Scott Thorn prescribes a three-week conditioning program to get you back in shape.

Here's a great full-body spring workout for people who want to increase their fitness base. It's a four-day split that lasts three weeks and is a linear phase, meaning it gradually increases the work load from week to week. A get-after-it attitude and a 20-pound weight vest are all you need to get in shape.

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On Mondays and Thursdays, you do the bodyweight circuit wearing the weight vest. The circuit is organized in a lower- to upper-body manner, making it more calorie-demanding and forcing your body to pump blood back and forth, from top to bottom. The workout is challenging, so if you feel out of breath at times, take a "10-breath break."

When my athletes are getting back into shape, I recommend counting 10 breaths. This gets their mind off how uncomfortable they are. Remember, your body is in a constant search for homeostasis, always wanting to guide you to the path of least resistance. Verbally counting your breaths helps to block out the "this is horrible" thought process and gives you adequate rest to get back after it with the right mindset!

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Tuesday and Friday, do the low-intensity cardiovascular workout by hiking on the treadmill at a 10% incline for a set time.

Regarding the breakdown of the circuit, in Week 1 you go through the circuit three times and do eight repetitions of each exercise each time through. In Weeks 2 and 3, the repetitions are increased, but the number of times through the circuit stays the same. The "hike" is set up the same way—a gradual increase in work done from week to week.

The Circuit

  • Squats
  • Walking Push-Ups
  • Vest Bent Row
  • Wrist Touch + Spider Touch
  • Walking Lunges
  • Glute Taps
  • Step-Ups
  • Crab Hold (10 seconds)

Week 1 — 3x8

Week 2 — 3x10

Week 3 — 3x12

The Hike

Week 1 — 20 minutes

Week 2 — 25 minutes

Week 3 — 30 minutes

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock