Listen to Your Body

You should be able to tell when you’re ready to begin a strength and conditioning program like this one by tuning in to your body. Take it easy and be smart about determining what’s normal soreness from a workout and what’s a nagging injury that you’re aggravating. If you think it’s the latter, take a few extra days off and see if the soreness passes. If it doesn’t, you should see a medical professional.

Throughout the routine, you should expect to experience mild soreness and fatigue, especially when you’re just getting started. The feeling of your muscles being “pumped” and the fatigue of an exhausting workout should be expected. These are positive feelings.

Find Your Level Using the Power 4 Exercises.

The Power 4 test measures your ability to perform four exercises: pull-ups, squats, push-ups and planks. You’ll do the maximum amount of each of these with good form, followed by a two-minute break. What? You want me to do all these exercises back to back? I can’t do as many push-ups after my upper body is tired from pull-ups!

Incorporating Games & Cardio

What about the games and cardio, you ask? The games and cardio exercises are all listed in the Appendix starting on page for the most part they’re all mix and match. If your workout calls for 15 minutes of cardio afterward, then you can pick any cardio or game from the list and put in at least 15 minutes of quality exercise.

Whether you hop on the treadmill and do music intervals or hit a patch of grass for ball sprints, the routine is up to you. You can even combine two or three cardio exercises and games to allow a wide range of motion and get your metabolism fired up.

Determining Your Level

Now grab your sheet and let’s see how your test performance matches up to the program. Remember, that wasn’t a pass/ fail test. Any of the different levels will help you get ripped!

Boy, these round numbers are convenient, eh? So, what happens if you’re between levels in some areas and not others? Start with the level that has the most reps in common with your initial test. The goal of this book is to get you ripped by working your entire body. You can’t do that if you’re neglecting any major muscle groups. Example: 7 pull-ups, 15 push-ups, 12 squats and a 45-second plank would mean you start with Level I.

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Share Your Success

Please note: If you were unable to complete any reps on any exercise, it’s recommended that you start in the Prep level. For 90 percent of readers, pull-ups will be the deciding factor. It’s important that you build them up or you’ll be missing a huge part of the program. The Prep level can be found on page 137.

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