An Overview of the Total Body Conditioning Plan (TBC4)

Here is an inside look at part of a training session from the 4-Week Total Body Conditioning Plan (TBC4). For more of an overall review of the 28-day plan please look here. The TBC4 Plan begins with an assessment and offers short, high-quality strength training options, HIT cardio sessions and nutritional strategies over the course of four-weeks. The TBC4 Plan focuses on changing ones mindset when it comes to exercise and diet.

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be”  John Wooden, former UCLA Basketball Coach

Fitness Assessment

Making the commitment to exercise regularly while focusing on specific diet strategies are two important steps. The basic concept is to use the plan as a template to bolster that commitment and hopefully “ingrain the habits into your brain.” There are 6-steps to follow over the course of the 4-week plan and five of those steps have specific game plans. Each game plan needs to be incorporated into your life-style in order to be successful. The 6-steps talk about the importance of changing mindset, performing an assessment, adding in more daily movement, getting stronger and leaner and finally, the value of getting more sleep. By the time you complete your 28-day plan, you’ll improve not only your health and fitness, but more importantly, exercise will develop into a habit.

Strength Days (3x/week, <30:00 sessions)

Focus on primary movements including the Squat, Deadlift, Loaded Carry, Lunge, PushPull and Trunk Rotational exercises. The key takeaway here is to master these basic movements before increasing any type of volume. Build up to completing 2-4 sets of each exercise using a load that enables you to get 8-20 repetitions per set. If you end up working for time instead of reps, aim for 30-60 seconds of work per set and perform the exercises in a circuit fashion for about 30:00. The goal is three times a week and if you have a long history of working out, you have the option of progressing to every other day. If you’re new to the game, try only 1-2 circuits, 1-2 days a week and add in plenty of recovery between bouts of exercise. The volume of work (sets x reps x load) will depend on your ability and training history.

Cardio Days (3x/week, 15:00 sessions)

Focus on short, challenging, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) when it comes time for cardio workouts and these can be done on a bike, elliptical, treadmill, swimming, on a rowing machine or running. According to Len Kravitz, a researcher at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, “HIIT adds up to 15 percent more calories to the total calories expended.” That means if you’ve worked off 550 calories doing HIIT, you can reasonably expect to burn at least another 83 calories post-exercise. The HIIT sessions should include alternating formats using the following two protocols. One option, is to use a 4:00 warm-up followed by interval work using a 1:2 work to rest ratio (i.e. 30-seconds of maximum effort, 1:00 lower intensity) x 5 rounds, then a cool-down for 4:00. The second option, includes a 4:00 warm-up followed by a 30-20-10 protocol. This means 30-seconds of easy work followed by 20-seconds of moderate intensity work and then 10-seconds of maximum effort for a total of one-minute. Repeat this for 7 rounds followed by a 4:00 cool-down. Both of the workout protocols should take you about 15:00. The exercise intensity will depend on your ability and training history. The TBC4 Plan recommendation is to wear a heart rate monitor during workouts especially if you’re new to exercise.

Nutritional Strategy (8 Diet Pillars)

The TBC4 offers 8 Diet Strategies to follow during your time spent on the plan. These include: Diet Strategy #1 – Drink more water first thing in the morning. Diet Strategy #2 – Never skip breakfast. Diet Strategy #3 – Don’t drink your calories. Diet Strategy #4– Be aware of processed foods. Diet Strategy #5 – Decrease your added sugar and salt intake. Diet Strategy #6 – Be aware of portion distortion. Diet Strategy #7 – Eat more fruits and vegetables. Diet Strategy #8 – Decrease your calories prior to bedtime. For an in-depth look of each please read here.

Game Plan: Follow the 8 Diet Strategies each day. Focus on reducing added sugar. A goal for women is <100 calories (25 grams) a day. A goal for men is <150 calories (38 grams) a day. Increase the amount of daily fiber. You can use the exact same number in terms of daily gram that is recommended for added sugar, as your goal.

The following is an example of part of a training session for someone other than a novice.

(Part of) Dynamic Warm-up

Mountain Climber (perform in “slow motion”) As movement competency improves the individual would progress to a faster pace for repetitions or time.

Weighted Step-Ups

Inverted Row


Hammer Curl/Squat/Press

Hanging Abdominals


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