On October 4th, 2011 I released my most popular training plan called the 3 Month Extreme Body Weight Training Plan. To date I have had thousands of people go through it with incredible results.
Why does it work?
The reason the plan is so effective is because it incorporates compound bodyweight movements in a progression that forces your muscles to adapt. The goal is to surpass the number of reps you can do in each exercise each time you do the routine. When you force your body to increase the reps than you are forcing it to adapt and grow…. thereby getting stronger.
I have been inspired by the testimonials of the people that have had great success with the program. Here are a few of them…
Testimonials from The Old 3 Month Program
“I’m physically how I was when I left the Army. I initially went down in weight but gained it back in muscle. Nothing is bouncing around my waist now and I can see some abs. I was very happy that the arthritis in my right shoulder never really gave me any trouble. I had the occasional pain but it never lasted or prevented me from working out. Now I rarely feel any discomfort in my shoulder.” – Christopher
“Holy Sh*t…That kicked my ass…Man I was rubbish! Due to the speed of it (no breaks) and the fact it’s one upper body exercise followed by another until all 5 are done, makes it so that exercises I could usually bang out 20 or 30 of have me screaming at 10…” – Fred
“I am very happy with my results after week three of phase two. I lost all my hunting weight/turkey day/Christmas dinner and not to mention I am a cookie monster. Nom Nom Nom! … I managed to get down to 170 from 204 and I am putting on lean mass and back up to 179. Thanks for helping me get back on track.” – Justin
“Todd – the program works. Been at 165 pounds since completing this in beginning of May. I ran the tough mudder and completed it with my co-worker at the Philly tough mudder event. Although I am going to admit I had added pull ups into your routine, it woud work well without them as it is as good as any three month program I ever completed in the past. Thanks to your work out, your encouragement, and guidance. Now I am going to be running in the Runners World Half MArathon in Bethlehem, PA in October. As of right now I am rotating several of your workouts into my split training days and love them. Thanks!” – Sam
“Prior to beginning your program, I had spent the past year and a half or more trying to gain size (I have always been thin and have had an impossible time gaining weight and muscle). After trying a different home based program, I decided to give your program a try. I am excited to report that after only two months I gained somewhere between 8-10lbs! My dad was telling me that my shoulders were getting bigger! I was gaining confidence, shirts were tighter and I was much stronger!” – Jason
So Why Create A New One?
Having a plan is very important. If you do not have a goal in the future and a plan to follow than you are doomed for failure. That’s the reason I created this New & Improved version of the 3 month program. Many people frequently ask me what they should do after they are done and I usually guide them to one of the other programs.
The other programs work well too but there is an element to this plan that is super solid because of how it was put together.
Also, I added pull ups and chin ups. The old 3 month plan was initially designed to be a “travel routine” for people that had access to nothing but their own body weight. It worked the biceps as a stabilizer and with eccentric movements but didn’t work them directly. Now with the additional “pull” exercises you work the biceps and back muscles directly.
What Did You Change It?
I changed the exercise line up and how the plan is structured. Now you will be alternating upper body, lower body, core and fully body exercises instead of doing all your upper body, lower body, core and full body exercises together. I did this to make it more of a circuit style so the focus is on conditioning along with strength. The reason is because this way you will be fatiguing the muscle throughout the entire workout instead of just in one section.
Important Elements To The New 3 Month Training Plan
The plan works well because it combines elements of all 5 areas of fitness.
Conditioning & Maximum Fat Burning – The program is designed so that you are not allowed to take a rest period in between sets. The reason for this is because it conditions your heart and musculature to be able to endure long strenuous periods of time. You’ll be burning a crazy amount of fat.
Strength – In order to get stronger you need to progressively overload the muscles. This plan does this in several different ways. The first way is by challenging yourself to consistently do at least 1 more rep for each exercise each time you do the routine. By doing this you are forcing your muscles to get stronger because in order to perform the higher reps they must be stronger.
The second way is that each month includes more exercises. This forces the body to adapt because it doesn’t get in a rut of doing the same exact routine.
Muscular Growth – In order for your muscles to grow you need to fatigue them within low rep ranges. One way to do this with body weight exercises is to choose exercises that are very difficult for you. Each month of the program you will be adding exercises that are progressively more difficult. This way your muscles adapt and grow in order to accommodate for the more challenging exercises.
Cardiovascular Capacity – The heart is the strongest muscle in the body. It needs to be worked. However, I am a big advocate AGAINST doing long boring cardio sessions. If you enjoy running as something that makes you happy, fine. Go ahead and do it. If you don’t, than there are ways of strengthening your heart that are way more effective. When you do this routine with no rest in between each exercise (as you should) your heart is forced to pump faster and harder to get the necessary oxygenated blood to your muscles.
Flexibility – One of the most valuable reasons you should use body weight calisthenics is because they will improve your flexibility. The stretching, dynamic motions of calisthenics forces your body to move in ways that it doesn’t normally do. That is a tremendous advantage.
Are you ready to begin???
Download This Routine
Click the button image below to download this routine:
The New & Improved 3 Month Body Weight Training Plan
Month 1 – The Hardcore 15
In this month you will start off doing 15 exercises. Go from one to the next until you finish the whole routine. The point of this month is to get you used to the core exercises such as barbwire push ups, hindu squats and an assortment of full body calisthenics such as the dolphin push up, bicycles and horse push ups. You will only do one set total but make sure that you don’t give yourself any rest in between exercises. The only “rest” you get is the few seconds it takes to write down your rep number in your workout sheet and the time it takes to transition to the next exercise. That’s it!
You will be doing 15 exercises per workout.
3 X Per Week
3 X Per Week
3 X Per Week
Active Rest Period
Hips Dips (Left)
Hip Dips (Right)
Month 2 – The Hardcore 20
In month 2, we really step up the game and introduce some extra challenging exercises such as the Stretch Push up and Pop Squats. The reason that I interlaced new, more challenging exercises is so that your body does not get used to the same routine. It will help you stay out of plateau and give you continuous gains. You will be doing 20 exercises per workout.
3 X Per Week
3 X Per Week
3 X Per Week
Active Rest Period
Hips Dips (Left)
Hip Dips (Right)
Month 3 – The Hardcore 25
Alright! Here we are in the last month! This is be far the toughest and you’ll be doing 5 additional exercises as compared to month 2 (25 total exercises to FULL fatigue!). Not only that but you’ll also be doing the plan 4 days a week, instead of 3. I recommend Mon/Tues and Thurs/Fri. That way you have Wed and Sat/Sun as rest days. If you get through this month you will be conditioned like an animal and have developed an incredible physique.
4 X Per Week
4 X Per Week
4 X Per Week
Active Rest Period
Hips Dips (Left)
Hip Dips (Right)
Handstand Push up Against Wall
Frequently Asked Questions:
How many reps/sets do you do?
You will only do one set all the way through. Start with the first exercise and do it until you absolutely can’t do any more. Then immediately go on to the next exercise in the list WITHOUT REST. No resting in this routine! Once you make it all the way down the list of exercises… you are done. In terms of reps: you want to go to total fatigue! That means that you can’t do any more. Write the number down on the workout sheet (above) and then move on to the next exercise. The next time you do the workout you will try to get more reps. Each time you do the workout you will try to beat your previous record.
How do I find out how to do the exercises?
Click on the links, silly! 🙂
Can I add cardio or more bodyweight training to this program?
Of course you can! If you would like to run or do sprints or swim on your off days or on days feel free to do so. Just watch your energy levels. If you are finding hard to stay in good spirits and you feel like you just want to lay in bed all day… you might be over training.
I want to build muscle and some of the exercises I can do a ton of reps. Aren’t I just building endurance?
After you get somewhat used to the routine you’ll notice your rep ranges climbing. Be happy! You are getting stronger! Though if you are doing the routine solely for strength than I recommend implementing these techniques and slowing down your movements. Increase the Time Under Tension and you’ll fatigue within lower rep ranges.
Remember, however, that this routine is focused on improving all areas of fitness not just muscle growth. Be fine with doing high rep ranges for some of the easier exercises.
What does “Active Recovery” mean?
Every forth month you will do an “active recovery” week. This is where you take the week off from doing anything strength related. That means no body weight exercises or lifting weights. You are free to do cardio, jumping jacks, jump ropes, etc. Just don’t go all out during these times. Your body needs a chance to recover and rebuild.
How long will it take me to get big, fit, lose weight, etc?
Honestly, I hate this question. The reason I hate this question is because fitness is a lifestyle and everybody is different. I can say that with the right strategies (outlined in this program) you will see noticeable results within 2-3 weeks.
Is there a food plan that I can follow along with this program?
Bodyweight Overload has a full nutrition plan that will help you learn how much and what to eat in order to build muscle and drop body fat. Also, Allison (my wife) and I are coming out with a women’s only program that will help women get super lean and strong really fast. Be on the look out for that!
I’m a woman and I don’t want to get bulky. Should I do this program?
Yes! Strength training will NOT get women bulky. This is one of the biggest myths in the industry. In this article I interviewed Kellie Davis: Why Strong Is The New Sexy where she goes into more depth.
I can’t even do a single push up! How am I going to be able to do this workout?
Modify, modify, modify! Every exercise can be modified. For example, any of the pushups can be done with your knees on the ground or with your hands on an elevated surface like a couch or wall. Pull ups can be modified by placing your feet on a chair. Over time, your goal is to not use the chair or have your knees on the ground.
If you want to make the exercises harder, check out this article I wrote on BodyweightCoach.com. I teach you how to make bodyweight exercises harder.
I want to get ripped. My diet looks like XYZ. Will this program help me get ripped?
This is actually a really great question. If your diet sucks than your will not be seeing results whether you are trying to bulk up or tone up.
You gotta get your nutrition right my friends. This is absolutely key. Here’s one of my favorite articles on carb cycling which will help you shed fat and add muscle.
This workout is way to intense. How do I scale it down?
Other than modifying the exercises like in the suggestion above you can also choose to not do all of the exercises. Just cut some of them out. That’s totally ok. You want to modify it to fit your level of ability. Over time, try to add more and more exercises until you are doing the full routine.
Keep me updated my friends! And share your results in the comments below.
I just finished the plans. Any suggestions for what I should do after?
How should I do this workout to gain mass ? The original 3 month program became to easy with even doing 10-12 reps for each excercise.
This program looks very challenging. I have a small issue. I do have a pull up bar at home but I cannot do the upset down pull ups because of the ceiling. Is there anything wrong with substituting the upside down pull ups with another pull up variation?
Hi Todd! I stumbled upon your 3 month hardcore program yesterday. Read through the program & most of the exercises are new to me. I lift weights on & off for 2 decades now. And about a couple of weeks ago, I started doing Calisthenics exercises. I’m enjoying the challenge as most of the exercises are also new to me. Anyways, today I started day 1 of your exercise program and got my heart pumping! I enjoyed the challenge. My question is, can I do the “beginner” Calisthenics exercises in between the days that I do your program? I’m planning of doing your program Mon,Wed,and Fri (in place of my cardio days). I would like to do basic Calisthenic exercises in between (Tues and Thurs) to work on my flexibility and improve my range of motion. I’m 5’5 and 160 lbs. i’d like to maintain my weight, with the goal of get leaner & stronger. I’m also encouraging my wife to follow your program as well. Thanks!
You can certainly do that, as long as you’re getting enough rest and you’re not going over board with the exercises in between your regular days.
But since you want to improve your flexibility and range of motion, why don’t you do the Hardcore program and supplement with yoga or a stretching routine, instead of the calisthenics exercises?
hey todd, was wondering if 3000-4000 calories would still make me lean i’m 5’8 at 158 lbs. or would i have to eat less?
It would be very difficult to stay lean with that kind of caloric intake, unless you’re on a very rigorous workout routine.
Hey Todd , is this program effective in building muscle ? And will my muscle mass gain decrease if I switched from weight lifting to this 3 month calisthenics program?
That depends on how advanced you are in weight lifting. For the vast majority of people, it’s possible to maintain or even increase muscle size after the switch. This program is excellent for that.
Let me how it goes.
The download link for the routine doesn’t seem to be working properly. I have the old version of the 3-month workout plan; but I would like the new workout sheet to keep track of my reps.
LAST MONTH I DID BUY YOUR PROGRAM WITHOUT GETTING ATTENTION AND I AM NEW TO PAYPAL OR VISA WAHTEVER I AM JUST 16 YEARS OLD SO PLEASE CAN YOU GET MY MONEY BACK ? I AM SO THANKFUL BUT PLEASE GET IT BACK THIS IS MY BAD !!!!!!! REPLY ME PLEASEEE PLEASE ITS MY FAULT BUT WITHOUT GETTING ATTENTION AGAIN :/
No worries, just contact our customer support here and they will take care of it.
Hi Todd, do you have any exercises in particular for targeting the rotator cuffs? I’ve seen 3 exercises on Stew Smith’s site which is recommended to balance a push up session — arm haulers, birds and inverse pushups.
i have little problems with sovraspinatus (imbalance of the muscles of the shoulder). Is there in the list of exercise someone to strengthen these kind of muscles?
I have your Complete Bodyweight Training System pdf, but this looks different AND looks like it’s a spreadsheet which would be great… but the link is telling me that it’s expired. Any chance the link could be updated? THANKS! 🙂
I am wondering the same thing! 🙂
Kathleen I tried the link again and it works…not sure if you figured that out yet 🙂
Hi Todd, if I max out at 110 barbwire pushups at the end of month 1, does that mean I carry on from that number at the start of month 2? Or do I start again with a new one set max?
Hi Ryan, They should be one in the same. Each set you should be pushing it fully so 110 should be your max. Then in month 2 your max should be right around that #.
I have a question for you. Let’s say I get done with this 3-month program. Is there a next step? Could I just continue cycling through month 3 and trying to do more and more reps? Or would I move on to the Navy SEAL program you have on here?
I guess my question is, what’s the most appropriate succession of workout plans you have if I want to stay super fit and challenge myself? So far I have it in this order:
1. 3 Month Extreme Bodyweight Training Plan
2. The New Hardcore 3 Month Bodyweight Exercise Training Plan
Let me know if that’s the right train of thought. And thanks!
You definitely want to incorporate a different routine. Your body will plateau at some point. I’d recommend the UFC plan as #3.
Following this vein…
What would you suggest after the UFC? Then would it be appropriate to cycle back to this 3 month program? Or would it be better to do a couple of your 1-month programs before coming back? Do you recommend a workout cycling order for long-term use?
The 3 month program can be as challenging as you want it to be, so it’s always an option to go through it. I’d say go ahead and do that.
This site is amazing I am my Self studied Ace
This is Best site for bodyweight athletes. Waiting to see more pulling exercise.
I am addicted to this site
I just wanted to let you know your programs are very effective and I have used your original bodyweight overload and this updated version, coupled with my training mask, and some serious mental toughness to help me finish two Tough Mudders. I would like to say that I actually broke my floating ribs and froze my rump off the second time, and still finished. Thanks for some of the great articles, workouts, and dedication to athletes that sometimes enjoy a little guidance.
Todd, this site is absolutely amazing.. I’ve been searching for a while now to try and find a new workout routine that uses plyometrics and calisthenics for MMA … Thank you so much
I have done P90X, P90X+, P90X2, Body Beast and German Volume Training among others….if I do this workout, will I lose size and muscle since there is no weights involved?
You shouldn’t. Its a different style of workout so you’ll challenge your muscles in new ways and stimulate adaptation.
I have 2 questions one I want to increace my upper and lower body strength as quickly as I can for park our and im somewhat out of shape (can do 30 pushups, 7 pull ups , 40 wall squats ,20 situps, and can jog 1 1/2 miles.) so any suggestions on any thing to add to the regemen? And what can I do to practice my handstand (for hand stand pushups?
Hi todd for a beginer you’ll suggest this plan or before one?
I would suggest the other one Sidhanth. Its a little less intense.
Sorry Todd, MORE questions from me!!!
Because I suck at push ups I’m not getting the burn in my arms which should be happening, instead my shoulder muscles are being worked. I’ve tried the negative push up for some of the push up moves and still no burn in my arms. Do you have any advice on how to get my arms to take the strain or should I do more than 12 reps because I’m still struggling to do them?
Don’t worry. Just keep doing them. As your shoulders get stronger your arms will begin to feel it more. The exercise works the entire upper body so you’ll feel it most where you are the weakest. Just keep working at it. 🙂
Another question from me Todd!!!
As a female I’m interested in lifting and toning my booty as well as lessening the appearance of cellulite. Should I add a booty firming program to your program as I found a nice stability ball one online or is it not necessary?
Thanks for the new program, hope I can survive it 🙂
Just started on the old program on month 1 and my knees are feeling a bit sore. I swapped the crazy lunge for a step up, how many step ups would I need to do to get the same effect as a lunge or should I do a 1-legged ball squat which looks a little bit like a lunge? Also should I swop the hindu squat for a ball wall squat? I’ve come across quite a few stability ball alternatives for those with bad knees but I’m not sure how effective they’ll be, should one maybe double the reps?
Also I’m not ready and I dont have a pull up bar yet, what could I do in the mean time?
Sorry for all the questions 🙁
Hey Todd, This new program looks great!
I’m currently busy with the 2nd month of your old program, do you think it’s ok to do a straight swap and jump into the 2nd month of the new program?
Also I don’t have a pull-up bar available, any substitute exercises that you can recommend?
Definitely stick with the current program you are on. It will be a good foundation for the 2nd 3 months.
Here’s a video where I use an make shift pull up bar. I think you’ll like it. 🙂
This is great Todd. It presents a challenge for anyone at any level.
Can you give a “good” number of reps…..for each gender and each of the exercises… “to failure” is so vague because some people really know how to push themselves and some people will call it failure when they feel a little tiny burn…..
i.e For Women:
Needs Improvement =
Or…. what have you been able to do ;)?
I’m pretty sure you can beat me. I’ve seen your workouts! Superhuman!!!
I know it is very vague but honestly that’s how my mind works. Its good to have a rep number to shoot for but only after you have established your baseline. I know you have mentioned this before but I’m sticking to my guns. 🙂
Wow Todd, this one looks more intense than the last one. I cannot wait to get started on this one. This 3 month program looks absolutely awesome. Keep up with the great work Todd,
God Bless, Lent
Thanks Lent! I appreciate that!