New Year Total Body Challenge – Week 1: Arms Day

It’s a new year, a new beginning, and a chance to restart your fitness goals!  Let’s kick off the New Year right with a progressive 5-week total body challenge that burns calories, tones your muscles, and keeps you focused on a set workout schedule to follow.


Now is a perfect time to get motivated with a clean slate to focus energy on your health and fitness goals. If your New Year Resolution is to tone up, slim down, and eat healthier, then you need to make the right plan of action to make it happen!



Fitness and healthy nutrition go hand in hand, so take some time to clean up your diet by eliminating foods that serve no purpose to your ultimate health.  This is a sure way to make real results happen in a few short weeks.  Here are some helpful nutrition tips on ‘dirty’ foods to limit or eliminate and ‘clean’ foods to include so that you can feel and look your best this year.


‘Dirty’ foods

  • Limit or remove processed foods (i.e.: anything in a box, can, or bag)
  • Remove sugar products hidden in foods
  • Cut dairy products and choose alternatives (i.e.: almond, coconut, cashew milks)
  • Cut out white grains (i.e.: pasta, breads, white rice, etc.)


‘Clean’ Foods

  • Include colorful vegetables at every meal, especially loads of greens!
  • Choose lean proteins (i.e.: meats, chicken, fish, eggs, vegan proteins)
  • Eat breakfast! (a protein + greens)
  • Include raw vegetables at every meal
  • Hydrate often


To make a difference in your overall health, it is imperative to combine a clean diet with a consistent fitness program.  This will deliver the results you are aiming to achieve and develop a healthy lifestyle to include into your daily life.



To kick off this new year right, I have created a 5-week progressive total body challenge that builds upon the previous weeks. Here is an overview of what the challenge entails.



Listed below is the weekly workout schedule for the New Years Challenge.  Each week focuses on a specific targeted muscle area that builds upon the previous week’s workout.  By the end of the 5 weeks, you will have many exercises to add to you routine and you will have achieved progressive strength throughout your entire body!


Week 1: ARMS, 2 workouts

  • 2 days: arms

Week 2: LEGS, 3 workouts

  • 2 days: legs
  • 1 day: arms (wk. 1)

Week 3: CORE, 3 workouts

  • 2 days: core
  • 1 day: legs (wk. 2)

Week 4: BUTT, 4 workouts

  • 2 days: butt
  • 1 day: core (wk. 3)
  • 1 day: arms (wk. 1)

Week 5: CHEST/ BACK, 5 workouts

  • 3 days: chest/ back
  • 1 day: arms & legs combo (wk.’s 1 & 2)
  • 1 day: core & butt combo (wk’s 3 & 4)



To make planning your workouts simple, I have created a workout calendar for you to follow and keep on the right track. Print it, pin it, save it, and love sweating to it!



NOTE:  Refer to the calendar provided and watch the accompanying weekly video(s) to see how each exercise is performed!




Frequency: 2 non-consecutive days

Reps & Sets: 10 Reps, 2 sets in circuit format



  • Perform the arms workout provided on 2 non-consecutive days during the first week.
  • On the first workout day, perform the exercises listed in order: 1-5. On the second workout, perform the exercises listed in reverse: 5-1.
  • Include other workouts that you are familiar with during the week that target your fitness goals; such as cardio, yoga, stretching, etc.
  • Each week will have a link to check out the previous blog and workout.


Adjust the incline to challenge your strength level.




  1. Shoulder Press
  • Lie prone facing away from the tower and place your hands on the press bars.
  • Begin to extend your arms straight as the glide board presses up the rails.
  • The higher the incline, the harder the upper body challenge.



  1. Rear Delt & OH Press Combo
  • Sit, kneel, or assume a high kneeling position to the side of the glide board with the cables in each hand.
  • With the outside arm, perform 1 rear delt fly, followed by an overhead press with the opposite arm.
  • Perform this exercise facing each direction.


  1. Tricep Kick Backs & Presses
  • Sit, kneel, or assume a high kneeling position facing the tower with the cables in each hand.
  • With the core engaged and an extended spine, hinge forward slightly to assume the correct angle.
  • Bend the elbows and keep them close to your ribs. Begin to extend the arms keeping the palms facing upwards, then return to the starting position.
  • PRESSES: Once the reps are completed, perform static tricep extensions. Do this by keeping the glide board still.  The faster the rhythm, the harder the challenge.


  1. Bicep Curls & Presses
  • Sit, kneel, or assume a high kneeling position facing the tower with the cables in each hand.
  • Keep the arms parallel and extended from chest as you curl them in and out.
  • PRESSES: Once the reps are completed, perform static bicep extensions. Do this by keeping the glide board still.  The faster the rhythm, the harder the challenge.


  1. Front & Side Raises
  • Sit, kneel, or high kneel facing away from the tower with the cable in each hand.
  • Perform 1 front raise followed by 1 side raise.
  • Keep the core engaged at all times to maintain proper form.


POST WORKOUT STRETCH: End your workout with a few minutes of stretching or foam rolling to lengthen the muscles worked and to prevent soreness.


Refer to the video for exercise demonstrations.



The post-holiday roller coaster will pass and soon you will be back into a regular routine. If you manage your time and set realistic goals for yourself, you will be able to celebrate your ongoing commitment to your health, your fitness, and your new beginning of this New Year.


Good Luck this week!  Stay tuned for week 2’s leg workout plan!






Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Great challenge – thank you!!

  2. Where’s week 2 legs workout????

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