New Year Total Body Challenge – Week 5: Chest and Back



For many of us, starting a New Year means setting goals and starting a new routine.  Regardless of what your goals are, creating a plan of action will allow you to execute specific tasks that work towards accomplishing success! It takes time to get into new habits and rituals that will ultimately become a part of your life, but it can happen.


My best advice is to get focused and stay committed by combining the forces of good nutrition, exercise, sleep and recovery to supercharge your amazing powers. This winning combination will help you to feel healthier, be happier, and really start to care about your wellbeing.


With all of this being said, get inspired to challenge your strengths with a complete workout challenge that will keep you focused on obtaining your fitness goals. So get ready to supercharge your spirits and achieve success!!!


Let’s review the challenge….




The challenge is a progressive 5-week total body program. The workouts are targeted to focus on a specific muscle group each week and will build upon the previous weeks by adding past workouts into the schedule.


This is the 5th and final week of the total body challenge! If you have been following along, congratulations and keep up the hard work! Staying focused, determined, and committed through these 5 weeks is a huge accomplishment that you should be so proud of for your success.


By now, you have learned a variety of exercises to add to your fitness routines. If you enjoyed this challenge, you can always repeat the workout schedule or change it up by incorporating a new set of challenges into your workouts.



If you are just joining in now, it’s never too late to start! Just follow this link to week 1’s blog and video to learn about the entire challenge and start the challenge from the beginning!


For a quick reference, here are the other links to continue the program in order:




To make planning your workouts simple, I created a workout calendar for you to follow and keep on track each day of the 5 weeks.  Print it, pin it, save it, and sweat to it!  Here is a link to the 5-week calendar.




Goal: The New Years Challenge is a 5-week series that focuses on total body strength to tone, define, and condition your body from post-holiday festivities.


Frequency: 5 total strength days

  • 3 non-consecutive chest & back workout days
  • Combine week 1’s arm workout & week 2’s leg workout
  • Combine week 3’s core workout & week 4’s booty workout



The final challenge combines exercises for your CHEST & BACK, while incorporating all the previous workouts from week’s 1-4!

  • Perform the CHEST & BACK workout on 3 non-consecutive days.

10 Reps, 2 sets in circuit format

  • Combine and perform the ARMS & LEGS workouts (week’s 1 & 2) once during the week.

10 Reps, 1 set in circuit format

  • Combine and perform the CORE & BOOTY workouts (week’s 3 & 4) once during the week.

10 Reps, 1 set in circuit format


  • Include activities that target your fitness goals; cardio, yoga, sports, etc.
  • Refer to the chart below for a set schedule to follow.


Adjust the incline to challenge your strength level.





  1. Pull Ups + plyo
  • Open the glide board, grab the pull up bars, and lie prone with the chest at the top of the glide board.
  • Extend the arms, bend the knees and cross the feet at the ankles to begin.
  • Pull your bodyweight up towards the tower by activating the back muscles.
  • Execute a steady control throughout the exercise.
  • The higher the incline, the harder the challenge.

Advanced: add a plyo metric movement at the top of the exercises.


  1. Triangle Push-Ups
  • Beginners, keep the glide board closed and the incline medium-high.
  • Intermediate-advanced, open the glide board with a low incline.
  • Use the glide board to assume a plank with the hands positioned to form a ‘triangle’. Keep the torso elongated by positioning the shoulders on top of wrists, core engaged, and legs straight.
  • Move the glide board up and down the rails as you perform a push up.

Advanced: Perform the exercise with one leg extended.





  1. Alternating Hi-Lo Rows
  • Sit or kneel on the glide board facing the tower with the cables in each hand.
  • Perform one low row (arms parallel and hands row to waist), followed by one high row (elbows wide and hands row to underarm).
  • Alternate these movements while keeping the core engaged at all times.

Advanced: Perform this exercise from a high kneeling position.


  1. Single Arm Row + rotation
  • Vary this exercise by position the body in different stances on the glide board.

Quadruped: hold onto one cable and come to all fours on the glide board.  Stabilize by activating the core while keeping the opposite arm straight and maintaining stillness in the lower body.

  • Begin to row and rotate with one arm.
  • Perform this exercise on both sides.

Kneeling: Kneel facing the tower with a cable placed in one hand to perform the above exercise.

Half Kneeling (advanced): Carefully position one knee on the glide board and the opposite knee is lifted (half kneeling).  Perform the exercise with control.


  1. Rear Flies + static
  • Kneel facing the tower with the cables in each hand.
  • Keeping the torso elongated, open the arms to the sides to activate the upper back muscles.
  • Keep the arms below shoulder height and perform in a controlled rhythm.

Advanced: Perform the exercise from a high kneeling position.


  1. Chest Press + static
  • Sit facing away from the tower the cables in each hand. Straddle legs to accommodate flexibility, or extended them long on the glide board.
  • Keeping the torso elongated as you perform a chest press.

Advanced: static strength.  Keep the glide board still as you alternate a chest press.


  1. Flies + static
  • Sit facing away from the tower the cables in each hand. Straddle legs to accommodate flexibility, or extended them long on the glide board.
  • Keeping the torso elongated as you perform a chest fly by opening the arms to the sides and then hugging back in.
  • Vary the angle to change the targeted chest muscles.

Advanced: static strength.  Keep the glide board still as you alternate a chest fly.


  1. Circles
  • Sit facing away from the tower with the cables in each hand. Position legs to accommodate your flexibility.
  • Keeping the torso elongated, circle the arms simultaneously in opposition.
  • Perform this exercise for the same reps in each direction.


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.


Use this chart as a workout schedule to follow for week 5’s challenge. The cardio listed is just a guide to increase your metabolism into a fat burning mode. The goal is to remain active daily!



Every year marks a new era of change. Let this year be different by making positive changes to your health, energy, and love. Don’t let anything stand in your way because you are in charge of your schedule, you have the power to succeed, and you are the only one that can make yourself a priority so that good things happen!


Good luck with the final week’s challenge and stay the course! Your accomplishments and success is waiting for you!


Best Always,


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 One Comment

  1. Hi Maria. Some good inspiration here for us all. I must admit I tried a similar challenge last year but didn’t follow it through. I’m now trying to think smarter and look further a field for ways to aid recovery. I’m focussing on nutrition especially and I’ve heard good things about air compression technology so will look to pick a device up online so I recover adequately between sessions.

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