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Weeks nine through twelve

Weeks 9-12

The Shape of Your Life: Weeks nine through 12     Photo: Outside Magazine

Flexibility takes center stage in month three of The Shape of Your Life, and your first assignment is to include the following 20- to 30-minute yoga routine after each endurance workout, in this order: Sun Salutation, Warrior I, Triangle Pose, Back Stretch and Hamstring Stretch, Full Boat, and Tree Pose. All these poses are pictured with instructions on the preceding pages. Though classes are not mandatory, we do suggest signing up for a few beginner Ashtanga sessions to make sure you learn proper form and yield the maximum benefits from each pose.

As for your heart-rate-zone endurance work (see "The Zone Offense," in sidebar), you'll continue increasing duration. The schedule will be the same as last month: zone-specific intervals on Fridays, increased duration in weeks ten and eleven, and reduction in week twelve, with a final-day lactate-threshold test.

Your Tuesday/Thursday strength training, meanwhile, will be abbreviated from ten to eight exercises this month to prepare you for next month's speed and power drills. Twice a week, perform the four strength exercises shown above, as well as the following: upright rows, Swiss-ball flies, bent-over rows, and chin-ups.

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