Over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve discussed Dr. Andrew Huberman’s morning and evening routines. This week, we turn to his workout regimen. Huberman’s Foundational Fitness Protocol is a seven-day plan that combines cardiovascular training, resistance exercises, heat and cold exposure, and high-intensity interval training in quest to optimize overall health. Let’s delve into the details…

Day 1: Long Endurance Workout (Sunday)

Dr. Huberman kicks off the week with a long endurance workout. He recommends at least 30 minutes of Zone 2 cardio exercise, which can include activities like jogging, rowing, cycling, swimming, or hiking. Zone 2 cardio involves breathing faster than normal but maintaining a conversation, ensuring an optimal balance between intensity and endurance. For those who are more advanced, working up to 60-75 minutes is ideal. Emphasizing nasal breathing during this session is also recommended to improve oxygen utilization. Dr. Huberman sets the goal of 180-200 minutes of Zone 2 cardio per week, which, when achieved, provides the foundation for improved cardiovascular fitness.

Day 2: Legs Resistance Training (Monday)

On the second day of the week, Dr. Huberman focuses on leg resistance training. He suggests a 10-minute warmup followed by 50-60 minutes of training, with alternate schedules A (high weight, low rep) and B (low weight, high rep) on a monthly basis. 

Day 3: Heat & Cold Exposure/Recovery (Tuesday)

Tuesday is dedicated to recovery and resilience-building through deliberate heat and cold exposure. Dr. Huberman suggests a 20-minute sauna session followed by a 5-minute ice bath or cold shower, to be repeated 3-5 times. This process promotes recovery and adaptation, improving the body’s ability to handle stress and discomfort. However, it’s important to start slowly, especially if you’re new to heat and cold exposure.

Day 4: Torso & Neck Resistance Training (Wednesday)

On Wednesday, Dr. Huberman indirectly trains the arms by focusing on the torso and neck. A 10-minute warm-up is followed by 50-60 minutes of push-pull training. Just as with leg resistance training, he alternates schedules A (high weight, low rep) and B (low weight, high rep). This workout targets the chest, back, shoulders, and neck. Strengthening the neck muscles is often overlooked but can significantly reduce the risk of injury and correct posture. Exercises such as incline press, chin-ups, and shoulder press are integral to this regimen.

Day 5: Cardiovascular Training (Thursday)

Thursday calls for 35 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular training, with an effort level of 75-80% of maximum. This workout can be done through running, rowing, cycling, jumping jacks, stair-climbing, or jump rope, preferably outdoors. It’s a great way to maintain cardiovascular health and endurance.

Day 6: High-Intensity Interval Training (Friday)

Friday brings high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into the mix. Dr. Huberman’s approach to HIIT indirectly targets the legs. The workout consists of 20-60 seconds of all-out sprinting followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8-12 times. This high-intensity burst is a great way to elevate the heart rate and stimulate fat loss. Importantly, he advises choosing exercises that can be executed with perfect form to prevent injury.

Day 7: Arms, Neck & Calves Training (Saturday)

To round off the week, Saturday is designated for arms, neck, and calves training. Like the other resistance training days, this session includes alternate schedules A (high weight, low rep) and B, focusing on the lengthened and shortened positions of various muscle groups. Exercises such as incline curls, overhead extensions, and calf raises are part of this regimen, indirectly benefiting the torso. Additionally, incorporating neck exercises can further enhance posture and reduce the risk of injury.