Sometimes, we just need to reboot our metabolism to take our fat loss to the next level.
The key to seeing results is to have a plan of attack; this week, Leah Minick has done that for you. She has been a NASM certified personal trainer for more than 11 years and is known for her workouts that don’t seem that challenging at the time, but have you begging for mercy by the end and your muscles talking to you for the next few days!
This is a high-calorie-burning strength and cardio workout all in one. You should complete it three times this week on alternating days. It will have your body sweating and muscles sculpted in no time!
Circuit X 3: You will perform the strength exercises one after the other followed by a 5-minute cardio session. That is one circuit. Rest 1 minute between circuits. Repeat circuit two more times. Note: On the last cardio session, add up to an extra 5 minutes to really empty the tanks!
Warm-up: Make sure you have your dumbbells and mat set up and ready to go to maximize your 30-minute circuit workout. Start with a short easy 5 minute warm-up on a treadmill, elliptical, step mill or equipment of your choice.
Strength focus: These movements are compound movements to maximize the amount of work done in this short, full-body routine. Your reps will be alternating six on each side (total of 12) with a minimal rest between exercises. Use an average tempo like 2/1/1 (two seconds to lower the weight, one second pause, and one second to lift it) to ensure you perform each exercise properly.
Exercise 1: Lunges + bicep curl + overhead press: Stand with a tall posture, feet together and abs contracted. Holding dumbbells at your side, lunge forward on your right foot to a 90-degree angle, pausing at the bottom. Perform a bicep curl to overhead press, keeping your elbows close to your side. While your arms remain overhead, push off with your front leg and return to starting position with your arms returning to your sides. Keep your posture tall. Alternate right/left for a total of 12 reps. Note: Do not allow knee to extend over toes in lunge.
Exercise 2: Side lunge + two-arm dumbbell row + triceps extension: Stand with a tall posture, feet together and abs contracted. With dumbbells at your side, lunge to the right, hinging your upper body forward and arms reaching toward your right foot. Perform a two-arm row, squeezing your elbows to your ribs. Continue with a triceps kickback behind you. Finish the movement by pushing off on your right foot and returning to the starting position. Alternate right/left for a total of 12 reps. Note: Do not allow knee to extend over toe when lunging to side.
Exercise 3: Superman with snow angel arms + breathing exercise: Lay face down on a mat with arms stretched overhead and legs stretched behind. Draw in your bellybutton as you inhale and lift your arms and legs up off the mat. Exhale as you float your arms down to your sides. Pause. Inhale as you float them back to overhead and exhale as you lower your arms and legs to starting position. Repeat 12 times. Note: Keep your neck long and your chin tucked. Eyes are looking toward the mat.
Cardio focus: To keep your heart rate up, you’ll perform five minutes of cardio right after performing the three strength exercises. Maintain 70-75 percent of maximum heart rate. Use the treadmill, elliptical, recumbent bike, or stair stepper. Switch off using a different machine each time if that keeps you motivated.
Repeat the above circuit three times.
Nutrition tip: Don’t forget that your nutrition is important, too, so after this workout you should plan your post-workout snack for recovery no later than one hour after your workout. Also get a jump start on your water intake by drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water first thing in the morning when you get up. This will help with appetite control and help flush fat. Of course, keep drinking that water during your workout. Happy training!
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com.