Why do you go to the gym? If your answer is to socialize and meet people, you should stop reading this article and purchase a copy of People magazine. However, read on if you want to lose fat, tone your muscles, and develop a lean and sexy body.
New breakthroughs in sports medicine show that most women are not benefiting from their exercise program as much as they should. The missing ingredient is intensity. Most women don’t train hard enough. Intense training helps burn more calories during and after exercise. It also tones muscles, which helps burn more calories in the future. Don’t be imprisoned by excess fat. Exercise vigorously and watch what you eat and in six months you will have a lean, shapely, healthy-looking body that will turn heads.
Sixty-six percent of women are overweight and most will remain that way because they don’t have the willpower or knowledge to lose body fat. That’s understandable because we live in a no-fault society that makes it easy not to take responsibility for anything. It’s painless to blame cellulite and an expanding dress size on genetics, time restraints, stress, birth control pills, family, or a recent pregnancy. Also, women hear so much conflicting information about diet and exercise that it’s difficult to know what to do. Excess fat is not inevitable— millions of women face challenges, yet manage to stay lean and fit.
This article presents the Explosive Fat-Blaster Workout that will help you lose fat and develop a fit, lean-looking body. It uses a combination of high-intensity explosive weight training, interval training, and aerobics to turn on your fat-burning system and help you get the most from your exercise program. Follow this program for only eight weeks and you will see unbelievable results. Follow it for six months and you will be a fat-burning dynamo.
Explosive Fat-Blaster Workout
The training program includes the explosive weight-training exercises arranged in a circuit, high-intensity interval training, and aerobics. Do the high-intensity interval-training workout two days per week, and the high-intensity weight-training circuit and aerobics workout two to three days per week. These are short but intense workout sessions that will trigger amazing results.
• Explosive Weight-Training Circuit: The explosive weight-training circuit includes eight exercises that work the major muscle groups of the body. Do each exercise rapidly during the active or ‘pushing’ phase of the lift: 1 second during the active phase, and 3 seconds during the recovery phase. In the squat, for example, squat down slowly and push up quickly. Do the same for every exercise (except kettlebell swings). Rest only 30-60 seconds between exercises. Start off with 1 set of the circuit and build up to 2 sets.
• Aerobics: Follow each explosive circuit-training workout with 30 minutes of aerobics at a comfortable pace. Examples include treadmill walking or running, swimming, stationary bike, outdoor walking, elliptical trainer, or rowing machine.
• High-Intensity Interval Training: This workout is exhausting and painful. While medical studies have used this technique in various patient populations, you should progress gradually before attempting this training method. This workout requires exercising at maximum intensities, which is inappropriate for some people. While you can do high-intensity interval training in almost any exercise, the elliptical trainer and stationary bike are best because they present a lower risk of injury than sprinting on a track or treadmill.
The technique involves exercising on the bike or elliptical trainer for 4-8 sets of 30 seconds at maximum effort. The method is most effective when you go ‘all out.’ You must exercise as hard and as fast as you can for 30 seconds, and then rest for 4 minutes. Complete rest and recovery are essential so that you can exercise at 100 percent effort during each exercise bout.
This training is nasty! Begin with two intervals (i.e., 30 seconds maximum of exercise; 4 minutes rest; 30 seconds maximum of exercise) and try to add another set every other workout. To be honest, most people will not do this program consistently because it is painful. Bite the bullet and stick with it, and you will see amazing results!
A Word About Diet
You can’t train like a freight train and eat like a bird. Don’t try this workout on a low-calorie diet. Rather, eat healthy foods. Cut down on fast foods and high-calorie soft drinks. Eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. A good strategy is to drink a high-protein shake plus a fiber supplement at breakfast (nonfat milk or beverage of choice, 1 scoop (25 grams) high-quality protein, 1 tablespoon fiber supplement). This will prevent hunger during the day, and provide vital amino acids that will maximize muscle tone. Lose weight by exercising intensely and eating a healthy diet.
Fast Results in Record Time
The beauty of the Explosive Fat-Blaster Workout is that it doesn’t take much time, but you get amazing results. The downside is that it is uncomfortable and painful. Why not get the most from the time you spend at the gym? Give this program a chance and move up to the next level. In exercise, quality is more important than quantity.
Explosive Fat-Blaster Workout
Modify this program by doing fewer sets, exercises, and intervals if you are starting an exercise program or coming back after a long layoff. Rest two days per week. Adjust the rest days to accommodate your schedule. Warm-up before every workout and cool-down when you are finished. The key to this program is to train explosively, but cut back if you are injured or excessively fatigued.
Explosive Weight-Training Circuit
With the exception of kettlebell swings, do each exercise explosively during the active phase (concentric) and slowly during the recovery phase (eccentric)— 1 second for the concentric phase and 3 seconds for the eccentric phase. Rest 30-60 seconds between exercises. Do this circuit one to three times, depending on your fitness and motivation.
• Kettlebell swings (1 X 10; 18 pounds; can substitute a dumbbell)
• Squats (1 X 10)
• Lunges with dumbbells (1 X 10)
• Dumbbell shoulder presses (1 X 10)
• Assisted pull-ups or lat pulls (1 X 10)
• Push-ups (1 X 10)
• Biceps curls (1 X 10)
• Curl-ups (1 X 10)
Aerobics: 30-60 minutes of treadmill walking or running at a moderate intensity. You can substitute any aerobic exercise of your choice (e.g., outdoor walking, swimming, tennis)
High-Intensity Interval Training on Elliptical Trainer or Stationary Bike
|Type of Exercise||Time for Each Interval||Exercise Intensity||Repetitions||Rest Between Intervals|
|HIT on elliptical trainer or stationary bike||30 seconds (adjust tension for maximum effort)||100 percent maximum effort||4-8||4 minutes|
High-intensity circuit training and aerobics; see Monday.
High-intensity interval training; see Tuesday.
High-intensity circuit training and aerobics; see Monday.
Description of Exercises:
Most women should start with an 18-pound kettlebell. Begin by holding the kettlebell in both hands with palms facing toward you, in a standing position with knees bent, feet placed slightly more than shoulder-width apart, hips flexed, back straight, chest out, and head in a neutral position. Holding the kettlebell at knee level, swing the weight to a horizontal position by initiating the motion with the hips, thighs, and abs (tighten the quads, glutes, and ab muscles as hard as you can), keeping your arms straight and relaxed during the movement. Let the weight swing back between your legs in a ‘football hiking motion’ and then repeat the exercise. During the movement, hinge at the hips and not at the spine. Use a dumbbell if you don’t have a kettlebell.
With the bar on the fleshy part of your back, stand with your feet placed slightly more than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out slightly, head neutral, and back straight. Center your weight over your arches or slightly behind. Squat down slowly, keeping your weight centered over your arches or heels and actively flexing the hips until your legs break parallel. During the movement, keep your back straight, shoulders back, chest out, and let your thighs part to the side so that you are ‘squatting between your legs.’ Push back up to the starting position explosively, maximizing the use of the posterior hip and thigh muscles, maintaining a straight back and neutral head position. Hinge at the hip and not at the spine during the squat. Do back squats with a barbell or Smith machine.
Lunges With Dumbbells
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands on your hips (or holding dumbbells). Lunge forward with one leg, bending it until the thigh is parallel to the floor. The heel of the lead leg should stay on the ground. Do not shift your weight too far forward and let the knee move past the toes. Repeat the exercise using the other leg. Keep your back and head as straight as possible. Do 10 reps on each side. Lunge downward slowly and push up rapidly and explosively.
Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
From a standing or seated position, hold the dumbbells at chest level. Push the dumbbells overhead explosively. Maintain a tight, neutral spine; keep your chest out and head neutral. Lower the weight slowly to the starting position. Use a kettlebell and do the exercise one arm at a time if you don’t have a dumbbell.
Assisted Pull-Ups or Lat Pulls
Using an assisted pull-up machine or spotter, grasp the bar with your palms facing away from you and hang from it with arms extended. Pull your body upward until your chin reaches the bar. Pull up quickly and lower your body slowly. Use a lat machine if you do not have access to an assisted pull-up machine or spotter.
Assume a push-up position, with arms extended, hands spaced shoulder-width apart, back straight and toes on the ground behind you. Using your arms, slowly lower your body until your chest touches the ground, and then push up to the starting position. Push up as rapidly and explosively as you can, while maintaining good technique. Do modified push-ups (weight supported between hands and knees) if you can’t do standard push-ups.
Do this exercise with dumbbells, either standing or seated on an incline bench. Grasp the dumbbells with palms facing away from you and arms extended fully. Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl the dumbbells (flex your elbows) explosively until they reach chest level. Lower the dumbbells slowly to the starting position.
Lie on your back on the floor with your right knee bent, right foot flat on the floor, and left leg extended. Place your hands across your chest. Contract your rectus abdominis (front abdominal muscle), drawing your breastbone downward. Try not to lift your neck or shoulders and maintain a neutral spine; let the ab muscles do the work.