We all have layers of fat hiding under our coats, so now is the time to start getting in shape for spring. Your focus right now should be increasing your metabolism to blast fat during and after your workouts. If you want to seriously lose pounds and build muscle, ditch all the cardio and high-rep lifts. By devoting your time to intense bouts of cardio, substantial resistance training, flexibility, and getting good nutrition, you’ll be in great shape once the warmer weather hits.
Follow this combination of strength training and cardio, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a great physique. Also, don’t forget to switch it up to keep your muscles guessing and growing.
1. Body-fat blasting workout
Build strength and scorch fat with this muscle-building workout from Men’s Fitness.
1. Weighted pull-up
Reps: 4-6, 4-6, 4-6, as many as you can
Rest: 120 seconds
Attach a weighted belt to your waist or hold a dumbbell between your feet. Hang from a pull-up bar with hands wider than shoulder width, palms facing away from you. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Use just your body weight or a lat pull-down machine, if necessary.
2A. Bench press
Rest: 0 seconds
Grasp the bar just wider than shoulder width and arch your back so there’s space between your lower back and the bench. Pull the bar out of the rack and lower it to your sternum, tucking your elbows about 45 degrees to your sides. When the bar touches your body, drive your feet hard into the floor and press the bar back up.
2B. Dumbbell pullover
Rest: 60-90 seconds
Grasp a dumbbell and lie back on a bench so your body is perpendicular to it. Hold the weight over your face and, keeping your elbows slightly bent, lower the dumbbell behind your head until you feel a stretch. Pull it back over your face.
3A. Low-incline DB bench press
Rest: 0 seconds
Set a bench to a 30-degree incline or less and lie back with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Press the weights up directly over your chest.
3B. One-arm DB chest supported row
Reps: 6-10 on each side
Rest: 30 to 60 seconds
Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree angle and lie on it chest-down. Grasp a dumbbell in one hand and draw your shoulder blade back as you row the weight to your side.
4A. Split stance DB push press
Rest: 0 seconds
Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level and stand with feet staggered. Brace your core and dip both knees to gather momentum. Immediately explode the weights upward to press them overhead. Switch the front leg for each set.
4B. Face pull
Rest: 30 seconds
Attach a suspension trainer to a sturdy object and grasp an end in each hand, palms facing each other. Lean back and then pull the handles to bring your body up to a vertical position. Your hands should end up near your ears and your upper back should be fully contracted.
5. High-incline treadmill sprint (optional)
Reps: run 30 seconds
Rest: 60 seconds
Warm up for 1 minute on the treadmill, then set it to a steep angle of your choice. Sprint 30 seconds, then lower the speed and incline. Walk for 60 seconds before repeating.
2. Interval training sprint workout
This intense sprint workout from BuiltLean is best performed on a track, but you can easily do this on the treadmill or on a road.
1. 5-minute dynamic warm-up
Watch this video for a better idea of dynamic stretching exercises.
2. Light jog for 2 laps, 5 minutes, or ½ mile
3. Sprint 200 meters/walk 200 meters 5 times
If you’re performing this on a treadmill, 200 meters is approximately 0.12 miles. Run the entire distance fast as you can. Between each sprint, either walk or lightly jog before completing the next round.
You can shoot for 10 rounds if you’re not feeling the workout after only 5 sprints.
4. Cool down
Cool down with some brisk walking to get your heart rate down. Static stretching is a great way to end a workout, especially after sprinting, which really fatigues your muscles. Here are some awesome stretches that will help minimize soreness the next day.
3. Choose your own: cardio tactic
Reap the fat-torching rewards of interval training with this simple method from BodyBuilding.com.
1. 5-10 minute warm-up (light jog, walking, dynamic stretching, etc.)
2. 5-10 minutes of HIIT (jump rope, interval cycling, boxing, elliptical, swimming, running, rowing, etc.)
3. Immediately follow HIIT with 10-25 minutes of aerobic exercise (treadmill, bike, elliptical, swimming, etc.) at a lower intensity (about 55 to 70% of max heart rate)