| Article Summary:
Summer is approaching quickly and it's time to kick up the intensity in your workouts so you can look great at the beach, for summer competitions or just walking around town.
For decades health clubs have experienced two times during the year when new memberships increase - in January at the start of the new year and late spring. New Year's resolutionists vow to make it "the year" that they will get in shape.
The people who join clubs in late spring have thoughts and dreams of looking leaner and more fit for the warm months of summer. Short sleeves, tank-tops, halter-tops and shorts are right around the corner so let's get started.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Summer Is Approaching Quickly And It's
Time To Kick Up The Intensity In Your Workouts.
Where To Begin
Everyone is at various stages and levels of fitness. There isn't a one-size-fits-all workout for everyone. A high-intensity routine would nearly incapacitate a person who has only recently started exercises. A beginner's routine would not be a challenge for those who engage in frequent workouts and have been training and exercising consistently.
In order to reach a broad spectrum of people, I've written this article for all of you out there that want a challenging workout regardless of your fitness level. Pick the level that describes you best and follow that routine. It's as simple as that.
This level is for people who have not exercised at all or have just started a routine and are still uncertain what to do. In order to gain muscle, lose fat and become more flexible you need to incorporate three different types of exercise - strength training, cardiovascular exercise and stretching. Deciding how much of each type you need depends on what your goals are.
If you are carrying some excess baggage around your waist and hips, you'll want to make cardiovascular exercise or "cardio" your first priority. Cardio is any exercise that you can continually do over an extended amount of time. Walking, jogging, biking and rowing are examples of cardio.
Click Image To Enlarge.
If You Are Carrying Some Excess Baggage,
You'll Want To Make Cardio Your First Priority.
Your body uses large amounts of oxygen while performing this kind of exercise. Cardio is also called aerobic exercise because it means using or needing oxygen. Because of this whole aerobic process, the body burns fat more readily and it's a sure bet that cardio will help you sheds pounds of unwanted fat.
Strength training is an anaerobic exercise and doesn't utilize oxygen for energy. You still need to breathe, of course, but you need to take many rest periods while strength training. Fat burning can still take place to a degree with anaerobic training, but it's not as efficient for burning off the fat like cardio is.
|RELATED VIDEO: FAT LOSS|
Strength training or weightlifting, allows you to tone your muscles or increase muscle mass. Toning, shaping and building work hand-in-hand with fat-burning cardio exercise to make your body look better and to become stronger.
Stretching helps you to become more limber. If you can move easier, even simple tasks like tying your shoes can become much easier. More flexibility can cause less strain on the body and also help to prevent many injuries due to overreaching or simply bending over too quickly.
The beginner's routine is to be performed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The time taken will be slightly more than an hour. It doesn't matter what time during the day you work out. Whenever you can fit it in is the best time for you.
Begin with five minutes on the treadmill for a warm-up. Walk at a medium pace. Nothing taxing. This is just to get your blood flowing and raise your body temperature slightly. You might break a sweat; you might not.
Next up is strength training. Do a full-body workout. Start with the largest muscles in the body and end with the smallest.
- Leg Press: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Lying Leg Curls: 2 sets of 12 reps
- Seated Calf Raises: 2 sets of 15 reps
- Front Pulldowns: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 8 reps
Use an amount of weight that is comfortable to perform and will allow you to do all the sets and repetitions. Rest 30 seconds to 1-minute between sets. This workout should take about 25 minutes to complete.
Finish off your workout with 25-30 minutes of
cardio exercise. Pick any cardio exercise equipment you like. It doesn't matter which one just find one you like.
If you prefer, you can go outside and walk or jog for 25-30 minutes. Whatever gets you moving is fine. Just do it!
After the cardio exercise, your body will be all warmed up and ready to stretch to cool down. Pick two or three
stretching exercises from the many photo illustrations here on Bodybuilding.com.
Do them slow and controlled for 15-to-30 seconds each. That's it. You're done! Follow this plan for six weeks before moving up to the intermediate plan.
#1 Stretching Guide!
Search for stretches and learn the correct form with picture and video guides! Get the best results possible and stay safe while stretching.
[ Check Out The Stretching Guide Here! ]
At this point it's assumed you're familiar with most cardio exercises and have tried a variety of weight training exercises.
The beginner routine required three workout days per week. We're going to bump it up to five days per week and incorporate a split routine versus the full-body workouts of the beginner routine.
Every morning set your alarm 25 minutes early and immediately take a 20-minute brisk walk. It's been debated that performing cardio before eating anything in the morning allows you to burn body fat more readily because glycogen (muscle energy sugars) levels are lowest in a fasted state and the body is forced to use stored body fat for energy. Many people swear by it. Give it a try!
In addition to your daily walk, perform two 45 minute cardio sessions during the week. One session is performed on Tuesday and the other on Thursday.
Weight training will still be done on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but the body will be split up and individual body parts will be trained on different days.
- Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Bench Press: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Incline Flyes: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Side Lateral Raises: 2 sets of 12 reps
- Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Leg Press: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Hack Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Front Pulldowns: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Bent Over Barbell Rows: 4 sets of 8 reps
- One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 2 sets of 12 reps
- Bent Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
The pushing movements that involve the chest, shoulders and triceps will be done on Day One (Monday) and the legs and pushing movements that involve back and biceps will be done on Day Two (Wednesday). Day one workout is again performed on Friday and then day two is performed the following Monday. The two workouts keep rotating.
Day One Workout:
Day Two Workout:
Stretch the muscles you worked for a few minutes after your weight-training workout. Pick two or three stretching exercises. Do them slow and controlled for 15-to-30 seconds each.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Stretch The Muscles You Worked For A
Few Minutes After Your Weight-Training Workout.
To begin at this level you need to have at least six months to a year of training under your belt. You're on a regular training schedule, but want a challenging routine to really bring out muscle definition, separation and clarity. To burn off body fat, plenty of cardio needs to be performed.
This routine is intense and shouldn't be followed year-round. Use it for six to eight weeks at a time. It works well for pre-contest training when you're trying to get ripped. (However, it is also surprisingly effective for gaining size when you're eating more calories too.)
Like the intermediate routine, I suggest that every morning you set your alarm 25 minutes early and immediately take a 20-minute brisk walk.
And if you didn't read the intermediate routine information, it's been debated that performing cardio before eating anything in the morning allows you to burn body fat more readily because glycogen (muscle energy sugars) levels are lowest in a fasted state and the body is forced to use stored body fat for energy.
|RELATED VIDEO: FOCUSING ON CARDIO|
In addition to the morning cardio, more intense cardio is to be performed five days per week along with two longer, slower cardio sessions on the weekend.
- AM cardio on an empty stomach
- 20 minutes of medium intensity cardio after weight training
- 45 minutes of medium intensity cardio
- No cardio
- 1 hour of slow-duration cardio
Monday, Tuesday & Friday:
Saturday & Sunday:
For the first time I'm sharing a method of training that I've developed and have used periodically and effectively since I was in
high school, which was more than 20 years ago. Since the current trend is to give training methods a cool name so it will catch on, here it is - "MM610."
Each body part will be trained once per week on a 4-day split. The protocol will be high intensity with three exercises per large muscle groups and two exercises for smaller muscle groups.
The first exercise includes the necessary warm-up sets and followed by three sets of six reps working sets. Three sets of eight reps are done on the second exercise with no warm-up sets.
The third exercise is where it gets fun and the intensity sizzles! Six sets of 10 reps are performed, but here's the catch - two sets of 10 reps are done three times while decreasing the amount of weight in
- Front Pulldowns: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Reverse Grip Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Dumbbell Rows: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Smith Machine Shrugs: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Rear Delt Raise: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Hyperextensions: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Incline Bench Press: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Dumbbell Flyes: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Military Press: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Side Laterals: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Leg Press: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Hack Squats: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Smith Machine Squats: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Leg Curls: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Seated Calf Raise: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Leg Press Calf Raises: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Alternating Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Preacher Curls: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Lying Tricep Extensions: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Triceps Pushdowns: 6 sets of 10 reps (MM610)
- Reverse Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps
For example, while doing incline dumbbell presses, pick a weight that is challenging to do two sets of 10 reps. The weight might be 75-pound dumbbells. Do two more sets of 10 reps with 65-pound dumbbells followed by two final sets of ten reps with 55-pound dumbbells.
Tuesday: Chest & Shoulders
Stretch for five to 10 minutes after each weight training workout.
There you have it - a complete customized training routine that will allow you to be your best this summer no matter what your level of fitness might be. Incorporate this training plan with Shannon Clark's nutrition and diet tips and you've got a one-two punch to get you ripped. Let me know how "MM610" works for you.