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What Is The Best 8-Week Workout For A Summer Ready Body?

What is the best 8-week workout for a summer ready body? With summer just around the corner everyone is looking to lose fat and keep hard-earned muscle. Get in-depth workouts, resources for training outside the gym, benefits and more right here!

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best 8-week Workout For A Summer Ready Body?

The Question:

The summer is steadily approaching but now is the time to start getting ready for those three beautiful months when everyone will want to have their tops off.

What is the best 8-week workout for a summer ready body? Be specific: List reps, sets, duration, etc. ...

What resources can you use/are available when training outside the gym?

What are the benefits of training outside the gym?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - Mtguy8787
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

The best season of the year is approaching, and most of us are eager to show off our hard work from the past 8 months. For those in the southern part of the world whose summer came to an end some time ago, you can still use this article. Just grab a plane ticket to Hawaii, or some other nice place.

After months of bulking, the primary goal for most bodybuilders is to shed away those extra pounds of fat. Workout programs are changed to meet this new goal. Most bodybuilders will typically increase cardio, decrease their caloric intake, and will often change their weight training routine to a 'higher rep' workout.

For many, muscle loss is associated with cutting. This is typically accepted as being unavoidable. However, this does not have to be the case. It is possible to minimize muscle loss or even eliminate it altogether. The rest of this article will focus on how to maximize fat loss, while retaining as much muscle as possible.

Summer
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Get Ready For Summer!


Workout
What Is The Best 8-Week Workout For A Summer Ready Body? Be Specific: List Reps, Sets, Duration, Etc ...

Before getting to the actual workout, there are several things that must be covered, including some basic guidelines. The first topic to be discussed is the type of workout that is best. Choosing the best workout routine will be the one that minimizes muscle loss, and maximizes fat loss. This seems obvious, but the workouts that many people choose to lose fat are far from ideal.

Minimizing Muscle Loss - Maintain Need:

    Our body is designed to best adapt to its current conditions. Our body only builds muscle tissue if it believes it needs to. When bulking, more muscle is created to cope with the greatly increased workload and intensity. If conditions change, and this is no longer the case, our body will not keep muscle that it deems unnecessary. Therefore, to minimize muscle loss, we must maintain this 'need' for it. So how do we do this?

    When cutting, the majority of people end up switching to a 'high rep, lower weight' workout. Some people who are less-educated do this because they think this will help to tighten up and tone their muscles. Even many people who know that this does not happen, still perform such a workout. This is the first major mistake many people make when cutting.

    As stated before, to maintain maximum muscle, we must maintain the need for it. The best way to do this is to continue to lift as though you were still bulking, or trying to build muscle. That's right. For many of us, this means using the same routine that worked well to build muscle. Of course you can change things a bit to keep things fresh, but the workouts will still be similar.

    Most bodybuilders who are knowledgeable know that the largest, highest threshold fibers are best stimulated by lifting heavy weights. In other words, by lifting heavy weights, you create the need for these fibers to be developed.

    Therefore, to maintain the need for these fibers, heavier lifting should still be a part of a cutting routine. There is much less need for these fibers when the workload consists solely of lighter weights.

    Muscle Fibers:

Maximizing Fat Loss - Weight Lifting & Fat Loss:

    So why do so many people switch to a 'high rep, low weight' type of workout when cutting? Most likely because they believe that it will help to burn more fat. And in some cases, this is true. A fast-paced, circuit-type workout can be similar to high intensity cardio, which as most of us know, is a great way to burn fat.

    A high intensity cardio session is basically lifting a light weight, for many repetitions, in a short period of time. The total number of calories burned is directly related to the total amount of work done. So by working large muscle groups, with many repetitions, we can burn a high number of calories, as a result of a high amount of work done.

    Performing higher rep sets can be a way to perform more overall work, which will lead to more calories being burned. More calories burned will equal greater fat loss.

High Rep Workouts & Splits:

    A workout split is a part of nearly every bodybuilder's routine. These splits are often kept the same after switching to a higher rep workout. So what happens when we combine high reps & low weight with 'shoulder day?'

    As discussed earlier, light workloads are not conducive to maintaining muscle mass. But what about fat loss? We know that calories burned are a result of the total amount of work done. Obviously, the more muscle that is being used, the more calories are being burned.

    Compared to 'lower body day,' or 'back day' there is not much work being done. It is easy to conclude that not many calories are being burned from doing lateral raises and reverse flyes. Therefore, this type of workout, which is so popular for cutting routines, fails on both counts. It does little to maintain muscle mass, and does little for fat burning.

Getting The Best Of Both Worlds:

    Sticking to the same muscle-building routine, while increasing cardio to burn fat, is a good way to go. It is certainly better than the typical high rep splits which many people do. Lifting heavy weights minimizes muscle loss, while a slight calorie deficit and cardio burn off extra fat.

    But by including both heavy workouts, as well as fast-paced circuit workouts in our routine, we can further boost fat loss, while maintaining maximum muscle mass. Cardio exercise will solely burn fat. The heavier workouts will primarily maintain muscle mass, but will also help with fat burning to some degree. The circuit workouts, if done correctly, will greatly boost fat burning, as well as help maintain muscle mass.

High Intensity Cardio Vs. Low/Moderate Intensity:

    30-45 minutes sessions are cardio, performed in the fat-burning zone are common. While not a terrible choice, let us first take a quick look at cardio, and how it relates to fat loss. Obviously, the goal is to burn fat. And as many know, the risk of burning muscle mass while doing cardio also exists. So the best choice of cardio would be the one which burns the most fat, while minimizing muscle loss.

    Calories & Fat Loss:

      The most popular form of cardio today is still probably moderate intensity cardio done for 30-45 minutes. High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is becoming more and more popular.

      Within the realm of moderate intensity cardio, there are two popular methods which are thought to increase fat loss. The first is fasted cardio, usually done in the morning. The second is training within the fat-burn zone, at approximately 65% MHR (maximum heart rate), in order to burn the most fat during the workout. While popular, these methods are not as effective as many think, especially not on a cutting routing.

      But more fat is burned this way ...

      People place too much focus on the energy source used during exercise. Very little thought is placed on the amount of fat burned in the hours following exercise. Methods such as fasted cardio and working in the fat burn zone are focused on burning more fat DURING the workout.

      In the end, this is actually of little importance. The biggest factors are the total amount of calories burned, and the intensity of the workout are the most important things.

      But how is this possible? Of course the amount of fat burned while exercising is important ... right? I will say it again. It is not important. When less fat is burned during the workout, more fat tends to be burned outside of the workout. Conversely, when more is burned during the workout, less is burned outside of it.

      All in all, if calorie expenditure is the same, overall fat oxidation is the same. Two excellent articles on this topic have been written by researcher Alan Aragon. They can be seen here.

    Summer Snacks
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    Fasted Cardio:

      Fasted cardio is generally performed in the morning, after it has been awhile since the last meal. The reasoning behind that glycogen levels are more depleted, which will force the body to burn more fat as fuel. Insulin levels are also lower, which is thought to increase fat mobilization. This is true in SOME cases.

      In individuals who are decently conditioned, it actually makes no difference in moderate intensity cardio. At low intensity cardio (walking), being in a fasted state will increase fat oxidation, but only after a long period of time. The amount of protein used for energy is also much higher, especially on a calorie deficit.

    The Fat Burn Zone:

      As mentioned before, the amount of fat actually burned during exercise is not as important as the total amount of calories burned, and the time it takes to do it (intensity). In many cases, this is fine if you prefer it. However, it is still not the best choice for cutting, as discussed below.

    Moderate Intensity Cardio & Cutting:

      Protein is always inevitably burned for energy during exercise, in some amount. This amount is higher when glycogen stores are less available. It is also higher in moderate intensity cardio, after the exercise has shifted to a more aerobic type.

      This makes it slightly less ideal than high intensity cardio for this program. However, if your conditioning level does not allow for high intensity cardio, then moderate intensity/ longer duration is OK.

    High Intensity Cardio:

      The main source of fuel used for this form of cardio is stored glycogen. Very little fat is used for energy. The risk of burning protein for energy, while still present, is much lower. It is important to be fully fueled before doing high intensity cardio, or the chances of burning more protein is much higher.

Workout Fundamentals - Overall Frequency:

    The workout frequency for this program is high. This is optimal for burning the most fat. The frequency used in this program would probably be overtraining if all the workouts were designed to build muscle. However, since there are several types of workouts, with varying parameters, a higher frequency is possible.

Muscle Maintenance Workouts:

    These workouts should be similar to the ones you would use to build muscle. However, since we are trying to lose as much fat as possible, much of the workout schedule will be used up by other type of workouts. Therefore, it is important to get as much out of each muscle maintenance workout as possible. The goal should be to use heavier weights, and to perform sufficient volume, or total work, to optimally maintain muscle mass.

    Progression:

      Progression is still just as important as it was when bulking. However, focus on progression through reps and time, rather than increasing the weight. In other words, focus on increasing total reps (sets x reps) for each exercise, or on decreasing the total workout time. Increasing the weight used is still fine and effective, but I think that the using the other two ways is easier during this type of routine.

    Exercise Choices:

      Many people will automatically include isolation exercise in a "good" routine for summer-cutting. However, in this case, they are not the best choice. The main benefit of isolation exercises are to focus on a specific area which needs more work. This is useful during the previous eight months of bulking, when the goal is to build muscle and symmetry. Now, the goal is to maintain current muscle mass. Building up specific parts is not a priority.

      That said, compound movements will provide the most bang for the buck, and will be the most effective at maintaining muscle mass. A few sets of sets to focus on the arms will not hurt, but drop the lateral raises, flyes and leg curls.

      • Use weights that are approximately 85-90% of your 1RM. Note that your relative 1 RM will decrease throughout the workout, as you get fatigued.
      • Aim to perform a total of 25-35 repetitions for each primary exercise
      • Keep rest times at 30-90 seconds
      • Avoid training to failure on compound movements. It is OK to do for isolation exercises, but it isn't necessary. Avoiding failure is especially important for this program, as the workout frequency will be high.

85-90% 1 REP MAX CALCULATOR
Weight Lifted Reps
Results
1 RM
85-90% 1 RM

Circuit Workouts:

    The goal for these workouts is to aid with maintaining muscle mass, as well as boosting fat loss. As mentioned before, the amount of fat oxidation depends on the amount of calories burned. As such, the workouts will focus on using compound exercises which use large muscle groups.

    Rest times will be short to maintain intensity. The rep ranges used should be in the neighborhood of 8-12 reps. This will allow for sufficient calorie burning, and it will also help to maintain muscle mass.


The Muscle Maintenance Workouts

Workout A - Pull:

Workout B - Push:

Workout C - Lower Body:


The Circuit Workout

The circuit workout will work all of the main muscles in the body. It will be fast paced in order to maximize the benefit. The exercise stations should be close to each other. Choose the exercises that will minimize walking time between stations.

Obviously, this depends on your gym, so exercise choices are flexible. The important thing is not the specific exercise, but that they work similar muscle groups. Thus, if squats and deadlifts are listed, and you want to do power cleans, it is perfectly OK for this workout.

The rest times should be as short as you can handle. The times given are broad to allow for this. If you need more time, that is OK. If you only need 20-30 seconds of rest, then don't hesitate to keep going.

The Circuit Workout:

  • 2-5 minute warm-up. (This can be cardio, bodyweight exercises, dynamic movements, or a mixture.)
  • 1st set: Squats, deadlifts, or something similar - 10 reps @ 65-70% of 1RM
  • 2nd set: Bench Press, any variation - 10 reps @ 65-70% of 1RM
  • 3rd set: Barbell row, any variation - 10 reps @ 65-70% of 1RM
  • 4th set: Chins, Pullups, or Pulldowns - 10 reps @ 65-70% of 1RM
  • 5th set: Overhead Press, any variation - 10 reps @ 65-70% of 1 RM
  • 6th set: Crunches, any variation - 10 reps @ 65-70% of 1 RM
  • Rest for 30-120 seconds
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Circuit Workout.

    Repeat this circuit at least 5 more times. The entire workout should last 20-30 minutes. If you are able to, complete 4-5 more circuits or as many as you can within 30 minutes. The more circuits you complete, the more total fat will be burned.


Cardio Workouts

As discussed before, high intensity cardio is a bit better for the purpose of this article. However, if your conditioning isn't up to par, or you just aren't feeling up to it on a certain day, choose one of the alternative options. These workouts can be performed on any form of cardio machine, while running or swimming.

In the first option, the times listed are broad to allow for all levels of conditioning. If you are in better shape, your all out bursts will be a bit longer. Rest times may also be shorter. If you aren't in as good condition, the bursts may be shorter, and rest times longer. However, if you aren't able to work within the ranges given, the you may not be ready for high intensity cardio just yet.

High-Intensity Option #1:

  • Warm-up for 2-5 minutes at a slow, but gradually increasing pace
  • Begin with an all out burst that lasts 15-30 seconds.
  • 'Rest' at a slower pace for 15-45 seconds
  • Repeat the all out burst for 15-30 second
  • Rest for 15-45 seconds
  • Continue for at least 10 minutes (not including the warm-up), and as long as 15 minutes.

High-Intensity Option #2:

    Warm-up for 2-5 minutes, with gradually increasing speed

    Exercise at the maximum effort that you can maintain for at least 10 minutes, not counting the warm-up, all the way up to 15 minutes. Adjust pace as necessary.

Alternate Cardio #1 - Moderate-High Intensity Cardio:

    Warm-up for 2-5 minutes, with gradually increasing speed

    Exercise at the maximum effort you can maintain for at least 15 minutes, not counting the warm-up, all the way up to 30 minutes. Adjust pace as necessary.

Alternate Cardio #2 - Moderate Intensity:

    Warm-up for 2-5 minutes

    Maintain a moderate pace, or 60-70% of maximum heart rate, for at least 30 minutes.


The Workout Schedule

Weeks 1 & 2 - Burn Fat & Maintain Muscle:

  • Day 1 - Muscle maintenance workout A
  • Day 2 - Muscle maintenance workout C
  • Day 3 - Rest
  • Day 4 - Cardio
  • Day 5 - Circuit Workout
  • Day 6 - Cardio
  • Day 7 - Muscle maintenance workout B

Weeks 3 & 4 - Same As Week 1 & 2, Just With A Slightly Different Schedule:

  • Day 1 - Muscle maintenance workout C
  • Day 2 - Rest
  • Day 3 - Cardio
  • Day 4 - Circuit Workout
  • Day 5 - Cardio
  • Day 6 - Muscle maintenance workout B
  • Day 7 - Muscle maintenance workout A

Weeks 5 & 6 - 1 Extra Rest Day, To Help Prevent Burnout:

  • Day 1 - Muscle maintenance workout A
  • Day 2 - Muscle maintenance workout C
  • Day 3 - Muscle maintenance workout B
  • Day 4 - Circuit Workout
  • Day 5 - Rest
  • Day 6 - Circuit Workout
  • Day 7 - Rest

Week 7 - Max Fat Burn:

  • Day 1 - Muscle maintenance workout C
  • Day 2 - Muscle maintenance workout A or B
  • Day 3 - Cardio
  • Day 4 - Circuit Workout
  • Day 5 - Rest
  • Day 6 - Cardio
  • Day 7 - Circuit Workout

Week 8 - Max Fat Burn:

  • Day 1 - Muscle maintenance workout C
  • Day 2 - Muscle maintenance workout A or B (different than week 7, day 2)
  • Day 3 - Rest
  • Day 3 - Cardio
  • Day 4 - Circuit Workout
  • Day 5 - Rest
  • Day 6 - Cardio
  • Day 7 - Circuit Workout


Outside The Gym
What Resources Can You Use/Are Available When Training Outside The Gym?

Pool:

    Swimming is an excellent form or cardio. It is also a great way to begin embracing the summer. If you have access to a public or private pool, and the temperature is right, then jump right in! If you are only a moderate level swimmer, then this would not be ideal for high intensity lap swims. However, it is a great activity for any swimmer to burn a few extra calories and have some fun at the same time

Outdoor Running:

    While this would not burn any more calories than indoor running, it can be many times more enjoyable. If you choose to run shirtless, as many people in my area do, it can be a good way to work on that summer tan. Kill two birds with one stone.

Parks:

    Many parks are a great place to play sports' games with your friends. This can be a great form of cardio (depending on the game), and a way to hone your sports' skills for the summer. You can also work on that tan, if you want to. Kill 3 birds with one stone!

Biking:

    Biking is another great form of cardio, and can be enjoyable. Just be sure to take a couple minutes to get re-adjusted before trying any tricks. We don't want to get hurt at this time of year, do we?

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Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of Training Outside The Gym?

Much More Enjoyable.

With summer coming up, and having been indoors for the past 8 months, exercising outdoors is much more enjoyable.

Natural Sunlight:

    Start working on your summer tan, if that is your thing. Sunlight is also important for synthesizing Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can cause many problems, and is common in people who do not get moderate amounts of sun exposure. For many, being in the sun is a good experience all by itself.

      View Vitamin D Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.


2nd Place - ManInTheBox
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

The summer is steadily approaching but now is the time to start getting ready for those three beautiful months when everyone will want to have their tops off.

Anyone who is a fitness enthusiast usually does use the winter months to bulk up a bit and put on some mass since we're always wearing sweatshirts, long sleeved shirts, jeans, hoodies and coats. Well guess what? We're in the heart of spring, temperatures are rising, and the clothes are coming off!

We all want to be able to go to the beach and impress members of the opposite sex, whether we're just concerned about abs, big arms, a chiseled chest or athletic legs, this workout will put you on the fast track to your goals and be ready to strip down and show off when the beaches and pools open up!

Of course our goals are not going to be met just by wishing. We've been using those mass gaining programs and weight gaining diets to put on all of that mass, we don't want to lose all of the muscle, do we?

I am going to construct an 8-week program that will ease our bodies into a fat burning tunnel and get on the fat melting freeway. We don't want to shock our bodies with some rigorous marathon training, so we're going to stick to the basics. Let's get it started!


Workout
What Is The Best 8-Week Workout For A Summer Ready Body? Be Specific: List Reps, Sets, Duration, Etc ...

I don't know about all of you, but I love bulking up. When it comes time to cut down, it gets kind of messy and it's hard to give up the extra calories and more-than-occasional cheat meals. Just because we're cutting doesn't mean we're going to be giving up everything that we love, that includes our training. We're going to blast our bodies with a 4-day workout.

That's right, only four days. You see, I'm a big believer in being practical when it comes to training. I could set up a 7-day workout that would work just as well, but here's the question. Who has time to go to the gym seven days a week for at least an hour?

If you are a professional bodybuilder this is no problem, but hey we have lives to live and bodybuilding should be something that we all enjoy, not something that stresses us out and makes us have to cut out plans with friends and family. With that in mind, let's delve into this four day program lasting eight weeks that will blow you away!


Week One - Easing Our Bodies Into This:

We don't want to shock our bodies after doing low reps and heavy weight, and suddenly doing reps in the 12-to-15 range. Let's ease into this!

Monday - Chest & Shoulders:

    *15 minutes light cardio (stationary bike, elliptical, or light jog)
    This light warm-up will get our heart rates up, the blood flowing and the endorphins rushing!

    There you have it, our first workout of this 8-week cycle. Our reps are not that high just yet, but after working in the low and heavy reps, inching up to the 8-12 range may be a challenge. Of course, there are times that we are still going to incorporate lower reps.

    The 4-to-6 rep range may be versatile as this cycle goes on. I did not mention a pressing movement for shoulders during this workout because our front deltoids are going to be fatigued after doing chest before our shoulders. Alright, let's get ready for legs!

Tuesday - Legs:

    *15 minutes light cardio (stationary bike, elliptical or light jog)

    While looking simple on paper, this workout is going to be a test of your passion. We'll begin with some relatively heavy calf raises, using full range of motion. We'll move into leg extensions and curls to warm-up our legs before we do some heavy squatting.

    During these movements, we want to squeeze at the top of the movements, to flush nutrients and blood into the muscle and feel the pump. Now we hit what will feel like heavy barbell squats. Doing 8 full reps, for four sets, is a challenge.

    I suggest doing progressive sets, adding 5-10 pounds each set. That means the first set should be moderate, and you should end being challenged. Last, we do some barbell lunges. I believe that many male bodybuilders avoid this exercise because they think it's for girls. Well guess what? You're missing out if you don't do these. These add great shape to your glutes, hams and quads.

    Select a light weight, I squat 225 for 8 easy reps, but take the weight down to usually 65-75 pounds to get a full stretch and squeeze on barbell lunges. Leave your ego at the door, and use each rep to its full potential!

Thursday - Biceps, Triceps & Traps:

  • Standing Rope Cable Curls - 3 sets of 15 reps

  • *Superset With*
  • Standing Rope Pushdowns - 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Standing Barbell Curls - 3 sets of 8 reps

  • *Optional Superset*
  • Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extensions - 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Barbell Shrugs - 3 sets of 8 reps

  • *Superset With*
  • Cable Shrugs (You will use each low pulley, standing in the center, with a single handle in each hand, while not having a great range of motion, try to squeeze your traps together as hard as you can. This is great for building the lower Trapezius and strengthening for quick bursts of shrugging. You keep your arms straight and fully extended out to the sides. This is a challenging exercise, but beneficial!) - 3 sets of 15 reps
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Thursday.

    We are done with day three of our first week. I do not emphasize doing a lot for biceps and triceps because they are small muscles, and utilized in so many other exercises, that I do not like to train them too much in fear of overtraining.

    Tomorrow will be back, and we do not want to shred our biceps to the point that every time we do a row our biceps burn in pain. In addition to doing triceps and biceps, we are going to throw in traps as well.

    Our traps are another muscle which is utilized in other exercises, and I feel there is no need to train them too hard, especially before back day. I also omitted cardio today, to give our legs much needed rest. Today will give us a huge pump and our beloved arms will thank us!

Friday - Back:

    *15 minutes light cardio (stationary bike, elliptical, or light jog)

    A quick workout, with long lasting results. Starting off with some light cardio once again, today we're hitting our backs from a variety of angles, including, wide grips, close grips, shrugging movements, bent over movements and extensions.

    Our reps vary greatly from exercise to exercise as well. We're not only stimulating muscles, but the fibers too. The lower reps will hit those fast twitch fibers while the higher reps will wake up the slow-twitch fibers. Get ready for the weekend because you have the weekend to rest up and relax!


Weeks Two And Three - Taking It Up A Notch

Definitely no shock therapy during these weeks, but we will be mixing things up a bit more, and introducing some new exercises that will prove to be challenging ... especially at higher reps!

Monday - Chest & Shoulders:

Tuesday - Legs & Abdominals:

    *15 minutes light cardio (stationary bike, elliptical, or light jog)

    That's it, a quick, but hard workout. We're going to hit our abdominals with hanging leg raises, a challenging but extremely beneficial exercise for the entire abdominal region. Then, we will start with warming our hams, quads and glutes up with some long striding walking lunges.

    These will promise to get your legs warm and ready to do some front squats. If you have not front squatted before, begin with the bar and work your way up. This is a challenging exercise that usually is done with less weight than a back squat, because more weight is exerted upon your legs than during the back squat.

    Last, we will do some straight-legged deadlifts for a massive movement for the hamstrings. No curls or extensions these weeks, but they will be seen again!

Thursday - Biceps, Triceps & Traps:

Friday - Back:

    *15 minutes light cardio (stationary bike, elliptical, or light jog)

    We are done with the last day of our week's workout. This is going to be a truly challenging workout. We are going to begin with seated machine rows, to warm-up our upper body and help build a massive back. Then we will head into the barbell deadlift.

    I love deadlifting, and I feel that it is not only beneficial for leg size and strength, but when done properly, is a massive back builder. You will see more middle back mass, upper back mass and lower back mass from executing the barbell deadlift.

    Following our four sets of deadlifting, we will move into doing wide grip pull-downs, to give us a wide and thick back. Lastly, we will do our back extensions, to stretch and build our lower back.


Weeks Four, Five, & Six - Let The Incineration Begin!

Within this three week chunk, we are going to step it up another notch. We are going to increase cardio, continue challenging rep ranges and throw in some great jogging alternatives!

Monday - Chest & Shoulders:

  • Jumping Jacks - 4 sets of 25 reps
  • Jump Rope - 4 sets to failure
  • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Slight Incline Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Decline Dumbbell Flyes - 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Smith Machine Seated Military Press - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Power Lateral Flyes - 3 sets of 15 reps
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.

    That's right, we're starting this workout with jumping jacks. No, we're not in second grade any longer, but do you realize the power of a jumping jack? One minute of jumping jacks burns more calories than one minute of jogging. Why? Because we are incorporating a more full body workout.

    Jogging is great, but jumping jacks are a fun change to the regimen! Following jumping jacks, we will do jump rope. Here again, this will warm our shoulders and entire upper body. It only makes sense to warm-up with a movement that will prepare you for the next movements!

    Alright, getting down to business, we will use three dumbbell movements to utilize full range of motion. I noted that we are going to use a slight incline on the adjustable bench. This will target our upper pectorals and limit shoulder usage so we have more energy when we do smith machine presses.

    Our last movement will be power flyes, which will allow us to use a greater range of motion, and use not only our shoulders, but legs and back to power the weight up for wide growth!

Tuesday - Legs:

  • Jumping Jacks - 4 sets of 25 reps
  • Barbell Jump Squats (moderate weight, this will be more of an aerobic exercise, opposed to mass builder.) - 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Barbell Front Squats - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Leg Curls - 3 sets of 20 reps

  • *Superset With*
  • Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 20 reps
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Tuesday.

    Again, we are starting with our jumping jacks. Secondly, we are going to do a movement that is great for the heart rate, and great for warming our legs up. Get a barbell, and put a fairly light weight on it. I would use 30% of my one rep max for squatting. This is a light weight, but will allow you to use full range of motion and power up on the way up in a safe manner.

    The key while performing exercises is safety, and correctness. Then, we will do our front squats, 3 sets of 12 reps, which will fry your quads and pump them full of nutrients. Finishing our workout with a superset of leg curls and extensions will leave you staggering out of the gym, pumped and satisfied.

Thursday - Biceps, Triceps & Traps:

    *15 minutes light cardio (stationary bike, elliptical, or light jog)

  • Close Grip Push-Ups - 3 sets to failure
  • Barbell Curls - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Hammer Curls - 3 sets of 12 reps

  • *Superset With*
  • Reverse Grip Straight Bar Pushdowns - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell Shrugs - 4 sets of 15 reps
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Thursday.

    This is all we are going to do for our arms and traps today. We are going to start with mass building exercises such as close-grip push-ups and barbell curls, then actually do our easier exercises such as push-downs for triceps at the end of our workout. This is a quick workout with huge effects on our muscles. An advantage of doing biceps and triceps on the same day is that they are antagonist muscle groups, and will give you a huge pump in the gym! At the end, we will simply do 4 sets of 15 reps with barbell shrugs. If you would like, you can even use a Smith machine for these. The key is to get a great squeeze at the top of the movement, and a full stretch on the way down. Rest up and get ready for tomorrow!

Friday - Back:

    *10 minutes of light cardio (stationary bike, elliptical, jogging)

    Today's workout is going to once again utilize our jumping jacks as a full body warm-up. Stretching is always important, but getting your body warm and using an active warm-up often is much more versatile throughout the workout.

    We are going to start with our mass building barbell deadlift to build a massive back. We will shuttle into close grip cable rows to build back thickness and a wide appearance. Lastly will be wide-grip pull-downs to build a wide back. Finishing will be stiff-legged deadlifts which will help us strengthen and build our lower backs.


Weeks Seven & Eight - Seeing Results Has Never Felt So Good!

Guess what? We've made it to the end of our program! The first eight weeks is often the true test of whether or not we're going to stick to a program. Of course, just because these eight weeks are over doesn't mean it's time to hit the Dairy Queen and stop going to the gym.

This is when the results show through, your muscles are more defined, and you might just be getting a few more looks from the opposite sex! Now that we are in the zone, let's take a look at what these last two weeks will have in store for our new and improved bodies!

Monday - Chest & Shoulders:

    *20 minute moderate warm-up (stationary bike, elliptical, jogging)

  • Jumping Jacks - 3 sets of 30 reps
  • Barbell Bench Press - 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Slight Incline Dumbbell Flyes - 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Rear Deltoid Flyes (may be done with a machine, dumbbells, or cables) - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Seated Lateral Dumbbell Raises - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.

    We've stepped our warm-up, up just a bit. We've gone from 15-to-20 minutes, nothing huge, but enough to make a difference. Next, we cut down the sets of jumping jacks but increase the reps just a bit as well. Then, we will head into our three movements for chest, hitting our chest from every angle, stimulating different muscle fibers.

    Finishing our workout with some shoulder movements, including rear deltoid flyes, which I allow you to use any apparatus that you want to. Lastly, we will do seated lateral raises, which are a true challenge since there is little cheating and all of the stress is placed on your shoulders!

Tuesday - Legs:

  • Jumping Jacks - 3 sets of 30 reps
  • Leg Press - 2 sets of 20 reps
  • Barbell Front Squats - 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Single Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 20 reps

  • *Superset With*
  • Single Leg Curls - 3 sets of 20 reps
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Tuesday.

    Warming up with our jumping jacks, then heading into leg press will give our legs a great pump and warm-up. We'll head into barbell front squats to build massive thighs, then finish our whole workout with single leg curls and extensions ... superset together!

    What I suggest is doing your right leg on extensions, and then doing curls with your right leg, then doing extensions with your left leg, then doing curls with your left leg. This will keep the blood in the muscle longer and allow your body to "recover" between sets.

    Note that you will not be using a lot of weight on this exercise. Remember to squeeze during these movements and really get a good stretch during each rep. Rest up tomorrow and get ready for Thursday!

Thursday - Biceps, Triceps & Traps:

Friday - Back:

    *20 minute warm-up (stationary bike, elliptical, jogging)

    We are done! This is our very last workout, of our last week! We are going to start with V-bar pull-downs to warm-up our entire back, get a full stretch and the blood flowing. Then we will head into heavy bent-over barbell rows for massive development.

    Then, we will allow our back to recover just a bit while we do middle back shrugs on an incline bench. Then it's seated machine rows for real thickness of the upper, middle and even lower back. Last, we will do back extensions for that final blow of development and thickness.


Eight Week Overview & Notes

We have now completed our eight week journey to building muscle, burning fat and getting ready for the bright summer months. There are several things that we should take into account before wrapping up this workout journey.

Firstly, there is little direct abdominal work. While the abdominals are great to show off and flaunt, I do not feel there is much need for heavy and direct work. While in correlation with a steady workout regimen and diet, your abs will begin showing through and are used in so many other movements, it's just not absolutely necessary to dedicate a whole day to them!

Your abs will show through as you decrease body fat and continue to do regular cardiovascular training. "Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym."

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In addition to no direct abdominal work, I mentioned a good diet. Your diet is the absolute keystone and answer to whether you will build muscle or burn fat, or both. There are many calculators that you may want to use to figure out how many calories you want to take in daily.

One good rule of thumb that has worked for me, is I lower my carbohydrate intake just a bit on workout days, and on non workout days I increase them. This method has helped me trim down without much cardio even. Remember your dietary fat as well, fat does not make you fat!

Fat helps regulate hormone product, lubricate joints and slow digestion of food (when that is good, i.e. before bed). Of course enough protein as well. By now you should know that getting one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is mandatory. Whether you are cutting or bulking, you need to get your protein in! It's necessary for muscle growth and recuperation!

PROTEIN CALCULATOR
Weight
Results
Protein

As I said a bit ago, just because this 8-week cycle is all I listed, it's not time to slack off. One great idea is to restart this program, and go through it again. The idea is for this to be a kickoff for your gains or losses. Gain muscle and lose fat, that is. Now it is a myth that you can turn fat into muscle or vice versa, but I do believe that you can gain muscle while burning fat. Theoretically you can make substantial gains through proper supplementation and dieting.

In additional to there not being a lot of abdominal work, there is also little cardio work. I believe you can reduce body fat readily through correct dieting and training. When I say training: increasing reps, supersetting and circuit training are all ways that you can avoid cardiovascular training and substitute it with resistance training.

While cardiovascular training holds many benefits, easing yourself into a resistance and cardio program should be well considered. Cardio can always be done on off days as well, but I did not specify it. I suggest taking the weekend and taking some jogs other outdoor activities that I will touch base on in a few moments!

Last, though I did not specify, this workout can work for both men and women. It's a great workout that couples can do together in preparation for the summer! None of the exercises I listed should be favored as a male or female exercise, have the courage and give this workout a shot!


Outside The Gym
What Resources Can You Use/Are Available When Training Outside The Gym?

There is no place I'd rather be working out or exercising than the outdoors. The outdoors are our natural gym and lend us hundreds of opportunities for getting fit. There may be days that you aren't in the gym, but you want to be active, or get a short workout in; let's think how we can incorporate the outdoors to our workout regimen!

Jogging:

    Yes, I know this is a bit expected, but it's true. There is no other place I'd rather run than the outdoors. I personally hate treadmills and would much rather take a jog outside in the fresh air where I can go at my own pace!

Bike Riding:

    Anyone who does not like bike riding is missing out. I have loved bike riding since I was a child and it's a great form of exercise! Something like this can also be done with friends and family. While many may not want to go to the gym and lift for an hour, you won't find many people passing on a pleasant bike ride!

Tree Climbing:

    OK, so this may sound foolish and silly at first. But how many of you have children? Now, I know when I was a child, climbing trees was a lot of fun.

    I am not encouraging your children to go on a 100-foot oak tree, but climbing up a short little tree can be a lot of fun, not to mention great exercise! Another option is to use the tree branches as pull-up bars! Just make sure the branches are strong enough to hold you up!

Trampolines:

    Have you ever thought that old trampoline has potential as a piece of workout equipment? Well let me tell you, the trampoline can be used for countless activities! A trampoline is a great investment for exercise. Remember those jumping jacks we're going to be using? Try doing them on a trampoline! They are much more challenging, and a whole more fun too!

Skateboarding:

    Now this may not appeal to everyone, but this may also be seen as a great form of exercise! Skateboarding helps develop good motor and coordination skills. Look for a skateboard in your garage, you may realize how much fun they really can be!

Always remember, when working out, outside, be careful and have fun!


Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of Training Outside The Gym?

The benefits to training outside are also almost countless. Let's take a look a few of the many benefits of showing off our sexy bodies outside of the gym!

Sunlight:

    We as humans crave sunlight. Whether we know it or not, we all need sunlight for development and existence. The sun fills us with nutrients and vitamins that are linked to the increase in growth hormone output. Not to mention a sexy tan that all fitness enthusiasts try so hard to get!

Fresh Air:

    Anyone who regularly goes to a gym knows that sometimes there just is not a real pleasant odor that comes from them. Being outside gives us the opportunity to cleanse our nostrils! Unless you have bad seasonal allergies, get outside and get a breath of fresh air!

Meeting New People:

    Go to a beach, take a jog, and just see how many people you meet. Working out, outside draws a lot of attention, and is a great opportunity to hopefully meet a new mate! Fitness and caring about your body is an attractive quality to the opposite sex. Show that you care about yourself and go outdoors!

With All Of This In Mind ...

    You are now more than ready to begin your journey to a sexy, beach-ready body. I hope that in correlation with a correct diet, rest and the workouts that I have assembled for you, you will reach your goals as soon as possible.

Beach
Click Image To Enlarge.
You Are Now More Than Ready To Begin
Your Journey To A Sexy, Beach-Ready Body.

    Remember that nothing comes without a lot of hard work and discipline. Bodybuilding may be one of the most challenging lifestyles to try to meet complete satisfaction, but you have to remember that it is never too late to begin that journey. No matter where you are beginning, the end is in sight, and where there is a will, there is a way.

    For any questions, please feel free to email me at:
    BKevin89@aol.com
    Kevin B.

Work Cited:

  1. http://www.fatburn.com/free_tool_activity_burn.asp
  2. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm
  3. http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/sunbath.htm


3rd Place - BurningHeart
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Introduction

The Superbowl of bodybuilding is approaching. The World Cup, World Series, the World Championship ... or whatever you call it. The most important time of the year for bodybuilders is the summer. It's when you finally get to show off your progress from the past year of dieting and weightlifting.

For most it's a time of cutting while for some it may be a time of continued bulking from the winter. Whatever your goal is, we all have the same thing in common, looking good without a shirt.

Does it sound easy so far? It may, however we all know the road of transforming your body isn't an easy or short one. It takes years to build a body to perfection. We don't have years in this case.

Summertime is making its way here, the air conditioners are running, mosquitoes are out, the grass is being cut, the barbecue pits are smoking ... and we want a summertime body.

So how do we prepare our bodies for the great unveiling? That hot question will be discussed and answered in this article.

So turn up your air conditioner, get your beach ball out, and of course grab a protein shake ... because here comes the 8-week workout for a summer ready body.


Part 1
What Is The Best 8-Week Workout For A Summer Ready Body? Be Specific: List Reps, Sets, duration, Etc ...

Let's begin with the workout. Whether you are cutting or bulking the weightlifting part of the workout will have the same goals, to make your muscles grow as quick as possible.

You must first know how and why your muscles grow. Muscle size comes from your muscles repairing themselves after they've been torn down. You tear them down in the gym, and repair them bigger in the bed/kitchen. This means you need the proper nutrition and rest or else your body will not repair your muscles as big as possible.

Think of it this way ... your muscles are a fortified wall. Inside your body you have a genetic trait which acts as builders. The builders use nutrients, namely protein, as the stone to repair this wall. When the wall gets knocked down the builders repair it higher.

So while you are happily curling dumbbells, a war is going on inside your body. Your wall is being torn down by the intense load of the dumbbells on your muscles. After a brutal workout, your muscular wall is left in shambles. You go to bed for the night.

During nighttime the builders come out and use nutrients to repair the wall higher. They know next time the wall is attacked it will need to be built higher to withstand the onslaught.

While the builders are smart in knowing this, they aren't smart enough to know you'll voluntarily tear down that wall again and again. And each time you tear down that wall the builders will be there to repair it higher.

Now the best way to tear down your muscles is to train with high intensity. This means doing a moderate amount of reps (12-15) with the highest amount of weight possible.

Compare the difference of doing low reps instead of moderate reps. With three sets of low reps and high weight your muscles may be somewhat fatigued, however minutes later you almost feel 100% strong again.

Compare this with doing three sets of moderate reps with moderate weight. Your muscles will feel more fatigued and likely stay that way for hours. That's the difference of using low reps with high weight and moderate reps with moderate weight. Moderate reps/weight builds size; low reps/high weight builds strength.

Using this principal we build a workout plan that includes every major muscle, which is shown below.

8-Week Summertime Body Workout - Weeks 1 & 2, Building A Foundation

BodyPart Monday Wednesday Friday Saturday
Biceps Dumbbell Curls
15 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
Calves Barbell Calf Raises
12 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
Chest Chest Dips
12-15 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
Hamstrings Lying Leg Curls
12 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
Lats Pullups
10-12 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
Middle Back Low Cable Rows
12 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
Quadriceps Barbell Squats
12 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
Shoulders Seated Military Press,
Side Lateral Raises,
Rear Delt Rows
12 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
Traps Barbell Shrugs 12 Reps - 3 Sets Cardio Only
Triceps Close-grip bench
12 Reps - 3 Sets
Cardio Only
print Log. print Log. print Log.

Rest: 90 seconds between sets - 3 minutes between exercises

  • The first workout is used to build a foundation for the upcoming weeks. While it is a workout designed to get your body ready for more intense exercises, it does not mean this is a week to slack off. You are building your muscles and should train to the highest intensity.
  • The maximum weight should be used for the rep range listed. The first week of this workout you should be able to determine the highest weight you are able to use to complete the rep range.
  • Saturday is devoted solely to cardio, after Friday your muscles are able to rest until Monday. Cardio still can be done on the same day as weightlifting and will be discussed later.

8-Week Summertime Body Workout - Weeks 3 - 5, Advancement:

BodyPart Monday Wednesday Friday Saturday
Biceps Dumbbell Curls
40 Total Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Calves Barbell Calf Raises
20 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Chest Weighted Chest Dips
12 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Hamstrings Lying Leg Curls
20 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Lats Weighted Pullups
12 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Middle Back Low Cable Rows
15 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Quadriceps Barbell Lunges
30 Total Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Shoulders Seated Military Press,
Side Lateral Raises,
Rear Delt Rows
15 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Traps Barbell Shrugs
20 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Triceps Close-grip bench
20 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
print Log. print Log. print Log.

Rest: 90 seconds between sets - 3 minutes between exercises

  • The second part of this routine is to advance on the previous workout. As you can see, some exercises get more difficult, yet more intense. Repetition and set ranges also increase a substantial amount.
  • Your aim is to achieve the rep and set goals listed. If you are able to easily obtain these goals, slightly increase the weight done. Nevertheless, remember your primary objective is to lift the weight more, not lift more weight.
  • Increase your cardio intensity by adding minutes onto your workout on Saturday.

8-Week Summertime Body Workout - Weeks 6 - 8, The Pinnacle:

BodyPart Monday Wednesday Friday Saturday
Biceps Dumbbell Curls
50 Total Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Calves Barbell Calf Raises
30 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Chest Weighted Chest Dips
20 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Hamstrings Lying Leg Curls
25 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Lats Weighted Pullups
25 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Quadriceps Barbell Squats
20 Total Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Shoulders Seated Military Press,
Side Lateral Raises,
Rear Delt Rows
20 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Traps Barbell Shrugs
30 Reps - 4 Sets
Cardio Only
Triceps Close-grip bench 30 Reps - 4 Sets Cardio Only
print Log. print Log. print Log.

Rest: 90 seconds between sets - 3 minutes between exercises

  • By this time you've completed five weeks of intense weightlifting and should be seeing and feeling noticeable results. Your goal in the third workout is to further increase the reps done in each set.
  • Remember if you are somewhat easily able to achieve the rep range listed, slightly increase the weight.
  • Also by this time you will notice your endurance has gone up and you've shed some fat through cardio. Further increase the time done on cardio to raise intensity.

That's the entire routine laid out for you. After eight weeks of this routine you'll definitely notice a change in your body. Your muscles will be bigger and ultimately look better. Now weightlifting is only one part of getting a summer body. You still have fat to shed. Muscle is no good when fat is hiding it.

On the subject of cardiovascular exercise, different people will have different goals. If you are skinny and looking to solely add muscle mass then you want to stick with cardio only on Saturday. If you are overweight and looking to burn fat then you want to do cardio three to four times a week.

Here's an example cardio workout that'll shed body fat:

Exercise Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Power Walking 30 Min 30 Min
Stationary Bike 30 Min 30 Min
Jogging 15 Min 15 Min
Jump Rope 15 Min
Punching Bag 15 Min
After each week add 3 minutes to the exercise
For Lean People
For Average People
For Overweight People

When doing this cardio it's important to only do it at least eight hours before weightlifting. This gives your body enough time to replenish its energy stores and get back into homeostasis (balance) for weightlifting.

Remember that cardio will not burn fat alone. Body fat is burned when you consume less calories than you use throughout the day, thus you need the right diet to shed fat. Dieting for summertime is another article in itself. To learn how to diet for a summertime body, visit this link.


Part 2
What Resources Can You Use/Are Available When Training Outside The Gym?

The biggest "out-of-gym" resource you need to achieve a summertime body is tanning. If you are of fair complexion then tanning is a necessity. The difference between a tanned and untanned body is enormous.

Muscles look much more defined on a tanned body; a darker complexion adds contrast to your body. In addition most of the population regards a tanned body as a healthy body, and for a good reason. A tanned body shows skin rich in nutrients, namely vitamin D and E. It also gives the impression you spend a lot of time outside, a stereotype of health.

Now tanning can be accomplished in three ways.

Tanning Bed:

    The first is going to a tanning bed. While this can get expensive and does expose your body to ultraviolet rays, it is the most efficient way to get a tan. A tanning bed will evenly tan you and give you a natural look, as opposed to many tanning gels.

Tanning Gels:

    The second method is getting a 'fake tan' with tanning gels. While this is the safest way of tanning, it is also the most tedious. Even the best tanning gels can leave streaks on your body if you apply it unevenly. Also tanning gels tend to give off a strong smell, something you probably don't want.

    Lastly tanning gels are near impossible to apply evenly on your back and other 'hard to reach' places. You will need someone to help you apply it on your back to achieve a somewhat even tan.

Natural Tanning:

    The third method is naturally tanning outdoors and is my personal choice. Spend time outside with shorts and without a shirt. This can be jogging, BBQ'ing, swimming, playing with a pet, washing your car, playing sports, cutting the grass, weed-eating, and planting trees, flowers or a garden.

    Not only do these give you a free, even-looking tan, but are great for sprucing up your yard or getting a cardio session in. Spending time outside without a shirt also eases some of the tension for going shirtless at the beach or other public area. This is a prime example of killing three birds with one stone.

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Part 3
What Are The Benefits Of Training Outside The Gym?

Quite simply, pleasure is the best benefit of training outside the gym. Being the busybodies we are: working, going to class, watching television, spending time on bb.com, we often neglect the outdoors.

Going on a jog may seem like the least pleasurable thing when you're in a nice air-conditioned house. However once you actually get outside and start running you'll probably want to stay outside. We forget how nice it is to feel the sun, wind and to see the birds fly by while doing something good for you.

It may be a hard concept to grasp, why would we want to spend time in the heat when we have nice air-conditioned houses? It's like going to work or school. You may not want to put the effort forth to go there, but once you're there it's not so bad, and actually can be fun. The same goes for training outdoors.

Training outside is a pleasurable feeling which is most likely brought on from the way we've evolved. Thousands of years ago we didn't have nice comfortable houses; therefore most of the time was spent outside with the wildlife. Nowadays we have shelter from the elements, but this shelter actually keeps us inside when we'd actually have more pleasure being outside.

While we get the benefit of interacting with nature, training outdoors can attain us a nice tan. And like I've mentioned above, a tan can make or break your summertime body.

That concludes the summertime workout article; I hope everyone has learned a great deal of information here. Remember to check out the summertime diet to complete the summertime routine!

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What Is The Best 8-Week Diet Plan For A Summer Ready Body? What Is The Best 8-Week Diet Plan For A Summer Ready Body?
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Suggestions For Next Topic Of The Week?
What do you think would make a good topic for this section? What makes a good topic?
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3rd Place - redhawk76
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Well it is that time of year once again, where everyone scrambles to get their diet and training in check so that they have something to show off when the summertime rolls around.

Whether one is carrying too much body fat or feels too scrawny, taking training serious for 8 weeks can yield favorable results. There will be many workouts that prove effective, but the one that follows should have you ready to take your shirt off in 8 weeks time.


Workout
What Is The Best 8-Week Workout For A Summer Ready Body? Be Specific: List Reps, Sets, Duration, Etc...

The best program will depend largely on your goals. If your number one goal is to cut the fat from that midsection, this first program is for you.

In order to have a beach ready body in 8 weeks, you need to get serious immediately. Cutting the fat can be very difficult, but if you are dedicated it can certainly be done. Many people assume that cardio is the only way to lose their belly, but this isn't correct.

Although cardio is a great tool in burning extra calories, if your lifting program isn't spot on, you will lose some muscle while in a hypo-caloric state. This will lead to weight loss, but not an improved physique.

The lifting program is simple. You will be concentrating on the compound movements, with heavy weight. This will allow you to maintain your strength and muscle mass while dropping body fat. In extreme cases, strength can even be increased simultaneously.

The program consists of three full-body workouts a week, with at least three cardio sessions, up to five if you so desire. Make sure to take at least one day off in between lifting days. Monday-Wednesday-Friday tends to work pretty well for most.

You will rotate which body part you hit first each day, so that you are fresh for various body parts on different days. It will either be back or legs, however, as hitting these two monsters early in a workout will be great for your testosterone and GH levels. The lower reps will help concentrate on strength/muscle preservation.

When it comes to burning fat during cardio, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is king. There are many benefits of doing HIIT cardio. The most important is the effect it has on the metabolism for the next day or more. It will allow you to burn fat efficiently throughout the day.

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The next benefit is the muscle preservation. By burning more fat, there is less muscle catabolism, like there is if you were to jog on the treadmill for an hour. Just look at sprinters vs. marathon runners. Both have relatively low body fat, but the sprinters have much more muscle.

This is because after long sessions of cardio, the body will most certainly need to burn some muscle for energy. Which brings me to the next benefit, which is HIIT is short. That is right, you will be burning fat more efficiently in a shorter amount of time. As the program will outline below, you will most likely be on your machine for no longer than 25 minutes.


Losing The Gut

Day 1: Lifting:

Day 2: Cardio

    HIIT cardio

    There are many different ways to perform HIIT. The general principle is to go from high intensity, to a moderate to low intensity shortly and then back to high intensity. This can be done on any cardio machine, or on the track or anywhere outside for that matter.

    Start with a 5 minute warm-up to raise your heart rate. At the 5-minute mark, pedal/run/jump, whatever you have decided to do, as hard as you can for 30 seconds. For the following 30 seconds, recover so that you are ready to do it again.

    If you are just starting, 8 rounds (8 minutes) should be more than enough. If you are more experience, you could take it up to 15-20 rounds, if you can handle it. After you are done cool down for 5 minutes.

    Examples:

    • 30 second burst on the bike, 30 second recovery
    • 40 yard sprint, 40 yard jog
    • Can also be done on the elliptical, on stairs, etc ...

Day 3: Lifting

Day 4: Cardio

    Repeat HIIT cardio like Day 2

Day 5: Lifting

Day 6: Cardio

    HIIT session

Day 7: OFF

Remember it is important that you take one full day off in order to allow your body to recover.

If you decide to do any extra cardio than just the three in the outlined plan, do it on the days you lift following your weight training. You definitely want one full rest day, so do no add a session on your off day.

It is also okay to go to a lower to moderate intensity for cardio if you are doing it with lifting. You do not need to do any more HIIT than is already outlined in this plan, as it is intense.

The next program is designed for those who desire to put a little meat on their bones before the sunny days of summer. The program will be extremely similar to the fat loss program, in that it will be three full-body workouts per week.

Basically the only difference will be the required cardio and the rep range for the exercises. Higher reps will be used in order to influence hypertrophy, assuming you are hyper-caloric. Cardio is encouraged for its cardiovascular and other health benefits, but not actually part of the program.

If you do decide to do cardio, make sure you eat extra calories to compensate. The following training program will have you ready to take off your shirt come June.

Day 1: Lifting

Day 2: Cardio OR Off

    Again, cardio is certainly encouraged, but since your goal is to gain weight, it is optional. It can certainly help keep the fat gains to a minimum during this time period. If you choose to do so, make sure to eat extra calories than you would had you not performed cardio.

Day 3: Lifting

Day 4: Cardio OR Off

Day 5: Lifting

Day 6: Cardio OR Off

Day 7: OFF

Just like the fat burning program, it is important to have one complete day of rest to allow your muscles to recover. Also remember, that this will not do much for you if you don't have a proper diet to assist you along the way. Do not underrate the importance of nutrition when trying to gain or lose weight.

Continue this program for the eight week period, and try to improve every week, if not every workout.


Outside The Gym
What Resources Can You Use/Are Available When Training Outside The Gym?

If you will not be able to get to a gym or prefer to train elsewhere, you are not out of luck. Many people have weights at their homes that allow them to train without the distractions caused by a public gym. If you do not have the appropriate materials for weights at your home, there are still other options.

The first is to do essentially all body weight exercises. In this case, utilize the pushup, standing squats, crunches and many other possibilities. This is certainly not ideal, but can still stimulate the muscles nonetheless.

If this is the case, you will end up doing much higher reps in order to take the muscles near failure, even though you might only be using your own body weight.

When it comes to cardio, however, your options outside of the gym are endless. The number one resource that would prove beneficial for you would be a track surrounding a football field, preferably with bleachers on each side as well.

This provides you with numerous options. Not only could you perform your body weight exercises here, (i.e. walking lunges around the track) but there are many cardio possibilities. The first is one of my favorites to do during the spring and summer time, and it is the bleachers.

Running up and down the stairs of the bleachers is an intense and effective workout. There are many different ways you can attack the bleachers. For instance, you could hop up each stair two feet at a time, or you could run up skipping every other step. You can also do calf work while on the bleachers.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Bleachers.
Video: Windows Media (336 KB) MPEG (798 KB)

The next resource that would prove beneficial is the track itself. This is self-explanatory; you can do all kinds of running exercises on the track (along with body weight workouts as already mentioned). If you do not like running on the track, you might enjoy the atmosphere of the football field.

The lines on the field will allow you to concentrate on short bursts of speed and changing direction quickly, enhancing your agility. These all can be enjoyable and extremely effective ways to get in some cardio.

The other resources that can be used outside of the gym include a basketball court, baseball field, sand volleyball pit, soccer field etc, etc ... The list goes on, but the point is that any area that will get you to compete in a physical activity will benefit you and your body. This is a great way to burn a lot of calories while not thinking of it as working out.


Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of Training Outside The Gym?

The most important benefit for me when training outside of the gym is getting away from the public distractions. When I can train by myself without having to wait to use a machine, I am much more focused and can have more effective workouts. You also get away from the possibility of friends trying to socialize with you while you are working out. This is why training outside of the gym will help you with your goals.

Another important benefit of training outside is the motivation it provides. When running on the track, as opposed to the treadmill, you will be in the sun and might be persuaded to take your shirt off.

If you are not where you want to be, in terms of your physique, this will motivate you to work harder so when the really hot months roll around you will look forward to taking off your shirt. This same motivation would apply if you were playing basketball or volleyball, and the guys in great shape have their shirts off. It will motivate you to get in shape in time for summer.

You are now on your way to building the body that everyone will desire once summer comes around. If you follow this plan correctly, and have a solid diet plan, you will be pleased this summer. This will lead you to a happy and enjoyable summer. Good luck!

SUPERFEATURE
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Welcome to the "Get Ready For Summer!" Super Feature. Inside we will give you all the tools to get beach-ready in time for summer!
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What Is The Best 8-Week Workout For A Summer Ready Body?

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Snow3y

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Snow3y

I've got a few questions:

In the ManInTheBox workout routine, Where do we do abs? Maybe I read through it a bit quick, but I didn't see abs being done at all...

In the same routine, Is it so wise to do arms the day before doing back? Wouldn't that slow your performance the next day when back is done seeing as your biceps are now stiff? Not to forget that doing traps on arms day, is working part of your back since the Traps are part of your back?

just questioning... I'm in week 4 at the moment and will keep posted with my results

Dec 6, 2012 12:29am | report
 
rawfit1

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rawfit1

In the kitchen

May 7, 2014 6:15am | report
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