There's nothing quite like enjoying a great meal with friends and family. Good food and good conversation are part of what makes the holidays so special, and why we look forward to them each year. Because family and food go so well together, it can be devastating to miss out and exchange stuffing and pumpkin pie for a plate of broccoli and chicken breast.

That's why the pros at MET-Rx go into the holidays with a plan. They use those extra calories to make huge gains and come into the New Year even better. Here's how IFBB Figure champ Nicole Wilkins, men's physique pro Jason Poston, and NPC bikini starlet Justine Moore work out to make those extra calories count!



Follow their hardcore workouts so you can enjoy the holidays with the satisfaction of knowing that you're making progress toward your goals!

Nicole Wilkins: IFBB Figure competitor, four-time Figure Olympia champion

Favorite Indulgences: Cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

Nicole Wilkins loves to relax during the holidays and spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with her family, but she doesn't rest long. "I take those days off to spend with family and friends," she says, "but the next day I do my best to get to the gym because I feel I get the most benefits from those cheat calories that day. I use that extra energy to fuel my training and build my body!"

To get the most from those extra calories, Nicole chooses a body part she wants to improve, and then she hits it hard. "I like to train in the morning," she adds, "so I can get it done and have the rest of the day to enjoy myself. I'll also do some HIIT cardio after my strength training, but I really want those calories to go into building my muscles."

Nicole's "Make Your Cheat-Meal Matter" Workouts

Build Your Best Back
1
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
4 sets, 10-15 reps
2
Seated Cable Rows
4 sets, 10-15 reps
3
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
4 sets, 10-12 reps (per arm)
4
Underhand Cable Pulldowns
4 sets, 10-15 reps
5
Straight-Arm Pulldown
4 sets, 10-15 reps
Holiday HIIT
Warm up for 5-10 minutes with some light cardio and dynamic stretching. Then, hop on a treadmill and get going. For your recovery intervals, jog at a pace that allows you to catch your breath. When you're sprinting, go as fast as you can for the duration of the minute. Beginners can cut the work portion of the intervals down to 30 seconds or reduce the workout to 15 minutes. For the first 5 minutes, increase the rate of your exertion during sprints. By minute 5, you should be sprinting as fast as you can. During the jog intervals, work at about a 5 on the intensity scale.
1
Running, Treadmill
1 set, 30 mins (intervals; 1 minute jog, 1 minute sprint)

Jason Poston: IFBB Physique competitor, winner of the 2014 Europa Phoenix, 2014 New York Pro, and 2014 Europa Dallas

Favorite Indulgences: Pancakes, turkey with stuffing and gravy, and grandma's cranberry salad.

"During the holidays I do enjoy myself, but I consequently work even harder in the gym to use all that food," says Poston. "Every morning I get up and do at least 30-45 minutes of cardio on an empty stomach. I like to take a long walk or run outside with my grandparents' dogs."

Because he's constantly eating, Jason likes to hit the gym two or even three times each day to burn off what he eats. "Don't get me wrong," he says, "I love the extra work! I'll take any chance to get more fuel in the off-season, then put it toward building size."



Because Poston is diabetic and insulin-dependent, his constant gym visits are necessary to burn calories and keep his blood sugar under control.

"For each workout, I train a different body part to isolate, so I don't overtrain anything. After five minutes of mobility and flexibility work, I train a single part with super-intense, heavy, explosive movements. My workouts are 100 percent velocity weightlifting," says Poston.

"At the end of each session, I do 10-15 minutes of HIIT. I like to punch a heavy bag as hard and fast as I can for 15 seconds, then walk and rest for 45 seconds. I always follow up my intense workouts with lots of stretching and mobility."

Jason's "Turn Evil Into Good" Workouts

FA-LA-LA-LA Leg Routine
1
Barbell Squat
8 sets, 10, 10, 8, 6, 6, 5, 4, 3 reps
2
Jump Squat
1 set, 20 reps
3
Leg Press
4 sets, 20-25 reps
4
Barbell Walking Lunge
4 sets, 20 reps
5
Weighted Sissy Squat
3 sets, 25 reps
6
Superset
Decline Dumbbell Leg Curl
3 sets, 20 reps
Single-Cone Sprint Drill
3 sets, 10 sec
7
Superset
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
4 sets, 20 reps
Box Jump (Multiple Response)
4 sets, 10 sec
8
Superset
Standing Leg Curl
3 sets, 12 reps
Dumbbell Shadow Boxing
3 sets, 10 sec
The 10-Minute, Do-Anywhere, No-Excuses Fat-Blaster
Warm up with a light jog or some jumping jacks, then get right into the workout. Do one round, working as intensely as possible, then rest 30 seconds and repeat. Continue until you complete 10 minutes.
1
Circuit
10 minutes
Burpee
1 set, 10 reps
Jumping Jacks
1 set, 20 reps
Dumbbell Shadow Boxing
Combos.
1 set, 30 reps (Left/right straight punch, left/right uppercut, left/right hook = one combination)

Justine Moore: NPC Bikini competitor

Favorite Indulgences: Hot cocoa, Christmas cookies, eggnog, and all kinds of carbs!

"Holidays are a vacation," says Justine Moore. "You're supposed to enjoy life. Food is a big part of that. I like to have holiday treats and cocktails, but there is a way to do it so I don't totally wreak havoc on the work I've put in all year. So if I know I'm going to indulge, I have to earn it in the gym beforehand."

Moore is a big fan of combining strength moves and cardio to fire up her metabolism and burn a ton of calories. "I'll choose a cardio interval, a lower-body move, an upper-body move, and a core move, and then arrange them in a circuit. I do all four exercises back-to-back and then rest one minute. I repeat that circuit three or four times," says Justine.

"If you do three or four circuits like that, you've done a 45-minute, total-body [workout] and cardio workout in one! You're in and out of the gym in an hour and you can enjoy the rest of your day with family and friends."



Justine's "Earn It" Holiday Workouts

Killer Christmas Shoulder Workout
1
Jogging-Treadmill
1 set, 5 mins (RPE 6-7)
2
Superset
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
3 sets, 20 reps
Side Lateral Raise
3 sets, 20 reps
3
Step Mill
1 set, 5 mins (RPE 8)
4
Superset
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise
3 sets, 15 reps
Alternating Deltoid Raise
3 sets, 15 reps (per arm)
5
Bicycling, Stationary
1 set, 5 mins (RPE 9)
6
Superset
Machine Shoulder (Military) Press
3 sets, 15-20 reps
Upright Cable Row
3 sets, 15-20 reps
7
Jogging-Treadmill
1 set, 5 mins (RPE 9)
Total-Body Triple-Circuit Workout
Warm up by doing some total-body dynamic stretching for five minutes, then begin the workout with Circuit 1. Go through each circuit three times and rest for one minute between rounds. Your workout will take a grand total of 45 minutes. After you're done, cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes.
1
Circuit 1
Jumping Jacks
3 sets, 1 mins
Bodyweight Squat
3 sets, 1 mins
Bent Over Barbell Row
3 sets, 1 mins
Air Bike
3 sets, 1 mins
2
Circuit 2
Battling Ropes
3 sets, 1 mins
Pushups
3 sets, 1 mins
Barbell Walking Lunge
3 sets, 1 mins
Plank
3 sets, 1 mins
3
Circuit 3
Burpee
3 sets, 1 mins
Kettlebell Thruster
3 sets, 1 mins
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
3 sets, 30 sec (per arm)
Side Bridge
3 sets, 30 sec (per side)

About the Author

Lara McGlashan

Lara McGlashan

Lara McGlashan is currently the Fitness Editor for Oxygen Magazine. She also has an extensive sports background and is an ACE certified trainer.

View all articles by this author

Workout