Lewys Morgan-Smith's father played professional rugby for the London Welsh, so the 23-year-old Morgan-Smith grew up around the sport. It was rugby that got him into the gym, where he fell in love with bodybuilding. The 6-foot-1-inch 230-pounder did his first competition in May 2018 and then did 11 shows in the first half of 2019, earning his pro card. His goal is to put on 20 pounds of muscle over the next 18 months and make it to the Olympia stage. In the meantime, he's also an Evlution Nutrition ambassador and trains more than 50 clients, some for weight loss and fitness and some for competition.
"I helped prepare two people for competition in May, and the feeling I got when they did really well was more gratifying than when I actually win a competition," Morgan-Smith says. "I realized I had to coach."
With the Total-Body Shred workout below, Morgan-Smith is coaching you. The efficient, full-body program is designed to challenge every muscle in your body. It combines compound movements with high-intensity exercises to burn as many calories as possible, and it comes complete with technique tips from the champ himself. You perform the workout three times per week, taking at least a day of rest between workouts. After three weeks, add a fourth workout day, and you can also do one extra set per exercise.
Weight selection is trial-and-error at first. Morgan-Smith advises starting lighter than you think you need and building up over the first week.
"If you complete the sets with perfect form and can do the number of reps with ease, don't be afraid to bump up the weight," he says. "Aim to put in a little more effort with each workout to achieve progressive overload."
Total-Body Shred Dynamic Warm-up
Morgan-Smith recommends performing a dynamic warm-up prior to exercise to prime the muscles and nervous system for movement, improve performance, and prevent injury.
Lunge with a Twist
This move stretches the hip flexors and activates the legs, glutes, hips, and upper and middle back.
Knees to Chest
These mimic the top of a running stride as you bring your knee toward your chest before striking your foot toward the ground.
These warm up the hamstrings and improve the range of motion. You can do them as you walk, alternating legs, or while stationary, focusing on one side at a time.
Don't round your back, and keep your gaze fixed forward; don't tilt your head up or down.
Maintain a strong spine from the beginning of the lift to the end by keeping your chest up throughout the movement.
Stand with the bar on your upper back and your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat by pushing your knees to the sides while moving your hips back.
Make sure to use your whole foot to jump, not just your toes, and try not to let your shoulders lean out beyond your knees.
When coming up, make sure you drive through the heel of your foot, and keep your torso upright and your core braced as you move.
Barbell Push Press
Use a light weight to start. Bend your knees just slightly, and then drive up as powerfully as possible. This should be enough to send the bar skyward without any conscious pressing. Once you have the movement down, you can up the weight.
Medicine Ball Slam
This movement occurs at the hips, so it's similar to a Russian kettlebell swing. When you slam the ball down, your hips hinge backward to bring in your glutes and hamstrings. Come down as violently as possible.
Pause at the top. If you can't stop at the top of each rep, you've picked a weight that's too heavy. Touch the bar to your sternum, pause, and squeeze your shoulder blades together to build better posture.
Sliding your hands out wide across the bar automatically recruits all three deltoid heads—the front, lateral, and rear deltoid.
Again, the movement is in the hip. The trick is to drive the bell backward, high into the groin, every time, to encourage a hinge/deadlift pattern and avoid a squatting movement.
If your grip is too wide, you risk putting too much pressure on your shoulder joints. Going too narrow places strain on the elbows. Hold the bar with about a shoulder-width grip.
Don't shrug your shoulders or let them roll forward. Keep them back and down. Lower yourself until your shoulders are just below your elbows, but no lower.
To stay neutral, brace your core as if you're about to be punched in the stomach throughout the entire movement. This takes any unnecessary stress off the lumbar spine and also turns the push-up into a great core-strengthening exercise.
Total-Body Shred Cool-down
Morgan-Smith recommends doing static stretches to cool down in order to keep blood circulating and also improve flexibility to increase range of motion.
Place your left arm across your chest and hold it in a stretch position with your right arm for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with the other arm.
Hold your foot against your butt for 10-15 seconds to stretch out the quads. Repeat on the opposite side.
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Point your knees to one side and hold for 10-15 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.