A New Year, A New You!
I devised a work-out plan to help me tone and strengthen muscles while getting lean at the same time. For those of you looking to get back in shape after the holidays or want to make it your new year’s resolution, feel free to give it a try!
I suggest that you make your resolution to be about making small, but permanent, changes that will support a healthy lifestyle. This work-out is a good goal for those who don’t work out on a normal basis- it’s a 6-day a week work-out, so don’t feel like you have to go from not working out at all to a full 6 days!
The plan combines cardio, strength training, and yoga. Most personal trainers don’t stress the importance of cardio because they are so focused on strength training. What needs to be realized is that both are very important. Weight loss is simply calories-in vs calories-out. You don’t choose whether the loss comes from muscle or fat, so that’s why strength training is important- it will prevent the loss from coming from muscle, which helps make your body changes more permanent. Without cardio, however, you will not likely burn enough calories to lose weight at an appropriate pace. Most of what will be happening is a gain in muscle, with minimal fat loss. Yoga is a way to gain muscle while stretching, which is important in changing your body as well- your posture will improve, your balance will improve, and you will definitely get more lean!
Make sure to warm up and cool-down for every work out, as well as stretching afterwards on the days you aren’t doing yoga. The yoga DVD I’ve been using is The Firm Power Yoga, which I love. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my flexibility, and my upper back appears much more flat- before the DVD, my shoulders and chest were so tight that my back appeared rounded even though I had good posture.
- Monday- 1 hr of cardio
- Tuesday- Strength training, 30 mins of cardio
- Wednesday- 30 min Yoga DVD
- Thursday- Strength training, 30 mins of cardio
- Friday- OFF
- Saturday- Strength training, 30 mins of cardio
- Sunday- 1 hr cardio, 30 min Yoga DVD
Strength- this routine uses supersets to ensure your heart rate stays up for an increased calorie burn. Supersets use a few different exercise as 1 set. For example: 1 super-set= 1 set of step-ups, 1 set of tricep kick-backs, and 1 set of crunches. You would do this without rest in between, and then repeat. For each exercise, find the weight that is challenging but comfortable for you. I use 5lbs. It should take you between 30-40 mins to do this routine. I recommend before starting each superset, you gather the equipment you need to be prepared.
- Step-ups/bicep curls– step up with right foot as you curl the weights up, and bring your left foot to meet it. Then step down with right foot again as you bring the weights down. repeat using the same foot, about 30 times. Switch to your left foot for the next set.
- Tricep kick-backs– 15 reps
- Crunches on a balance ball– 20 reps
- Do this super-set 2x
- Squats/shoulder-press– stand with feet wider than hip-width with weights in hand, elbows bent so that the weights rest by your shoulders. As you squat down, act like your sitting down in a chair keeping your knees behind your toes. As you stand up, press the weights above your head. Bring them back down as you squat. Do 20 reps.
- Push-ups– I do them on my knees. Hands are shoulder-width apart, keep back flat. Do 15-20 reps.
- Superman– lie on your stomach, arms stretched out in front of you. Lift arms and legs at the same, using your back muscles. Do 15-20 reps.
- Do super-set 2x.
- Straight-arm lat pull-down– 15 reps- please pay attention to the girl’s form in this video. make sure to keep your back flat and shoulders pulled back, away from your ears.
- Lunges/hamer curls– stand with feet together and lunge forward with 1 foot while bringing the weights up. repeat with the opposite foot, and do 20 reps
- Chest flies
- Do super-set 2x
- Lat pull-down
- Lateral lunges– stand with feet together, lunge to the side with one foot bending at the knee and keepin the other straight while your buttocks goes behind you . Bring the foot back and repeat on the other side. do 20 reps (10 on each side).
- Do this super-set 3x.
- Bicycle Crunches
- Torso twist with medicine ball- lean back so your balancing on your tailbone, knees bent and only resting on your heels. Holding the medicine ball, bring it one side and then the other using your abdominal muscles to twist.
- Captain’s chair
- You only need to do this set 1x. Do each exercise until you feel too uncomfortable to continue.
This is the first step in my work-out plan. I did this strength routine for a little over a month, and now I’ve just begun a new one. In a few weeks, I’ll post that one as well.
Good luck and Happy New Year!
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