Got Covid belly?
Want to look better in that bathing suit?
Here is my 4 point strength, cardio and clean eating plan to help us all #Shred it and get back to fit.
1. Sculpt Thy Body Perfect
I recommend a total body strength workout using dumbbells two or three times a week. It tones all major muscle groups to create a balanced body and saves time. Strength training is excellent for burning calories (muscle burns more calories than fat) and getting lean. Plus, life is easier when we are stronger.
Your challenge: Add 2 -3 25 minute strength training sessions a week.
This plan works for beginner and advanced athletes.
Remember to focus on your form (This is easy if you work out in front of a mirror).
Start with 5-15 lbs dumbbells.
Challenge yourself to lift heavier weights as you get stronger.
Put your mind to your muscles as you work out and keep abdominals and booty engaged.
Jam out to your favorite music during your workout to boost endorphins.
Upper Body: 5X5
Five exercises, ten reps, five sets.
Bicep Curls, Shoulder Press, Triceps Kickback, Chest Press (or Push Up), Reverse Fly or Row. Pick a weight that, by rep 10 of each exercise, it should challenge you.
Lower body and core: 5 x5
Five exercises, ten reps, five sets:
Squats, Lunges, Deadlift, Standing Calf Raise, Russian Twist.
Pick a weight that, by rep 10 of each exercise, it should challenge you.
2. Boost Calorie Burn with Interval Training:
Want to burn more calories? Interval training rocks. There is so much research on the benefits I will spare you from putting it all here. Just trust me and the science.
Short 20-25 minute sessions on a machine, biking, walking, or running outside is all it takes – as long as you push it during the high of your intervals.
Your challenge: Add 3 20-25 minute sessions of heart-pumping interval training sessions per week. Shred-it tip: Add music to go faster.
5×5 25 minute cardio examples.
2 Minutes Walking, 2 Minutes Running, 1 Minute Sprinting. Repeat 5x.
Or, try this 20 minute interval plan from the Body For Life challenge that is fast and efficient.
For perceived exertion (intensity level), think 1-10.
Level 1: You are sitting on couch or taking a slow walk.
Level 5: You are walking/jogging.
Level 6: You are running.
Level 10: You are in an all out sprint.
1. Warm up for 2 minutes at level 5.
2. Minutes 2-3 move from intensity level 5 to 6. Note: Level 6 is your recovery spot.
3. Minutes 4-5, 6-10 and 11-14 build up from level 6 to level 9, maintaining each level for one minute, then recover at level 6.
4. Minutes 14-19 build up from level 6 to level 10 (the high point), maintaining each level for one minute,
then recover at level 6.
5. Minute 20-25 cool down.
3. Sit Less
Reading this while sitting down? Stand up.
Are you sitting at your desk all day? Then drive, fly or Uber it home and sit more? Sitting all day and inactivity increases your risk of atrophy, weight gain, and many diseases like diabetes, slowing down your metabolism.
Research suggests that even shorts bursts of activity during the day make a difference.
Ideas: Set a timer to get up every 25 minutes to take a lap around the home or the office, go up and downstairs, or make tea and fetch a glass of water.
Walk the dog -don’t just let him outback. Walk or run at lunch and after dinner. Conduct walking meetings. Play Twister, dance, or play ball with your spouse or kids after work. Do jumping jacks and squats while binge-watching. Whatever. Just move more.
4. Eat Dinner Earlier:
Heard the buzz on Intermittent Fasting (IE)? Research shows it is an effective eating pattern to boost weight loss. And has a load of bonus benefits. We can’t ignore the diet. As we trainers say and know, you cannot our train a poor diet, so let’s hone in on what, when, and how much we eat.
To make it easy, eat cleaner and within a smaller window of time a few days a week.
I consulted my talented friend Barret Butler, RD, LD, MPH, for her professional advice on IE. She tested a bunch of diets on her friends and clients a few years ago. Out of ALL the diets, the most sustained weight loss was with her plan, a version of IE, which she has kindly provided for us below.
1. Eat three real food meals a day and one afternoon snack.
2. Avoid alcohol during Monday-Friday.
3. Two nights a week, prep dinner early (think slow cooker) and finish eating by 5 pm.
Eat Breakfast (protein size of your palm, healthy fat, fruit, or toast)
Eat lunch (protein size of your palm, healthy fat, big salad)
Eat Snack (handful nuts and kombucha or green tea)
Eat dinner (protein size of your palm), steamed or grilled veggies, or big salad).
Add 2-3 25 minutes of strength training a week.
Add 3 25 mins interval training a week.
Move more during the day and evening.
Commit to Barret’s simple eating pattern.
I know. Fit this #Shredit challenge into your busy life? Yes! If you want to get fitter, leaner, and stronger, it’s a simple plan and 30 mins or less a day. This plan can make you feel fitter and leaner within a week!
Get up earlier to get it done.
Commit to #JustDoIt for a two-week test.
Then, assess the data.
Do you feel leaner, stronger, happier? Are you sleeping better?
Add another two weeks. You got this. 🙂