Workouts

The 4-week Training Plan to Lose Fat and Get Toned

Try this training plan designed to help you start losing weight and building muscle in just a month.

by
Woman lifting weights at gym
South_agency / Getty
South_agency / Getty
Duration 4 weeks
Exercises 5-7
Equipment Yes

Trying to tighten and firm up all over?  With the help of trainer and nutritionist Kim Oddo—who has worked with some of the world’s top figure and bikini competitors—we’ll show you how to get your buff bod back in only four weeks with this comprehensive crash-course training and nutrition program.

Yes, it’ll have your body sweating and (at times) your stomach grumbling, but in 28 days you’ll surprise yourself when you see how far your figure has come.

First, some guidelines. The 4-week program is divided into a pair of 2-week chunks. Here are the weekly splits:

Weeks 1-2

DAY 1: Upper-body Circuit, Abs

DAY 2: Lower-body Circuit

DAY 3: Cardio, Abs

DAY 4: Upper-body Circuit, Abs

DAY 5: Lower-body Circuit

DAY 6: Cardio, Abs

DAY 7: Rest

Important Points

  • Use light weight and higher reps at the beginning of the workout to help enhance blood flow to muscles and burn more calories as you train. 
  • With each circuit, you’ll go heavier and use lower reps to stimulate your fast-twitch muscle fibers and keep your body in fat-burning mode after the workout is over. 
    • The reps for each movement are specified separated by commas in the workouts below.
  • Focus on compound movements to maximize the amount of work done in this short, full-body routine.
  • To keep your heart rate up, you’ll perform five minutes of cardio between each circuit at 70–75% maximum heart rate (MHR).
  • Use an average tempo like 2-1-2 (two seconds to lower the weight, one second pause, and two seconds to lift it) to ensure you perform each exercise properly.
  • Perform 45–60 minutes of cardio on your cardio days, working at 75% of your MHR.

Weeks 3-4

DAY 1: Upper-body Circuit, Abs

DAY 2: Lower-body Plyometrics Circuit

DAY 3: Cardio, Abs

DAY 4: Upper-body Plyometrics Circuit, Abs

DAY 5: Lower-body Circuit

DAY 6: Cardio, Abs

DAY 7: Rest

Important Points

  • Increase the amount of weight for both your upper- and lower-body circuits, and go heavier and use lower reps with each circuit.
  • After your body has acclimatized to faster-paced workouts, you’ll start plyometrics—exercises that are quick, powerful movements that help the muscles store energy for more explosive training.
  • Plyos give you a total cardio workout, so you won’t have to hit the treadmill afterward unless you feel you need to.
  • To keep your heart rate up and calories burning during the workout, you’ll perform five minutes of cardio between each circuit on the treadmill, StepMill, or elliptical at 70–75% of your MHR.
  • Make sure to warm up for a minimum of five minutes on the treadmill, StepMill, or elliptical before beginning your first circuit.
  • Perform 45–60 minutes of cardio on a treadmill, StepMill, or elliptical on your cardio days at 75% of your MHR.

Weeks 1-4 Upper-body Circuit

Exercise 1

Barbell Bent-Over Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Man Performing Barbell Bentover Row thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 2

Seated Cable Row You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
Seated Cable Row thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 3

Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Barbell, Bench How to
Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 4

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 5

Dumbbell Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Lateral Raise thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 6

Triceps Pressdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
Triceps Pressdown thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 7

Barbell Curl How to
Barbell Curl thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Lower-body Circuit

Exercise 1

Leg Press How to
Leg Press thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 2

-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 3

Lying Leg Curl How to
Lying Hamstring Curl thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 4

Stiff-legged Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Stiff-legged Deadlift thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Exercise 5

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
Standing Calf Raise thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest
15 sec.

Weeks 3-4 Upper-body Plyometrics Circuit

Exercise 1

Medicine Ball Pushup You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Medicine Ball Pushup  thumbnail
-- sets
15, 12, 10, 8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Overhead Medicine Ball Squat Throw
medicine ball squat throw thumbnail
-- sets
15, 12, 10, 8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Assisted Pullup
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Cable Row Standing You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Straight Bar Attachment How to
Cable Row Standing thumbnail
-- sets
12, 10, 8, 8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

YTW Raise
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
20, 15, 12, 10 reps
-- rest

Lower-body Plyometrics Circuit

Exercise 1

Box Jump You'll need: Box How to
Box Jump thumbnail
-- sets
20, 20, 15, 15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Stepup You'll need: Box How to
Step-Up thumbnail
-- sets
20, 20, 15, 15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Single-Leg Bench Squat You'll need: Box How to
Single-Leg Bench Squat thumbnail
-- sets
20, 20, 15, 15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Hip Raise with Feet on Swiss Ball You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
Hip Raise with Feet on Swiss Ball thumbnail
-- sets
20, 20, 15, 15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Jump Rope You'll need: Jump Rope How to
Jump Rope thumbnail
-- sets
30, 30, 25, 25 reps
-- rest
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