The training plan overview

  • Lift heavy. The metabolism-boosting strength routine is split into two four-week phases. The goal throughout is to lift about 85% of your maximum load. By increasing your workload and lifting primarily heavy weights, you’ll build more muscle and torch fat all day long.
  • Power up. Plyometric movements get your heart pumping and allow you to use more fast-twitch muscle fibers, so you pump up the calorie burn with every workout. In weeks 5–8 of the plan, you’ll add more of these fast, explosive moves and high-intensity training, which has been shown to be more effective at trimming fat than steady-state exercise alone.
  • Change up your cardio. You’ll perform two types of cardio workouts in both phases of this program. On Days 1, 3, and 5, you’ll do 45–60 minutes of steady-state cardio on a StepMill at 75% of your maximum heart rate. (If you don’t have access to a StepMill, use a treadmill set to an incline of at least 5%.) On Days 4 and 6 in Phase 1 of the program, you’ll perform 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training with your choice of cardio. Integrating both types of workouts will allow you to work different energy systems to maximize fat burning.

The training action plan

Strength workout split

Day 1: Shoulders, Abs
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Arms, Abs
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Back
Day 6: Chest, Abs
Day 7: Plyometric Circuit

Cardio split

Days 1, 3 & 5: StepMill or Treadmill
Days 4 & 6: HIIT†
Day 7: Rest

†Performed on your choice of cardio machine.

HIIT plan: Weeks 1-4

Warmup: 5 minutes
Intervals: 20 minutes of 15-second sprints (80–90% MHR, or max heart rate); 60-second active recovery (50% MHR)
Cooldown: 5 minutes

HIIT plan: Weeks 5-8

Warmup: 5 minutes
Intervals: 20 minutes of 30-second sprints (80–90% MHR; 60-second active recovery (50% MHR)
Cooldown: 5 minutes

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Exercise descriptions

Follow the instructions and tips for each of the following exercises to master the movements for maximum results. 

Decline Pushup (Day 6)

• Place your feet on a platform and assume a decline pushup position, feet together and palms on floor below shoulders, arms straight.
• Slowly lower your chest toward the floor, then press back up to start. Repeat for reps.

Tip: Start with a low platform, working your way up to increase the difficulty level.

Incline Bench Flye (Day 6)

• Sit on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bring arms out to sides at about shoulder level.
• Bring hands up and in toward each other. Pause briefly, then slowly return to start. Repeat for reps.

One-Leg Hamstring Curl (Day 2)

• Lie facedown on a legs curl machine, extending legs so your knees are just off the end of the bench.
• Keeping your body flat on the bench, curl one leg up as far as possible by fully contracting your hamstring. Pause.
• Slowly lower weight back to the start. Repeat for reps, then switch legs.

Smith Machine Shoulder Press Throw (Day 1)
• Sit on a shoulder-press bench or a bench that adjusts to 90° in front of a Smith machine. Take an overhand, shoulder-width grip, and unrack the bar.
• Start with the bar under your chin and just above your upper chest.
• Press the bar straight up overhead fast and explosively, allowing the bar to leave your hands in the top position.
• Catch the bar and slowly lower back to the start position with bar under your chin.

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Smith Machine Bench Press Throw (Day 3)
• Lie faceup on a flat bench with your feet flat on the ground. Grasp a bar just outside shoulder-width and lift it off the rack.
• Slowly lower the bar toward your lower chest, keeping your elbows pointed out to the sides, until it’s just an inch or two above your chest.
• Press the bar back up forcefully in a slight arc so it stops over your neck and just short of locking out your elbows.
• Repeat for reps.

Smith Machine Curl Throw (Day 3)
• Set up the bar of a Smith machine at about mid-thigh.
• Stand in front of the bar with feet hip-width and grasp it with an underhand grip, palms facing up.
• Begin with your arms extended toward the floor and your knees slightly bent.
• Contract your biceps to curl the bar up fast and explosively, allowing the bar to leave your hands in the top position.
• Catch the bar and slowly lower back to the start position.

Lying Cable Front Raise (Day 1)
• Grasp a straight-bar attachment on a high-pulley cable, setting up with an overhand grip (forearms facing away from you).
• Lie on the floor in a cable crossover station with your feet closest to the weight stack.
• Begin with your arms fully extended resting on your thighs, legs straight, and heels flat on the floor.
• Keeping your arms straight with just a slight bend in your elbows, lift the bar in front of you until your arms are parallel to the weight stack.
• Hold for a count, then slowly lower to the start position.

Kneeling Single-Arm Pulldown (Day 5)
• Grasp a straight-bar attachment on a high-pulley cable with one hand, arm extended overhead and slightly in front of your shoulder.
• Kneel in front of the machine, facing the weight stack with your knees shoulder-width apart.
• Pull your elbow down and back toward the floor.
• Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then slowly extend your arm back to the start position.
• Repeat for reps, then switch to the other arm.

Plank Dumbbell Row (Day 5)

• Assume a pushup position with feet hip-width apart.
• Grasp a pair of dumbbells, palms facing in and shoulder-width apart.
• Keeping your core contracted, balance your weight on your right hand as you pull the dumbbell in your left hand up to the side of your chest, bending your elbow as you pull it upward.
• Return the dumbbell to the floor and repeat with opposite arm.

Barbell Thrust (Day 7)
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and grab a barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width, wrapping your thumbs around the bar.
• Lift the bar to about shoulder-level by extending your arms. This is the start position.
• Keeping the barbell at shoulder-level, push your hips back and drop into a squat position.
• Pressing through your heels, explode back up while pressing the bar overhead so that your arms are fully extended.
• Return to the start position and repeat.

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