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The Workout Plan to Lose 15 Pounds

No, you can’t out-train a bad diet. But once you have your nutrition plan locked down, you can whittle away the last few pounds with these fat-shredding workouts.

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  • 20-30 min

  • 5

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Kettlebell Complex
Michael Svoboda/Getty Images
Kettlebell Complex
Michael Svoboda/Getty Images

Plenty of people are perpetually unhappy with their weight. Even these folks wouldn’t be considered obese, per se, they might just have enough extra pounds to be considered overweight.

But we have good news. Whether your spare tire is a result of holiday overeating or some long-term unhealthy habits, you can beat those last 15lbs by following a killer workout plan. We consulted with Andrew Borsellino, C.S.C.S., co-founder of Precision Sports Performance, and Thomas King, C.S.C.S., strength and conditioning coach with JK Conditioning, to build the ultimate workout routine to get you confident and shredded in two months.

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“The hardest part always is just getting started,” says Borsellino. “If you lack self-esteem and are wary about walking into a gym or studio, or visiting a nutritionist to get your journey going, an important first step should be trying to find a place where you feel comfortable and a coach or trainer that you connect with.”

But if you’ve been fit in the past and know the ropes around the gym and want to go it alone, our simple plan will help you get off on the right foot.

“When getting started, make sure you start the right type of program,” says Borsellino. “If you get going on a program that is way too intense right off the bat, it may keep you from continuing and reaching your goals.”

Furthermore, if you’re unprepared for a high-intensity workout program, you could potentially be walking the path to injury. At the same time, starting a workout program that’s too easy or not stimulating could just lead to boredom—and boredom makes you more likely to quit.

King adds: “In my experience, the easiest way to sneak fat loss work into your routine is through the use of circuits and complexes. Nobody really wants to spend an hour running on a treadmill when you could be doing more engaging exercises like kettlebell swings, thrusters, and squats. I also like to include at least one more traditional strength training day per week. It allows for recovery from the demanding circuits and the lower reps will help preserve muscle tissue during the fat-loss stage.”

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Finally, remember that not all workout plans work for everyone. Everybody is different, and different stimuli will lead to different results, but the most important thing to remember is that this is a lifestyle. “Small changes at a time lead to big improvements and lay the foundation for a healthy life,” says Borsellino.

The workout

The following workout program, which comes courtesy of King, incorporates three workouts per week: two days of circuit training and one day of strength training. Perform these workouts on nonconsecutive days for eight weeks. Before each session, do a light warmup that includes aerobic exercise (like walking on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes) and dynamic mobility work (like banded shoulder dislocations and rotational hip dislocations).

Instructions

Day 1 circuit: Perform one set of each exercise before resting. After you have completed one full round, rest for two minutes and start again. The goal is to complete five rounds as quickly as possible. For an added challenge, time yourself and see how you progress as you move through the eight-week program.

Day 2 strength workout: The strength day will stick to the basic lifts and pair two complementary movements as a superset. Perform exercises in the same superset (marked A and B), then rest 1½-2 minutes. Repeat for the prescribed number of sets.

Day 3 circuit: The second circuit incorporates a dumbbell complex. Choose a dumbbell weight you can use for all the exercises, and be sure to do each exercise without putting the dumbbells down. If that’s not difficult enough, after each complex, row 100 meters as quickly as possible. Complete five rounds of this circuit in as little time as possible. Time yourself and see how you progress over the next eight weeks. 

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Routine

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Day 1 Workout

Circuit

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 5

Kettlebell Swing

Equipment
Kettlebells
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 5

Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment
Sets
5
Reps
10 reps
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 5

Overhead Barbell Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
5
Reps
10 reps
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 5

Airdyne Bike

Equipment
Sets
5
Reps
2 calories
Rest
--

Day 2 Workout

Strength

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 6 of 5

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
3
Rest
0 sec
Exercise 7 of 5

Barbell Overhead Press

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
90-120
Exercise 8 of 5

Barbell Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
3
Rest
0 sec
Exercise 9 of 5

Chinup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
90-120 sec
Exercise 10 of 5

Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
0 sec

Day 3 Workout

Circuit

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 12 of 5

Dumbbell Front Squat

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec
Exercise 13 of 5

Dumbbell Bentover Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
10 (each arm)
Rest
0 sec
Exercise 15 of 5

Renegade Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
10 each arm
Rest
0 sec
Exercise 16 of 5

Rowing Machine

Equipment
Sets
5
Reps
100 meter sprint for time
Rest
0 sec
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