Did you know that the average American gains 10 pounds over the holidays?
Making the time for just two high intensity workouts a week through this crazy time of the year can help you 1) avoid gaining that 10 pounds, 2) help you actually LOSE weight, 3) make endurance gains, and 4) help tone and shape your butt.
One of the great things about many people’s favorite cardio exercises, is that they also work the glutes. Supplementing the cardio program below with weight lifting exercises that work the large muscle groups of the legs and buttocks will really help to step up your results.
This routine is all about speed! Start off with a 20 minute cardio routine (see samples below), and quickly transition to the weight training portion of the program. You’ll also need to quickly transition between the weight training sets, and exercises to keep the calorie burning furnace stoked. Remember, exercising in the morning – before eating – is the best time to burn the maximum amount of fat (see our article on Diet and Weight Loss). Allow 2 days of rest between workouts.
The cardio portion of the routine should last a minimum of 20 minutes. The following exercises are meant as guidelines only. Mix them up in your routine (for instance Day 1 use the Treadmill, and Day 2 the Stairmaster). Most of us will be using machines this time of year such as the treadmill, stairmaster, or exercise bike you need to vary the speed, angle (if possible), and tension of the machine to get the best workout and keep things fresh.
- Treadmill (or run outside – weather permitting)
- Exercise bike (or a real bike outdoors)
- Stairmaster (or go hiking)
- Kickboxing: If you have longer than half an hour and you have classes available, this can substitute for your whole workout.
This portion of the workout should take 10 – 15 minutes. Remember, you’ll be going through these exercises somewhat quickly. Pay extra attention to good form – it’s easy to get sloppy if you go fast, and that’s when injuries happen.
You’ll be doing 5 sets, and going rapidly from Exercise 1 to Exercise 2. Take a 1 minute break between sets. Choose a weight that provides you with a challenge, but isn’t so heavy that you can’t get through all sets.
- Exercise 1 – Smith Machine Squats
- Exercise 2 – Reverse Lunges
- Exercise 1 – Leg Press Machine
- Exercise 2 – Outer Thigh Leg Lift
Beginners should consult with their physician prior to starting any exercise program. If you’ve never lifted weights, you may want to consult with a personal trainer for one on one instruction and to develop a personalized exercise program.