In the 80’s and 90’s workout magazines that I read, weight loss
workouts recommended isolation exercises, like the leg extension
machine and the chest-fly machine as being best for helping your
sculpt your body. But we’ve come a long way since then…
Today new research reveals the best exercises, and even
the right exercise order, to get the most fat loss and
body-sculpting in the least amount of time.
Let’s start with some simple rules on how to pick the exercises.
1. Exercises should always work multiple muscle groups.
2. Exercises should be done standing, whenever possible.
3. Exercises should be effective for fat loss even if only the
bodyweight version is used (i.e. squats).
4. The hardest (most intense) exercises should always be first.
Before I explain the rules in detail, let’s first cover the warm-up.
Every workout should begin with a general warm-up.
The purpose of the warm-up is to specifically prepare your muscles
for action. Walking on a treadmill for 5 minutes does little in
terms of preparing your body for strength training. Therefore,
start every workout with a general, total body circuit.
When putting together total-body workouts and warm-ups, I think
about 4 “hot zones” on the body. And I have to address all four hot
zones with exercises in the warm-up. The hot zones are:
a) Back of Legs
b) Upper Back
Why do I only worry about the back of legs? Because almost all
multi-joint movements that train the back of the legs will also
stress the quadriceps, even if only in a static contraction.
Take for example, this general warm-up (to be used in place of the
A) Y-Squat (hold your hands over your head in a “Y” formation) – 15
B) Close-grip Pushups (kneeling or advanced) – 8 reps
C) Stick-up – 8 reps
Hopefully you can see how that hits all 4 hot zones through dynamic
and static contractions. If you don’t, let me know.
Ok, now we are ready to move on to the meat of the workout.
As stated above in the rules, we must pick our hardest, most
intense exercises first, and perform them in sets of low reps.
Here’s a bodyweight-only, body-sculpting
workout routine that I’ve designed to show you the correct exercise
order, and the types of exercise that are best for changing your
1A) Split Squat (8 reps) [Advanced use the Bulgarian Split Squat]
1B) Elevated Pushup (8 reps per side) [Kneeling or Advanced)
2A) Step-up (12 reps)
2B) Bodyweight Row (8 reps) (Beginner or Advanced)
3A) Stability Ball Jackknife (15 reps)
3B) Back Extension on Ball (15 reps)
Each superset (i.e. 1A & 1B) is done 3 times with no rest between
exercises A and B, but with a 30 seconds rest after B, before you
repeat the superset.
Following the strength portion of the workout, complete the workout
with Interval Training.
Each exercise uses multiple muscle groups, so that more calories
will be burned during and after exercise.
We also design each superset to use two intense, non-competing
exercises. We use low reps where possible. We train for strength at
the start of the workout when we are fresh.
What do I mean by non-competing?
That means, you should be able to perform the two exercises back to
back with minimal fatiguing effects from the prior exercise. You
have to pair exercises that don’t use the same muscle groups.
The rules of exercise selection and exercise order will allow you
to get lean, boost your metabolism, and to train with a
high-intensity throughout the entire workout.
So when I put the exercises together, it is all about putting them
in the right order to get you lean.
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