Trying to lose weight and get cut, quickly? Read on.
It’s that time of year when the sun is out (all the time) and you begin to really regret not sticking to your New Year’s fat loss resolution. Yeah, that time. But don’t worry, for it’s not too late! You can in fact still shed fat, build some muscle, and get yourself looking better before summer ends.
And, thankfully, I’m not going to advocate for a ridiculous crash diet, or for 45 minutes a day of stationary bike while watching [insert trashy MTV reality show here]. Instead, you will have to do something called working your butt off. But as a reader of OneResult, you already knew that’s obtaining lasting results requires. If it’s any reassurance, I realize you’re all busy with summer jobs and sports, so the two workouts I’ve drawn up below were designed with convenience in mind.
Proper technique is paramount. If you feel your form start to slip on any of the exercises, just stop. You’re not a sissy. But you will be a dummy if you continue to plow through without any consideration for your safety. I don’t have a Master’s degree or anything, but I’m certain you can’t lose fat properly lying on the couch with ice packs on your knees.
Workout 1: Houston, We Have a Workout
The first workout revolves around a variation of descending sets. It’s a variation because in a typical drop set, the variable being decreased is the load. Here it’s going to be the volume. I call them NASA sets.
These are fantastic for getting in a good amount of work, while keeping the time demands to a minimum. You’re going to start at a certain time with an exercise and take off one second on each set.
1st set= 12 seconds
2nd set= 11 seconds
3rd set= 10 seconds
And so on…down to a set consisting of just 5 seconds.
The workout below is based around a primary upper and lower body exercise; the pushup and the squat. It can be done 2x per week, alternating between the pushup and the squat. Having built up proficiency, you can then do both on the same day.
The Nuts and Bolts
10 sets, beginning at 15 seconds (for set 1), and dropping 1 second off with each set that follows, until you make it down to 5 seconds.
1:1 work-to-rest ratio (e.g. 15 seconds work, 15 seconds rest)
10 sets, beginning at 15 seconds and dropping off 1 seconds all the way down to 5 seconds
1:1 work-to-rest ratio
Perform the exercises at a normal tempo. Allow at least 1 day of rest in between workouts.
If you don’t have the ability to perform a proper bodyweight squat/pushup, use a regression. For the squat, this means using a PVC pipe across the shoulders and squatting in front of a wall until you can hit the proper depth. For the pushup, it could mean performing them on the knees, to a bar, etc., depending upon your level of preparedness.
A great thing about this workout is you always have progression options (decreased rest, adding load, adding time). When in doubt, consider adding load and improve the quality of the time you’re already doing, instead of simply increasing the time. Remember, the above is just a basic template. Be creative, adjust it to your abilities, and remember to work your butt off.
Workout 2: To the Hills!
Properly designed sprint workouts on a track can be a great fat loss tool. And yet, sprint workouts done on a hill can be even more effective, as they demand more from your lower half, force you to use your core musculature to a greater degree to maintain a solid posture, and decrease your injury potential (less overall impact stress). Sound good?
That doesn’t mean to just go out, find a hill, and start flying away. Hills may present less of an injury risk, but you should still warm-up. Find a hill that’s no longer than 80-100 meters and start with 2-3 buildups at 50-70% of your maximal effort. Once warm you don’t need too complicated of a scheme, just move fast! Perform 4-5 sprints at a near all-out effort. Don’t go any higher than 5 sprints for your 1st 2-3 sessions.
As with the NASA sets, focus on improving quality (in this case, speed) before adding more sprints. When you do end up adding sets, there is no need to go any higher than 7-9. It’s no different than with a weight-training regimen:
If you are doing 10 resistance exercises per workout, you probably aren’t giving it your all on each of those exercises. You are better off dropping the number down to 4 or 5 and killing it.
If you are feeling like hell after 2 sprints, or if you haven’t done any intense anaerobic work since the year 2002, just do 2. You’re still getting a great workout and that extra volume isn’t going to go anywhere. It’s waiting for you when you are ready. Regarding rest, take as long as you need to get your breathing back to a somewhat steady rate.
With the summer heat approaching, make sure to have access to water during this workout, and have at least a few sips between each set. That’s no different than any other workout, but the added stress to your body from being outside will make it especially important.
Fat loss need not be fancy. Just needs to work. While nutrition obviously plays a HUGE role in your ultimate results, these two workouts will help you obtain the summer body you promised yourself back in January. So be smart, work hard, and go get results!