Become a calorieburning machine by boosting your strength, power and endurance with this all-in-one sculpting workout.
Shape Activewear sports bra and leggings (amazon.com). Adidas sneakers (adidas.com).
Being strong will fire up your metabolism and confidence like nothing else, says trainer Adam Rosante, the author of the e-book Strong Body Guide. “And the more strength you possess, the easier every activity you do becomes,” he says. To get you that “I’m invincible” high, he designed this routine to pump up the three key components of strength.
First, there’s maximal muscular strength, or the greatest force you can muster in a single contraction (think of it as the most weight you can press, squat and so on in a single rep). Then there’s muscular power, which is your ability to produce strength quickly (as in throwing a medicine ball as far and as high as you can). Last, there’s muscular endurance, which is your ability to exert force many times over (“drop and give me 10 push-ups”).
Build all three and you’ll not only maximise your overall strength relative to your size, you’ll also be able to handle just about any physical task – from a Crossfit WOD to flipping your mattress to dancing all night at a wedding. Step one is lifting heavy weights for just a few reps. “Heavy is relative,” Adam says. “In many workouts, there’s a prescribed number of reps for each exercise.
Choose weights that will allow you to complete only that number.” If you feel as if you’ve got another five in you, your weight is too light. To boost muscle power, perform moves as explosively as you can. And improve your muscular endurance by keeping the amount of reps you do and your intensity high.
You don’t need three workouts to achieve all that, thanks to Adam’s mix, in which you’ll build maximum strength, explosive power and strength endurance in one session. It’s a calorie crusher – even before you figure in the afterburn. Do his workout three days a week for six weeks, and the benefits will be undeniable (more muscle equals a higher metabolic rate). “Your body turns into a calorie-burning furnace even while parked on the couch,” he says. “The net result is a smaller, shapelier, stronger body.”
This is a two-part routine. Start with part A. Do move 1, then rest two minutes. Then do move 2 and rest for two minutes. The remaining moves of part A will be performed as paired supersets. That means do all your reps of 3A, then all of 3B, with as little rest as possible (30 seconds max) between moves. Then rest for one minute and repeat until all sets of this pair are complete. Move on to 4A and 4B in the same fashion.
Once you’ve completed all the moves, rest for five minutes. Then move on to part B of the routine. Set a timer for nine minutes. Do all the moves back-to-back. Once you’ve completed all four, that’s one round. Complete as many rounds as possible in nine minutes. Do this routine twice a week on alternate days for six weeks. Keep track of the weights you use each time. At the start of each new week, try to increase the weight for each move.
A watch or timer and at least two heavy kettlebells. Choose the heaviest weight you can lift with good form for the stated number of reps for each move. You should feel as if you have maybe one more rep in the tank at the end of each move.
1 ONE-AND-A-QUARTER FRONT SQUAT
Works shoulders, upper back, abs, butt, quads
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes turned slightly out, holding the handle of a kettlebell in each hand at shoulder height, with fingers interlocked, palms facing down, and elbows bent out to sides, with balls of kettlebells resting on arms to start. Squat until hip crease drops below knee level [shown]. Push through heels to rise up a quarter of the way, then drop back down into full squat. Drive up to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 5. That’s 1 set. Do 5. Rest 2 minutes.
2 ECCENTRIC GOBLET LUNGE
Works shoulders, forearms, abs, butt, quads, hamstrings
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding handle of a kettlebell in each hand, with arms by sides to start. Step right foot back and take 6 seconds to slowly lower into a lunge with both legs bent 90 degrees [shown]. Step right foot up to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 8. Switch sides and repeat. That’s 1 set. Do 3. Rest 2 minutes.
3A W PUSH-UP
Works shoulders, back, chest, triceps, biceps, abs, butt, quads Start on floor in plank on palms [A]. Take 5 seconds to lower straight body to floor. Lift chest and draw arms back to form a W with thumbs pointing up [B]. Contract the muscles in your upper back and hold for 5 seconds. Lower chest and plant palms on floor under shoulders, then press up to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 8. That’s 1 set. Do 4.
3B HALO CURL
Works shoulders, upper back, triceps, biceps, abs, obliques
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell by the horns at chest level, with elbows bent down to start [A]. Keep kettlebell close to you as you circle it clockwise up and around your head [B]. Switch sides and repeat. Then straighten arms to lower weight to top of thighs. Curl weight to chest to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 8. That’s 1 set. Do 4. Rest 1 to 2 minutes.
4A CLEAN AND PRESS
Works shoulders, back, triceps, abs, butt, quads Stand with feet wider slightly than hip-width apart, a kettlebell between feet, arms by sides. Squat, grabbing kettlebell handle with right hand, drawing left arm to your side at an angle [A]. Explosively stand as you pull kettlebell up close to body (right elbow bends out to side), flipping right palm up to catch the ball of kettlebell at your shoulder [B]. Immediately lower into a quarter squat, then drive up to stand as you press weight overhead, finishing with biceps right next to ear [C]. Reverse movement to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 15 to 20. Switch sides and repeat. That’s 1 set. Do 3.
4B OFFSET FARMER’S WALK
Works shoulders, back, foreams, abs, butt, hamstrings Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding handle of one kettlebell in right hand with arm by side, and handle of other kettlebell in left hand at shoulder, elbow bent out to side, with ball of kettlebell resting on arm to start. Maintaining an upright posture and a tight core, take long steps across floor[shown]. Stride for 20 paces, then turn around, switch sides and repeat. That’s 1 rep. Do 3. Rest for 5 minutes.
1 BROAD JUMP
Works abs, butt, quads, calves Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms raised overhead. Throw arms down and back as you lower into a quarter squat to start. Swing arms up as you explosively jump as far forward as possible [shown]. Land softly back to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 9. (If you run out of space, turn around.)
2 TOE TAP
Works abs, butt, quads Stand facing a kettlebell. Sprint in place, tapping right toes, then left toes, on the top of the handle [shown]. That’s 1 rep. Do 9.
3 BURPEE OVER BELL
Works shoulders, chest, biceps, abs, butt, quads Stand to left of a kettlebell with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Crouch, plant palms on floor, jump into a plank, and lower chest and thighs to floor [A]. Push up to plank, hop feet towards hands, then jump laterally over kettlebell, clapping hands overhead [B]. Switch sides and repeat. That’s 1 rep. Do 9.
4 RUSSIAN SWING
Works shoulders, abs, butt, quads, hamstrings Stand at arm’s length behind a kettlebell, with feet hipwidth apart and arms by sides. Bend knees, shift hips back, and hinge from hips to reach down to grab handle with both hands with an overhand grip. With chest lifted and back flat, swing the kettlebell between your legs to start. When forearms reach inner thighs, explosively drive hips forward to stand straight up, swinging straight arms forward and up to shoulder height [shown]. Allow gravity to lower straight arms back to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 9.
Speed up your fat melt
Record your number of rounds of Part B. (Don’t try to keep it in your head; not gonna happen.) At the end of the week, add up your rounds. Your goal: Beat that number each week.
TEXT: JACLYN EMERICK PHOTOS: CHRIS FANNING HAIR CASEY GEREN/BA-REPS.COM FOR ORIBE MAKEUP: BRIAN DUPREY/JUDY CASEY INC. FOR NARS.