This Is the Best Workout For Losing Weight.

If you’re trying to lose weight, eating a healthy, portion-controlled diet that creates a calorie deficit is absolutely key — it may even be more important than working out. But if you’re eating right, adding exercise into your routine can absolutely burn extra calories and speed up the process. So which workout should you be doing?

To maximize your exercise time, we asked fitness instructor John Kersbergen what the best workout for weight loss is, and the answer may surprise you. It’s not tons and tons of calorie-burning, steady-state cardio like running straight for an hour. He said, “The most efficient way to get results is to do some form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for a total-body workout and to focus on strength training certain body parts (upper body, lower body, core) on different days of the week.” And no need to suffer for hours at the gym. John said, “The whole workout including warmup doesn’t need to be more than 45 minutes to be effective.” And three to four times a week is enough.

Here’s an example of a week’s worth of workouts.

Monday: total-body HIIT + lower body
Tuesday: total-body HIIT + upper body
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: total-body HIIT + abs and back
Friday: total-body HIIT + whatever else you want to focus on for your goals
Saturday: rest
Sunday: active rest such as going for an easy hike or yoga

For HIIT, basically you follow a work-to-rest ratio, and a popular one is 2:1. That could be 40 seconds of working at 70 to 90 percent of your max followed by 20 seconds of rest. An example of HIIT could be running, biking, jumping rope, rowing, or swimming with sprint or hill intervals included, and/or a mix of strength-training moves like burpees, squats, plyometrics exercises like jumping lunges, or push-ups.

Here are some HIIT workouts to give you some ideas.

Make sure your HIIT workout includes strength training, so don’t just do a 45-minute running interval workout and call it a day. Bodyweight exercises could be enough — like squats, for example — but adding weights will get results faster, like doing goblet squats holding a kettlebell.

John said, “Get as much work done in as short amount of time, each time, with mostly total-body compound movements that recruit more muscles and burn more calories.” So instead of just standing while doing bicep curls, couple it with a wide squat. Other examples of effective strength-training moves include squat variations like jumping squats, weighted squats, and dumbbell thrusters, as well as deadlifts, weighted step-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and plank variations such as up-down planks and side planks with leg lifts.

Each total-body HIIT workout should work multiple muscle groups, so it’s not like Monday will be the only day you work your legs. But focusing on one part of the body on a specific day is an opportunity to add weight or reps so you can gradually increase your strength and endurance for those muscles. It’s also a chance to give certain parts of the body time to rest and repair, which will build muscle faster and prevent injury.

If weight loss is your goal, this should be great news! No more forcing yourself to do hours upon hours of boring cardio. If you’re new to HIIT, start with 10 minutes of short bursts of intense, heart-pumping intervals and muscle-burning strength-training moves. Then work your way up to 45-minute workouts three to four times a week. Mix up the exercises you do, the body parts you work, the equipment you use, and the order you do the exercises. It’ll keep your muscles guessing, prevent boredom, and build the most muscle, which will help burn the most fat. Most importantly, it’ll keep you inspired to work out, so you’ll be consistent with your weekly workouts, which is the key to seeing results and reaching your goal.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Rima Brindamour



10 Bad Workout Habits That Are Totally Killing Your Progress

When it comes to your workouts, there are many bad habits that can limit your progress—and if you keep making them, you’ll get frustrated and feel like you’re going nowhere. That’s why we’ve rounded up 10 bad workout habits that hurt your results, and what to do instead for much better fat loss and muscle gain. Thankfully, these are easy to break and you’ll feel the difference almost instantly.

You’re doing “someone else’s” program.

Many people use a routine they find online, but there’s no “one-size-fits-all” program. Your body, limitations, and training history are unique so a random plan could lead to slower progress or even injury (if doing movements you’re not ready for). Instead, always follow a workout program that’s customized to your needs, lifestyle, and more.

You’re not tracking your progress.

Most people don’t write down what they do, but if you don’t remember what you did, how can you measure your progress and make changes? Always track what you do—what exercises, number of sets and reps, and weights. That way, you can change things over time to avoid plateaus and continually get great results.

You’re not following the correct order.

Many gymgoers do exercises in whatever order they feel. But for best results, always do the biggest, heaviest, and most technically complex exercises first—like squats, deadlifts, etc.—so you have the most energy available. Then, do smaller exercises like chin-ups, pushups, etc., and finish with the smallest movements like bicep curls or tricep extensions.

You’re not warming up properly.

If you want to feel your best to crush your workout, a quick treadmill jog just won’t cut it. Instead, do a series of dynamic stretches and activation drills to fire up your muscles, open up your joints, get your blood flowing, and prepare your nervous system for maximum performance.

You’re using your phone.

Real talk: If you’re checking your phone during your workout, then your workout ain’t hard enough. Either your breaks are too long or your intensity—sets, reps, or weight—is too low. (You should be too tired to check IG.)

You’re not getting help.

Need a spot? A gym partner? Someone to teach you good technique? Don’t be afraid to ask. Being too proud or “figuring it out yourself” is just asking for lousy results. After all, even the best athletes on earth all have (multiple) trainers.

You’re not cooling down.

When you finish, don’t just pack up and leave—your heart rate is sky high and your energy is ramped up. Instead, do some gentle foam rolling and stretching on your tired muscles. Then, spend a minute or two just breathing gently to calm down and shift your mind into recovery mode.

You’re not getting the correct nutrition.

For great results, enhance your nutrition before, during, and after your workout. Beforehand, get quick-acting carbs and proteins with either a snack or shake. During your training, stay hydrated with water or a carb drink. (Avoid too much caffeine, which can cause “crashes” or affect your sleep.) Afterward, consume carbs and protein with a shake or meal to refuel and repair your body.

You’re not using the correct range of motion.

Always use the appropriate range of motion: You’ll build more strength, burn more calories, and help your joints. For example, if you don’t go low enough when squatting or bench pressing, you’ll put too much stress on your joints and fail to target the larger muscles in your hips and chest, respectively.

You’re looking in the mirror.

It might be tempting to look in the mirror to check your form, but you should actually avoid this. The mirror only shows you one plane and alters your neck position, which can affect your technique and even lead to injuries. Instead, have someone record a video from the front and/or side angle.

3-Day Dumbbell Workout Plan

Push, pull, squat and lunge your way to a fitter, stronger body with our new series of weekly dumbbell workouts

Welcome to Week One of Your New Three-Day Full-Body Dumbbell Plan

This week’s three-day plan takes a full body AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) approach to each session, ensuring that key movement patterns and muscle groups, including your chest, shoulders, back, quads and hamstrings are hit across the course of the week. Each workout delivers a muscle-building, fitness-boosting, calorie-burning hit and leaves you with a trackable high score, which you can aim to beat in future sessions.

Day One (W1/D1)

After a thorough warm-up, grab your dumbbells, set a countdown timer for 30 minutes and work your way through as many high-quality rounds of the following circuit as possible. Rest as necessary to keep your form on point, but push yourself hard if you want to see results.

At the end of each round, make a note of how many reps you performed for each movement, creating a running tally for the entire workout.

1. Dumbbell Floor (or bench) Press x 10-15 reps

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Press the weights above you, locking out your elbows (A). Lower them slowly until your upper arms are resting on the floor (B), close to your body, pause here before explosively pressing back up. If you have a bench, use it.

2. Bent-over Row x 10- 15 reps

After your final floor press, stand tall with your dumbbells at your sides. Hinge forward until your torso is almost parallel to the ground and allow the dumbbells to hang just below your knees (A). Maintaining a flat back, row both dumbbells towards your hips (B), squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower under control to the start before repeating.

3. Front Squat x 15-20 reps

Clean your dumbbells onto the front of your shoulders (A). From here, drop into a front squat, by pushing your hips back and bending at the knees until your thighs pass parallel to the ground (B), before driving back up explosively. Keep those dumbbells secured high, with a strong, upright torso throughout.

4. Split Squat Jump x 20 reps (total)

Step one foot backward and sink into a deep lunge, with your rear knee lightly touching the floor (A). Explode upward, jumping into the air and switching legs mid jump (B) to land in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat the movement, alternating legs each rep. Keep this movement as fast paced as possible, focussing on maximising the height of each jump.

Day Two (W1/D2)

As with day one, perform a thorough warm-up and work your way through as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes, recording your efforts for each movement.

1. Push Press x 8-12 reps

Clean your dumbbells onto your shoulders, palms facing in. Take a breath and create tension in your core. (A) Dip at the knees and use your legs to help (B) press your dumbbells overhead. Lower with a controlled tempo to your shoulders and repeat. If your weights feel a little too light, don’t use any drive from the legs and focus on a strict press from the shoulders.

2. High Pull x 8-12 reps

Stand tall with your dumbbells at your waist, in front of your body. (A) Keeping your core tight, hinge forward slightly before explosively standing back upright and pulling the dumbbells up towards your chin, driving your elbows up and back (B). Slowly lower back down to your waist under complete control. Avoid simply ‘dropping’ your dumbbells back to your waist to build more muscle and avoid injury. If your dumbbells feel light, avoid the help from your hips and simply stand tall and pull the weights up to your chin.

3. Dumbbell Deadlift x 10-15 reps

With your dumbbells on the floor just outside of your feet, hinge down and grip them with a flat back and neutral spine (A). Engage your lats and stand upright, pushing the ground away with your feet, keeping your chest up and your black flat throughout (B). Lower them back to the ground in a hinging motion and repeat. Avoid excessive rounding in your lower back, keeping your form tight throughout. Don’t rush, in a race to build muscle, slower and steady wins.

4. Jump Squats x 20

Lean slightly forward as you squat (A), then explode up, jumping as high as you can (B). Cushion your landing with bent legs, then sink immediately back into another squat and repeat. Aim for the maximum possible height you can achieve on each and every rep, even if that means pausing for a quick breath. We’re looking to produce power here, not simply go through the motions.

Day Three (W1/D3)

As with day one and two, perform a thorough warm-up and work your way through as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes, recording your efforts for each movement.

1. Press-up on Dumbbells x 10

After your final press drop your bells and assume a long-arm plank position. With your core tight and hands below your shoulders stacked on top of your dumbbells (A), bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you push back up explosively.

2. Renegade Row x 10 (each side/ 20 total)

15 press-ups in the book, keep your hands on your bells and midline tight (A). Shifting your weight onto your left hand, row the right dumbbell towards your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower the weight under control. Repeat on your left side (each row equals one rep).

3. Tempo Goblet Squats x 10

Hold a single dumbbell close to your chest (A). Sink your hips back and slowly over a count of four seconds descend into a squat (B). Your elbows should come in between your knees at the bottom. Drive back up explosively. Repeat. Pay attention to that tempo, it matters.

4. Burpee Over ‘bells x 10

With both dumbbells on the floor next to you, step back and hit the deck into a press-up position. Lower your body until your chest touches the floor (A). Stand back up and jump powerfully over the dumbbells (B) – driving through your hips when you take off. Land and immediately drop to the floor and repeat. The dumbbells keep you accountable for the height of each jump.


Think of the word ‘mobility’ and we suspect physio comes to mind. But training your range of motion can deliver gains to both strength and performance.

The saying ‘move it or lose it’ should be the official slogan for mobility. Beyond your twenties, the ability to move freely and easily through a joint’s full range of motion, begins to decline…unless you do something about it.

Shout it from the rooftops: the ability to move your limbs freely is the secret sauce for staving off physical decline and improving performance for the long haul. In addition to injury prevention, you get posture perks and faster recovery. It primes your body for activity and offers a boost on goals. And, the biggie: it significantly helps to improve strength.


It’s easy to confuse the ‘-ility’ terms. Mobility, stability and flexibility are related, yes – and you can’t excel at one without also working on the others. Allow us to clarify so you can shine in all three


Feels like full, free and smooth movement in your joints. Any time you perform an active movement and push your range of motion counts in this realm, such as leg swings before a run or arm circles in a warm-up.


Deep static muscle stretches. Settle into a hamstring stretch or hold your favourite yoga pose and you’re right on target. 


When you hold strong and steady in a position that challenges your centre of gravity. Think: a plank, maintaining a hip bridge or balancing on one foot.

These four moves cover all your bases. Ideally, complete the circuit two to three times to keep your body limber and pain-free

Spiderman lunge with T-spine rotation

Focus: Upper back, T-spine, hips

How to: Start in a high plank with your hands under your shoulders. Bend your right knee up towards your armpit and place your foot outside your right hand. Keep your left leg straight and push your hips down (A). Lift your right hand to the ceiling and rotate your torso, opening your chest and shoulders. Hold for 2 to 3 secs (B). Return to the starting position and switch legs. Do 6 reps on each side.


Focus: Upper back, lower back, T-spine

How to: Start in a high plank with your hands under your shoulders. Bend your right knee up towards your armpit and place your foot outside your right hand. Keep your left leg straight and push your hips down (A). Lift your right hand to the ceiling and rotate your torso, opening your chest and shoulders. Hold for 2 to 3 secs (B). Return to the starting position and switch legs. Do 6 reps on each side.

Prone swimmer

Focus: Upper back, shoulders

• How to: Start lying on your stomach with both arms outstretched (A). Raise your arms towards the ceiling, keeping your elbows straight, and circle back around as far as you can until your hands land behind your back (B). Reverse the arm circle motion back to the start and rest your arms on the floor briefly. Do 8 reps.

Cossack squat

Focus: Hips, ankles

• How to: Start standing with your feet much wider than hip-width apart and your arms clasped in front of you (A). Sit your hips back and lunge to the right, bending your right knee and keeping your left leg straight. Lunge as low as you can while keeping proper form (B). Hold for 1 to 2 secs. Do 12 reps in total, alternating sides each time.

Working Out While Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) and exercise are components of cultivating longevity, but should you combine them? Let’s review all the questions regarding exercising while fasting. We will explore the benefits of exercising in a fasted state, including the difference between cardio, sprint training, and weight training, as well as some simple tips on how to implement it to reap the most benefits of your fasted workouts.

Can I Exercise While Fasting?

Yes, it is OK to work out while fasting because the key to weight loss and muscle gain is not just calories and exercise, but hormone optimization. Studies demonstrate amazing benefits to intermittent fasting alone, but combining fasting with sprint training takes the benefits of each to a whole new level. Combining the two raises growth hormone and makes you more insulin sensitive, which is the key to staying youthful and lean.

Many people obsess over calories in versus out, and fear muscle loss that theoretically happens when you exercise without having refueled. But when you understand the beneficial impact that exercising during a fasted state has on the body’s hormones, you’ll see that fasting and exercise aren’t only OK, they are actually the optimal way to boost your health and body composition.

Can I Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

Not only is it OK to exercise on an empty stomach, but it actually increases the benefits of exercise and of fasting. This is considered a multi-therapeutic approach, where the synergy of two things that are individually health promoting actually boosts each other’s benefits to a level that surpasses the level of each combined.

One of the best ways to take advantage of these benefits is to work out in the morning before breakfast.

Intermittent Fasting and Working Out

Working out before breakfast is another way of saying that you exercise during your intermittent fasting period. An intermittent fast is the portion within the 24-hour clock that your body goes without food (including when you’re asleep). The IF window begins when you consume your last bite or food or drink (other than water) before bed, and ends the following day when you take your first bite of food.

To reap the most benefits, the length of your intermittent fast should be between 14-16 hours. For example, eat between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

When to Work Out While Intermittent Fasting

The best time to work out while intermittent fasting is usually upon waking, or shortly after, to support the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Studies show that working out (or eating) too close to bedtime can interrupt levels of deep and REM sleep, so better save exercise for the following day.

Ideally, you don’t want to eat directly after a workout for the same reasons you’re exercising in a fasted state: hormone optimization. Studies show that even waiting two to three hours after a workout before eating promotes a rise in growth hormone, which helps make you a fat burner and replaces the used energy (sugar). Adaptation to the stress created from a high-intensity workout is the reason a hormone shift occurs. If your schedule only permits a lunchtime workout, you can exercise in your available time, and then benefit from the hormonal boost by refraining from eating until two to three hours after exercising.

Cardio and Intermittent Fasting

The hormonal benefits you get from exercising in a fasted state are related to the depleted muscle and liver glycogen stores that occur when you fast. Doing cardio while intermittent fasting is fine, but your performance will hinge on how fat-adapted your body is (how good it is at burning fat for fuel, instead of glucose). If you’re new to fasting and exercise, you can expect your performance to drop a little; it can take up to six months for some athletes to fully adapt their endurance to this new fuel source. For example, if you’re a competing athlete, and your race performance is your primary goal, don’t switch to fasted training a couple of weeks before a competition.

If you are doing cardio in a fasted state, avoid extending the fast post-workout, and opt to refuel after you finish.

Sprint Training and Intermittent Fasting

Sprint training or high intensity interval training (aka HIIT) involves intervals of intense activity combined with rest for about 15-30 minutes. Not only is sprint training time very efficient, but studies show that it provides health benefits that you cannot get from aerobic exercise alone, such as the tremendous boost of human growth hormone (HGH). Some of the benefits of sprint training include increased strength and stamina in the muscles and brain, increased growth hormone, improved body composition, increased brain function, higher testosterone levels, and less depression. Sprint training with intermittent fasting increase all these benefits. Sprint training is the ideal exercise method to incorporate into your fasted period, and to increase the benefits even more, you can continue to fast two to three hours post-workout.

Lifting Weights and Fasting

Lifting weights while fasting is also OK, but you need to be mindful of the role that glucose plays in repairing your muscles after a major weight-lifting session, especially while in a fasted state. When you exercise in a fasted state your glycogen stores are already depleted. If your workout for the day involves heavy lifting, you can do so in a fasted state, but you should prioritize eating a meal directly following your workout. Unlike a burst exercise session, heavy lifting puts enough stress on the body to warrant an immediate refeed. Like doing cardio session, lifting weights while fasted might decrease your strength in the short run, as your body adapts to being a “fat burner.” For this reason, you may want to save your weight-lifting sessions for periods after you have eaten (in which case you can fast for two to three hours post-workout), and incorporate fasted exercise on the days when you perform burst-style training.

To sum it all up:
  • Exercise while fasting is not just OK, it’s extremely beneficial for hormone optimization (which is the key to many health benefits, including improved body composition);
  • You can maximize the benefits of burst training and intermittent fasting by combining the two, for a multi-therapeutic approach;
  • Cardio and weight training can also be performed in a fasted state, but your performance may suffer slightly in the short term;
  • The best time to incorporate exercise while fasting is early in the day, to match the body’s natural circadian rhythm;
  • Unless you’re participating in a heavy weight session or endurance cardio, you can benefit hormonally from fasting after your workout, too (for two to three  hours).


This five-move workout builds total-body muscle and strength and rocks your abs by turning every exercise you do, from bench presses to squats, into a stern test for your core.


DIRECTIONS: Do this workout 4 days a week, resting at least 1 day between sessions. On days you rest, aim to go for a 20-minute walk or run.



Start on all fours, hands directly below your shoulders. Push your butt back as far as possible, sitting on your calves. Then reach your hands forward as far as possible, decompressing your spine. Squeeze your shoulder blades as you do this. Maintain this position as you lift your left hand and thread it under your right armpit, reaching as far to the right as possible. Repeat on the other side, then return to the start. Do reps for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds. Do 3 sets.


DIRECTIONS: Do the exercises in order. Rest 30 seconds between sets and 60 between moves. Use medium-weight dumbbells.


Stand holding dumbbells at your hips, abs and glutes tight. Keeping the dumbbells close to your legs, push your butt back and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor or until you feel your hamstrings tighten, whichever comes first. Pause. Row the right dumbbell to the right side of your rib cage, then lower. Repeat on the other side, then stand and squeeze your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 8.


Sit on the floor, legs straight, a dumbbell held in front of your chest with both hands. Tighten your abs and raise your legs a few inches from the floor. This is the start. Maintain this position as you rotate the dumbbell around your head in a tight circle. Do 6 reps clockwise and 6 reps counterclockwise. Do 3 sets.


Lie with your back on a bench, a dumbbell held in your left hand over your shoulder, feet flat on the floor. Now shimmy to the left side of the bench so that your left shoulder blade, your left glute, half your head, and your spine are off the bench. Tighten your abs and glutes. This is the start. Bend at the elbow and shoulder, lowering the dumbbell to your left shoulder. Press it back up. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 10 per side. Do not rest between sets.


Place a 45-pound plate or small block on the floor and stand with your feet close together, heels on the plate or block. Hold 1 end of a dumbbell at your chest, abs and glutes tight. Bend at the knees and hips and lower your torso until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause here for 1 second. Stand. Lower again, this time pausing for 2 seconds. Stand. Repeat this pattern, adding 1 second to the pause with each rep, for 8 reps. Do 3 sets.


Get in pushup position, hands on dumbbells. Keeping your hips and shoulders square to the floor, row the right dumbbell to your rib cage. Pause, then lower. Repeat on the left side. Jump your feet forward so your knees are below your hips, shins off the floor. Keeping hips and shoulders square to the floor, row the right dumbbell to your rib cage. Repeat on the other side. Jump back to plank position. That’s 1 rep. Do reps for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds. Do 4 sets.


Set the tone for your 2023 gains with this year-opening seven-move workout, which lays down foundational muscle where your body needs it most (back, core, glutes)—and teaches you the moves you’ll use to chase any fitness goal.


DIRECTIONS: Do this workout 3 or 4 days a week, resting at least 1 day between sessions. On all rest days, aim to go for a 20-minute walk or run.



Start in pushup position. Shift your right foot just outside your right hand; squeeze your left glute as you do this. Reach your right hand toward the ceiling. Reverse the movements to return to the start, then repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep. Do reps for 60 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do 3 sets.



Stand holding a dumbbell at your chest, abs and glutes tight. Push your butt back and bend at the knees, lowering your torso until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand and squeeze your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 12. You’re honing your ability to bend at the knee, which is key for athleticism (and keeps you ready for backyard games of tag, too).


Stand holding dumbbells at your hips. Step your right foot back so that its front aligns with the back of your left foot. Lift your right heel, shifting your weight onto your left leg. This is the start. Keeping the weights close to your shins, push your butt back and lower your torso. Stop when your torso is nearly parallel to the floor or when you feel your hamstrings tighten, whichever comes first. Stand back up, squeezing your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 10 per side. You’re building glute strength, which will protect your lower back and help you jump higher.


Stand holding dumbbells at your shoulders, abs and glutes tight. Press the left dumbbell overhead. Lower it back to your shoulder. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 12, building shoulder strength and challenging your abs to stabilize your spine.

PUSH-PULL SUPERSET Do both of these exercises back-to-back. Do 3 sets.


Lie with your chest on a bench set to a 30 degree incline. Hold dumbbells in both hands, arms hanging naturally. Squeeze your shoulder blades. This is the start. Row the dumbbells toward your rib cage. Pause, then return to the start. That’s 1 rep; do 10. You’ll build back muscle between your shoulder blades, readying you to pull open doors or win any tug-of-war match.


Lie with your back on a bench, abs and glutes tight. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, directly above your right shoulder. Bend at the shoulder and elbow, lowering the dumbbell to your chest; keep your elbow close to your torso as you do this. Press back up. That’s 1 rep; do 10 per side. You’re not just developing chest muscle; you’re training your muscles to push away from your body.


Stand holding dumbbells at your sides, abs and glutes tight, palms facing each other. Curl the right dumbbell to your chest, turning your palm to face your chest as you do. Lower with control and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 15, strengthening your arms and supercharging your ability to grip steering wheels and grocery bags.


Get in pushup position, abs and glutes tight, a dumbbell just outside your right hand. Without letting your hips shift, reach over to the dumbbell with your left hand. Grab it and place it just outside your left shoulder. Return to pushup position. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 15, training your abs to brace against anything, whether it’s a punch to your gut or your kids jumping on your stomach while you try to nap.



Contrary to popular myth, you won’t burn significantly more calories at rest simply by increasing your composition of muscle. You burn five to six calories per day at rest for every 500g of muscle you gain – a relatively negligible amount. But more muscle equals more strength, so you can push harder in workouts and use up more calories to synthesise muscle protein rather than store fat.


Nobody can go hard all the time, whatever that guy in the office who just started CrossFit says. Intense activity raises your levels of adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol, with the effect of shutting down some of the body’s major functions, including digestion. That’s fine if you’re running from a tiger, but less so if you’re in the gym trying to lose fat. That’s why it’s important to have at least one rest day each week. Use rest days for stretching and recovery, or try some yoga to help unwind both your mind and body.


There’s some science to suggest ‘cheat meals’ can help keep your metabolism functioning properly when your body fat is low, but their main purpose is to let you recharge, have some fun and reward you for sticking to the plan. Here’s how to use them:
● Your cheat meal replaces one meal option on any given day.
● Typically, that will be dinner when you’re out with friends, but if you’d rather have a huge breakfast on a Monday, that’s fine.
● Where possible, plan them around training when they can help with glycogen replacement and recovery, so you store less as fat.
● If you stray off your nutrition plan at any other point during the week, don’t declare the rest of the day a write-off. Just forgive yourself and go back to eating sensibly.


Don’t feel you need to hide your fat-loss ambitions from your friends. Letting them know you’re taking on this plan will hopefully make them more understanding when you bow out of post-work pints. They can also serve as your support team, asking you how you’re finding it and keeping you honest if you let your standards slip.


Most people don’t like doing things they’re bad at, but by setting simple fitness goals and aiming to improve in small increments, you’ll soon find that you look forward to training more than you dread it. If there’s ever a day you can’t face getting to grips with the TRX Trainer, just do something simple instead, such as a quick set of press-ups, a 30-second plank, or whatever you fancy. It’s the little fixes that will make a big difference to your overall health in the long run and, once you feel that endorphin rush, you may want to continue getting a sweat on.

Stay Mobile

Improve your recovery and range of motion with this post-workout mobility routine from pliability

Mobility training can take many forms, but to help you know where to start, pliability is the new recovery app – born from the CrossFit scene – that holds your hand through a number of progressive mobility programmes. The routine outlined here is just one example of the sessions on offer.


Hold for 1 min

This pose activates muscle groups throughout your lower body, including your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, calves and lower back.

● Start from a standing position with your feet wider than your hips.
● Squat down as far as you can go.
● Press your elbows into your inner knee and press your hands together.
● Allow your hips to sink towards the ground while keeping your chest up.


Hold for 20-30 secs (repeat 2-3 times each side)

Targets the hips and quads, so they’re mobile and released to avoid any tightness.

● Stand upright and take one small step forwards into a lunge.
● Put both hands on your leading thigh, push your hips forwards, while keeping your core tight and not over-extending your back.
● Lean away from your back leg, feeling a stretching sensation in your hip flexor area.


Hold for 1-2 mins

Originally from yin yoga, this targets the quads as well as the hip flexors. It’s perfect for heavy leg days.

● Start on your hands and knees.
● Spread your knees wide and bring your toes together.
● Sit on your feet with your spine tall.
● Lean back on your hands, down to your elbows, or upper back to the floor, depending on comfort.


Hold for 30 secs to 1 min

This resting pose puts you into a position that elongates your body and helps release tension throughout the whole body, including lower back and shoulders, as well as the hip flexors.

● Kneel on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart. Rest your palms on top of your thighs.
● On an exhale, lower your torso between your knees. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders towards the ground.

45-Minute Dumbbell AMRAP

Want to Feel Sore Tomorrow? This 45-Minute AMRAP Workout Has Your Name All Over It

January 13, 2021

Let us introduce you to a little acronym you’ll come to love (or hate): AMRAP. It stands for “as many rounds as possible,” as in, here’s your workout; do as many rounds as possible.

So, yeah, AMRAP workouts are pretty tough. But they’re also a great way to challenge yourself, and this 45-minute AMRAP dumbbell workout is guaranteed to do that. This workout is designed to help you build full-body strength. And because it’s AMRAP, you also get a bonus element of cardio from moving as fast as you can between each exercise. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a towel (or five) to get started and sweating! Check out the full workout ahead.


Equipment needed: Two dumbbells. If possible, use a medium weight for upper-body moves and medium to heavy weight for the squats, deadlifts, and lunges. For the dumbbell swings, don’t go higher than 10 pounds each.

Directions: Start with this dynamic warmup and the stretches listed ahead. Then, start the workout, performing the designated reps of each of the below exercises. If you’re new to AMRAP, rest for 15 to 30 seconds between exercises; for an extra challenge, try to stick to the AMRAP structure by taking as little rest as possible. Do as many rounds of the circuit as you can in 45 minutes while maintaining proper form.

After the workout, cool down with a full-body stretching routine.

Perfect stretch10 reps each leg
Half-kneeling hip hinge10 reps each side
Elbow plank30 seconds
Side plank30 seconds each side
Superman hold30 seconds
Bird dog with knee to chest10 reps each side
Glute bridge10 reps
Kneeling single-arm overhead press to split squat10 reps each side
Front rack dumbbell squat10 reps
Renegade Row with rotation10 reps
Dumbbell Squat Punch Lateral Jump10 reps
Dumbbell deadlift10 reps
Dumbbell swing10 reps


Interval training can help you get the most out of your workout.

Are you ready to shake up your workout? Do you wish you could burn more calories without spending more time at the gym? Consider aerobic interval training, sometimes called high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or Interval Weight Training. Once the domain of elite athletes, interval training has become a powerful tool for the average exerciser, too.

What is interval training?

It’s not as complicated as you might think. Interval training is simply alternating short bursts (about 30 seconds) of intense activity with longer intervals (about 1 to 2 minutes) of less intense activity.

What can interval training do for me?

Whether you’re a novice exerciser or you’ve been exercising for years, interval training can help you make your workout routine more exciting. Consider the benefits:

  • You’ll burn more calories. The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you’ll burn — even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time.
  • You’ll be more time efficient. Many people don’t exercise because they say they don’t have time. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.Interval training enables you to complete an effective workout in less time than a standard cardiovascular workout. For example, you might complete a workout in about 15 to 20 minutes or less instead of 40 minutes.
  • You’ll improve your aerobic capacity. As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you’ll be able to exercise longer or with more intensity. Imagine finishing your 60-minute walk in 45 minutes — or the additional calories you’ll burn by keeping up the pace for the full 60 minutes.Improving your cardiovascular fitness can also help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • You’ll keep boredom at bay. Turning up your intensity in short intervals can add variety to your exercise routine.
Are the principles of interval training the same for everyone?

Yes — but you can take interval training to many levels. If you simply want to vary your exercise routine, you can determine the length and speed of each high-intensity interval based on how you feel that day.

After warming up for a few minutes, you might increase the intensity for 30 seconds and then resume your normal pace. Finish with a cool-down. How much you pick up the pace, how often and for how long is up to you.

If you’re working toward a specific fitness goal, you may want to take a more scientific approach. A personal trainer or other expert can help you time the intensity and duration of your intervals — which may include movement patterns similar to those you’ll use during your sport or activity. The trainer may time the intervals based on factors such as your target heart rate and the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to your muscles (peak oxygen intake).

Does interval training have risks?

Interval training isn’t appropriate for everyone. If you have a chronic health condition or haven’t been exercising regularly, consult your doctor before trying any type of interval training.

But it may be appropriate for people who are older, less active or overweight. Studies suggest that interval training can be safe and beneficial even in people with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Also keep the risk of overuse injury in mind. If you rush into a strenuous workout before your body is ready, you may injure your muscles, tendons or bones. Interval training doesn’t have to involve high-impact exercise, ballistic or jumping movements, or heavy weights.

Instead, start slowly. Try doing just one or two higher intensity intervals during each workout at first. If you think you’re overdoing it, slow down. As your stamina improves, challenge yourself to vary the pace. You may be surprised by the results.