We’re going to show you how to train—no matter how little time or equipment you have.
The program offers three workouts. Take your pick, based on how much time you have to train. Workout A requires only your body weight and takes just 10 minutes to complete. Workout B calls for some light weights (fruitcakes and tube socks may suffice) plus basic household objects (such as chairs) and takes roughly 20 minutes. Workout C is a 35-minute routine designed for a public gym or a well-equipped home gym. You can do any of these routines and stay in shape all through the season. You can even combine them to suit your schedule.
Each workout trains the body with minimal rest, providing a time-efficient workout that leaves your body no choice but to shed some extra pounds.
Perform Workout A as often as you like. Perform Workout B three to five times a week (doing it on two days back-to-back is OK, but no more), but do not perform it the day before or after you do Workout C. (For instance, you could perform B on Monday and Tuesday, take Wednesday off, then do B again on Thursday and Friday, rest Saturday, and then perform C on Sunday.) Perform Workout C three to four times a week, resting at least aday before repeating Workout C or B. Feel free to organize the workouts according to your schedule, but don’t train more than two days in a row (unless you’re doing Workout A again).
WORKOUT A – HOW TO DO IT
Perform the exercises (A through D) as a circuit, completing one set of each exercise with no rest in between. After you’ve completed the last exercise (D, the mountain climber), rest 30 seconds. That’s one circuit. Now perform two circuits back-to-back without rest in between. Rest 30 seconds, and then perform three circuits back-to-back without rest.
WORKOUT B – HOW TO DO IT
Perform each pair of exercises (marked A and B) as supersets, resting 45 to 60 seconds after exercise B. (So you’ll do one set of A, then immediately do one set of B, and then rest.) Follow the same procedure for the remaining two exercise pairs before repeating the fi rst pair. (So you’ll complete 1A and 1B, then 2A and 2B, and so on until you’ve performed one set for each exercise in each pair.) Repeat the process until you’ve completed three sets for each pair.
WORKOUT C – HOW TO DO IT
Warm up by performing one circuit of Workout A. For Workout C, perform all the exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for an exercise before moving on. Rest 45 to 60 seconds between sets.
A ALTERNATING PRISONER SQUAT WITH ROTATION
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands behind your head (think of a prisoner about to be searched). Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, squat down as low as you can , then rise back up, rotating 90 degrees to one side and pivoting on the opposite side’s foot . Squat down again and come back up rotating to the opposite side . That’s one rep.
B REVERSE CRUNCH
Lie flat on the fl oor with your arms out to your sides, your palms up, and your hips and knees bent 90 degrees (your calves will be parallel to the floor) . Contract your abs, and curl your hips up off the fl oor . Lower your hips until your calves are again parallel tothe floor. That’s one rep.
C ALTERNATING STAGGERED PUSHUP
Get into pushup position, and place one hand a few inches forward on the fl oor and the other a few inches back, so that your hands are staggered . Lower your body until your chest is about an inch off the fl oor , and then push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Switch the position of your hands , and repeat.
D MOUNTAIN CLIMBER
Get into pushup position, and tuck one knee up under your chest as if you were about to break into a sprint . Now explosively drive that leg straight back while simultaneously tucking the opposite knee under your chest . Switch back and forth three times. That’s one rep. (You should count every time your knees switch and on the count of three call one rep.)
1A PUSHUP ON CHAIRS
Get into pushup position, resting each hand on a chair and your feet on the floor . Lower your body until your chest is between the chairs , and then push yourself back up. That’s one rep. If you can’t complete at least 15 reps, try increasing the elevation of the chairs with a book on each side.
1B HANDS-OVERHEAD BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
Stand a few feet in front of a bench or chair (with your back to it), bend one knee, and rest the top of your foot on the bench or chair. Reach your arms straight overhead . Keeping your torso upright, bend your opposite knee and lower your body until your rear knee touches the floor . Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete all your reps on that leg, then switch legs and repeat.
2A TRICEPS EXTENSION ON FLOOR
Get into pushup position with your hands a few inches above your shoulders. Bend your elbows 90 degrees so that your forearms rest on the floor . Keeping your body straight, extend your elbows so that your torso rises (it should feel like you’re doing a regular triceps extension) . Reverse the motion to return to the floor. That’s one rep.
2B DUMBBELL STEPUP
Stand facing a bench or chair with a dumbbell or other weighty object in
each hand. Place one foot on the bench so that your knee is bent 90 degrees and your thigh is parallel to the floor . Drive your foot into the bench, and raise yourself up so you’re standing on the bench with your rear foot hanging off it . Reverse the motion to returnto the floor. That’s one rep. Perform all
your reps on one leg fi rst, then switchlegs and repeat.
3A ISOMETRIC ROW ON CHAIRS
Place two chairs near each other and lie back between them, resting your triceps on them. Keeping your body straight, drive your elbows straight back so that you feel your upper back tense as you support your weight with your arms. Hold the position for as long as you can.
3B HORIZONTAL OVERHEAD PRESS
Lie facedown on a bench or table, and position your arms at shoulder level,
as if you were about to perform an overhead press . Now press your arms straight out just as you would in a press (because of the angle, you’ll feel the tension in your upper back rather than your shoulders) . Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Stand with your feet between hip- and shoulder-width apart, your toes straight ahead. Squat down and grab the bar with an outside-shoulder-width, palmsdown grip . Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, drive with your legs and push your hips forward, lifting the bar to hip height as you rise . Reverse the motion to return the bar to the floor. That’s one rep
2 FEET-ELEVATED SIDE-TO-SIDE PUSHUP
Get into pushup position with your feet on an elevated surface, such as a bench or chair . Perform a pushup , and then shuffl e your hands a few inches to one side . Perform another pushup , and shuffl e back to the opposite side. Each pushup is one rep. Continue shuffl ing your hands in this fashion until you’ve completed all your reps.
3 ALTERNATING DUMBBELL LUNGE WITH REACH
Hold a dumbbell or other weighty object in each hand, and stand with feet shoulder-width apart . Step forward with one leg, and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the fl oor and your rear knee nearly touches the fl oor. As you lower yourself, twist your torso toward your front knee and reach forward with the opposite hand so that it ends up in front of the lunging leg . Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. Perform all your reps on that leg, then switch legs and repeat, reaching in the opposite direction with the opposite hand.
4 BARBELL CLEAN AND PUSHUP
Set a barbell on the fl oor, crouch down, and grab it with hands shoulderwidth apart. Your lower back should be in its natural arch . Explosively stand up and shrug the bar, coming up onto the balls of your feet. As the bar rises to chest level, fl ip your wrists over so that your palms face the ceiling and your upper arms are parallel to the fl oor. Allow your knees to bend as you absorb the force of the bar at your shoulders . Reverse the motion to return the weight to the fl oor. Now shoot your legs straight back so that you end up in pushup position with your hands on the bar . Perform a pushup , then return to the starting position of the clean. That’s one rep. Do not take your hands off the bar until the set is complete.
5 LEVER SQUAT AND PRESS
Wedge one end of a barbell into a corner, and hold the other end in one hand at shoulder level. Get into an athletic stance with hips and knees bent . Straighten your hips and knees, and press the bar straight up, pivoting on one foot to help drive it up . Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete all your reps on that side, then switch sides and repeat.