Start your endurance workout with squats, bench presses, and bent over rows.
Pavel Tsatsouline 1 / 4
The circuit-routine we provided in the November Men’s Fitness (How to Get Ripped Without Breaking a Sweat) is killer for burning fat, but because its goal is to improve endurance, it won’t do much for your strength levels. In fact, avoiding any heavy lifting while you train for fat loss and work capacity can result in strength losses, leaving you weaker than you started.
That ain’t right.
The solution is to add the following protocol to the beginning of your workouts. Opening your sessions with a few sets of moderately heavy lifting on the squat, bench press, and bentover row will preserve your strength and muscle mass, so you finish our program just as jacked as you started it (or more so), and, of course, more defined.
Directions: In Week 1, begin Workout A with the squat. Perform 1 set of 5 reps with 60% of the most weight you can lift for one perfect rep. Then do 1 set of 4 reps with 70%, and 3 sets of 3 reps with 80%. (If you don’t know your max, just estimate it conservatively.)
Begin Workout B with the same process, only do it for the bench press. When you repeat Workout A for your final training day of the week, follow the same procedure for the bentover barbell row. The following week, you’ll repeat the cycle, performing the squat in Workout B, the bench press in Workout A, and the row in Workout B. Continue the pattern for 6 weeks.
Grasp the bar as far apart as is comfortable and duck under it, resting it on your traps or rear delts. Nudge the bar out of the rack and step back, setting your feet shoulder-width apart with toes turned out. Bend your hips back and squat as low as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.
Lie back on a bench and grasp the bar with hands just outside shoulder width. Arch your back and tighten your glutes and abs. Plant your feet firmly. Pull the bar out of the rack and lower it to your sternum. Push your feet into the floor as you press the bar back up.
Set a barbell on a rack at hip level and grasp it with both hands at shoulder width. Take the bar out of the rack, step back, and set your feet at shoulder width. Bend your hips back and lower your torso until it’s about parallel to the floor. Row the bar to your belly, keeping your lower back in its natural arch.