Workout #1: Fat Loss
You can find a myriad of fat loss workouts by simply visiting the Weight Loss section of Quick and Dirty Tips. But for this winter fat loss workout, you’ll want to have one of the most potent fat loss tools you’ll find anywhere: the kettlebell. The mighty kettlebell burns as many calories as an all-out running sprint, and leaves your metabolism burning high for hours after the workout. If you know nothing about kettlebells, or need tips to get started safely, then read How to Use Kettlebells, then do 3-5 rounds of this workout circuit:
Warm-up for 5-10 minutes
Do 10 kettlebell swings with your right hand.
Perform 30 seconds of cardio as hard as you can. Jumping rope works well for this, or you can hop on a nearby stationary bike, do jumping jacks, or hop or step on and off a bench.
Do 10 kettlebell swings with your left hand.
Do the 30 seconds of cardio again.
Perform 10 push-ups, then 10 pull-ups or pull-downs, rest for 1 minute, and then return back to step 1.
Workout #2: Muscle Gain
As you learned in the episode How to Build Muscle, if you want to gain muscle you must actually tear muscle fibers by lifting heavy things or exposing your body to high amounts of force. And that’s very hard to do with body weight workouts or typical fat loss workouts. It’s nearly impossible to do by going for a run - as you probably know if you’ve ever seen a professional marathoners' stereotypically skinny legs.
So how heavy is heavy? Typically a weight that you can lift somewhere in the range of 4-10 repetitions is perfect, with multiple sets for a variety of multi-joint exercises. One of my favorite muscle gain workouts is the “5x5” approach. For example, a classic 5x5 workout is 5 sets of 5 repetitions of:
For ideal muscle gain, use a challenging weight and do 5 sets of each of these exercises with 60-90 seconds rest between each set before moving on to the next exercise.
Workout #3: Balance
As you learn in the episode How to Get Better Balance, an ideal balance-building routine targets your ears (vestibular system), eyes (visual system), and joints (somatosensory system). Here’s a perfect workout that hits each of these 3 balance systems. Do each of these stations back-to-back, and go 4-5 times through:
Station 1 - Medicine Ball Throws: Stand on one leg, holding a medicine ball and facing a wall. Do 10 chest passes with the medicine ball against the wall, switching legs halfway through. Throw the med ball as hard as you can while standing on one leg, and try to space your distance from the wall so you can catch the medicine ball as it travels back to you after one bounce.
Station 2 – Single Leg Cable Kicks: Attach a cable or elastic band to your ankle, then stand on leg and kick 5 times forward, 5 times backward, 5 times swinging your leg out and 5 times swinging your leg in. Then switch legs and repeat.
Station 3 - Depth Jumps: Stand on the edge of a raised platform, box or step (about the height of your knees). Step off the raised surface, land with both feet, then immediately jump into the air. Get back up on the raised surface and repeat for 10 repetitions.
Workout #4: Mobility
As I explain in this article, mobility is far different than flexibility – and is actually the ability of your body to move through a desired range of motion with optimal efficiency. One of my favorite ways to build mobility is through a combination of foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up.
Hold onto a wall, a bar, or anything else that adds support, then swing one leg out to the side, then swing it back across your body in front of your other leg. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Keeping your back and knees straight, walk forward and lift your legs straight out in front while flexing your toes. For a more advanced version, you can do this with a skipping motion. Walk for 10-20 yards.
Step forward using a long stride, keeping the front knee over or just behind your toes. Lower your body into a lunging position by dropping your back knee toward the ground. Then push forward, take a giant step, and repeat for the opposite leg. To make this motion even more effective, twist and look back towards the leg that is behind you once you’re in the lunging position.
Bent Torso Twists
Stand with your feet wide apart, then extend your arms out to the sides and bend over, touching your right foot with your left hand. When you’re bent, keep your back straight and your shoulder blades pulled back. Then rotate your torso so your right hand touches your left foot. Keep both arms fully extended so that when one hand touches your foot, the other hand is pointing to the sky. Keep rotating like this for 20-30 repetitions.
Deep Body Weight Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and your arms held out in front of your body. Then drop as low as you can, pushing your butt out behind you, keeping your knees behind your toes and swinging your arms back. Stand and bring the arms back to the starting position. Complete 10-15 deep squat repetitions.
Workout #5: Endurance
While there are a variety of ways to build cardiovascular endurance, such as running, swimming, cycling, elliptical, or rowing, there are far more efficient ways to boost endurance than by simply heading off in one direction at a single speed. Instead, you’ll get the most endurance bang for your buck from interval training, and one of my favorite ways to do it is via a Tabata set.
Tabata sets, which are appropriately named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, involve 4 minutes of intense exercise. During those 4 minutes, you alternate between 20 seconds of your maximum effort and 10 seconds of complete rest.
You can do a number of exercises with Tabata training – including jump squats, push-ups, sprints, cycling, elliptical – you name it! They key is to go as hard as you can possibly exercise during the 20-seconds-on and then rest for the 10-seconds-off. Tabata training is not only a great way get a better body fast, but it will also significantly boost your metabolism and improve both your aerobic and anaerobic (sprint-style) cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
[Source: quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/exercise/top-5-winter-workouts, Podcast By: getfitguy.quickanddirtytips.com ]