- 10 Best Workouts to Transform Your Body
- Transform Your Body In 8 Weeks!
- Training: Supersets And Circuits
- Week 1
- Week 2
- Week 3
- Week 4
- Week 5
- Week 6
- Week 7
- Week 8
- Reform your Body in 12 Weeks
- WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO
- PHASE 1 SCHEDULE
- Phase 1, Week 1
- Try This 21-Day Challenge If You Want to Fall Back In Love with Working Out
- Your 21-Day “Toned Body” Workout Plan
- 1. Push-Up/Plank Combo
- 2. Chest Fly
- 3. Reverse Lunge
- 4. Squat/Chair Pose
- 1. Plié Squat
- 2. Biceps Curl
- 3. Inner/Outer Leg Lift
- 4. Back Fly
- 1. Roll-Up
- 2. Side Reach
- 3. Boat Pose
- Calorie-Blasting Cardio Workout
- Level 1
- Level 2
- Level 3
- 10 workout programs to completely transform your body
- A 5-Week Workout That Can Transform Your Body a Magic Spell
- General schedule
- Block 1 (days 1, 3, and 5)
- 1. Jumping jacks
- 2. Leg lifts
- 3. Squats
- 4. Push-ups
- Block 2 (days 2, 4, and 6)
- 5. Mountain climbers
- 6. Sit-ups
- 7. Lunges
- 8. Burpees
10 Best Workouts to Transform Your Body
There’s a workout out there for everyone. The best workout for your friend might not be the best workout for you. And that’s okay! Everyone enjoys different kinds of activities.
You might find your body is better suited for a particular type of exercise. Just because you enjoy HIIT doesn’t mean you will enjoy cross-country running.
Just because you Zumba doesn’t mean you’ll be into yoga.
We’ve rounded up 10 of our best workouts, including everything from cardio-boosting jump rope to muscle-building strength training. These routines have been consistently preferred by our readers and are some of the most effective at delivering total body transformations. Get ready for the best work your life!
1. Jump Rope Tabata Challenge
First on our list is this powerful workout reminiscent of your playground days. Jump rope, a favorite childhood game, is a calorie-torching exercise that can help strengthen and tone your lower body. You’ll improve your stamina and build endurance while you work important leg muscles.
2. HIIT Medicine Ball Workout
Medicine balls are some of the most common gym equipments. They’re available in a variety of weights and sizes, and they’re so versatile they can be used with almost any style of training. This HIIT routine uses a medicine ball to give you a full body interval workout.
3. 7 Moves to Get Leaner Legs
For this lower body workout, you’ll need a set of medium dumbbells, somewhere between 10-15 pounds. The seven exercises in the routine will target your hamstrings, quads, calves, and glutes.
4. Roll with the Punches–Taboxing
Combine the benefits of terabit with the powers of boxing and you get Taboxing! This workout will blast fat and sculpt your arms, shoulders, legs, and core.
5. Runner’s Strength Training Workout
Runners often have tights hamstrings and quads, and the rotator muscles along a runner’s upper thigh can easily become exhausted. If you’re a runner, including strength training and frequent stretching can help you become stronger and avoid common injuries. This workout is specifically designed for runners but can be used by anyone looking to strengthen their lower body.
6. All Butt No Thighs Workout
This workout can be one of the most useful in achieving your dream booty because it targets the glute muscles without growing your thighs.
7. 20 Minute Total Body Tabata Workout
This 20 minute workout consists of only five moves, but it targets all the major muscle groups in your body to give you the ultimate calorie burning effect. You’ll be doing burpees, squats, ab twists, and more!
8. 3 Move Kettlebell Butt Lift
The three moves in this workout are sumo squats, swing throughs, and deadlifts. These exercises are some of the most effective in shaping and toning your glutes, and adding a kettle bell will help you get better, faster results.
9. Inferno 4 Minute Fat Burn
There’s a reason we called this the inferno workout! This routine is for people who really want to kick their workouts up a notch. It’s meant to get you panting and sweating no other workout. You’ll be jumping, squatting, and feeling the burn.
10. 7 Minute Muffin Top Blaster
The final workout on our list is a waist-targeting workout. Shrink your waist and add definition to your abdominals in just seven minutes. These are fun, effective moves that will provide a real challenge for your core.
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Transform Your Body In 8 Weeks!
January, February, and March get a lot of attention as “transformation season,” and it's no mystery why. The calendar flips over, the weather is colder, and you're inside anyway—might as well hit the gym so you can bloom when spring comes around, right?
On the other hand, the whole “season” mindset also has a downside. It begins, and then it ends. You can crank hard all through the winter with big ambitions, but come April, your life keeps going on whether you rose to the challenge or not. At this point, you're either in it…or you're out.
The good news? No time of year is better to change your life than any other. When you're Still In It, the minutes, days, and months are just a backdrop to the real calendar: your training schedule, meals, and your steady journey to stronger, leaner, and better.
Jump right in and see where it will take you!
Training: Supersets And Circuits
Supersets don't get nearly enough love in the fitness world. Yeah, they're great for bis-and-tris burnouts, but they're just as effective for back, legs, and chest. Each movement in the pairing gives you a slightly different stimulus than the other, while both combine to give your body a loud-and-clear message to grow and get stronger.
For the next eight weeks, you're going to embrace supersets as a way of life. The strength portion of each of your workouts will be three supersets, with an occasional triset thrown in as equipment allows.
Then, you'll perform one of two quick but explosive cardio sessions or one of a pair of burning ab routines.
If you find you need to split the program and do weights during the day and abs or cardio at night, go for it.
It's a five-day split, which means you won't be doing chest or legs on the same day each week. This means you'll have slightly more to remember, but on the other hand, it also frees you from the rigid scheduling of most programs. If you get a day behind, just consider that your rest and get back on track the next day.
Here's the split:
- Day 1: Leg and Core Circuit 1
- Day 2: Chest, Shoulder, and Cardio Circuit 1
- Day 3: Back and Core Circuit 2
- Day 4: Arm and Cardio Circuit 2
- Day 5: Rest
The next time through, perform the #2 circuits in place of the #1 circuits, and vice versa (e.g., begin the second week with Leg and Core Circuit 2). Aside from that, the movements you perform won't change over the eight weeks, only the rep ranges.
If you're having trouble remembering what to do on any particular day, here's your cheat sheet:
- Weeks 1-3: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Weeks 4-6: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Weeks 7-8: 5 sets of 6-8 reps
A couple of weeks in, you'll wonder why you ever bothered with long, complicated recipes of straight sets in the past.
Week 1, Day 1: Legs And Core Circuit 1 Week 1, Day 2: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 1 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.
) Week 1, Day 3: Back and Core Circuit 2 Week 1, Day 4: Arms And Cardio Circuit 2 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.
Week 1, Day 5: Rest
Week 1, Day 6: Legs And Core Circuit 2 Week 1, Day 7: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 2 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.)
Week 2, Day 1: Back and Core Circuit 1 Week 2, Day 2: Arms And Cardio Circuit 1 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.)
Week 2, Day 3: Rest
Week 2, Day 4: Legs And Core Circuit 1 Week 2, Day 5: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 1 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.) Week 2, Day 6: Back and Core Circuit 2 Week 2, Day 7: Arms And Cardio Circuit 2 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.)
Week 3, Day 1: Rest
Week 3, Day 2: Legs And Core Circuit 2 Week 3, Day 3: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 2 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.) Week 3, Day 4: Back and Core Circuit 1 Week 3, Day 5: Arms And Cardio Circuit 1 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.)
Week 3, Day 6: Rest
Week 3, Day 7: Legs And Core Circuit 1
Week 4, Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 1 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.) Week 4, Day 2: Back and Core Circuit 2 Week 4, Day 3: Arms And Cardio Circuit 2 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.)
Week 4, Day 4: Rest
Week 4, Day 5: Legs And Core Circuit 2 Week 4, Day 6: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 2 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.) Week 4, Day 7: Back and Core Circuit 1
Week 5, Day 1: Arms And Cardio Circuit 1 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.)
Week 5, Day 2: Rest
Week 5, Day 3: Legs And Core Circuit 1 Week 5, Day 4: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 1 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.) Week 5, Day 5: Back and Core Circuit 2 Week 5, Day 6: Arms And Cardio Circuit 2 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.)
Week 5, Day 7: Rest
Week 6, Day 1: Legs And Core Circuit 2 Week 6, Day 2: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 2 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.
) Week 6, Day 3: Back and Core Circuit 1 Week 6, Day 4: Arms And Cardio Circuit 1 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.
Week 6, Day 5: Rest
Week 6, Day 6: Legs And Core Circuit 1 Week 6, Day 7: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 1 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.)
Week 7, Day 1: Back and Core Circuit 2 Week 7, Day 2: Arms And Cardio Circuit 2 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.)
Week 7, Day 3: Rest
Week 7, Day 4: Legs And Core Circuit 2 Week 7, Day 5: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 2 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.) Week 7, Day 6: Back and Core Circuit 1
Week 7, Day 7: Rest
Week 8 Day 1: Rest
Week 8, Day 2: Legs And Core Circuit 1 Week 8, Day 3: Chest, Shoulders, And Cardio Circuit 1 Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets, 10-12 reps (Perform a quarter rep, followed by a full rep. That counts as one.) Week 8, Day 4: Back and Core Circuit 2 Week 8, Day 5: Arms And Cardio Circuit 2 4 sets, 21 reps (Perform 7 reps of the bottom half, 7 of the top half, and 7 full reps.)
Week 8, Day 6: Rest
Week 7, Day 4: Legs And Core Circuit 2
Reform your Body in 12 Weeks
Muscle & Fitness has a storied history of building workouts for guys who know the gym better than the callouses on their own palms, but we know there are plenty of beginners out there looking for an effective, authoritative program as a starting point to a better body, a fitter lifestyle, and a way the habits that have kept them tethered to the couch for too long.
Enter Re:Form, a 90-program built from the ground up for the ever-growing demographic of “dudes shape.”
We enlisted the expertise of Dan Trink, CSCS, who has run an extensive and impressive list of working types, athletes and celebrities through rigorous body recomposition programs at Manhattan’s Peak Performance training center.
Aside from these credentials, Dan has something unique to bring to the table for this program: he’s a former fat guy who went through his own major fitness transformation at age 28.
A former advertising executive in the city, Dan was months away from his wedding and decided he needed to look good for the big day. He dropped 50 pounds and hit his goal, but he never stopped.
He left the ad world, picked up personal training, got his strength and conditioning certification, and built a success story as an elite trainer in the Big Apple. Which brings us to the present.
Tyler Stewart is the new guy at Muscle & Fitness. Tyler is also completely shape (we’ll even call him the least fit guy on staff).
He prefers to write GIF-laden pieces about Arnold’s best movies over the latest abs routine, but he was a prime candidate to give this program a test run and show off his results in real time. He’s Dan’s glorified guinea pig, and you can watch him get tortured each week as the program progresses.
For the next 12 weeks, we will add the workouts and videos as they progress each Wednesday. No personal trainer? No problem. Dan’s insights are a big part of this program and you can watch feedback in real time.
WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO
As for the timing of this program, here’s the formula to follow for each workout on a day-by-day basis. Each phase is broken down below.
With that, you’re ready to go. Best of luck on your reformation. And remember, every body is different. Your experience will be unique. Your challenges will be your own. But you’re not alone.
Drop the fast food, smokes, and general vices that plague your willpower and progress, and set the base with this program now.
Also, don’t forget to follow these six habits for your diet (we are foregoing a structured meal plan for this program, you’re only human); the way you eat will determine a lot of your progress over the next three months.
PHASE 1 SCHEDULE
|Workout A||1||1 hour (or to completion)|
|Workout B||2||1 hour (or to completion)|
|Workout A||4||1 hour (or to completion)|
|Workout B||5||1 hour (or to completion)|
Phase 1, Week 1
It’s time to get started. This routine emphasizes, above all else, creating a stable core and getting your body ready for more intense workouts as the weeks progress. That’s not to say this one will be easy–you’ll be running supersets for an hour here.
|1A. Goblet Squat||3||10|
|2A. Chinup/Lat Pulldown*||3||10|
|1B. Dumbbell Stepups**||2||12|
|2B. Single Arm Corner Press||2||12|
|1C. Prowler Chest Press||2||10|
|2C. Seated Cable Row||2||10|
|3C. Paloff Press||2||10|
* Use band for chinups as needed. Use Lat Pulldown if necessary.
** Step should be at 90-degree knee flexion. Complete all reps for one leg before switching.
|1A. Trap Bar Deadlift||3||12|
|2A. Incline DB Chest Press*||3||12|
|1B. Dumbbell Split Squat**||2||10|
|2B. Single Arm Cable Row***||2||10|
|1C. Prowler Drive||2||D/B|
|2C. Standing Zottman Curls****||2||12|
|3C. Reverse Crunch||2||12|
* Set incline to 30 degrees.** Hold a dumbbell in each hand.*** Do not allow torso to rotate.
**** Use rope attachment.
Try This 21-Day Challenge If You Want to Fall Back In Love with Working Out
Don't be sucked into a workout that promises (only) a “toned body” by the end of it. There's a more important (and attainable) reason to exercise: It makes you feel great.
“Good mental health is just as important as good physical health, and exercise is crucial to getting both,” says trainer Jeanette Jenkins, author of The Hollywood Trainer Weight-Loss Plan: 21 Days to Make Healthy Living a Lifetime Habit.
The 21-day plan she created below celebrates all the good stuff that comes with exercise: more energy, better health, and the motivation to keep coming back for more. So while this routine might get you closer to physical goals, it can also bring about invisible changes. (Related: The Anti-Running Treadmill Workout for Total-Body Toning)
This 21-day plan is designed for all fitness levels, so just choose the exercise and cardio variations that are right for you. Trying to make exercise a lifelong habit? Use these three weeks as a jumping-off point. If you're already in your own workout groove, there are plenty of challenges here to boost your results. (Related: This 30-Minute Total-Body Workout Tones from Head to Toe)
How it works: Jenkins' program consists of four primary workouts: three strength circuits and a cardio routine.
Each circuit focuses on a different set of muscle groups; do each circuit on the days indicated four times through or six times if you're feeling advanced.
The cardio days are designed to blast calories and improve your aerobic fitness. For the best results, follow the order for each day and week below.
You'll need: A set of light (3- to 5-pound) and medium (8- to 10-pound) dumbbells
Your 21-Day “Toned Body” Workout Plan
Day 1: Cardio + Stretch
Day 2: Circuits A and C
Day 3: Cardio + Stretch
Day 4: Circuits B and C
Day 5: Circuit A + Stretch
Day 6: Circuits B and C
Day 7: Rest
Repeat this same schedule for weeks two and three.
1. Push-Up/Plank Combo
Targets shoulders, triceps, chest, abs
A. Begin in a modified push-up position, hands on ground slightly wider than shoulders and knees down. Keep a straight line from the top of head through feet, abs tight.
B. Bend elbows 90 degrees, then push back up to start.
Repeat for 20 to 25 reps.
C. After final rep, lift knees off ground into high plank position. Keeping abs tight and back straight, hold for 30 seconds.
Scale Up: Do full push-ups; hold plank 60 seconds.
2. Chest Fly
Targets shoulders, chest
A. Lie face up on the ground with knees bent, holding heavier dumbbells with arms extended, palms facing each other.
B. Slowly open arms out to sides, keeping elbows slightly bent; stop when weights are about an inch above the ground.
C. Push weights back to return to starting position.
Do 15 reps.
D. Immediately pick up the lighter set of weights and do 10 more reps.
Scale Up: Do 25 reps with the 8- to 10-pound weights.
3. Reverse Lunge
Targets glutes, hamstrings, quads
A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding lighter set of dumbbells with arms at sides, palms in.
B. Lunge right foot backward, lowering right knee toward ground; bend left knee 90 degrees, keeping it aligned over ankle.
C. Return to start, driving body weight through your left heel; bring right knee to hip level.
Do 15 reps. Switch sides; Repeat.
Scale Up: Hold heavier dumbbells and/or do 25 reps per side.
4. Squat/Chair Pose
Targets glutes, hamstrings, quads
A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding lighter dumbbells on shoulders.
B. Squat down, pushing butt backward. Keep body weight over heels.
C. Push through heels to return to start, squeezing glutes.
Do 20 to 25 reps.
D. After last rep, drop weights and bring feet together. Resume squat position, keeping knees behind toes and extending arms in front at chest level; hold for 30 seconds.
Scale Up: Use heavier dumbbells and hold chair pose for 60 seconds.
1. Plié Squat
Targets glutes, quads, inner thighs
A. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with toes turned out, holding lighter dumbbells vertically in front of thighs.
B. Keeping abs tight and torso tall, bend knees 90 degrees. Keep knees aligned between second and third toes and weight in heels.
C. Press back to start, squeezing glutes.
Do 15 reps.
Scale Up: Use heavier weights and/or do 25 reps.
2. Biceps Curl
A. Stand tall with feet together, knees slightly bent. Hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand with palms facing up.
B. Slowly curl the weights toward shoulders, contracting biceps.
C. Slowly lower the weights to start and repeat.
Do 15 reps.
D. Immediately pick up the lighter set of weights and repeat. Do 10 more reps.
Scale Up: Do 25 reps with the heavier weights.
3. Inner/Outer Leg Lift
Targets glutes, outer and inner thighs
A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended at shoulder height, palms down.
B. Lift left leg to side, squeezing outer thigh and glutes then lower it to return to start. Continue: Lift and lower.
Do 15 reps.
C. Without touching floor, bring left leg in front of body, rotating inner thigh to face forward. Press left heel forward. Continue: Lift and lower.
Do 15 more reps.Switch sides; repeats sequence on opposite leg.
Scale Up: Do 50 total reps per leg.
4. Back Fly
Targets upper back, shoulders
A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, right leg about 3 feet behind left. Hold heavier dumbbells with palms facing each other. Bend forward from waist, extending arms toward ground diagonally just in front of left knee.
B. Slowly open arms straight out to sides to shoulder level, contracting upper back muscles. Slowly lower weights and repeat.
Do 15 reps.
C. Immediately pick up the lighter set of weights and do 10 more reps.
Scale Up: Do 25 reps with the heavier weights.
Targets deep (transverse) and “six-pack” (rectus) abdominals
A. Lie face up with knees bent, arms extended next to ears, palms facing up.
B. Reach arms straight while contracting abs and lift head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. Keep spine rounded, moving as smoothly as possible.
C. After rolling up all the way, pull abs in tight and roll back down one vertebra at a time.
Do 8 reps.
Scale Up: Keep legs straight.
2. Side Reach
Targets obliques, deep (transverse) abdominals
A. Lie on right side with legs stacked, right arm on ground and left arm on top of left leg.
B. Keeping abs pulled in, reach left hand down as if trying to touch ankle, feeling the contraction along side.
C. Slowly lower back down, using obliques and abs to provide resistance.
Do 8 reps; switch sides and repeat.
Scale Up: Lift your legs slightly as you reach toward ankles.
3. Boat Pose
Targets deep (transverse) and “six-pack” (rectus) abdominals
A. Sit with knees bent, feet hip-width apart. Place hands under thighs, inhaling deeply.
B. Exhale, lifting feet off the ground (keep knees bent) and pulling abs in tight.
C. Lean back slightly, balancing on tailbone, and open arms wide out to sides. Hold for 8 breaths, return to start, and repeat.
Do 3 reps.
Scale Up: Straighten legs to creat a 45 degrees to the ground.
Calorie-Blasting Cardio Workout
These treadmill workouts are designed to blast 300 to 500+ calories in 40 to 50 minutes, so they'll have you feeling spent in the best way. Plus, they help burn fat, so all that strength training you're doing can manifest the toned body results you're after.
Choose from one of three levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and pick either a high-impact run or a low-impact speed walk on an incline.
Don't have access to a treadmill? Do the same program outside on flat or hilly terrain (depending on which impact-level you choose).
Follow your cardio workout with 5 to 10 minutes of stretching for your shoulders, chest, hips, glutes, and legs. (Related: The Ultimate Treadmill Interval Workout for Every Fitness Level)
Follow these minute-by-minute running interval workouts for a treadmill session that won't bore you to death.
- 0:00-5:00: Warm-up, 3.5 mph, 0% incline
- 5:00-7:00: Speed-walk, 4.0 mph, 0% incline
- 7:00-9:00: Jog-run (5.2-6.0 mph, 0% incline) or speed-walk (3.8 mph, 6% incline)
- 9:00-33:00: Repeat minutes 5:00-9:00 six more times, alternating 2 minutes of walking with 2 minutes of running or walking on an incline
- 33:00-38:00: Cool down, 3.5 mph, 0% incline
- 0:00-5:00: Warm-up, 3.5 mph, 0% incline
- 5:00-7:00: Speed-walk, 4.0 mph, 0% incline
- 7:00-22:00: Jog-run (5.2-6.0 mph, 0% incline) or speed-walk (3.8 mph, 6% incline)
- 9:00-39:00: Repeat minutes 5:00-22:00, alternating 2 minutes of walking with 15 minutes of running or walking on an incline
- 39:00-45:00: Cool down, 3.5 mph, 0% incline
- 0:00-5:00: Warm-up, 3.5 mph, 0% incline
- 5:00-10:00: Jog-run (5.2-6-0 mph, 0% incline) or speed-walk (3.8 mph, 6% incline)
- 10:00-12:00: Sprint (6.0-7.0 mph, 0% incline) or speed-walk (3.8 mph, 10% incline)
- 12:00-47:00: Repeat minutes 5:00-12:00 5 more times, alternating 5 minutes of running or walking on an incline
- 47:00-52:00: Cool down, 3.5 mph, 0% incline
Adapted from The Hollywood Trainer Weight-Loss Plan by Jeanette Jenkins with permission of G.P.
Â Putnam's Sons, a member of the Penguin Group USA. Copyright 2007 by Jeanette Jenkins.
10 workout programs to completely transform your body
Whether you’re completely new to the gym, or let yourself go over over the last year or so, we’ve got a workout plan for you. We’re dedicated to pulling in the trainers and athletes that live and breathe every minute of their day to improve themselves and their clients. This is our collection of programs written up by the mensfitness.com regular contributors.
Check out the brief descriptions, program video teasers and pick the plan that’s best for you. Note: The Total-Body Reconstruction Plan is dropping on January 1 at 12AM ET.
1. Your Total-Body Reconstruction Plan
This plan is built around the “mind-muscle” connection.
A select few exercises from each day are prescribed to be done at a slow tempo during both the concentric and eccentric phase of the lift to ensure maximum muscle stimulation.
This is a great plan for beginners looking to develop an understanding of the mind-muscle connection, however, it’s also relevant for the experienced lifter that may have let him/herself go or lost touch.
Goal: Lean mass
2. The New Year Redemption Plan
Last year’s big-hit program is still available. The Redemption plan is straight our personal playbook. It’s no-bs, no frills, and has been one of the most sought after programs on our site for all of 2016.
Goal: Lean mass
3. The Monster Size and Power Plan
Big Brandon Cruz, a former college football player with a killer physique, designed this plan for explosive power and explosive growth spurts. You may have seen this plan on or as our “Grow a Monster” plan.
Goal: Size and power
4. The Unbreakable Machine Routines
New York City police officer and certified personal trainer Mike Counihan puts a lot of his clients through programs similar to “survival” training. It’s got just about every single possible thing you could need to grow big, strong, powerful—and have the endurance of a machine.
Goal: Total-body strength, power, and endurance conditioning
5. Built for the Beach v2.0 plan
The second version of Built for the Beach is a sequel program to our original plan dating back to 2013. We’ve received so many messages via email and social media from people who loved the plan so much that we decided to reboot and relaunch an even better one.
Goal: Accelerated fat-loss/Lean mass
6. The Timeless Bodybuilding plan
Bodybuilders know their bodies as well as anyone. They can manipulate the slightest amount of muscle, fat, and water. The thing is: they keep it all simple. Big lifts, and reps and rest for maximum hypertrophy or growth. Why make things more complicated. Regular contributor, the “ripped-for-life” Tim McComsey, designed the plan.
Goal: Lean mass
7. The 21-Day Shred Series
It began with The 21-Day Shred, the original. This is another one taken straight our playbook, but this time around it’s been expanded into phases or to cater to the needs of working out from home. The Shred Series includes the original, the bulk up, the at-home, and the transition plans.
8. The Winter Bulk Up
If you’re not living in a warm climate there’s no use in stressing over the cold. Use it your advantage to eat some extra food and put on some extra pounds. Once the warmer weather returns you can switch back to a fat-burn focused routine. This is another program from regular contributor, Tim McComsey.
9. The Muscle Detailing Workouts
Constantly bombarding the body with compound lifts day in and day out will wear you down—doesn’t matter how much you focus on sleep, rest, and recovery.
There comes a point when it can be more advantageous to work in isolation exercises to help fine-tune the details of each muscle group, plus it gives your joints a more robust period of recovery.
A new contributor, Eugene Isaev, designed and demonstrated these workouts.
Goals: Muscular definition
10. The 3-Day Detox Workouts
Partying is a part of life. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Cinco de Mayo, you’re going to need a bounce-back plan that won’t force you to suffer your way through it. This program, built around progressively getting back into the swing of things, was designed by personal trainer John Gioffre.
Other standalone workouts include our list of 10 of the best challenges to put your body to test. The challenges were designed by CrossFit Level-1 instructor and regular contributor, Wyatt Krueger.
Goals: Push yourself to the limit
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on !
A 5-Week Workout That Can Transform Your Body a Magic Spell
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Summer is just months away, and we’ll be enjoying our vacations soon! But that also means we have to lose our “winter weight” and sculpt our trouble zones for this wonderful season. The sooner, the better, so now is a great time to kick off a magnificent workout aimed at toning up our physical appearance and improving our mood.
The Bright Side team has put together a program of exercises that will be useful for both your body and soul. In the beginning, it requires less than 15 minutes a day and no special equipment, so let’s start the transformation!
This is a 5-week program (6 days a week), which combines 8 types of simple exercises, and is divided into 2 blocks.
- Block 1 (including jumping jacks, leg lifts, squats, and push-ups) is performed on days 1, 3 and 5.
- Block 2 (involving mountain climbers, sit-ups, lunges, and burpees) corresponds to the days 2, 4 and 6.
As we can see, the blocks alternate with each other and the number of repetitions increases gradually. Let’s take a glance at what week 1 looks :
© Depositphotos.com © Depositphotos.com
- Day 1 — block 1 (15 jumping jacks, 15 leg lifts, 15 squats, 10 push-ups).
- Day 2 — block 2 (15 mountain climbers, 10 sit-ups, 15 lunges, 10 burpees).
- Day 3 — block 1 (15 jumping jacks, 15 leg lifts, 15 squats, 10 push-ups).
- Day 4 — block 2 (15 mountain climbers, 10 sit-ups, 15 lunges, 10 burpees).
- Day 5 — block 1 (20 jumping jacks, 20 leg lifts, 20 squats, 10 push-ups).
- Day 6 — block 2 (15 mountain climbers, 10 sit-ups, 15 lunges, 10 burpees).
- Day 7 — rest.
Note: This is the minimum amount of repetitions for every type of activity. If you’re willing to spend more time and energy, as well as receive potentially better results, you can repeat the respective blocks 2-3 times during one session.
When you get involved in a workout program, make sure to drink enough water and eat healthy food that gives you energy. People usually feel the first results from the workout within a week or 2.
Block 1 (days 1, 3, and 5)
Don’t forget to warm-up a bit before starting a workout!
1. Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are a compound kind of cardio workout, which cover your back, shoulder, arms, abs, glutes, and legs.
The starting position: Stand with your feet together and your arms against your sides.
- Hop and separate your feet to nearly shoulder-width apart, while bringing your arms above your head (without touching palms).
- Hop again and bring your feet and arms back into the initial position.
2. Leg lifts
A leg lift is a simple exercise, which develops abs, hip flexors, and lower back muscles. Besides, it also improves posture and balance.
The starting position: Lie on the floor with your face up and legs straight. Put your hands by your sides or beneath your pelvis for better support.
- Lift both of your legs up. They should stay straight and long.
- Raise them up to the point where your hips feel completely flexed and your legs can’t go any further.
- Slowly and carefully lower your legs down. Repeat.
Doing squats helps to build calves, hamstrings, and other leg muscles. In addition, squats also burn fat and tone up the back and abs.
The starting position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your arms on your hips or in front of you.
- Slowly bend your knees and lower down on your legs you’re going to sit in a chair. Your upper body should stay straight.
- Go down as far as you can, but don’t let your torso lean forward too much.
- Unbend your legs and return back to the initial position.
Push-ups mainly focus on the upper body: chest, shoulders, triceps, “wing” muscles, and abs.
The starting position: Take a face-down position on the floor with your palms and toes on the ground, arms straight and shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight.
- Gradually drop your torso down using only your arms until it almost touches the floor.
- Gradually lift your torso back up into the starting position with your hands.
- Remember to keep the back flat and toes engaged during all drops and lifts.
The schedule for weeks 2, 3, 4, and 5, for block 1, should look this:
- Day 1 — 20 jumping jacks, 20 leg lifts, 20 squats, 10 push-ups.
- Day 3 — 25 jumping jacks, 25 leg lifts, 25 squats, 15 push-ups.
- Day 5 — 25 jumping jacks, 25 leg lifts, 25 squats, 15 push-ups.
- Day 1 — 30 jumping jacks, 30 leg lifts, 30 squats, 15 push-ups.
- Day 3 — 30 jumping jacks, 30 leg lifts, 30 squats, 15 push-ups.
- Day 5 — 35 jumping jacks, 30 leg lifts, 30 squats, 20 push-ups.
- Day 1 — 35 jumping jacks, 35 leg lifts, 35 squats, 20 push-ups.
- Day 3 — 40 jumping jacks, 35 leg lifts, 35 squats, 20 push-ups.
- Day 5 — 40 jumping jacks, 40 leg lifts, 40 squats, 25 push-ups.
- Day 1 — 45 jumping jacks, 40 leg lifts, 40 squats, 25 push-ups.
- Day 3 — 50 jumping jacks, 45 leg lifts, 45 squats, 25 push-ups.
- Day 5 — 50 jumping jacks, 45 leg lifts, 45 squats, 30 push-ups.
Block 2 (days 2, 4, and 6)
Don’t forget to warm-up slightly before beginning your workout!
5. Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers represent a compound cardio and strength workout to build various muscles: shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, obliques, abs, hips, and hamstrings.
The starting position: Take a face-down position on the ground with your hands and toes on the floor, and with your arms straight and shoulder-width apart. Your back should stay flat.
- Bend your right knee and pull it to your chest. Arms and back should be straight.
- Return your right knee back to the starting position. Almost simultaneously bend and pull your left knee to your chest.
- Create a rhythmic motion by switching knees as if you’re climbing or “running.” Don’t forget to keep the spine and arms straight.
Sit-ups are a great exercise for flattening your belly zone and training your abdominal muscles.
The starting position: Lie on your back and bend your knees. Your hands should be placed behind your ears, crossed at the chest, or put slightly over the back of your head, but not interlocked (to prevent you from lifting with the use of your neck).
- Elevate your upper body off the ground using your ab muscles and try to approach your thighs. Don’t forget to keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Smoothly lower your upper body down and return to the starting position. Repeat.
- Your hands should stay in the chosen initial position throughout the whole routine.
As an option, you can use an exercise ball to diversify your routine and support yourself during sit-ups.
Lunges are one more exercise you can use to tone up your glutes, calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings. They also improve your balance and coordination.
The starting position: Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Your back should stay straight through the whole exercise, while arms can be placed wherever is convenient.
- Step forward with your left leg and drop your weight down so you literally place it on your right foot. Keep your right toes on the floor.
- Lower down until your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your left knee makes a 90-degree angle. Your right knee should almost touch the ground.
- Use your left leg to shove off and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
Burpees are a sort of universal exercise that trains your overall body, including chest, shoulders, arms, abs, glutes, and legs.
The starting position: Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Drop your body down you’re going to squat. Put your palms on the ground against your sides and slightly in front of you.
- Gradually walk back or sharply kick back your legs to get into a push-up position. Arms should stay straight and hold you up.
- Drop your chest and do a push-up.
- Gradually walk or jump your feet back and stand up straight. Hop off the floor and clap your hands over your head.
The schedule for weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5, for block 2, should look this:
- Day 2 — 20 mountain climbers, 15 sit-ups, 20 lunges, 10 burpees.
- Day 4 — 20 mountain climbers, 15 sit-ups, 20 lunges, 15 burpees.
- Day 6 — 20 mountain climbers, 15 sit-ups, 25 lunges, 15 burpees.
- Day 2 — 25 mountain climbers, 20 sit-ups, 25 lunges, 15 burpees.
- Day 4 — 25 mountain climbers, 20 sit-ups, 30 lunges, 15 burpees.
- Day 6 — 30 mountain climbers, 20 sit-ups, 35 lunges, 20 burpees.
- Day 2 — 30 mountain climbers, 25 sit-ups, 40 lunges, 20 burpees.
- Day 4 — 35 mountain climbers, 25 sit-ups, 40 lunges, 20 burpees.
- Day 6 — 35 mountain climbers, 25 sit-ups, 45 lunges, 25 burpees.
- Day 2 — 40 mountain climbers, 30 sit-ups, 45 lunges, 25 burpees.
- Day 4 — 40 mountain climbers, 30 sit-ups, 50 lunges, 25 burpees.
- Day 6 — 45 mountain climbers, 30 sit-ups, 55 lunges, 30 burpees.
This workout, divided by blocks and days, will help you achieve 2 things: slim your body and build a training schedule into your day-to-day life. Remember to pair your exercises with a diet that is appropriate for you.
Have you ever heard of any of these exercises? Or maybe you have personal stories about sculpting your body over a couple of weeks? Please tell us about them in the comments below.
Preview photo credit Depositphotos.com
Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for BrightSide.me