Feel Stronger and More Energized Workout Plan: Weeks 5-8
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Feel Stronger and More Energized Workout Plan: Weeks 5-8

Month 2 of our makeover plan will help you peel off pounds, get sexy muscles, and have energy to spare!

You're Halfway There!

Strength, cardio, plus healthy eating -- that's the balanced approach that will get you lasting results. If you followed the workouts in the previous month, by now you're starting to see the difference. "After 30 days, changes in your body fat, endurance, and strength should be noticeable," says creator Joe Dowdell, co-owner of Peak Performance in New York City.

As seen in the October issue of FITNESS magazine, this "Feel Stronger and More Energized" workout is part of the "You Can Do It!" makeover plan. It corresponds to the green instructions on page 84 through 87. If you'd like to get your workout plan delivered to your inbox each week, sign up for the 8-week "You Can Do It" makeover plan, and we'll e-mail you easy-to-follow guides every week to help you feel stronger and more energized!

Part 1: Personalized Strength Workout

The first four moves will warm you up while focusing on core strength and flexibility. The remaining six will sculpt all your major muscle groups; do these in the order given, 5 through 10, then repeat twice. For best results, follow the weekly workout planner below.

Your Week-by-Week Workout Plan
Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun.
5 Strength Cardio Intervals Strength Off Strength Cardio Intervals Off
6 Strength Cardio Intervals Strength Off Strength Cardio Intervals Off
7 Strength Cardio Intervals Strength Off Strength Cardio Intervals


8 Strength Cardio Intervals Strength Off Strength Cardio Intervals Off


1. Forward Lunge with Twist

Target: Strengthens legs, butt, obliques; stretches hips, legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended in front at shoulder height.
  • Lunge forward with right leg, bending right knee 90 degrees.
  • As you step forward, turn torso and arms to the right.
  • Reverse the twist, step back to starting position, and repeat on opposite side.

How many? 1 set, 4 or 5 reps per side.

2. Reverse Drop Step

Target: Strengthens legs, butt, core

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms in front with elbows bent, palms facing each other.
  • Take a big step backward with right leg, keeping toes pointed straight ahead; bend both knees 90 degrees.
  • Keep your shoulders down and your torso upright.
  • Straightening your front leg, bring right leg back to starting position; repeat.

How Many? 1 set, 4 or 5 reps per side.

3. Inchworm

Target: Stretches hamstrings; strengthens abs, arms, chest

a. Stand with feet hip-width apart; bend forward from the waist, placing palms or fingertips on the ground as close to your body as you can while keeping legs straight.

b. Slowly walk hands forward as far as you can; keep head aligned with spine and abs tight, and don't let your torso collapse toward the ground. Walk hands back to starting position and repeat.

How Many? 1 set, 4 or 5 reps.

4. Knee-Lift Drill

Target: Strengthens hips, legs

  • Lean about 45 degrees into a stationary object with arms extended.
  • Lift right knee until thigh is parallel to ground; pull toes toward shin and tighten glutes.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat.

How Many? 1 set, 2 reps per side

5. Squat Push-Press with Medicine Ball

Target: Strengthens legs, butt, arms, shoulders, obliques

  • A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball in front of chest with elbows bent next to body.
  • Squat down, keeping weight over heels and ball in front of chest.
  • Stand up explosively, extending arms overhead; keep elbows close to ears.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps.

6. Standing Split-Handle Row

Target: Strengthens back

  • Tie a resistance band around a stationary object in front of you at about chest height.
  • Stand a few feet away, facing the band with knees slightly bent, arms extended in front of body with palms facing in, holding one end of the band in each hand (keep some tension on the band).
  • Pull band toward body, drawing elbows back and close to sides.
  • Hold for 1 count; return to starting position and repeat.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps.

7. Romanian Deadlift

Target: Strengthens legs, glutes

  • Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells with arms extended by thighs, knees slightly bent.
  • Bend forward from waist, lowering weights toward shins; keep back straight, abs firm and head in line with spine (you'll feel this along your hamstrings).
  • Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps.

8. Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press

Target: Strengthens chest, shoulders, triceps

  • Lie faceup on a bench holding a weight in each hand with arms extended above chest, palms facing forward.
  • Bend right elbow 90 degrees to lower right arm out to side; don't allow elbow to drop past shoulder.
  • Hold for 1 count, then extend arm back to starting position.
  • Repeat on opposite side, bending left elbow 90 degrees.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps per side.

9. Reverse Flye

Target: Strengthens upper back

  • Lean over a stability ball, keeping body at a 45-degree angle to the ground, arms extended in front of body at shoulder height, holding dumbbells with palms facing in.
  • Bring weights out to sides at shoulder level, elbows slightly bent, feeling the contraction along your upper back.
  • Hold for 1 count and return to starting position.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps.

10. Stability-Ball Crunch

Target: Strengthens abs

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps. Repeat circuit, beginning from squat push-press; do the entire circuit (moves 5 to 10) three times through.

Your Cardio Plan

Blast mega fat and develop serious stamina with this intensive cardio plan. Choose any aerobic activity (we've used a treadmill), following your rate of perceived exertion (RPE), or how difficult the exercise feels on a scale of 1 to 10.

Cardio Workout 2: Intervals

  • Warm up for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph (RPE 3-4).
  • Sprint for 2 minutes (6.5-8.5 mph) or walk on an incline (4.0-4.5 mph; 5% incline) (RPE 7-8).
  • Recover 2 minutes, 3.7-4.0 mph; 0% (RPE 4-5).
  • Do 6 intervals total, sprinting for 2 minutes and recovering for 2 minutes.
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at 3.3 mph (RPE 3-4).

Total time: 34 minutes

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2006.