Ramp Up Your Routine: The "You Can Do It!" Makeover Workout
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Fitness

Ramp Up Your Routine: The "You Can Do It!" Makeover Workout

Take your workout routine to the next level with this 8-week program, part of the FITNESS "You Can Do It!" makeover plan.

You Can Do It!

Attention, all goal setters: If your goal is to take your workout routine to the next level, this is the workout to get you there. "You'll shed fat, build more lean muscle, enhance flexibility and increase core strength," says creator Joe Dowdell, co-owner of Peak Performance in New York City and a FITNESS advisory-board member.

Part 1: Personalize Your Strength Workout

Moves 1 through 5 are designed to warm you up, build core strength and increase flexibility. You'll want to do one set of each. Moves 6 through 10 feature multimuscle moves to sculpt all your trouble spots. Do them twice through. Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise.

As seen in the September issue of FITNESS magazine, this "Ramp Up Your Routine" workout is part of the "You Can Do It!" makeover plan. It corresponds to the red instructions on page 98 through 101. 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 ramp up your routine!

 
Your Week-by-Week Workout Plan
Mon. Tues. Wed. Thur.. Fri. Sat. Sun.
Week 1 Strength Cardio Workout 1: Steady Pace Strength Off Strength Cardio Workout 1: Steady Pace Off
Week 2 Strength Cardio Workout 2: Intervals Strength Off Strength Cardio Workout 2: Intervals Off
Week 3 Strength

Cardio Workout 3: Intervals

Strength Off Strength Cardio Workout 3: Intervals Off
Week 4 Strength Cardio Workout 3: Intervals Strength Off Strength Cardio Workout 3: Intervals Off

 

1. Forward Lunge with Forearm Drop

Target: Strengthens legs and glutes; stretches hips and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides.
  • Lunge forward with right leg, bending right knee 90 degrees, and extend left leg fully behind you.
  • As you come down, bring right arm next to inside of right shin, bending elbow 90 degrees; place left hand on floor for balance.
  • Hold for 1 count, then push back up to starting position and repeat, alternating legs.

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

2. Lateral Lunge

Target: Strengthens legs, glutes and core; stretches inner thighs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward and arms at sides.
  • Step out wide to right side with right leg, bending knee 90 degrees; keep left leg straight and abs tight while clasping hands together in front of chest.
  • Pushing off right foot, step back to start.

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

3. Inverted Hamstring

Target: Strengthens legs, glutes and core; improves stability and balance

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides with feet parallel (not shown).
  • Hinge forward from your hips, extending right leg behind you and keeping left leg slightly bent.
  • Lift arms to sides at shoulder height; keep head in line with spine. (If you need to, place one arm on a chair for balance.)
  • Hold for 1 count, then return to starting position and repeat.

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

4. Side Pillar Bridge

Target: Strengthens core

  • Lie on right side with elbow under shoulder, forearm on floor, with legs extended.
  • Lift legs and hips, balancing on arm and sides of feet.
  • Hold for 1 to 3 seconds; lower and repeat.

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

5. Prone Pillar Bridge

Target: Strengthens core, glutes

  • Begin in a modified push-up position, with knees on floor; lift knees, forming a straight line from head to heels.
  • Hold for 1 to 3 seconds; lower to starting position and repeat.

How Many? 1 set, 4 or 5 reps.

6. Split Squat

Target: Strengthens legs, glutes

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides.
  • Step forward with right foot on a step, bending right knee 90 degrees; keep knee aligned with ankle.
  • Straighten legs, keeping feet planted.
  • Bend knees and repeat.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps per side; go directly to one-arm dumbbell row.

7. One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Target: Strengthens lats

  • Stand behind the bench, lean forward with your left hand on the bench while raising right leg straight out behind you.
  • Keep right arm along side, holding a dumbbell in right hand with palm facing in (not shown).
  • Draw right elbow up toward ribs, keeping arm close to side.
  • Hold for 1 count and lower; repeat.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps per side; go directly to push-up.

8. Push-up

Target: Strengthens arms, chest, core

  • Begin in modified push-up position, knees on floor, palms aligned under shoulders, head in line with spine.
  • Lower chest to 6 inches from floor, keeping abs tight; return to start and repeat.
  • Then do a full push-up.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps; go directly to stability-ball hip lift.

9. Stability-Ball Hip Lift

Target: Strengthens legs, glutes, lower back

  • Lie faceup on the floor with your heels on top of a stability ball, arms extended out to sides with palms up.
  • Lift hips off floor, keeping glutes firm and abs tight.
  • While hips are lifted, slowly roll ball toward glutes, placing heels on side of ball.
  • Roll back to start; lower and repeat.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps; go directly to oblique crunch.

10. Oblique Crunch

Targets: Strengthens obliques

  • Lie faceup on floor with knees bent 90 degrees, right foot on floor and left leg extended.
  • Place right hand behind head for support and left hand on right side.
  • As you crunch up with right shoulder, bring left knee in toward chest.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

How Many? Do 10 to 12 reps. Repeat circuit beginning from split squat.

Your Cardio Plan

Start off your first week by doing the steady-paced workout. Then add in some high-intensity intervals. Do these workouts with your favorite activity (we used the treadmill), using your rate of perceived exertion (RPE), or how difficult it feels on a scale of 1 to 10.

Cardio Workout 1: Steady Pace

  • Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes at 3.5 mph (RPE 3-4).
  • Walk briskly at 4.0 mph or jog at 6.0 mph for 30 minutes (RPE 6).
  • Walk for 3 to 5 minutes at 3.5 mph (RPE 4) to cool down.

Total time: 36 to 40 minutes

Cardio Workout 2: Intervals

  • Warm up for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph (RPE 3-4).
  • Sprint for 1 minute (7.0-9.0 mph) or walk briskly on an incline (4.0-4.5 mph; 5% incline) (RPE 7.5-9).
  • Recover for 2 minutes at 3.7-4.0 mph (RPE 4-5).
  • Do 6 intervals total.
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at 3.3 mph (RPE 3-4).

Total time: 28 minutes

Cardio Workout 3: Intervals

  • Warm up for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph (RPE 3-4).
  • Sprint for 2 minutes (6.5-8.0 mph) or walk briskly on an incline (4.0-4.5 mph; 5% incline) (RPE 7-8).
  • Recover for 2 minutes at 3.7-4.0 mph (RPE 4-5).
  • Do 6 intervals total.
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at 3.3 mph (RPE 3-4).

Total time: 34 minutes

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2006.

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