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Do this twice a week on nonconsecutive days. Do each strength move for 1 minute, then follow with 60 seconds of moderate-intensity cardio: squat, jump rope, do push-ups, jog in place, do lunges, and so on.Choose a Level
You'll want to move to harder levels as the eight-week program progresses. Find a starting point; for example, Level 1. The key here is to do moves 1 through 5 -- plus all three core exercises -- once through, then repeat, making sure you're using heavy enough weights to challenge your muscles where appropriate. Whichever weight you pick up (5, 8, or 10 pounds; switch up anytime), it should be enough to exhaust your muscles after 12 to 15 reps.Time It Takes
Do the series through twice (total time: 30 to 35 minutes).Blast More Fat
Two or three days a week, do one of the cardio workouts (see "Pick Your Favorite Cardio"). Try varying your intensity level with each session.What You'll Need
A set of 5-, 8-, and 10-pound dumbbells.
1. Squat Progression
Targets glutes, quads, calves
2. Push-Up Progression
Targets shoulders, triceps, chest, core
3. Lunge Progression
Targets glutes, hamstrings, quads (shoulders, biceps, Levels 2 and 3)
4. Shoulder-Press Progression
Targets shoulders, upper back
5. Hip-Lift Progression
Targets glutes, hamstrings
6. Core Series (do all three!)
Targets abs, lower back
Note: Do each move below for 60 seconds, or as long as you can maintain proper form.
Adding at least a couple of calorie-burning workouts a week will get you leaner, faster. Since you'll likely stick with something you love, pick whatever you want -- running, swimming, skating, dancing -- as long as it gets your heart rate up. Be sure to vary your intensity levels by choosing from the different workout programs each week.Workout 1
Slow and steady (60 minutes)
Warm up for 10 minutes, then go for another 50 at a moderate pace -- you should be able to chat with a friend, but you may need to stop once or twice to get a drink of water.
Too hard? Cut the workout to 40 minutes. Go at an easy to moderate level for the first 3 weeks, then gradually work up to 60 minutes.Workout 2
Hard and fast (30 minutes)
Warm up for 10 minutes, then increase your pace until you're working at a high intensity level -- you couldn't carry on a full conversation if you tried. Try to maintain this pace for 15 minutes, then cool down for the final 5.
Too hard? Cut the fast part to 10 minutes, or do 30 minutes of moderately high-intensity exercise, working up to high.Workout 3
Intervals (45 minutes)
Warm up for 10 minutes, then alternate 1 minute of high-intensity speed bursts (you're breathless) with 2 minutes of moderate-intensity recovery periods (you can speak with a little huff and puff). Do 10 of these speed intervals, then cool down for the final 5 minutes.
Too hard? Do fewer intervals and give yourself a longer recovery time.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2007.