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The 48-Hour Weight-Loss Jump Start

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Day 1: Workout

If you're a morning workout kind of person, go ahead and lace up after breakfast. However, if you're more of an afternoon or after-dinner exerciser, feel free to work out when you're most comfortable. "It's about forming a habit and it's about frequency of exercise," says celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza, who's worked with Jessica Alba. "Schedule it in and write it down in your journal. If you don't have energy five mornings in a row, then switch it up."

The trick to getting lean muscles is to combine weight training with cardio, which is exactly what you'll be doing with Braganza's 3-2-1 program (3 cardio segments, 2 circuit segments, and 1 core segment).

"Try not to take a break. Push through the burn," advises Braganza. "But if you must stop, then stop briefly and then continue." She suggests working out at 75 percent of your target heart rate. (You can figure out what your target heart rate is by subtracting your age from 226, then multiplying that number by 0.75 to get your percentage.) If you're doing the exercise correctly, you should feel the burn in the last 5 reps, she says.

 

The whole program should take an hour and will burn around 300 calories. If you want to burn more, increase the cardio time from 7 minutes to 10, and repeat Circuit A and B three times.

Cardio 1

  • Warm up by jogging for 2 minutes.
  • Interval train for 3 to 5 minutes. Increase the intensity by either jogging on an incline or by upping your speed and keeping it at a steady pace.

Circuit A

1. Push-Ups

  • Extend your arms shoulder width apart and extend your legs and come up onto your toes.
  • Keeping your back straight, lower your body down, then push back up to starting position.
  • Do 20 reps.
  • If you can't support yourself, drop your knees on the ground for support.

 

2. Leg Lifts

  • Lie flat on your side and extend your legs straight.
  • Lift the top leg, then lower it to within a few inches of -- but not touching -- the bottom leg.
  • Do 20 pulses on one side, then switch.

Make sure your form is correct; lean body slightly forward and don't let top hip roll back. This exercise will work the outer thigh.

3. Chair Dips

  • Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet together and flat on the floor. Place your hands on the edge of the chair on either side of your thighs.
  • Bend elbows 90 degrees and lower yourself to the floor.
  • Straighten your arms to raise your body back to the start position.
  • Do 20 reps.

 

4. Repeat steps 1-3.

Cardio 2

  • Jump rope for 7 minutes.

Circuit B

1. Chest Press with Dumbbells

  • Use medium weights, 8 to 10 pounds.
  • Sit on an inclined bench, holding weights to about shoulder height and then lean back against the bench. Make sure the dumbbells are on the side of your chest and the upper part of your arm is under the dumbbells.
  • Extend the dumbbells up.
  • Lower your arms back to the original position.
  • Do 20 reps, with the last 5 reps feeling challenging.

 

2. Walking Lunges

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Lunge right leg forward, bending left knee to about 1 inch above the floor and with the right knee bent at a 90-degree angle directly above your ankle.
  • Push off the floor with your left foot and lunge your left leg forward.
  • Do 20 walking lunges. Remember to keep the weight on your heels so you're not leaning forward.
  • Advanced tip: Go deep by twisting into the leading leg and touching the ground with opposite hand.

 

3. Triceps Extensions

  • Lie on a bench, holding 5- to 10-pound dumbbells in each hand.
  • Start with your arms extended to the ceiling.
  • Bending at the elbows and keeping your palms facing in, lower dumbbells to your ears.
  • Do 20 reps.

 

4. Take a 30-second break, then repeat circuit B.

Cardio 3

  • Interval train for 7 minutes. Increase the intensity by either jogging on an incline or by upping your speed and keeping it at a steady pace.

Core

1. Double Crunch

  • Lie on your back, starting with both feet off the ground.
  • Hold your elbows behind your head, then contract your body into a ball until your elbows touch your knees.
  • Do 20 crunches.

 

2. Twisting Bicycle

  • Lie on your back.
  • Alternate touching your elbows to your opposite knee (i.e., right elbow toward left knee, and vice versa) as you come up for a crunch.
  • Do 20 crunches.

3. Leg Lifts

  • Lie flat on your back and put your hands under your butt.
  • Lift legs toward the ceiling, then bring them down until they nearly touch the floor.
  • Do 20 reps on each side.

4. Plank

  • Get into kneeling position and brace your body against the ground with your elbows and forearms. Extend legs straight behind you so you're balancing on toes and forearms.
  • Hold this plank position for 20 to 30 seconds (work your way up to a full minute).

5. Repeat steps 1-4.

Next:  Day 2: Diet

 

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