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Get Lean and Sculpted in 4 Weeks Flat! Part 1: Strength

Science is on your side: Our state-of-the-art cardio/strength workout plan will melt fat and build sexy muscles.

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Andrew Parsons
One-Legged Step Squat
Andrew Parsons
Andrew Parsons
Andrew Parsons
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This three-day-a-week strength program, created with trainer Kelly Tekin of Albuquerque, New Mexico, targets every major muscle group. One day emphasizes endurance-type training, using lighter weights and more reps. Another stresses power with slightly heavier weights and fewer reps, done at a swifter pace. A third focuses on building strength, lifting heavier weights slowly. For all, use a weight challenging enough to bring you close to fatigue by the final rep. To keep things fresh, alternate between options A and B weekly.

Print the Workout Booklet: Get Lean and Sculpted in 4 Weeks Flat!

For the best results, pair this workout with the Lean & Sculpted Cardio Plan

Check out our Day-by-Day Workout Guide, a handy companion to this fitness routine

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One-Legged Step Squat

Target: Glutes, Thighs

Option A: One-Legged Step Squat
Stand with left foot on a step bench, right foot on ground, shoulder-distance apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of hips. Keeping your torso upright, slowly squat down, bending knees 90 degrees and keeping weight in heels. Place most of your weight on the right foot while using the left leg for balance. Switch legs between sets.

Option B: Dumbbell Squat (not shown)
Stand with feet together on the ground, holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Keeping your torso upright, slowly squat down, bending knees 45 to 90 degrees; keep your weight balanced over your heels. Return to start and repeat.

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Step Out to Side Lunge

Target: Thighs, Hips

Option A: Rest a barbell or body bar across your upper back. Step left foot 2 to 3 feet out to left side, bending left knee 90 degrees and keeping right leg straight; keep hips facing forward. Hold for 2 counts, then push off with left foot back to starting position. Repeat on right side.

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Reverse Lunge

Target: Thighs, Hips

Option B: Rest a barbell or body bar across your upper back. Lunge back 2 to 3 feet with left leg, bending right knee 90 degrees and keeping it aligned with ankle. Bring left foot forward to meet right; switch legs and repeat.

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Cross-Over Flye on Ball

Target: Chest, Front Shoulder

Option A: Cross-Over Flye on Ball
Lie with your upper back on a stability ball, holding a dumbbell in each hand, feet on ground. Bring weights together over chest, palms in and elbows slightly bent. Slowly lower weights out to sides, moving arms in a semicircular arc. Return weights to center, then cross forearms in front of body as far as comfortably possible.

Option B: Regular Flye on Ball (not shown)
Repeat Option A, but without crossing weights in front of body.

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Single-Leg Heel Raise

Target: Calves

Option A: Single-Leg Heel Raise
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides, feet staggered about 18 inches apart, left foot forward. Slowly rock forward onto left leg, raising right leg behind you and lifting left heel off ground; hold for 2 counts. Lower and repeat. Do 1 set; switch legs and repeat.

Option B: Double-Leg Heel Raise (not shown)
Stand on a step with heels off the edge, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly lift both heels; hold for 2 counts, then lower to start.

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Wide-Arm Upright Row (with Dumbbells)

Target: Upper Back, Rear Shoulder

Option A: Wide-Arm Upright Row (with dumbbells)
Stand holding dumbbells with arms extended at sides, palms facing body. Pull elbows up and away from hips, bending them 90 degrees, until they are at shoulder level. Lower to starting position.

Option B: Reverse Flye on Ball (not shown)
Lie with chest against stability ball, legs extended behind you and feet on ground. Hold dumbbells with arms extended, elbows slightly bent. Lift arms to sides in a semicircular arc to as high as is comfortable. Lower to starting position.

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Overhead Flye on Ball, Step 1

Target: Front and Top of Shoulders

Option A: Overhead Flye on Ball
Sit upright on a stability ball holding dumbbells. Extend arms out to sides at shoulder height, keeping elbows slightly bent, palms up.

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Overhead Flye on Ball, Step 2

Target: Front and Top of Shoulders

Option A: Overhead Flye on Ball
Lift arms in a semicircular arc above the head until the weights almost touch. Slowly lower back to shoulder level and repeat.

Option B: Shoulder Press on Ball (not shown)
Sit upright on a stability ball holding a dumbbell in each hand. Raise arms out to sides, bending elbows 90 degrees with palms facing forward. Extend arms, pressing weights over head. Lower elbows back to starting position and repeat.

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Seated Concentration Curl

Target: Biceps

Option A: Seated Concentration Curl
Sit on a stability ball holding a dumbbell in right hand. Lean forward, placing right elbow on inside of right thigh, arm extended with thumb up. Slowly curl weight toward shoulder, rotating hand so palm faces up. Hold for 1 count, then lower back to start.

Option B: Standing Hammer Curl (not shown)
Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended at sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing in. Slowly curl weights toward your shoulders. Reverse movement, lowering weights back to start.

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Elbow-Out Triceps Extension, Step 1

Target: Triceps

Option A: Elbow-Out Triceps Extension
Lie faceup on a bench holding dumbbells, arms extended above shoulders and palms facing forward.

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Elbow-Out Triceps Extension, Step 2

Target: Triceps

Option A: Elbow-Out Triceps Extension
Bend your elbows 90 degrees, lowering weights over chest and pointing elbows out to sides. Slowly extend arms back to starting position.

Option B: Close-Grip Dumbbell Press (not shown)
Lie faceup on a bench or the floor holding a dumbbell in each hand together just above your chest (elbows close to your rib cage), palms facing each other. Press weights straight up, extending them above shoulders and aligned with rib cage. Lower to starting position.

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Ball Trunk Rotation

Target: Abdominals, Lower Back*

Option A: Ball Trunk Rotation
Lie with back on a stability ball with arms crossed over the chest, feet on ground. Turn torso to right, moving left side of rib cage toward right side of hips. Return to center and repeat, rotating to opposite side.

Option B: Long-Lever Trunk Curl (not shown)
Lie with back on a stability ball, feet on ground. Extend arms overhead, elbows near ears, clasping hands together. Curl your trunk, bringing your shoulders and upper back off the ball. Return slowly to starting position.

*Note: Do 12 to 15 reps per set of all ab moves in each strength workout.

Originally published in Fitness magazine, November 2005.

Print the Workout Booklet: Get Lean and Sculpted in 4 Weeks Flat!

Ready for more? Try Workout 2: Cardio

Day-by-Day Workout Guide

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Fitness magazine, November 2005
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