A Better Body in 2 Hours a Week: A Total-Body Workout
Your 30-Minute Total-Body Plan
Think you don't have time to exercise? Think again. Take these three fast, no-fail routines with you wherever you go. No excuses!The Perfect Circuit
What You'll Need: A pair of 5- to 8-pound dumbbells. (The last few reps of each move should be really difficult, so increase weight as needed.)
Warm up (walk on treadmill, bike slowly, march in place) for five minutes. Then complete one set of the following:
- 24 alternating lunges with biceps curls, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- 20 plie squats, feet turned out to sides, knees behind toes, holding a dumbbell in each hand. As you squat, raise arms straight out in front of chest. Lower arms as you lift back up.
- Two 45-second plank holds, hands below shoulders, abs engaged, back straight; lift one leg each time.
- 20 alternating reverse lunges, holding a dumbbell in each hand. As you lunge back, lift arms straight out to sides at shoulder height, palms down. Lower arms as you stand up.
- 20 squats, holding a dumbbell in each hand. As you squat, press dumbbells straight overhead, palms facing forward. Lower arms as you lift back up.
- 1 to 3 minutes of cardio (such as jogging in place, doing jumping jacks or jumping rope).
- Rest for 1 minute, then do another set, switching up the order of the exercises.
Each burns 300 to 350 calories1. Short, Hard Interval
- Warm up (10 minutes)
- Light cardio (a brisk walk/jog or an easy ride on the stationary bike): RPE 4-5*
- Speed burst (2 minutes)
Pick up pace: RPE 8-9
- Recover (1 minute)
Slow down to a moderate pace: RPE 3
- Repeat sequence 3 more times
- Cool down (5 minutes)
- Light cardio: RPE 4-5
This tempo workout is like doing one long interval at a fairly high intensity -- you should be able to speak, but not engage in lengthy conversation. Try doing it with any of your favorite types of cardio, such as running, cycling or walking.
- Warm up (15 minutes)
- Hard pace (10 minutes)
- Cool down (5 minutes)
*RPE is your Rate of Perceived Exertion, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2008.
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