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The 9 Most Effective Ways to Get Your Best Body

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Get Strong, Fast

Goal: Get stronger, faster

Winning Strategy: Systematically periodize your routine

Researcher: William J. Kraemer, PhD, professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut

Varying the amount of weight and reps from workout to workout -- a training regimen that is known as nonlinear periodization -- can increase your sculpting benefits by up to 40 percent when compared with training at a constant rate, says Kraemer. Include some light training days to give your body time to heal so that you'll be able to work even harder during the more intense workouts. Try this sample plan, alternating strength cycles to keep muscles strong:

Monday: Use heavy weights, 5 to 6 reps, 3 sets, 2 minutes rest between sets.

Wednesday: Use lighter weights, 12 to 15 reps, 2 sets, 1 minute rest between sets.

Friday: Add moderate weights, 8 to 10 reps, 3 sets, 2 minutes rest between sets.

Saturday: Try explosive movements (such as throwing a medicine ball against a wall or doing jump squats) with lighter weights, 2 to 3 reps, 6 sets.

Next:  Firm Up Abs


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