The weather is heating up in New York. Memorial Day was hot and humid... and a lot of fun! Summer is almost here! Time to move the jackets and sweaters into the bottom drawers and the backs of closets and move the tank tops and box cuts to center stage. No more hiding under layers of clothes. Time to show some skin and get some sun. And along with all of this comes the immediate desire for dramatic physical change.
At Empower Fitness, we’re busy helping our clients do exactly that – from our fashion models and celebrities, to our “soccer moms” and business executives - everyone’s mindset seems to have shifted to “lets do this NOW”.
I’m here to help. This is the fifth week of Empowering tips on nutrition and exercise to get you fitting into that tight speedo by the time you’re invited to the first pool party of the summer. Follow the tips I’ll outline here and you’ll be ready for the beach - whether your “beach” is pier at Christopher Street, the pool at the Soho House or the white sands of Fire Island Pines.
The changes to the program this week are very, very simple. We are going to keep the same exact exercises, but now we are going to add a Set and bring the Reps down, so that you will be doing more but still be able to add a bit more resistance. This will take things up a notch and keep your results moving in the right direction.
So, this week, we will be doing 3 Sets of 12 Repetitions of each of the exercise pairs from last week (with a warm-up set with half of the weight you will use for the working set for the first pair of exercises). Complete all three Sets of the first pair before moving on to the second pair and so on. Rest two minutes between each set. Note that for exercises which are done with the left and right sides individually, like the split jump and the reciprocal shoulder raise, you will do 12 Repetitions for each side for a total of 24.
You will want to start your working Sets with the heaviest weight you used in your last workout and increase the weight by one increment for the second Set. You should be able to do more because you are doing fewer Repetitions for each Set.
When you have finished doing the 3 Sets each of the 4 exercise pairs, continue with the abdominal exercises from last week (adding a third Set), but because we are doing more total exercise, you will want to skip the cardio that was at the end of the program last week.
Repeat the workout three times this week, with at least a day of rest between workouts.
You will also want to continue with the two cardio workouts this week. These should be done on days when you are not already doing the above workout. Each time, do just 30 minutes of cardio on whichever equipment you prefer, just make sure to follow the Interval Training guidelines. It is okay to do this on the same day(s) you are amending your nutrition for fat-loss acceleration.
And speaking of the fat-loss acceleration days, continue to do two of those this week. You can do them on any day that you are not doing the endurance training program.
NOTE: For those of you have a smaller frame or a more thin body type, and who decided to continue with the strength phase last week, here are some instructions. If you want to continue to add muscle for one more week, continue with the program with the following changes. Do 3 Sets (plus the warm-up on the first exercise pair) consisting of 10, 8, and 6 Repetitions, respectively. Because you are dropping 2 Repetitions from one set to the next, you will be able to add one increment of weight as you move from one set to the next as long as you have finished the preceding set. If you did not complete the prior set, just keep the weight the same for the next set. Begin your first working Set (Set of 10) with the best weight you were able to complete 10 Repetitions of last week. You will also want to maintain the same nutrition suggested last week with the added 250-500 calories to what you were eating each day previously. At this point in the workout, your body is highly anabolic (capable of adding muscle) and because the workout weights are getting very heavy, you will be able to eat more and add more muscle to your body without the fear of adding much fat. I would recommend doing only 2 strength workouts this week, with 3 or 4 days of rest in between. You are lifting heavy enough by now that your body will need the extra rest. You will add more muscle doing two workouts this week then you would by doing three. If, on the on the other hand, you are ready to switch to a workout that adds endurance and starts the process of weight and fat loss, just follow the program I recommended for everyone else today and go back to last week's blog to learn about the exercises and nutrition for fat-loss acceleration. I would recommend only one fat-loss acceleration day each week, though, for your body type.
That’s all you need to know for this week. Just a little tweak to keep your body improving and moving in the direction of your goals of a leaner, more toned body.
Because there is not a lot new information required this week, we can take a moment to talk about motivation and mindset.
It is easy at this point to want to go back to what you were doing before. It is just as easy to stay with the program and continue to improve and move toward your goals. Each of you has to decide that the second choice is the better one, the one that will make you happier, make you feel better, move better and look better. The word “de-cide” comes from latin roots and translates roughly “to cut off” all other possibilities. When you decide to do something positive for yourself, there is nothing else that can stand in the way.
We’re now halfway through this 10-week program and if you’ve been following along as instructed, you should be seeing some very noticeable changes in how you feel and how you look: First, you have great energy that lasts throughout the day, with that mid-afternoon crash a thing of the past. You will have added lean tissue (muscle) to your body, with the result of a faster metabolism. And you will see this in the mirror, with some new lines in your arms, shoulders, legs and midsection that were not there before, some more more fullness to your muscles in general. And now, with the change in focus of the exercise and nutrition, your weight on the scale is dropping, as you maintain your lean tissue and some of your stored fat is being burned to fuel your body. At this point in my program, I’ve found that no matter what the scale says, more than half of my clients have dropped one pants size. Go ahead, grab something from your closet that hasn’t fit for a while and try it on. Let me know if it fits.
And keep it up. You’re doing great. I will be updating the program each week for the duration of this blog on getting in shape for summer. You will notice that each element builds on the previous one, giving you a complete program, a road-map, for getting from where you are to where you want to be. I hope you will stay with me. I am looking forward to hearing about YOUR ten-week success story.
Greg Rothman, MS PT, is a fitness professional, author and the owner of Empower Fitness Studios in NYC. He received his Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Columbia University and has twenty years of experience in the fitness and rehabilitation fields. He believes that absolutely anyone can have the body of their dreams once they understand how to eat and exercise in a way that supports their goals. It is his mission to Empower as many people as possible to do just that. Greg is happy to hear from you if you have questions about any topic related to fitness or nutrition, and can be found at www.GetEmpoweredFitness.com.
Greg Rothman, MS PT, is a fitness professional, writer and the owner of Empower Fitness in NYC. He received his Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Columbia University and has twenty years of experience in the fitness and rehabilitation fields. He believes that absolutely anyone can have the body of their dreams once they understand how to eat and exercise in a way that supports their goals. It is his mission to Empower as many people as possible to do just that. His “Recession-Proof” Fitness Programs are an affordable way to find dramatic physical change over the course of 10 weeks. Greg is happy to hear from you if you have questions about any topic related to fitness or nutrition, and can be found at www.GetEmpoweredFitness.com.