Category: Muscle PRO

The 8-Week Slim Down Diet

If you want to lean out and still feel great, your diet is crucial to success. After all, if you don’t have the right levels of essential nutrients, it will be tough to build lean muscle while losing fat. That doesn’t mean starving yourself, either—eating too little puts your metabolism into slow-mo as your body holds on to every calorie it can. These meals will fuel all your workouts during the eight weeks while helping you cut body fat. Feel free to mix and match your menu as you see fit. The meals follow a 40-30-30 formula of carbs-protein-fat. Take in more calories on active days, and drop some when you’re recovering to keep your metabolism from slowing down. (Get the "3 Diet Rules You Need to Follow" here.) Breakfast Meal 1: 1⁄2 cup oats 1 whole egg, plus 3⁄4 cup egg whites 1⁄2 cup berries Calories: 351, Fat: 7.5g, Carbs: 36.5g, Protein: 31.5g Meal 2: 2 whole-grain waffles 4–5 hard-boiled egg whites 1 tbsp natural nut butter 1⁄2 cup fruit Calories: 376, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 41g, Protein: 28g Meal 3: 2 slices whole grain bread 1/2 cup no salt cottage cheese 1/2 avocado 1/2 cup cantaloupe Calories: 420, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 38g, Protein: 26g Meal 4: 8 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt; 1⁄2 cup fruit; 1⁄8 cup walnuts Calories: 245, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 20g Meal 5: Omelet with 1 egg, plus 4 egg whites, bell pepper, tomato, spinach, onion 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese 1 slice whole-grain toast Calories: 380, Fat: 13g, Carbs: 23g, Protein: 35g Meal 6: 1⁄2 cup oats 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1⁄8 cup crushed walnuts 1⁄2 cup berries All mixed with hot water Calories: 401, Fat: 15g, Carbs: 40g, Protein: 35g Meal 7: 1 whole egg, plus 3–4 egg whites scrambled, 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese, spinach, and tomato in 1 low-carb tortilla topped with 1⁄4 cup salsa Calories: 425, Fat: 15g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 35g Meal 8: 1 sprouted-grain English muffin 1 fried egg 1 piece ham 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese 1⁄2 cup fruit Calories: 390, Fat: 7g,Carbs: 35g, Protein: 25g Meal 9: 1⁄2 cup quick-oats oatmeal mixed with water 8 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1⁄2 cup berries Calories: 291, Fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 43g, Protein: 25g Meal 10: 1 cup whole-grain cereal 1⁄2 cup 1% milk 1⁄2 cup berries Calories: 300, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 45g, Protein: 10g Shutterstock Lunch Meal 1: 4 oz lean ground turkey over mixed greens 1⁄2 small avocado 2 slices lean turkey bacon 15 baked tortilla chips; low-sodium salsa Calories: 394, Fat: 11g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 34g Meal 2: 3 oz sliced turkey breast in low-carb wrap 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, plus lettuce, tomato, 2 tbsp avocado Calories: 365, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 26g Meal 3: 4 oz tuna in water 1 tbsp Dijon mustard on 1 slice sprouted bread Salad made of lettuce, 4 grape tomatoes, 1⁄2 small bell pepper, 1⁄8 cup walnuts, 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries Calories: 435, Fat: 11g, Carbs: 50g, Protein: 33g Meal 4: 3 oz smoked turkey breast on 2 slices whole-grain bread 1 tbsp low-fat mayo; lettuce; 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese 12 baked tortilla chips Calories: 450, Fat: 12g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 22g Meal 5: 4 oz chicken breast over mixed salad greens; Balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp sliced avocado 1 slice sprouted bread Calories: 324, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 18g, Protein: 39g Meal 6: 4 oz lean turkey burger in whole-wheat pita with lettuce, tomato, mustard 15 baked potato chips Calories: 331, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 30g Meal 7: 4 oz grilled salmon over large green salad with balsamic vinegar; 2 brown rice cakes 1 tbsp grated cheese Calories: 395, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 40g, Protein: 26g Meal 8: 4 oz bison burger in whole-wheat pita with lettuce, tomato, mustard 15 baked potato chips Calories: 320, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 28g Meal 9: 4 oz grilled salmon Kale sautéed with garlic, sea salt, olive oil 1⁄2 cup brown rice Calories: 328, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 34g, Protein: 30g Meal 10: 3 oz lean grass-fed beef 1⁄2 cup brown rice, served over bed of romaine lettuce Topped with 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese Flavored with optional onion, garlic, spicy salsa Calories: 375, Fat: 12g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 35g Shutterstock Dinner Meal 1: 3 oz chicken breast 1⁄2 cup marinara sauce Grated cheese to taste Served over 1 cup linguini; side salad Calories: 412, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 65g, Protein: 35g Meal 2: 4 oz shrimp 3⁄4 cup mixed vegetables stir-fried in 1 tbsp olive oil 1⁄2 cup brown rice Calories: 450, Fat: 17g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 33g Meal 3: 4 oz lean pork 1⁄2 cup unsweetened apple sauce asparagus spears 4 oz sweet potato Calories: 350, Fat: 8g, Carbs: 45g, Protein: 28g Meal 4: 4 oz chicken breast; 1⁄2 cubed avocado 1⁄2 cup corn kernels, sliced red and green bell pepper Tossed with salsa 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese Calories: 454, Fat: 14g, Carbs: 33g, Protein: 38g Meal 5: 4 oz grilled salmon 2 cups steamed broccoli or asparagus 5 oz baked red potato Calories: 363, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 32g, Protein: 26g Meal 6: 4 oz grass-fed flank steak Baby spinach sautéed with 1 tbsp of olive oil, sea salt, garlic, pepper to taste 5 oz sweet potato Calories: 400, Fat: 20g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 26g Meal 7: 2 oz cubed chicken Diced tomato; onion; green pepper; chilies 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese 1⁄2 cup black beans 2 tbsp avocado 3 tbsp low-sodium salsa All in 1 whole-grain low-carb wrap Calories: 495, Fat: 12g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 30g Meal 8: 4 oz 99% fat-free ground lean turkey, made into patties 2 cups steamed broccoli 1 small sweet potato with 2 tsp coconut oil Calories: 380, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 33g Meal 9: Warm pasta salad made with 4 oz grilled flank steak served over mixed greens; balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese 1 cup whole-grain pasta Calories: 362, Fat: 8g, Carbs: 37g, Protein: 33g Meal 10: Fajita with 2 oz chicken 1⁄2 cup black beans 1⁄2 cup rice 2 cups sliced bell pepper and onions, sautéed in skillet with spices and nonstick spray Calories: 382, Fat: 3g, Carbs: 55g, Protein: 32g heatherwalker/Getty Images Snacks About 150 Calories Or Less 1 orange; 10 almonds; 1⁄2 cup nonfat yogurtCalories: 131, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 20g 1 small apple; 1⁄2 oz unsalted mixed nutsCalories: 150, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 4g Whey/casein shake blended with ice, 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter; add instant decaf coffee and/or cinnamon to tasteCalories: 150, Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 7g, Protein: 23g 1 small apple with 1 tbsp natural almond or peanut butterCalories: 150, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 4g 8 oz nonfat Greek yogurt with 1⁄2 cup melonCalories: 154, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 18g 1 scoop whey protein with 8 oz almond milkCalories: 155, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 5g, Protein: 25g ABOUT 200 CALORIES OR LESS 1 medium apple plus 1 tbsp natural nut butterCalories: 167, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 22.5g, Protein: 4g 1 medium apple with 1 oz low-fat cheddar cheeseCalories: 186, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 19g, Protein: 7.5g 1⁄2 cup 1% no-salt cottage cheese; 10 almondsCalories: 169, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 6g, Protein: 19g 5 hard-boiled egg whites; 2 tbsp avocado; sliced celery; salt-free seasoningCalories: 155, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 4g, Protein: 20g 1 medium apple; 10 almonds; cup of herbal or decaf green teaCalories: 167, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 22.5g, Protein: 4g 1⁄2 cup fresh raspberries; 5 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt; cinnamon; 1⁄4 cup almond sliversCalories: 210, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 20g 3 oz grilled chicken; 2 tbsp avocado; sliced cucumberCalories: 204, Fat: 8g, Carbs: 7g, Protein: 25g 1⁄2 sprouted English muffin; 1⁄2 cup 1% no-salt cottage cheese; 1⁄2 cup pineappleCalories: 210, Fat: 2g, Carbs: 11g, Protein: 22g 1⁄2 grapefruit; 10 toasted almondsCalories: 175, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 29g, Protein: 4.5g 1 low-carb protein bar such as Quest BarCalories: 180, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 22g, Protein: 21g ABOUT 300 CALORIES OR LESS Smoothie made with 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1⁄2 cup berries, 8 oz almond milkCalories: 230, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 34g, Protein: 24g 1 cup whole-grain cereal, almond, soy, or 1% milk, 1⁄2 cup strawberriesCalories: 300, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 55g, Protein: 10g Sprouted cinnamon-raisin English muffin with low-fat cream cheese; 1⁄2 cup berriesCalories: 250, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 42g, Protein: 10g Shake with 1 scoop whey protein mixed with water, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1⁄2 banana, all blended with iceCalories: 295, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 25g 12 brown rice crackers; sliced bell peppers; 1⁄4 cup white-bean hummusCalories: 264, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 40g, Protein: 7g 1 sliced medium apple; 1 tbsp soy-nut butter or natural peanut butterCalories: 242, Fat: 11g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 8g 6 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt; 1⁄2 cup fruit; 1⁄8 cup chopped walnutsCalories: 240, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 20g 2 slices sprouted cinnamon-raisin bread; 1 tbsp almond butter; 1 tbsp natural strawberry jamCalories: 310, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 48g, Protein: 12g

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19 Kick-Butt Cardio Workout Routines

Stationary Bike Indoor cycling classes offer fat-blasting, calorie-scorching, leg-sculpting workouts in a competitive yet social setting. Top instructors designed these routines for the days you can’t make it to class. Just bring your own beats and start pedaling. Break a sweat  By: Victor Self TIME: 10 minutes (Warm-up) Follow the simple, effective warmup below before you start the hill and sprint workouts on the next page, advises Self, who put together all three. Use the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale of 1 to 10 to determine how hard you are working: 1 = easy, 5 = moderately challenging (hard to sustain for more than three minutes), 10 = extremely challenging (an effort you couldn’t sustain for more than 60 seconds). Resistance is indicated at four levels: light, moderate, heavy, and very heavy. Speed is slow (40–60 rpm), moderate (70–80 rpm), fast (85–100 rpm), and maximum (100+ rpm). 0-2 Minutes Easy riding with light resistance and moderate speed (70–80 rpm); RPE: 2–4 2-3 Minutes Slightly increase resistance to moderate while maintaining moderate speed; RPE: 3–5 3-4 Minutes 1 min. pedaling fast (85–100 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 5–7 4-5 Minutes 1 min. moderate pedaling (70–80 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 3-5 5-6 Minutes 1 min. fast pedaling (85–100 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 5–7 6-7 Minutes 1 min. moderate pedaling (70–80 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 3–5 7-8 Minutes  1 min. fast pedaling (85–100 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 5–7 8-9 Minutes 1 min. moderate pedaling (70–80 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 3–5 9-10 Minutes 1 min. fast pedaling (85–100 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 5–7 Queen of the hill drill By: Victor Self TIME: 30 minutes (Main workout)  0-3 Minutes Start seated with moderate resistance and moderate speed (70–80 rpm); RPE: 3–5 3-6 Minutes Increase resistance two times in 3 min.; slow speed (40–60 rpm); moderate-heavy resistance; RPE: 5–7 6-8 Minutes Keep resistance and stand; increase speed for 60 sec. to 60+ rpm, then back to 40–60 rpm; RPE: 6–8 8-9 Minutes Decrease resistance to moderate and increase speed to moderate while seated; RPE: 3–5 9-13 Minutes Slow speed, heavy resistance, stand; add resistance three times in 4 min.; RPE: 6–8 13-15 Minutes Keep heavy resistance, increase to 60+ rpm (30–45 sec.), then return to original pace seated; RPE: 7–9 15-17 Minutes Decrease to moderate and maintain moderate pace while seated; RPE: 3–5 17-22 Minutes Very heavy resistance, slow speed; add resistance twice during the 5 min. while standing; RPE: 8–10 22-23 Minutes Very heavy resistance, increase speed (55+ rpm) 30–45 sec.; return to slow pace, standing; RPE: 9–10 23- 24 Minutes Decrease to heavy resistance and maintain slow speed while seated; RPE: 7–9 24-26 Minutes Decrease to moderate resistance and increase to moderate speed; RPE: 4–6 26-28 Minutes Decrease to light resistance and increase to fast speed (85–100 rpm) while seated; RPE: 2–4 28-30 Minutes Cool down, seated, allowing heart rate to decrease; end with some stretching The ultimate sprinter By: Victor Self TIME: 30 Minutes (Main workout) 0-3 Minutes Light resistance at 70–80 rpm; RPE: 2–3 3-4 Minutes Light resistance at 80–90 rpm; RPE: 4–5 4-7 Minutes Light resistance at 90–100 rpm; RPE: 6–7 7-9 Minutes Light resistance at 100+ rpm; RPE: 7–8 9-10 Minutes Recovery with light to moderate resistance at 60–80 rpm; RPE: 2–3 10-13 Minutes Moderate resistance at 70–80 rpm; RPE: 3–5 13-15 Minutes Moderate resistance at 80–90 rpm; RPE: 5–7 15-17 Minutes Moderate resistance at 90–100 rpm; RPE: 7–8 17-19 Minutes Moderate resistance at 100+ rpm; RPE: 8–9 19-20 Minutes Recovery with light to moderate resistance at 60–80 rpm; RPE: 3–5 20-22 Minutes Moderate resistance at 90–100 rpm; RPE: 6–8 22-23 Minutes Moderate resistance at maximum speed; RPE: 9–10 23-25 Minutes Recovery with light to moderate resistance at 60–80 rpm; RPE: 3–5 25-27 Minutes Moderate resistance at 90–100 rpm; RPE: 7–9 27-28 Minutes Moderate resistance at maximum speed; RPE: 10 28-30 Minutes Cool down, allowing heart rate to decrease; end with some stretching Stuchlik's powerhouse spin fusion  By: Pavel Stuchlik TIME: About 20 minutes Adapted for the stationary bike by Stuchlik, the format of this workout is simple but effective: warmup, endurance, strength, power, recovery. Warm Up 4-6 Minutes Keep one foot on the pedal and the other off and out of the way. Spin for 1 min. with one leg. Switch to opposite side for the same amount of time. Repeat two to three times. High Gear 4 Minutes Dial it up to major resistance. Spin in high gear for 4 min. Powerhouse 4 Minutes Amp up to a big gear effort with very high rpm for 4 min. Aim to reach 82% to 92% of your maximum heart rate. Recovery 4 Minutes Slow the pace and reduce resistance for a 1-min. recovery, followed by a 1-min. sprint. Repeat. Pro tip from Stuchlik: "Stretching helps finish your recovery off the bike, and yoga sun salutations are the perfect ending. Finish with a few minutes of meditation if possible." Rolling hills with flats By: Chan Gannaway TIME: About 27 Minutes Gannaway designed this exhilarating cycling workout, which varies resistance and intesity. *Light: Can maintain pace for 30 min. **Medium: Challenging but steady ***Heavy: Hard but can maintain it 4-5 Minutes Warmup, 60-80 rpm, light* 1 Minute 70-80 rpm, medium** 2 Minutes 80-100 rpm, medium** 2 Minutes 70-80 rpm, light* 2 Minutes 70-80 rpm, heavy buy doable*** 1 Minute 80-100 rpm, light* 1 Minute 70-80 rpm, heavy buy doable*** 1 Minute 90-110 rpm, medium** 2 Minutes Cooldown, 60-70 rpm, light* Repeat cycle block, eliminating warmup Indoor rowing machine Rowing lights up nearly every major muscle group in your body and will put your endurance to the test, even in short intervals. Here are four completely badass workouts for the indoor rowing machine. HIIT sprint series By: Jared Stein TIME: 12–15 minutes Stein shares this interval routine for people who are short on time. Don’t be fooled by its brevity—this workout will fry you. Log your sprint times and use them as a benchmark for when you do this workout again. Row 500 meters at about 60% effort, not for time Rest 30 seconds Row 250 meters at max effort; keep track of time Rest for the amount of time it took you to row Repeat for a total of four sprints, 1:1 work-rest ratio Row 500 meters at about 60% effort, not for time Up the ladder By: Jared Stein TIME: 45-50 Minutes Stein created this ascending ladder that increases intensity with every round. Punishment gluttons can descend back down after. Choose a split time (pace per 500 meter) that is challenging but maintainable for a 1,000-meter row Row 100 meters at or faster than the selected split time Rest for the amount of time it took you to row Row 200 meters at or faster than the selected split time Rest for the amount of time it took you to row Continue up the ladder in 100-meter increments until you reach 1,000 meters, maintaining a 1:1 work-rest ratio Three pyramids By: Nick Peterson TIME: 40 minutes Olympic rower Peterson advises you to do this workout as hard as you can the whole time. “Your pace will improve as your stroke rate goes up, but you want to avoid falling apart and going easy, or ‘paddling,’ as the stroke rate comes down.” *SPM is strokes per minute. 3 minutes 16-18 spm 2 minutes 22-24 spm 1 minute 28-30 spm 2 minutes 22-24 spm 3 minutes 16-18 spm Rest 3-5 Minutes Repeat two more times 2K Row/burpee-over-erg couplet  By: Noah Abbott TIME: 15 minutes Two kilometers is the length of most Olympic rowing races and is a benchmark distance for the indoor rowing machine. That’s a tough test on its own, but Abbott likes to throw in a twist: Hop off and do 10 burpees over the rowing machine after each 500-meter increment. “Those last 10 burpees are particularly soul-sucking,” says Abbott. Treadmill Even if you are an avid hiker or road runner and insist on working out outside, there will be times when using a treadmill is simply your best option (e.g., you do not want to run in a lightning storm). These fun and challenging workouts mix it up for you on the treadmill. The hiker's workout By: Franklin Antoian TIME: 60 minutes Antoian offers this to clients getting in shape for a long hike. Focus on taking long, full strides as the incline increases. 15 minutes Race walk at 5 mph, flat incline 10 minutes Fast walk at 4 mph, 5% incline 10 minutes Power walk at 3 mph, 10% incline 10 minutes Power climb at 2 mph, 15% incline 15 minutes Cooldown at 3 mph, gradually reducing Sprint endurance By: Franklin Antoian TIME: 40 minutes This workout can help when you need to reach deep for extra bursts of energy. Jog at an easy pace for 10 min. Run 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) at a challenging but achievable pace After completing 5 kilometers, sprint for 5 sec., then walk for 5 sec. Sprint for 10 sec., then walk for 10 sec. Sprint for 15 sec., then walk for 15 sec. Sprint for 30 sec., then walk until you have cooled down Running hills is a critical component of middle- and long-distance road-race training. Cari Shoemate, a Houston-based ultramarathoner whose workout tips can be found at cari-fit.com, offers an intermediate and advanced treadmill workout that will strengthen your quads, kick your cardio into high gear, and give you the tools to conquer big hills. Intermediate hill-running workout By: Cari Shoemate TIME: 28 minutes 0-5 minutes, on 0 Incline, at 3.5 mph 5-10 minutes, on 3 Incline, at 5.0 mph  10-12 minutes, on 0 Incline, at 5.3 mph 12-14 minutes, on 5 Incline, at 5.3 mph 14-16 minutes, on 0 Incline, at 5.3 mph 16-18 minutes, on 7 incline, at 5.3 mph 18-20 minutes, on 0 incline, at 5.0 mph 20-25 minutes, on 7 incline, at 5.0 mph 25-28 minutes on 0 incline, at cooldown walk Advanced hill-running workout By: Cari Shoemate TIME: 28 minutes 0-5 minutes, on 0 Incline, at 6.0 mph 5-10 minutes, on 5 Incline, at 6.0 mph  10-12 minutes, on 10 Incline, at 5.5 mph 12-14 minutes, on 10 Incline, at 5.0 mph 14-16 minutes, on 10 Incline, at 6.0 mph 16-18 minutes, on 10 incline, at 5.0 mph 18-20 minutes, on 5 incline, at 5.5 mph 20-25 minutes, on 3 incline, at 7.5 mph 25-28 minutes on 0 incline, at cooldown walk Brain teaser By: Nicole Wilkins TIME: 45 minutes Nicole Wilkins, a Met-Rx–sponsored figure pro who has mentored and coached many other competitive athletes, designed this fantastic treadmill fat burner. Adjust the speed to match your fitness and comfort level. 3 Minute Warmup at 3.5 mph Raise Incline to 2% 1 minute at 7.0 mph 1 minute at 3.0 mph 1 minute at 8.0 mph 1 minute at 3.0 mph 1 minute at 9.0 mph 1 minute at 3.0 mph Repeat sequence once Lower Incline to flat 1 minute at 9.0 90 seconds at 3.0 Repeat sequence 10 times 5 minute cooldown at 3.5 mph Stepmill Nicole Wilkins has her clients perform this quad crusher, which keeps both your body and mind engaged. Around the world on the stepmill By: Nicole Wilkins TIME: 40 minutes Set machine to manual  5 minutes at level 10 2 minutes at level 12 Skip every other step 1 minute at level 15 1 minute at level 10 Facing right (turn body sideways and cross your leg over as you step up) 1 minute at level 10 Facing left 1 minute at level 16 1 minute on level 8 Repeat sequence five times 5 minute cooldown at level 6 Elliptical machine If you’re feeling slightly beat up, the elliptical can be an excellent option for a low-impact cardio blast. Even Shy, a member of team Optimum Nutrition, created this tough climbing workout for the elliptical. Shytown Everest By: Even Shy TIME: 20 Minutes 3 minute warmup 30% maximum effort, 10 resistance 60 second sprint 85% of maximum effort, 24 resistance 60 second recovery 50% of maximum effort (135 bpm), 10 resistance 60 second sprint 90% of maximum effort, 23 resistance 60 second recovery 50% of maximum effort (135 bpm), 10 resistance 60 second sprint 95% of maximum effort, 22 resistance 60 second recovery 50% of maximum effort (135 bpm), 10 resistance 60 second sprint 95% of maximum effort, 21 resistance 60 second recovery 50% of maximum effort (135 bpm), 10 resistance 60 second sprint 100% of maximum effort, 20 resistance 3 minute cooldown 35% of maximum effort (110 bpm), 10 resistance Bonus burnout: Three supersets of squat jumps and jumping lunges, 20 reps each exercise.  Three machines you never use (but should) Lucky enough to have this equipment around? Try it out and get set to sweat hard. Reverse tabata on the assault air bike TIME: 4 minutes “The assault air bike is the most demanding bike of its kind,” says Noah Abbott. Try to do an eight-round reverse tabata for total calories—that’s 10 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. “Clients who have never done it sometimes sniff, thinking it will be too easy.” But this workout has most athletes reduced to a puddle. CrossFit Jerry Hero workout on the true form treadmill and CONCEPT2 indoor rower TIME: 21–30 minutes Unlike most treadmills, the true form is not motorized, so the experience is more like actual running, says Abbott. He recommends the classic CrossFit workout “Jerry,” named to honor Sgt. Maj. Jerry Dwayne Patton of the Army, who died in 2008. It’s a timed workout: one-mile run, followed by a two-kilometer row, followed by a one-mile run. “Don’t redline the first run or you’ll lose it on the rower. After the row, immediately get on the true form. Your legs will feel like jelly at first, but after a few hundred meters, you’ll hit your stride.” Seven up on the versaclimber TIME: 15 minutes The versaclimber requires you to use your arms and legs in a vertical motion that mimics an extremely steep climb. Christian Fox, coach at CrossFit South Brooklyn, recommends the following interval workout. “Your goal is to be as consistent as possible so there isn’t a significant drop-off in the number of feet climbed in the final rounds.” 2-min. warmup at about 50% effort Rest 30 seconds 1 minute hard at about 90% effort. Rest 30 sec. Repeat interval sequence for a total of seven rounds 2-minute cooldown at about 50% effort                   

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The 12-Week Bikini Competition Diet

If you’ve always wanted to hit the stage in a bikini or figure competition, this is your time. Our comprehensive plan includes the Workout Plan, this nutrition plan, and motivational tips to help you get a winning physique in just 12 weeks. Give it a try—even if you’re not ready for the spotlight, you’re guaranteed to get into the very best shape of your life. The diet plan How it works: This nutrition program is designed to help you drop fat without losing muscle. In each phase, you’ll have three daily meals and three snacks. After every four weeks, you’ll reduce the number of calories in your diet, without sacrificing protein. In the week before the show, you’ll vary the amount of carbs, sodium, and fluids to help your muscles get that ultra-cut, superlean look just in time for your moment in the spotlight. Phase 1: Weeks 1-4 Follow the meal plan outlined here, which also includes a Food Swaps guide below. In addition, try to consume at least one gallon (16 cups) of water a day. And a limited amount of sodium helps regulate body fluids, so don’t be afraid to use low-calorie condiments like mustard and hot sauce. Breakfast 4 egg whites ⅓ cup (uncooked) instant oatmeal 10 almonds Totals: 240 calories, 20g protein, 22g carbs, 8g fat Mid-morning Snack 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast 3 oz sweet potato, boiled or baked, without skin ½ oz English walnuts, shelled Totals: 258 calories, 26g protein, 17g carbs, 11g fat Lunch 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast ½ cup long-grain brown rice 1 cup chopped broccoli, boiled or steamed Totals: 263 calories, 29g protein, 34g carbs, 3g fat Midday Snack 1 scoop whey protein isolate ½ large (8") banana 1 tbsp natural peanut butter Totals: 271 calories, 29g protein, 19g carbs, 9g fat Dinner 5 oz cod 1 white corn tortilla 1 cup sliced zucchini, boiled Salad with dinner 2 cups mixed greens 10 almonds, crushed ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered ¼ cup red onion 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar Totals: 328 calories, 32g protein, 32g carbs, 9g fat Evening Smoothie 1½ scoops whey protein isolate Totals: 158 calories, 38g protein, 0g carbs, 1g fat Daily Totals: 1,518 calories, 174g protein, 124g carbs, 40g fat   Shutterstock Phase 2: Weeks 5-8 In this phase, you’ll trim calories slightly to help drop body fat, although protein intake will stay steady to make sure your metabolism remains high and you’re not losing muscle tissue along with the fat. Feel free to keep referring to the Food Swaps list on page one. And keep up your fluid intake, drinking at least one gallon of water per day. Breakfast 3 egg whites 2 oz 99% fat-free ground turkey breast ⅓ cup (uncooked) instant oatmeal Totals: 214 calories, 29g protein, 19g carbs, 3g fat Mid-morning Snack 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast ⅓ cup long-grain brown rice Totals: 172 calories, 25g protein, 15g carbs, 2g fat Lunch 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast 1 cup black-eyed peas, boiled 1 cup chopped broccoli, steamed Totals: 355 calories, 40g protein, 47g carbs, 3g fat Midday Snack 4 oz 99% fat-free ground turkey breast 2 white corn tortillas 1 oz avocado Totals: 257 calories, 31g protein, 20g carbs, 6g fat Dinner 4 oz cod 1½ oz avocado Salad ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 cups mixed greens ¼ cup tomato ¼ cup onion Totals: 290 calories, 23g protein, 17g carbs, 14g fat Evening Smoothie 1 scoop whey protein isolate 1 tbsp organic flaxseeds Totals: 160 calories, 27g protein, 3g carbs, 5g fat Daily totals: 1,448 calories, 175g protein, 121g carbs, 33g fat Shutterstock Phase 3: Weeks 9-12 Your carb and protein intake drop a bit more during this phase, reducing your total calories and helping your body dig further into its fat stores. (Healthy fat intake stays steady, though, to help you feel full and to fuel your muscles.) Keep drinking plenty of water so you stay well-hydrated. And don’t forget to swap out for your favorite foods! Breakfast 5 egg whites ⅓ cup (uncooked) instant oatmeal Totals: 188 calories, 22g protein, 20g carbs, 2g fat Mid-morning Snack 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast 1 cup raw green beans 10 almonds Totals: 200 calories, 27g protein, 10g carbs, 8g fat Lunch 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast ⅓ cup long-grain brown rice Salad with lunch 2 cups mixed greens ¼ cup tomato ¼ cup onion 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar Totals: 227 calories, 26g protein, 26g carbs, 2g fat Midday Snack 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast 3 oz sweet potato, boiled or baked, without skin ½ oz English walnuts, shelled Totals: 258 calories, 26g protein, 17g carbs, 11g fat Dinner 4 oz skinless, boneless turkey breast 1 oz avocado 10 almonds Salad with dinner 2 cups mixed greens ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered ¼ cup yellow onion 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

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The Perfect Body Game Plan

Marius Bugge Let's not kid each other: As much as we hit the gym to feel awesome, live longer, compete with our buddies, relieve stress, and, of course, have a damn good time slinging giant pieces of steel, it doesn’t hurt that working out makes us look damn good, too. Which means that, if you’re a guy seeking to round out your sex appeal, you’re probably more than familiar with all the coveted (admittedly superficial) physical attributes that constitute a “perfect male physique”—the ones even hardcore gym rats have trouble achieving. These include the well-defined arm “horseshoe” (see: Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter), ridiculously chiseled V-cut abs (see: Brad Pitt in Fight Club), and the giant wingspan of a well-carved upper back (see: Hugh Jackman in any film in which he sprouts metallic claws). So, with the help of some of the nation’s best trainers, strength coaches, and strongmen, we’ve laid out in exhaustive detail everything it takes to achieve them. If you’d love a physique even Michelangelo’s David would be envious of, we’d advise you to start here. 1) The Tapered Torso “You can do all the gym work in the world,” says Zach Even-Esh, founder of New Jersey’s the Underground Strength Gym, “but if your body’s covered by a layer of fat, then nobody will know.” Which is why getting yourself on a strict, clean diet—with the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbs—is the key to transforming your flabby torso into a perfectly cut, tapered midsection.  But how do you do it? “The first order of business is to get your math in order, and that means calculating what your overall calorie intake needs to be,” says sports nutritionist and strength coach C.J. Murphy, MFS, owner of Total Performance Sports, in Malden, MA. So if pure fat loss is your goal, you need to be ingesting roughly eight to 12 calories per pound of your body weight per training day, depending on how active you are and how much fat you need to shed. If you’re already fairly lean and you just want sharper muscular definition, you’re allowed 12 to 15 calories per pound of body weight. (Though, start on the low end and see how it goes.) So if you’re a 200-pound guy looking to get lean, you’re looking at roughly a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. And Murphy recommends a simple high-protein carb-cycling program, with which you eat more carbohydrates on your strength-training days and less on days off, creating a caloric deficit that torches fat. So let’s start with strength-training days. First, you’ll need lots of lean protein. “That includes anything that swims, runs, or flies,” says Murphy. Meaning: steak, chicken, fish, turkey, and ground beef. Eggs and protein powder are good, too. As a rule of thumb, Murphy calculates meats at 7 grams of protein per ounce. “Different foods have different values, yes, but if you’re eating a wide variety of meats you’ll still be in the ballpark.” All told, that means roughly 1g of protein per pound of body weight (at 4 calories per gram). Then there are carbs: Yams, sweet and white potatoes, white rice, and fruit are all good carbs to power your workouts. Those carbs should make up 35-45% of your daily calories, calculated at 4 calories per gram. The remainder of your calories each day can be made up of vegetables and healthy fats, like nuts, nut butters, olive oil, and avocado. (Calculate fats at 9 calories per gram.) On non-strength-training days, you should cut carbs up to 50% and increase fat to 20-30% of total calories to help fill you up, reduce hunger pangs, and increase your likelihood of sticking to it. And remember: Timing is important, too. “Earn your carbs,” says Murphy, who suggests ingesting carbs directly pre-and post-workout. Also, save the bulk of your off-day carbs for the evening, which prevents you from bingeing at night and gives you a little more energy (in the form of stored glycogen) to carry into the next morning. “Carb cycling isn’t the only way to put on lean muscle mass, but it’s the simplest,” Murphy says. “It’s easy, and it’s hard to screw up.” Marius Bugge 2) Broaden Your Chest “Nobody likes a chicken chest,” says trainer Murphy, and we can’t argue with him. If you want to project an image of strength and power, a broad, chiseled chest is one of the oldest, most time-honored ways of doing it. But there are better ways to build pecs than the bench press. “The bench does work the chest,” Murphy says, “but it also works a bunch of secondary muscles, like the deltoids and triceps, among others.” With these other exercises added to your once-a-week pec workout, you’ll have a “chest you can balance a beer on” in no time. Murphy first suggests the highly underrated decline dumbbell press. “It activates more pec fibers than any other exercise,” he says. “It’s almost all pec because the range of motion is so short that your delts and triceps don’t do a ton of work.” The angle also allows you to use heavier weights, which equates to more work and a bigger chest. (Using a weight that allows 10 to 12 reps on your first set, perform five sets, pushing each one until you’re one rep shy of failure.) Then it’s on to flyes. Murphy advises using bands or chains to put less wear and tear on the shoulders. (When the weight unloads as you go down on chain flyes, your shoulders will be safer at the bottom and you’ll get a more powerful pec contraction at the shoulder.) With bands, you can loop an exercise band around each hand and behind your back before picking up dumbbells. (Do four sets of 15 to 20 reps.) the elbows. Go as far as you can while keeping your back, neck, and upper arms straight and perpendicular to the ground. It’s important to perform the full range of motion if you want better results. Slowly return the weight to the overhead starting position. Then the triceps dip is Bryant’s top choice for hitting this deep-down part of Finally, “dips are like the squat for the upper body,” says Murphy, “in that they’re a great way to increase pec mass.” They press the muscles fully and also hit stabilizing lats and abs hard when done with proper technique. (Perform 50 dips in as few sets as possible.) But to really stimulate growth, try suspension trainer flyes, which utilize full-body tension. “Plus, it’s done from an angle that you hardly ever use when doing presses,” Murphy says, “which creates a totally new stimulus that causes your nervous system and muscles to work differently, stimulating growth.” To do it, ensure that you’re maintaining a strong plank position throughout each flye. Perform 40 total in as few sets as possible, keeping your body at a 45-degree angle. 3) Get Well-Defined V-Cut Abs Ever since celebrities started showing off those V-shaped cut lines that start below their abs and disappear into their pants, girls have been lusting after them and guys gunning for them. Even if you have six-pack abs, though, the V itself is very hard to sculpt for one simple reason—it’s not a muscle. “The V is formed by the inguinal ligaments,” says New York– based personal trainer Ryan George, “and that’s hard to build.” We all have inguinal ligaments, which originate from the hip and run into the pubic region, but most of us have a layer of fat covering it. “If you really want the V-cut to be prominent,” George says, “more important than anything is eating clean so you can achieve really low body fat.” We’re talking 8%. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are exercises that target the obliques and transversus abdominis that can indirectly engage it and cause it to grow more defined. For this George recommends the cable woodchop because it engages the obliques and is a functional movement; the seated medicine ball trunk rotation, which also targets the obliques and—bonus—can be done anywhere, no machines required; and, finally, the kettlebell windmill, which engages the entire trunk. In the case of the kettlebell windmill, remember to start with a wide straddle stance and aim to touch your toes with your free hand while keeping that kettlebell up to the sky the entire time. Repeat these three exercises 12 to 15 times, then start the circuit over. Perform three rounds two to three times a week, taking care to rest your core in between to up your chances of carving out your V-cut. Marius Bugge 4) Get the Triceps Horseshoe News flash: Biceps may be cool, but triceps actually make up the bulk of the upper arms. Growing big arms and—even more impressive, carving out a detailed triceps horseshoe—means working every part of the muscle. “You need to make sure you hit all three heads of the muscle—long, medial, and lateral,” says Noah Bryant, C.S.C.S. “While you can’t completely isolate them, you can do exercises that emphasize each one.” Add these three moves to your routine as much as twice per week—on chest day and shoulder day. The first exercise, which hits your triceps’ “long head,” is the EZ-curl bar French press. To do it, sit on a bench and grasp the EZ-curl bar with a pronated grip. Start with straight arms and the bar directly overhead. Lower the bar by bending at  the elbows. Go as far as you can while keeping your back, neck, and upper arms straight and perpendicular to the ground. It’s important to perform the full range of motion if you want better results. Slowly return the weight to the overhead starting position. Then the triceps dip is Bryant’s top choice for hitting this deep-down part of  the triceps. Set up on a dip bar as you would for normal dips, only this time you’ll keep your body straight up and down (perpendicular to the ground) and your feet underneath you rather than crossed behind you. Lower yourself until your forearm and upper arm make a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back up. To hit the lateral head, Bryant suggests straight-bar cable pushdowns. “The lateral head is the one most responsible for the ‘horseshoe’ shape of the triceps,” Bryant says, “and working it is extremely important to get that look.” Any movement that pushes weight down will hit the lateral head, which runs on the outside of the arm, but this is his favorite. Start with the bar about chest level, your elbows in tight to your body, and your upper arms pointing straight down to the ground. Keep your elbows tucked tightly in to your body, and push the bar down while keeping your upper arms static. Feel your triceps moving the weight—and your horseshoe getting more and more cut. 5) Get a Wide Upper Back A strong, wide upper back doesn’t just look great, says Jeb Stuart Johnston, C.P.T., a Brooklyn-based Strongman. It opens up your shoulders and improves posture. You stand taller and appear more confident. To get there, Johnston recommends hitting the upper back with some of the same full-body functional movements that are central to Strongman competitions. Loaded carries force every muscle in the body to work together to lift and stabilize heavy odd objects, and much of the load is placed on the upper back. They also provide tremendous cardiovascular benefits. “Any of these would be great as a finisher on back day,” he says, “or try pairing them with sled pulls and car pushes to make your own ‘Strongman Saturday.’ ” The first is the farmer’s walk, a Strongman staple that works the whole body, developing powerful legs and hips, increased core strength and grip strength, in addition to making your back stronger and more stable. To do it, simply grab the heaviest dumbbells or kettlebells you can comfortably carry (half your body weight in each hand is a good starting point) and do it. “Also, nothing taxes your posterior chain and your lungs quite like sandbag carries for distance,” says Johnston. “Simply pick up your sandbag and walk for as long as you can without dropping it.” Finally, there’s the snatch-grip deadlift, a deadlift that puts you at a mechanical disadvantage with a wide grip that engages the lats and rear deltoids and keeps them engaged. To do it, set up as you would for a regular deadlift, but take an extra-wide grip on the bar. Always lower in a controlled manner, keeping the back flat through the entirety of the movement. Marius Bugge 6) Get Bolder Shoulders Sculpting the perfect V-tape physique starts at the shoulders, which means training your deltoids and traps. “Shoulders that are round and powerful looking give the impression that your body is built for performance,” says Zach Even-Esh. But getting there can be difficult, he contends, especially if you’re doing the same old lifts day in and day out. “The body adapts and doesn’t feel challenged, limiting new muscle growth.” For a fresh set of shoulder exercises, try these three exercises that attack the delts from all angles and build strength and endurance both concentrically and isometrically. (Note: Once a week is plenty.) First, there’s running the rack side raises, a simple way to overload the deltoids. Start with a light pair of dumbbells and perform three reps of side raises. Go to the next pair of dumbbells for three reps and continue “running the rack,” climbing up in weight until you can no longer perform three reps with perfect form. From there, reverse order and work your way back down the rack to where you started. If you can do more than two sets, Even-Esh says, then you didn’t push hard enough. Then he suggests the dumbbell overhead carry, which challenges your shoulders, abs, and upper back isometrically. Lock the dumbbells (or kettlebells) overhead with arms completely straight, engage your abs, and walk slowly for 50 feet. Start off with three or four sets at this length, and slowly increase the distance to 75 and 100 feet per set. It’s great for adding size and strength to your shoulders and traps. Lastly, you should do the dumbbell press 21s, which hit the shoulders through various angles while maintaining constant muscle tension. To do it, perform seven reps at a time from each of these ranges of motion—bottom half, top half, and full range. Start with very light weights, and press seven reps from your shoulders to the midway of full extension. Then press seven reps from midway to full lockout. Then do seven reps of full-range overhead presses. Two or three sets should be enough to blast your shoulders. Marius Bugge 7) Build Bigger Biceps They may not be the most functional muscles you need to grow, says Murphy, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to look great at the beach. Here are three moves to add to your routine twice a week. The first is the towel pullup. Drape two towels evenly over a pullup bar, take hold of both ends (palms facing each other), and perform pullups. You’ll activate a ton of muscle fibers with this and because the towels are thick and you have to constantly squeeze them, you’ll also smoke your forearms and develop an iron grip. Perform 50 total pullups in as few sets as possible. “Hammer curls are also an outstanding exercise for biceps growth,” Murphy says. “Everybody focuses on the biceps brachii—or the biceps itself—but the brachialis runs beneath the biceps, and hammer curls work the brachialis in particular. A bigger brachialis pushes the biceps up farther, making them appear bigger.” Working the brachioradialis also increases the size of the forearm, which makes the arm appear more full. Using a weight that allows 10 to 12 reps on your first set, perform five sets in total, pushing each one until you’re one rep shy of failure. Finally, work in some barbell chain curls. The chains make the lift more difficult at the bottom of the exercise, and lighten as you curl up. This allows you to overload your biceps with more weight. Do five sets of eight to 10 reps. Marius Bugge 8) Tease Out Your Teardrop THE VMO, or vastus medialis oblique, is the most impressive leg muscle to define, if only because it’s the only quad muscle visible when you’re rocking boardshorts. Located in your lower quad, a fully developed VMO not only creates a tear-drop-shaped cut just above your knee, but it also acts as an important stabilizer that guards the joint against injury. For his part, trainer Nick Tumminello recommends focusing on exercises that hit the entire quads hard. “If you develop the quads overall,” says the trainer and founder of Performance University, “you’ll get the coveted teardrop.” Mix these exercises into your regularly scheduled leg workouts once a week for a teardrop that would make any pro cyclist jealous. Start with the leg extension, Tumminello says, “which  complements squats and lunges because it loads the quads in part of the joint range you don’t get from those movements.” When you’re standing at the top of a squat or lunge and your knees are extended, you’re not getting any force through your quads, but the leg-extension machine keeps the tension on through the entire range. Expert tip: You can work the quads harder by elevating your heels with five-pound plates during squats. Set up as you would for a normal squat, only elevate your heels 1 to 2 inches using weight plates. Bend your knees and lower your body in a controlled manner until your hamstrings touch your calves and your glutes are below your knees, then return to starting position. 9) Grow Your Glutes To really fill out a pair of jeans with an amazing rear, Toronto-based coach and personal trainer Lee Boyce, C.P.T., put together this stand-alone workout you should add to your routine up to two days a week. Stick with the order described here—from most isolated to most dynamic—so you start with the heavier lifts. That way your body will recruit more fast-twitch fibers, which is key to building strength. But a few ground rules to ensure you’re doing them right: 1) Always maintain a neutral spine, and don’t round or arch your back; 2) Press through your heels; 3) Make sure your hips are always the pivot point; 4) Start light, and make small progressions. First: the barbell hip thrust, a building-block exercise that helps train the hip-hinge movement without having to coordinate other joints for an effective workout. To do it, sit on the floor and roll a loaded barbell into your lap. Lie back with your shoulders against a bench, bend your knees, and plant your feet on the floor. Then drive through your heels so you raise your hips off the floor to full extension. Next: sumo deadlift, a deadlift variation that uses a wider stance—with toes rotated farther out—to better activate the glutes. Be sure to use a narrow grip (inside your legs), push your hips back, and lean slightly forward to grab the barbell. Keep the barbell close to your body as you lower it back down. Finish with the dumbbell stepup, which works the posterior chain even harder. Start by standing behind a bench that brings your thigh parallel to the floor when your foot is on top. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step up onto the bench, but leave your trailing leg hanging off. Return to the starting position.

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