The weather was great in Boston this week as summer is finally here and layers being peeled off as we make our way to the beaches and shores to soak up some rays.  Judgement day is here and all the training and dieting that you have been doing all winter is going to show.  But instead of sporting that dialed in athletic physique, you are still rocking your Thanksgiving apple pie-thighs, your Halloween candy-ass and your Christmas bowl-full-of-jelly-belly.

You’ve kept your New Year’s resolution and have gotten your ass into the gym and have even been a bit more conscious about the stuff you put in your piehole.  So what gives?  One thing I see is that most people at the gym want to exercise they just don’t want to push themselves.  Why do you go to the gym again?  You are setting yourself up to fail if you are not challenging yourself.  Challenge yourself daily, weekly or monthly.  Set up little challenges for yourself like doing 10 pushups on the floor or running up the stairs for all 22 flights (if your daring, use the weight vest).  Before you know it the fat will just melt away.

Some call it going the extra mile but I will keep it simple and call it the +1.  There is always one more rep, one more round, one more workout and as the saying goes, one more mile.  You wouldn’t believe how many of my clients, or anyone for that matter, quit in the middle of a set or right before the end of a workout and say “I can’t”.  This is typically followed by the standard trainer response “C’mon, ONE MORE!  You can do it!”  after which they are usually hesitant but then bust out like 10 more.

If you want it then go get it.  When you work out give everything every time and give everything + 1.  Your +1 can be anything from an extra rep at the end of a set of squats even though your legs are on fire.  It could be one extra set of heavy deadlifts even though you have already done your 3 sets that I wrote down as part of your program.  Make it your extra cardio exercise routine like running the stairs after you did your intervals and then make that +1 just one more flight when your legs are heavier than Oprah back in the 90s.  (P.S.  Do not take diet and exercise advice from Oprah, I will explain this in next week’s post.)

If your looking for a hardcore fat-burning +1 to add to the end of your current routine then try the Tabata Method.  This form of interval training was developed by Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata, who stumbled upon a way to effectively combine aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time.  The beauty of this system is its ability to blitz body fat fast and it only takes 4 minutes to complete.  What the catch?  Well, it might quite possibly be the most hellish 4 minutes of training, ever!  The workout is simple:

  • Pick a compound, multi-joint exercise that uses as many muscles as possible.
  • Perform as many reps as you can for 20 seconds. (Shoot for 8-10).
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 7 times for a total of eight sets.

The best exercises that I have found to complete this bad ass workout are front squats and squat thrusts (squats with overhead dumbbell press)  but other exercises such as deadlifts work just as well.  You can also do this protocol without weights for such activities as sprinting or on a spin bike as long as you keep the intensity at level 10 +1.  

Your total training time for this is only 4 minutes and should only be done for one exercise in a training session.  Do it at the end of your regular workout, because I guarantee that you won’t be able to do anything else afterwards.  You also want to pick a weight that you are going to be able to finish with as you are not resting between sets to go switch weights and grab a drink of water.  This is just might be the most intense routine you have ever done but if you want to lose those extra pounds then make it your +1.

So for those of you who are crunched for time and still unhappy with your beach body this year, you are now excuses -1.  Your welcome.

Written by Steve