You Can Stay In Shape During The Holidays!

You Can Stay In Shape During The Holidays!

You Can Stay In Shape During The Holidays!

By Carlos Alberto Rivas, MS, CSCS

Having trouble keeping weight off during the holidays? Well the following article was written just for you. The goal of this program is to simultaneously improve muscle tone while getting rid of body fat. To accomplish this goal, you will have to walk at least 6 days a week for 30 minutes (remember you can do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon, and 10 minutes in the evening to get the 30 minutes). Next, you are going to have to watch your portion sizes; you can accomplish this task by planning eating intervals; eat every 3 hours from food sources such as fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. Last but not least, you will perform “giant sets” for your total body strength training routine. A giant set is defined as three or more exercises performed consecutively without rest. Thus you will perform the first exercise, followed immediately by the second, third exercise, fourth exercise and finally the fifth. By decreasing rest intervals and keeping intensity up, you''ll accelerate fat burning both during and after the strength training session.

Choose a range of 12 to 15 repetitions per set. Make sure to use a weight that causes you to struggle (without compromising form) on the last few repetitions. Remember that only by progressively challenging your muscles will you achieve optimal results. Perform the following workout on non-consecutive days, allowing for proper rest and recuperation of the muscular system (allow at least 24 hours of rest between weight training sessions). Good Luck! Perform exercises 1-5 in sequence without rest. Then rest for 2-4 minutes and do the “giant set” all over again.

The Giant Set:

Exercise #1: Squat: Place feet shoulder width apart; hold dumbbells at your sides; descend lowly by unlocking the hips then bending the knees; do not allow knees to pass the toes; perform downward reps slowly and concentrate on the descent making sure that knees don''t bow out or cave in; descend as far as you can control; partial squats should progress to full parallel to the floor squats as neuromuscular efficiency improves.

Exercise #2: Dumbbell Chest Press on Stability Ball: Place head and shoulders on the ball, keep chin up so neck is in neutral position. Position feet apart to form good base of stability. Start with weights on the chest. Push both weights towards the ceiling while exhaling. Upon reaching top of repetition lower weights back to chest while inhaling and repeat.

Exercise #3: Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press: Position feet shoulder width apart, pointing straight. Start with the dumbbells at shoulder height; maintain total body alignment while pushing dumbbells into full extension overhead. Return to bottom position and repeat.

Exercise # 4: Dumbbell row: Use a bench to support yourself with your knee and hand on the bench. Your torso should be parallel with the floor. Start with your arm in a hanging position and the lat stretched. Pull the dumbbell toward your hip while squeezing your shoulder blades toward your spine to contract the lat as well as the muscles of the upper back. Return to bottom position and repeat.

Exercise # 5: Abdominal Crunch on Stability Ball: Draw your abdomen inward toward you spine before initiating the movement. Curl the entire spine up about 45 degrees then lower slowly as far as you can control. Experiment with different arm positions to vary the level of difficulty. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

Carlos Alberto Rivas, MS, CSCS is the Fitness/ Personal Training Director of the Baptist East/MilestoneWellness Center. Carlos has a Master''s Degree in Exercise Physiology and has over 10,000 hours of Personal Training Experience. Carlos is also a member of the Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine''s Editorial Advisory Board. Carlos can be reached by phone at 502-896-3900 ext.142.

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