Who can blame you if you’ve put on some weight this holiday season? You had three dinners on Thanksgiving, ate like a pig on Christmas, and had five different popcorn tins in the last month. With 2015 here, it’s time to head back to the gym, get back on track, and shed that extra fat.
But it’s more than the workout you should focus on — don’t forget about ending each gym session with an ass-kicking, fat-torching finisher to jump-start your leaning phase. In just a few extra minutes, you can stoke your metabolism to burn more calories when you leave the gym. Also, if you want faster results, feel free to do one of these finishers on your rest day.
No. 1: Kettlebell Complex
Complexes are brutally simple: take a weight and perform a series of exercises without rest AND without letting go of the weight. Instead of a regular set that might last 15 or so seconds, you’ll get an insane amount of time-under-tension, which improves your conditioning, builds more muscle, and slashes fat.
Here’s a kettlebell circuit that flows together. Use two kettlebells (one in each hand) and do 10 reps of each exercise before moving to the next exercise:
- 2 KB Swing
- 2 KB Snatch
- 2 KB Clean
- Front Squat
- Push Press
- 2 KB Swing
If you still have energy, take a two-minute rest and repeat.
No. 2: Barbell Complex
For a barbell complex, pick a weight you can use for your weakest exercise of the complex. Do six reps of each exercise before moving to the next exercise:
- Bent Over Row
- Hang Power Clean
- Front Squat
- Military Press (after your last rep, put the bar behind your neck)
- Back Squat
- Reverse Lunge (after your last rep, ditch the bar)
- Clapping Pushups
No. 3: Fat-Loss Interval Workout
Use an interval-style finisher to fire up your metabolism and spark more fat loss. Use an airdyne bike, weight sled, stationary rower and ropes for maximum effort:
- 30 seconds on
- 30 seconds off
- 12 – 15 rounds
No. 4: Tabata
When done correctly, one Tabata will be enough to destroy your lungs and leave you in the fetal position; if not use a heavier weight. The protocol is simple: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 8 rounds.
To get the best fat-burning effect, use a total-body exercise that’s easy to start and stop and isn’t technically demanding.
- Goblet Squat Tabata or Burpee Tabata
No. 5: Ladders
Ladders are a quick routine where the reps descend to match your fatigue level: as you get tired, the reps drop so you can still use the same weight. It’s also a brutal way to inject a lot of volume in a short period of time. For example, a ladder that goes from 10 all the way down to one gives you 55 total reps.
For this ladder, alternate between these two exercises and do 10 reps, then nine, then eight … all the way to a single rep without rest. Rest one minute. Do two to three total rounds.
- Kettlebell Swing
- Feet-elevated Pushups