The pressure’s on! Just a few months to go until summer. Once the heat hits, it'll be shirts off and bathing suits on... Based on a balance of cardio, weights, and nutrition, we’ve devised the ultimate 12-week plan to help you shed unwanted pounds.
This plan limits each training session to just 60 minutes. You’ll combine full-body workouts with short, sharp interval-training sessions.
Repeat this workout 3-4 times a week, or alternate between the workouts listed in the MORE WORKOUT OPTIONS section.
Follow these golden rules to build muscle and strength while burning fat:
Works: quads, glutes
A) Place a barbell on a squat rack at about upper chest level. Grab the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, duck underneath it, and rest the bar across the backs of your shoulders. Lift the bar off the rack and step back. Tense your abs and keep your back straight.
B) Slowly bend your knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then press yourself back up into a standing position.
Works: quads, glutes, lower back, absA) Stick a loaded barbell on the ground in front of you. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your knees and hips to bring your upper body towards the weights. Grab them with an overhand grip.
Works: hamstring, glutesA) Lie on the hamstring machine with your ankles under the pads and your torso pressed flat on the platform.
Works: back, biceps, lower back, forearms
A) Go to the seated rows machine and attach the double D handle. Grip the handles with your palms facing each other.
B) Pull the handle to a point just below your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Maintain a straight back throughout the movement.
Works: chest, triceps, shouldersA) Lie on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand above you at arm’s length. Keep your head, torso, and hips pressed onto the bench.
Works: shoulders, absA) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Hoist the dumbbells up so they’re either side of your head.
Works: Muscles: chest, triceps, shoulders
A) Grab the parallel bars of a dip station and lift yourself so your body weight rests on your hands. Keep your arms straight but not locked.
B) Keep your elbows close to your sides and lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the floor then press yourself back up.
Works: bicepsA) Sit with on a bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forwards. Keep your upper arms tucked against your sides, and your shoulder blades pulled together.
Works: tricepsA) Attach a straight bar to the high pulley of cable crossover machine so it rests at just below your chest. Hold the bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip.
Works: shoulders, trapsA) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Keep a slight bend in your elbows with your palms facing each other.
A) Lie with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
B) Lift your upper body by using your abs to flex your spine thus bringing your chest towards your knees. Roll back down, slowly and with control.
Choose a cardio machine (rowing, cycling, treadmill etc.) and do one of these sessions after each workout. Pick a new session after each workout to keep your muscles guessing and adapting to the new stimulus
Work (secs) Rest (secs) Sets
Session 1 30 60 8
Session 2 20 40 10
Session 3 10 20 12
Session 4 35 15 8
Session 5 40 40 5
The week’s meals below are rich in fiber and protein to help you feel satisfied. The meals are quick and simple to prep. The best part: there’s not a single salad in sight. So dig in!
Option 1: 2 cups of whole oats cooked with a sprinkle of cinnamon, sliced banana, a scoop of whey protein powder.
Option 2: 2 cups of Swiss style muesli with mixed berries and 200ml of milk.
Option 3: 2 grilled large flat mushrooms, 1 handful of baby leaf spinach, 20g cream cheese and 2 poached egg whites.
Option 4: 3-egg omelet with sliced tomato, sliced pepper, 1 handful of baby spinach.
Option 5: Blended whey protein shake with 1 cup of whole oats, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds, 1 cup frozen berry mix, 1 banana, 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt.
Option 6: 2 poached eggs and 2 slices of rye bread.
Option 7: 3-egg frittata with sliced tomato, diced pepper, pre-cooked baby potatoes.
Option 1: 2 grilled chicken breasts, mashed sweet potato, and mixed veggies.
Option 2: 2 canned/packaged salmon and dill open-faced sandwiches on rye bread.
Option 3: Can of tuna, mashed avocado, olive oil spread on rice cakes.
Option 4: Thai prawn and vegetable curry on brown rice.
Option 5: 2-sliced turkey breasts whole-wheat pita wrap with mixed salad.
Option 6: Peppered smoked mackerel, avocado, and mixed salad whole-wheat baguette.
Option 7: 2 grilled chicken breasts seasoned with Cajun pepper, 1 cup of couscous and mixed vegetables.
Option 1: 350g lean sirloin steak, small jacket potato, and mixed veggies.
Option 2: Prawn stir-fry on a bed of veggies and ½ cup brown rice.
Option 3: 1 large baked salmon fillet with spinach, leeks and mixed veggies.
Option 4: Lemon chicken on asparagus, squash and mixed salad.
Option 5: 200g lean lamb loins (grilled), a handful of mushrooms stuffed with feta and steamed carrots and peas.
Option 6: Chicken and prawn green curry with soba noodles or brown rice.
Option 7: Lean minced beef chili with mixed veggies, beans, and basmati rice.
Option 1: Mango, kiwi fruit, papaya fruit salad and 3 boiled eggs.
Option 2: Blended whey protein shake with 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 1-cup steel cut oats.
Option 3: 150ml plain sugar-free yogurt with a handful of blueberries, drizzled with honey and ground mixed seeds and nuts.
Option 4: 150g of cottage cheese and diced pineapple on rice or oatcakes.
Option 5: Sliced carrots and cucumber dipped in hummus.
Option 6: 2 slices of rye bread with peanut butter and sliced banana.
Option 7: 50g of almonds with 40g mixed dried fruit.
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