Top butt-lifting exercises You want a perky butt, but not sure where to start? These exercises and classes are your saving grace.The ultimate butt workout builds a perky butt that not only looks the biz in skinnies but is structurally sound to facilitate optimal biomechanical function (free and resilient movement to you and us). You had no idea how important your booty was, right?Try: BarreThe Barre class trend is sweeping the nation with the ballet-based workout becoming available at gyms and Pilates studios across the country.
Plank up + down This exercise is fantastic for strengthening your shoulders and core strength. Sarah Lawrence shows us how.The goal is to maintain a solid plank position throughout the whole exercise and to not let your hips sway.Starting on your elbows and toes, or for Level 1, on your knees, engage your core before you start. Keep your hips as still as possible, push up with one hand then the other until you are propped up in a push-up position.Lower back down to your elbows one arm at a time. Halfway through, change your leading arm so you strengthen the other shoulder as you press up to your hands.NEXT: Advanced plank variations>>
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The hottest topic on most people’s lips is fat loss, whether they’re getting back in shape for the New Year, getting ready for spring break, or getting into that old dress or their favorite pair of jeans. This is the perfect time to recalibrate, refocus, and recommit to your fat-loss program.
One of the best training methods in my arsenal is complex or matrix-style training. These methods work extremely well after the strength-boosting component of your program, when you’ve already made a concerted effort to build some muscle.
I first learned about complexes back in the late 1990s when I was just getting started in the iron game. Istvan Javorek is widely regarded as the pioneer of complexes, and while he used them to improve the Olympic lifts, I feel as though they’re great as a workout finisher as well.
But before we dive head first into a few sample complexes or matrices, let’s first discuss why you might choose to include them in your workouts.
Complex or matrix-style training work extremely well after you’ve already made a concerted effort to build some muscle.
BENEFITS OF COMPLEXES
Complexes and matrices have quite a few benefits, but here are just a few that spring to mind:
1 They’re Fat Loss Friendly
This is an obvious benefit for long duration, low intensity cardio targets such as improved cardiovascular function and parasympathetic tone etc.—but not maximal fat loss. Anaerobic intervals in the 1:1-1:3 work:rest ratio are some of the best ways to shed body fat. You don’t want to use them all year round, but if you want an all-out assault on body fat, they’re the real deal.
2 They’re Fast
If you’re looking to get lean, more training volume isn’t always better. In fact, this is the ideal time to use faster, more high intensity methods. Complexes are fast and brutally effective, which gets you in and out of the gym quicker.
3 They Efficiently Use Space and Equipment
One of the big issues when it comes to fat loss training is equipment and/or space. Not everyone has sleds, prowlers or a hill in the backyard to train with. Complexes and matrices are not only space efficient—they can often be done in a small area—but theyrequire minimal equipment as well. With only one barbell, a sandbag or even just your bodyweight you can knock out an intense workout.
When performing complexes, I typically prescribe 24 total reps. My favorite options are either four exercises with six repetitions each, or six exercises with four repetitions each. You’ll perform each exercise for the allotted number of repetitions, and then move immediately into the next exercise. Go through the entire series of exercises, and then rest for the same period of time, or at the most, twice as long as it took you to go through the series.
As your conditioning improves, work to decrease the rest period so that you adhere to a 1:1 work:rest ratio.
SAMPLE COMPLEXES AND MATRICES
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at a couple of sample complexes you can take to the gym and start performing today!
The Basic Barbell Complex
This is a super-efficient complex that even the most seasoned iron veteran will enjoy. All the big lifts are tied into one awesome series!
Week 1: 3 complexes
Week 2: 4 complexes
Week 3: 5 complexes
Week 4: 6 complexes
- Romanian Deadlift: 4 reps
- Bent-Over Row: 4 reps
- Front Squat: 4 reps
- Push Press: 4 reps
- Good Morning: 4 reps
- Back Squat: 4 reps
Bodyweight Leg Matrix
If you struggle with body fat in the legs, this lower-body matrix will help you blowtorch it like no other!
Week 1: 2 matrices
Week 2: 3 matrices
Week 3: 3 matrices
Week 4: 4 matrices
- Vertical Jump: 6 reps
- Squat: 6 reps
- Step-Up: 6 reps
- Lunge: 6 reps
Last but not least, if you want something a bit different, give this sandbag complex a shot. It’s not only fun, but the sandbag also creates some unique challenges due to its non-conforming nature.
Week 1: 3 complexes
Week 2: 4 complexes
Week 3: 5 complexes
Week 4: 6 complexes
- Sandbag Shouldering: 6 reps
- Bent-Over Row: 6 reps
- Romanian Deadlift: 6 reps
- Overhead Press: 6 reps
As you can see, fat loss training doesn’t have to be complex (pun intended). Instead, basic exercises performed in series at a breakneck pace can absolutely help you achieve your goals quickly.
For the next month, finish at least one, if not two, of your workouts with one of the complexes or matrices outlined above. I guarantee it’s going to fast track your fat loss progress, and get you on your way to the lean, sculpted physique you’ve been looking for!
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Skip the queue for fat loss with this strategic workout by March 2017 cover model Claudia Jovanoski.Words/workout: Claudia Jovanovski (pictured)Photography: James PatrickTime-poor gymmers are all too familiar with supersetting to save time. Pushing out two moves successively with little or no rest between is among the best fitness hacks going – especially for impatient types.Tri-sets step things up again, running together three fatiguing moves, meaning the workout is performed at high intensity for a shorter duration than standard circuits.According to a study at the Catholic University of Brasilia and the Eastern Illinois University, multiple sets (MS) and tri-sets (TS) were found to impact neuromuscular variables and body composition.The results of the study indicate that a multi-set regimen burns more body fat than circuit-like training.In tri-sets, the usual rest period between sets is used to complete a set of another move.Research also shows that the hormonal response to such unrelenting exertion favours optimal muscle growth (which in the real world equals tone and a faster metabolism).You can either pair exercises that are noncompeting (i.e. work opposing muscle groups), or you can pair exercises that target the same muscle group.The downside of this fast, furious method is a power penalty, which reduces the amount of resistance you can use and hence limits potential for strength gains.While some experts claim that staggering moves with opposing muscle group pairings circumvents this risk, the nervous system’s response to this training method necessarily inhibits power. Most experts maintain that classic training is best for strength goals.For more advanced users, tri-sets can be combined with classic sets by incorporating one or two strength moves performed classically (with or without intervening moves that keep the body moving without inviting fatigue).This workout uses sprints, so factor that in, whether you want to do a bike sprint in the gym or a dash on the track.On your marks, get set…1.
How to fast-track fat loss Want to know the key to fat loss? Master trainer Daniel Tramontana shares his tips for guaranteed fat loss.To fast-track coveted progress such as greater fat loss, Tramontana says you need to get back to basics.Cardio is not ‘hardio’With a combination of higher intensity interval training (HIIT), low-intensity steady state (LISS) training, body weight training sessions and a nutritious diet, Tramontana ensures his clients are given the best formula for their body.“My cardiovascular programming is based around a 75/25 split of LISS and HIIT. So based on the available amount of time for a client to add in cardio on top of resistance training would determine the amount of each they conducted,” he says.Here’s what your cardio program could look like:2 hours per week for cardio training = 30 minutes of HIIT over two to three days + 90 minutes of LISS over one to two sessions.Be wary, if HIIT was all you did, you may encounter the downside of too much stress on your body, which can ironically turn HIIT into a fat retention tactic.So what about weight training?“For fat loss, I structure everything around two to three full bodyweight training sessions – two sessions based on linear periodisation macro cycle of 16-to-24 week programming, altered every four to six weeks,” he explains.Translation? A program that begins by incorporating high-volume and low intensity weight training, and progressively moves into phases when the volume decreases and intensity increases.