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This 45-day workout plan combines strength, HIIT and traditional cardio for the best results.
A 45-day workout plan for women should cover three common goals: fat loss, building lean muscle definition (or tone), and improving overall fitness and strength. In order to truly achieve those goals, your lifestyle will also have to support the workout plan. Your food choices and lifestyle should enable your workouts, not make them harder. The workout cycle should also be repeated once or twice (for a total of 90 or 135 days) in order to develop the habits that will allow you to maintain your results.
Join the Resistance
Resistance training for women has gotten a bad rap over the years. Fears of getting "bulky" from using weights, however, are unfounded. If you want to build muscle tone, you must include weights in your workout routines. Use weights in your workouts three times per week for the 45 days. Include one full-body, one lower-body, and one upper-body workout, each comprised of four sets with weights that allow for eight to 12 repetitions per exercise per set. Your lower-body workout should include four sets of squats, deadlifts, lunges and calf raises. Your upper-body workout should include four sets of bench presses, bent-over rows, overhead presses, biceps curls and triceps kickbacks. Your full-body workout should include squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench presses, bent-over rows and overhead presses.
Take A HIIT
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is highly effective for burning body fat. Include two HIIT sessions per week on non-lifting days as HIIT is very demanding on the body. Using either running, skipping or cycling, do a ladder sequence, working as hard as possible in the "work" segment and going very slowly during the "rest" segments. Work for 30 seconds, rest for 10. Work for 40 seconds, rest for 20. Work for 50 seconds, rest for 30. Work for 60 seconds, rest for 45. Then perform the entire sequence again in reverse. Do the entire ladder through once, or twice if you are really up for a challenge.
Top It Off With Cardio
Low-intensity, steady-state cardio is the final piece of this 45-day workout plan. Five to six days a week, do 30 to 60 minutes of low to moderate intensity cardio work, such as going for a brisk walk, taking a Pilates class, or going for a swim. This low-burn cardio has been found to accelerate fat loss when combined with regular HIIT and strength training. It also helps reduce the concentration of stress hormones in the body (which can cause fat retention) and lower the risk of injury during other workouts.
Rest and Recover
When training at this level of intensity, it's very important to get sufficient rest and to use various recovery tactics. Prioritizing your sleep (getting at least seven to eight hours per night) is key to losing fat and building lean muscle. Using a foam roller regularly will release muscle tension and prevent injuries from overly tight muscles, while regular massages will improve circulation to tired, sore muscles and will improve the rate of recovery after hard workouts. Take one or two days off from working out per week to make sure your body has enough time to recover.