Summer Slim-Down workout plan: Week 1

If you’re carrying around an extra five or 10 pounds that you’d like to safely shed for summer, try our eight-week summer slim-down fitness plan

Summer Slim-Down workout plan: Week 1

Source: Web exclusive, June 2011

When combined with our eight-week summer slim-down nutrition plan, this program can help you lose a few unwanted pounds and put you on the path to living a healthier lifestyle.

Shed pounds and get fit

Following along with our weekly workouts and nutrition advice could help you shed up to five to 10 pounds (based on a one- to two-pound weight loss per week).

The cardio, strength and flexibility exercises are can also help increase your energy, make you look and feel stronger, improve flexibility and boost your overall fitness level.

Don’t overdo it

Remember to pace yourself this first week. You might feel some mild to moderate muscle soreness a day or two after your first few workouts, which is a sign that your muscles are adapting to the new challenges of the workout.

Track your results

Before you begin, you might find it motivating to take a few baseline measurements so you can track your results as you slim down. Consider taking note of your current weight, measuring your waistline (or other areas you’d like to trim down) and keeping a journal of each workout. You’ll likely find that certain exercises will feel easier over time as you get fitter.

Before you begin

The workouts in this program have been designed for healthy men and women who are at a beginner to intermediate fitness level. Please check with your doctor before beginning this program to ensure exercise is safe and appropriate for you at this time.

Let’s get started: Week 1

The workouts in this program include three important components of fitness: cardio exercise, strength training (with and without weights) and flexibility. To get started, follow the guidelines below. Plan to exercise at least three times this week, preferably on non-consecutive days.

Workout for day 1 (40 minutes):

Cardio (25 minutes): Walk outside or on a treadmill.
Warm up (3 minutes): Walk at a comfortable, slightly brisk pace.

Cardio (20 minutes): Increase your speed or incline on the treadmill so that you can maintain a pace that feels moderately challenging. You should be able to speak in short sentences.

Cool-down (2 minutes): Slow your pace and/or decrease the treadmill incline.

Strength (5-6 minutes, weights required): Do one set, 8-12 reps, of the following exercises with little or no rest between exercises. Choose dumbbells that are heavy enough to tire out your muscles after eight to 12 reps.

Squats (no weights): Sit down into the movement as if sitting into a chair to help keep knees over ankles.

Push-ups (no weights): Hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees or toes on floor.

Back rows: From standing, step one foot forward and lean forward from waist, back straight, arms pointing to floor, hands in line with shoulders. Bend arms, bringing elbows up and behind you, palms facing body. Release.

Alternating reverse lunges (no weights): With feet hip-width apart, step right foot back, lowering right knee to floor; return to standing and repeat other side (that’s one rep).

Alternating biceps curls: Holding dumbbells with arms at sides, bend right elbow to bring dumbbell up to right shoulder. Release and repeat on left (that’s one rep).

Abdominal crunches (no weights): Lie on your back with arms crossed over chest or hands behind ears. Use your abs to lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Release.

Low back extensions (no weights): Lie face down with arms at sides and toes pointed. Using your low back, slowly lift shoulders off the floor. Release.

Flexibility (4-5 minutes): Stretch your arms, shoulders, chest, back, hips and legs, holding each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.

Workout for day 2 (40 minutes)

Warm up for three minutes. Walk briskly for 30 minutes, pushing yourself to go slightly faster for five minutes mid-cardio to maximize calorie burn. Last seven minutes: Cool down then stretch out your legs. (No strength training.)

Workout for day 3 (40 minutes)

Repeat the first workout from this week.

Amanda Vogel is a certified fitness instructor.

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