Summer Slim-Down workout plan: Week 6

Get fitter this summer with our eight-week plan. This week: incorporate upper- and lower-body exercises simultaneously

Summer Slim-Down workout plan: Week 6

Source: Web exclusive, July 2011

This week you’ll be doing the same strength routine as last week, but you’ll also be adding combined pair of upper- and lower body exercises.

Doing upper- and lower-body moves at the same time intensifies your workouts and also saves you time. You can then add those extra minutes to your cardio routine for a bonus calorie boost, or opt for a slightly longer, stress-releasing stretch, as we’ve suggested in the workouts for day 2 and day 4 (stretch for 7 to 8 minutes in those routines).

Watch Your Form

As with any type of exercise, always ensure proper form when combining two exercises into one. If you can’t get the correct technique with simultaneous upper- and lower-body exercises, simply go back to doing each move separately.  You can always try matching up moves again next week if your form has improved.

Note: The workouts in this eight-week 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 6

Workout for day 1 (45 minutes):
‘ Warm up for three minutes.
‘ Do a 35-minute cardio session: 
– First 5 minutes: Exercise at a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) of about 5 to 6.
– Next 24 minutes: Alternate between one minute of exercise at an RPE of 7 to 8 and two minutes of exercise at an RPE of 5 to 6, in that order (eight cycles total).
– Next 6 minutes: Exercise at an RPE of 5 to 6.
– Final 7 minutes: Cool down at an RPE of about 2 to 3. Stretch.

Workout for day 2 (60 minutes):

‘ Cardio (45 minutes): After warming up for three to five minutes, exercise at an RPE of 5 to 7 for about 40 minutes. Cool down (RPE of 2 to 4) for at least two minutes.
‘ Strength (7 to 8 minutes): Repeat Workout 2 from Week 5 with the following timesaving, intensity-boosting changes:
– Do chest presses and hip bridges at the same time: Get into the hip bridge and hold hips up as you complete a set of chest presses.  
– Do modified upright rows and plié squats at the same time: As you lower down into the squat, bend arms to do a modified upright row.
‘ Flexibility (7 to 8 minutes): Stretch your arms, shoulders, chest, back, hips and legs, holding each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.

Workout for day 3 (45 minutes):
Repeat Workout 1 from this week.

Workout for day 4 (60 minutes):
Repeat Workout 2 from this week.

Workout for day 5 (at least 25 minutes):
Go for a brisk walk.  

Bonus workout!
If time permits, do one bonus workout. Try a new activity or repeat a workout from this week (making sure to do strength exercises on non-consecutive days).

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