Who doesn't dig spa days and Sunday sleep-ins? But when it comes to fitness, comfort should take a backseat. Women get too complacent with their workouts, says Dixie Stanforth, Ph.D., director of personal training at the University of Texas at Austin. After a while, following the same regimen stalls your progress. The result: Let's just say heads won't turn.
To kick-start a stale routine: You have to force your body past the point in a workout when it wants to say uncle-- a point trainers call volitional fatigue, or when you can't do another rep with perfect form. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone "enhances both muscular strength and endurance, while cranking up your total caloric burn," says strength and conditioning coach Jesse Wright.
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How it works: This fast-paced routine (video how-to is below) created by Stanforth and Wright (both trainers on the Gatorade Training Council), targets every major muscle group with supersets--two back-to-back moves with no rest in between--to spark your metabolism. The short but intense cardio intervals added in between keep your heart racing and help you shed more fat. And the best part is, the plan is plateau-proof: As your body shapes up, you'll be able to do more reps with heavier weights and push yourself harder on the intervals.
Yeah, it might get a little uncomfortable. But trust us, you'll be giving this workout mad props a few months from now, when you're confidently rockin' a tiny two-piece.
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What to Expect: Do this routine two or three days a week on nonconsecutive days. Starting with superset one, complete as many reps of the first exercise as you can with perfect form in 30 seconds, then immediately do the same with the second move. Repeat this three more times without resting, then go right into the cardio interval, doing the exercise of your choice (treadmill, bike, elliptical, stair stepper). Rest for one to two minutes, then move on to superset two, and continue until you've finished all the supersets and cardio intervals. The key is to choose a weight and pace that exhausts you by the end of the set or interval, while maintaining good form throughout. Stop and rest if you need to, but your goal is to do as many reps as you can within the 30 seconds.
TELL US: How do you stick to your fitness goals????
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