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Resolution Solution: Week 4

January 26th, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

ExerciseTV‘s Holly Perkins is back for our fourth and final installment of Resolution Solution. Each week, Holly — a personal trainer and New Balance Fitness Ambassador — has offered tips and info related to this four-week exercise plan designed to help you shed pounds and tone up this winter. This week’s routines are focused on weight loss — just what we need with swimsuit season creeping up on us. And remember, always consult your physician before starting any new exercise plan.

Rebecca ()

Hulu: What makes these exercises great for someone looking to shed pounds?

These exercises will help you lose weight because they are “big” movements that involve every major muscle group in the body, therefore stimulating the metabolism and calorie expenditure. Here, you will get an effective system that will help to maximize your results for the time spent. By stimulating the musculature, you will increase the need for energy (calories). This burns calories from stored body fat, which means you will lose weight if you consistently follow this workout. Combine this workout with 2-3 days of cardiovascular exercise every week and you will maximize fat burning.

What sort of cardio do you recommend to supplement these workouts?

To maximize your results and keep your cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory (heart and lungs) systems healthy, it is important to incorporate cardio workouts each week in addition to these workouts. All of these ExerciseTV workouts will help to build your cardio ability and health, but it is advised to include separate, cardio-only workouts each week. The easiest — and maybe even the best — for most people is brisk walking. Get outside and walk for 20 to 50 minutes, depending on your fitness level. You can also walk or jog on a treadmill, or try other cardio-based machines such as elliptical-type trainers, stationary bicycles and step machines. Check out a cardio-based class or spinning at your local gym. And if you prefer to stay home (the most “green” option!), check out more workouts from ExerciseTV.

Which exercises are the ultimate full-body workouts, where you’ll see great results fast?

Try the 180 Power Lunge, Figure 8 Squat, Tight Torso and Side Plank. These exercises are amazing because they involve so many muscle groups throughout the entire body. This kind of exercise causes an overall systemic demand which increases the metabolism, heart rate, breathing rate and cardiovascular training. You will be using your legs (hamstrings and quadriceps), glutes, pelvic stabilizers, spinal support muscles, core and abs, chest, arms (biceps and triceps) and shoulders. If you are going to exercise, why not maximize your time and train your whole body in one or two movements? Try it!

Do we need any special equipment this week?

Some exercises will require 3- to 10-pound dumbbells, depending on your experience level. For some exercises such as the 180 Power Lunge and the Figure 8 Squat, you might want to try to use a 6-pound medicine ball. Marco Reed and Michael Carson use dumbbells, which is the alternative if you do not have access to a medicine ball. Either works great. You will also need an exercise mat or comfortable flooring. And don’t forget high-quality athletic shoes that are less than 6 months old. Supportive footwear is extra-important for exercises that require jumping or plyometric movements such as the 180 Power Lunge. New Balance makes excellent shoes for men and women that cater to all foot-width sizes.

Now that our month is up, how should we proceed?

After completing the entire Resolution Solution program, take one full week of “active recovery” and begin the series again from the start. Active recovery is any light physical activity that doesn’t stress the body too much, such as easy walking, playing with kids, or yard work. When you begin this series for the second time, consider adding a heavier dumbbell to the appropriate exercises. If you used no weights the first time through, try adding 3- or 5-pound dumbbells this time.

What’s your favorite workout in this list?

From a trainer’s perspective, this workout series is great because it is super challenging and brings great results rather quickly. The challenge is to get you to love these as much as we do! Unfortunately, most of my clients dread many of these exercises because they are hard. But, as my client Adrian Grenier says: “If we’re going to do it, let’s do it.” In other words, if you are going to show up for your workout, it makes sense to put up your best effort and use the exercises that accomplish the most in the time spent. My picks from these exercises — because they are so effective — are the 180 Power Lunge, Tight Torso and Side Plank.