Working out isn’t easy, but once you learn how your body works, it can be fun and satisfying. As someone who’s been a gym regular for nearly a decade, I thought I knew everything I needed to know, but I was so wrong.
It’s easy to be complacent when working out. While I seemed to maintain my weight and tone, I didn’t see progress until I found the right routine. Above all, there are seven killer sets you have to do to get a sculpted physique. Incorporate these workouts into your exercise routine, and you’ll soon become a warrior:
1. Hill sprints
Hill sprints are the biggest secret for sculpting your lower abs and building a giant ass. They look hard (that’s because they are), but the secret is doing them in intervals. According to Bryan Hawn’s The List, this exercise increases the natural production of testosterone and growth hormone, which are two of the most potent chemicals in the body for fat burning.
Remember, the hill cannot be too steep — you want to sprint. Raise the treadmill to a seven or eight incline (it can vary), and sprint for as long as you can until you can’t, then reduce the speed to a normal pace. Hill sprints help tone thighs and legs, and they’ll help you build your glutes.
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2. Five-minute abs
All it takes is five minutes to trigger the abs to start working. When done before lifting weights, five-minute-abs will wake up your abdominal muscles so they’ll continue to work long after you finish lifting.
If you’re looking for an excellent resource for abs, check out Brendan Myers on YouTube. He has short, quick and to the point workouts for all things abs and they work.
When done correctly, planking helps with digestion, flattens the stomach and shapes the shoulders and chest.
Here’s how to do a perfect plank:
- First Pose: Lie flat on your stomach. Prop yourself up on your elbows, which should be shoulder-width apart and centered. Hold for a minute (or two), then release.
- Second Pose: Lie sideways and prop yourself up on your elbow. Lift and hold for one minute.
- Third Pose: Switch to the other side and do the same thing you did for the second pose.
4. Air boxing
Air boxing is one of the best cardio exercises out there because it combines force, stamina and speed retraction — all of which help to shape your body to its natural capacities. Not to mention, it gives you tools to protect yourself when you’re on the streets.
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Boxing is a huge stress reliever. Anytime you’re feeling pressure from work, at home or in yourself, take it out in the air. However, it’s important you have the correct posture so you won’t injure yourself. Take a look at how to do it:
For those who think running is too boring, or all other types of cardio are a bit too difficult, the Stairmaster is a godsend. Doing stairs burn fat and build glute muscles (the ass).
Start with short bursts for about five minutes. Increase the speed to a quick but safe pace. To target your glutes, keep your legs somewhat close together. After a couple of minutes, increase the speed. After five minutes, jump off and do 15 squats.
6. Inclined bench press
Many men want that “V” shape. The best way to get this is to lift on an incline. To grow your shoulders and chest, you’ll need to casually increase the weight and incline. Here’s how to do it:
7. Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell swings help to shape your lower body so that it can provide a foundation for the upper body. If you don’t have the muscle to carry your frame, your body won’t allow it to grow. For example, if you want a bigger chest, you have to intensify your back routines, too.
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If you don’t have a strong enough back to support heavier pecs, your body won’t synthesize muscle in that region. The body only gives us what we can handle, which is why kettlebell swings help to target glutes, lower and mid back so we can carry more weight throughout.
David Artavia is an actor and writer from New York City. He loves living vicariously through his friends. Follow him on Twitter and Like his Facebook page.