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Mini-Workouts for maximum fat loss and abs with our without kettlebells

Posted Aug 24 2008 5:48pm

Hard, frequent training is the key to success in achieving your fitness goals whether that goal is to get six pack abs, increase strength, or perform better in a sport. You need to train hard and often. There is a catch though, people have a finite amount of time and recovery ability. You can only train so hard for so long before burning out and getting divorced!

The trick is to have a regular training schedule. Say, 3-5 times per week for about one hour total and to sneak mini-workouts in throughout the week. A mini-workout is anything lasting from 15 to 30 minutes that is hard enough for you to feel it, but not so tough that it takes away from your ability to recover.

Kettlebells daily workouts are a great way to include mini-workouts in your schedule. I will often go home at lunch and do 15 minutes of mobility work followed by 15 minutes of hard kettlebell swings, cleans and snatches. Keep in mind, this is on top of my regular powerlifting routine.

If you goal is fat loss and abs, then you don't even need to do the full workouts, you can do 1-2 mini-workouts each day for about six days a week. The regular training will keep your metabolism elevated and burning fat throughout the day if the sessions are hard. By hard I mean you can't catch your breath and are sweating like crazy. Steady state cardio and playing around in the gym does not count!

Today my mini-workout was done without a kettlebell for a change of pace. 2 sets of 15-20 reps per exercise per limb. This was done after 10 minutes of mobility work and lasted about 10 minutes as well. Later that day I hit the gym and did a serious powerlifting workout of squats, bench presses and deadlifts.

  • Goblet Squats
  • Split Squats paired with Two Point Dumbbell Row
  • Push-ups paired with Sit-ups

If you work far away from home, you can get a gym pass and hit the gym at lunch and then again after work. Training quickly but pushing it hard each time.

Don't want to spend the money on a gym pass? Take your lunch break to power walk, climb stairs, or do a monkey bar workout of push-ups and chin-ups! Keep in mind, these workouts are done on top of regular training sessions. If you want results you MUST train hard and often. Going for walks and doing steady state cardio will not force your body to shed fat and get lean!

John Berardi recommends 5 hours of solid exercise per week as a minimum to have a maximized metabolism on top of a very healthy diet. A schedule for someone following his G-Flux system might look like this:

  • Day 1, heavy weight training 1 hour, hard cardio 15 mins
  • Day 2, moderate body weight training 30 minutes
  • Day 3, heavy weight training 1 hour, hard cardio 15 mins
  • Day 4, moderate kettlebell workout 30 mins
  • Day 5, moderate weight training 1 hour, hard cardio 15 minutes
  • Day 6, kettlebell, sprints, sled drags, car pushing, etc, 30 minutes very hard
  • Day 7, active recovery (walking, biking, yard work, mobility work) 1 hour

5 hours and 15 mins of good hard training. This does not include the light exercise day for recovery on day 7. This may seem like a lot but if you train at home on the even days it is pretty easy to follow. Hit the gym 3 days a week, do mini-workouts at home on the off days and a nice walk on Sunday morning! Be creative, it doesn't all have to be bodybuilding type workouts at the gym for 1 hour and then 30 mins on the treadmill reading Men's Fitness! That is a terrible waste of time. Do all kinds of crazy stuff you see on for a change.

Remember, whatever stress is new for your body will put into a crisis mode and get that metabolism going!

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