After writing so many training programs based on mass gains at different levels, I decided to give an example of a toning program for those of you less interested in filling t-shirts and more interested in fitness, a washboard stomach and single digit body fat.
Likewise, it can also be used by bodybuilders who are going through a ‘Cutting Phase’ for competition or simply wanting to tone down to improve their look and symmetry.
Never underestimate your warm-up, especially when performing high intensity training like the workout below.
Try lifting very light weights for 5 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of good stretching. Don’t forget the warm-down afterwards as well.
Day 1: Chest & Triceps
Incline Dumbbell press
Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
Close grip barbell press
Day 2: Legs & Shoulders
Shoulder press (dumbbell or barbell)
Cable lateral raise
Day 3: Back & Biceps
Close grip cable rows
Day 4: Aerobic Activity
On day 4 complete an hours aerobic activity, making sure it’s not the day after you train your legs, for example:
30 mins running
20 minutes bike
or 45 minutes swim (it’s really up to you, as long as it gets your heart pumping).
Day: 5-7 Repeat days 1-3, alternating exercises.
Perform around 12-15 reps of each exercises, 3 sets each, leaving little more than 30 seconds between sets for maximum intensity.
As always, there’s no need to follow this workout to the letter. Alternate exercises, find your own weight and if you feel 12 reps is too few, try 15-20 to really feel that squeeze.
Finally, don’t forget your abs! With this regime you’ll be shedding the weight in no time and you’ll want a washboard stomach waiting for you when get there.
Try training your stomach twice per week, whichever day suits (remember, abdominals are another muscle group that needs training, but not over-training – twice a week is enough). There are a number of sit-ups, crunches and leg raise variations for you to try.