One of the world’s top trainers, Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S> was asked to create a cutting-edge fat loss program for Men’s Health. And, of course, he obliged. But a curious thing: One of the workouts in the plan featured just two exercises. That’s right: When asked to create a super-effective, calorie-torching routine, Cosgrove gave us a workout that had readers do only a dumbbell swing and a squat thrust. This confused some folks, who wondered, “How can you lose fat with just two exercises?”
Cosgrove’s response: “Running is just one exercise, but no one questions that when it comes to burning fat.”
He makes a good point. And in fact, once you understand the philosophy behind Cosgrove’s routine, you start to see why it works so well. But first, an explanation of the actual routine itself.
Here’s how it works: You do 15 repetitions of the kettlebell swing (you can also use a dumbbell for this), followed immediately by 15 reps of the squat thrust. (See below for descriptions of both exercises.) Without resting, do 14 reps of the swing and then 14 reps of the squat thrust. Continue this pattern until you complete only one rep of each exercise. This is called a countdown workout.
Sure, that’s just two exercises, but do the math: If you complete the entire routine—from 15 down to 1—you’ll do 120 repetitions of each exercise.
That’s 240 repetitions. And these aren’t just any exercises: They’re movements that challenge your entire body.
They’re also done at a fast pace. On average, it’ll only take you about three seconds per rep. So you’ll do those 240 reps in just 12 minutes or so. That’ll light your muscles on fire, and have you gasping for air.
If you think that sounds too easy or too fast, I suggest you try it. You may find you can’t even finish. But that’s okay—you can just start with a lower number, like 8, and work your way up as you improve your fitness, which is recommended. If you want an even greater challenge, you can always take a breather and repeat the routine.
Remember: Whether you’re running or lifting, your muscles require energy to help you move. And this workout forces more of your muscles into action than you’d ever use while jogging for the same duration. It’ll also boost your metabolism for hours after your workout.
What’s more, unlike jogging, these aren’t joint-pounding exercises. So this is actually a “low-impact” workout that you can do at a high intensity, making it ideal for overweight folks. The best part: You can do the routine without even leaving your house, since all you need is a single kettlebell or dumbbell. But if you want a complete cutting-edge exercise and nutrition guide that you can use on your computer, tablet, or phone, check out The Lose Your Spare Tire Program. It’s the easiest and most effective way to drop 20, 30, or even 50 pounds, and flatten your belly forever!
How to do the countdown workout: Do 8 reps of the kettlebell swing, followed immediately by 8 reps of the squat thrust. Without resting, do 7 reps of the kettlebell swing, and then 7 reps of the squat thrust, and so on, until you work your way down to 1. A reminder: Don’t overdo it. If your form breaks down during the routine, just stop there. Then next time, adjust your starting point so that you can work all the way down to one without having to stop. As you become better conditioned, start with a higher number. An important note: This isn’t a complete workout program, but it is a great routine that you can do almost anywhere, anytime. And it’s a fantastic substitute for 15 minutes on the treadmill.
Kettlebell (or Dumbbell) Swing
Bend at your hips and hold a kettlebell (or dumbbbell) with both hands at arm’s length in front of you. Now rock back slightly and “hike” kettlebell between your legs. Then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward forcefully, and swing the weight to shoulder height. Allow momentum to swing the weight—you’re not trying to actively lift it with your arms.
Reverse the movement, so that you swing the kettlebell between your legs again. Make sure you don’t round your lower back at any time; it should stay naturally arched when you bend at your hips. Continue to swing back and forth. Watch the video below to see fitness expert David Jack show you how to do the kettlebell swing with perfect form.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bending at your hips and knees, squat down and lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward—into a pushup position—and then immediately reverse the move and quickly stand up from the squat. That’s 1 rep. To make the exercise even more challenging, you can jump up from the squat instead of simply standing up quickly. Watch the video below to see strength coach David Jack do the squat thrust.
Weight Loss Tips Recommended by Personal Trainers
Weight loss is something that we all struggle with. Sometimes we are successful in reducing our weight but more often than not, the number in the weighing scale slowly creeps back up. Most of us have already tried the latest diet trend in the hopes that it will lead us to a better looking us, but then, life happens and we forget that we are on a diet or that we feel frustrated with the lack of results. Still, we keep on finding ways to get rid of the excess pounds that we are carrying. With that being said, it might be a good idea for us to stop for a while and take stock of what personal trainers have got to say about losing weight. Who knows? We might pick up a thing or two about their weight loss tips that we can apply in our day to day lives. Here are some suggestions that you might want to consider.
Stay away from booze and sugar
If you really want to lose weight then ditch the sugar and booze. These two are known to be calorie-laden which is why they contribute to weight gain. If you can’t stay away from drinking alcoholic beverages, you can limit to a glass for girls and two glasses for men. As for the refined sugars, there are natural sweeteners available such as honey and stevia.
Don’t go more than 3 hours without eating
Although the exact science for this is still being studied, it appears that eating snacks in between meals can help keep your blood sugar levels steady. This means that your energy level will remain stable throughout the day and less sugar or carb binges which can cause weight gain on your part.
Mix your exercises up
Another tip that personal trainers have given with regards to losing weight is to mix your fitness routine as much as possible. Sticking to the same program for months will cause you to hit a plateau in your progress which can make you feel frustrated with the lack of improvement. A better option would be to mix your exercises so that your muscles will remain guessing as to which muscle group will be tested. The best part is that you are constantly strengthening and conditioning your muscles for a more even looking physique.
Drink plenty of water
Who would have thought that even the simplest act can do your weight loss goal a whole lot of good? Drinking water constantly can help flush the toxins from your body while ensuring that your skin remains properly hydrated. Water can also help improve digestion so that your body will be able to absorb nutrients from the food that you eat better.
These are just a few tips that you might want to consider the next time you are planning on shedding weight. What’s great about these fitness tips is that they are simple enough to follow but will get you amazing results in no time.
Study: Dietary supplements won’t help you live longer
Doctors at Tufts University in Massachusetts, the US, say it’s pretty clear that supplement use has no benefit for the general population and is not a substitute for a healthy balanced diet.
Their research found that vitamins A and K, magnesium, zinc and copper were linked to a lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke — but only when they came from foods, abc7news.com wrote.
Coauthor Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, said getting nutrients in the right quantities from food was associated with a longer life.
In fact, Zhang said some supplements even appear to have health risks. People who took high doses of calcium supplements had a 53 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than people who were not taking supplements,
However, if you have been diagnosed as deficient in a certain nutrient, don’t stop taking it without talking to your doctor first.
The research team used data from 30,000 US adults who participated in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2010.
The research was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Whitening products may damage teeth:Study
Teeth whitening products – that promise to make your smile brighter – may also be causing tooth damage, a study has found.
Scientists at Stockton University in the US found that hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in over-the-counter whitening strips, can damage the protein-rich dentin tissue found beneath the tooth’s protective enamel.
The tooth is made of three layers: the outer tooth enamel, an underlying dentin layer and connective tissue that binds the roots to the gum.
Most studies of whitening strips have focused on tooth enamel, which contains very little protein.
The team focused on dentin, which makes up most of the tooth and has high levels of protein, most of which is collagen.
It is well established that hydrogen peroxide can penetrate the enamel and dentin. Previous work by the researchers showed that collagen in the dentin layer decreased when teeth were treated with whitening strips.
“We sought to further characterise what the hydrogen peroxide was doing to collagen. We used entire teeth for the studies and focused on the impact hydrogen peroxide has on the proteins,” said Kelly Keenan, associate professor at Stockton University.
The researchers demonstrated that the major protein in the dentin is converted to smaller fragments when treated with hydrogen peroxide.
In additional experiments, they treated pure collagen with hydrogen peroxide and then analysed the protein using a gel electrophoresis laboratory technique that allows the protein to be visualised.
“Our results showed that treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations similar to those found in whitening strips is enough to make the original collagen protein disappear, which is presumably due to the formation of many smaller fragments,” Keenan said in the statement.
The researchers point out that their experiments did not address whether collagen and other proteins in the teeth can be regenerated, so it is unknown if the tooth damage is permanent.
Next, they plan to further characterise the protein fragments released when collagen is treated with hydrogen peroxide and determine if hydrogen peroxide has the same impact on other proteins in the teeth.