Bringing Back Total-Body Strength on Thursdays
It’s time to grab the heavy weights again. For the second time this week, we’re in weight training mode. That means you’ll want to go up in how much you lift each week. You’ll perform the same movements each Thursday, but your reps and rounds will change (aka progressive overload). It’s weight time — no time to wait.
Thursday Weekly Workout Plan
CIRCUIT 1 (Upper and Lower Body)
Weeks 1 and 2: Repeat the squat and press for 10-12 reps and 3-4 rounds. Weeks 3 and 4: Pick up heavier weights and repeat for 8-10 reps and 3-4 rounds.
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, slight bend in your knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing you (a). With your shoulders pull back, lower your chest toward the ground on an inhale. Maintain a flat back throughout the entire move and make sure to keep your abs engaged (b). Exhale to stand back up (c). Repeat. (For more details on deadlift form, check out our tutorial here.)
How to: Grab onto a bar above your head, hands about shoulder-width apart or a little wider (a). Using your back and keeping your abs tight, pull yourself up until your chin in above the bar (b). Slowly lower back down (c). Repeat.
Trainer tip: If you can’t do pull-ups, start with a bent over row (see Wednesday’s Week 3, Circuit 2 for how to do it) and then move on to a lat pull down — both with dumbbells. When you feel like you’ve mastered those movements, try getting on the bar for a pull-up progression. Check out this story on where to start. Or you can also try incorporating these 10 exercises into your weekly routine to work your way up.
CIRCUIT 2 (Cardio Break), each week, add another round to this circuit
1. Hamstring Curls
How to: Lie on your back, knees bent and heels on gliders. Arms should be extended down by your sides, palms on the floor (a). Lift your hips toward the ceiling, then straighten your legs out as far as you can go (b). Bring your feet back in to the start. Keep your hips lifted the whole time (c). Repeat.
Trainer tip: You can also use a stability ball or TRX for these or just put your feet on towels on a slippery surface.
2. Med Ball Slams
How to: Standing with feet hip-width apart, slight bend in your knees, bring a med ball straight overhead. Engage your abs so you don’t arch your back (a). Slam the ball into the ground, using your arms and keeping your abs tight (b). Grab the ball and repeat.
3. 30-Second Sprint
CIRCUIT 3 (Core Work)
1. 1-Minute Superman
How to: Lie on your stomach, legs extended and hands placed by your shoulders (a). Lift your upper body, hands and lower body off the floor so your midsection is the only thing touching the ground. Keep your neck in a neutral position (b). Lower back down (c). Repeat.
2. 1-Minute Hollow Body Hold, repeat for 2-3 rounds
How to: Lie on your back, arms and legs extended. Lift your head, shoulders and legs just a few inches off the floor as you push your belly button toward the floor, slightly tucking your pelvis. Hold.