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The Weight-Loss Workouts Which Helped This Man Shed 2.5kg Of Fat In Two Weeks

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A couple of months ago, the image you see above on the right graced the cover of Men’s Fitness. That happened because I used to look like the picture above on the left and the good news, for anyone who wants to change how they look and feel in a short space of time, is that the time between the two pictures being taken was just eight weeks.

My muscular metamorphosis came about because I followed the training and nutrition system set out in New Body Plan, the book that outlines my experience. In the issue of Men’s Fitness whose cover I was on, I described the physical and mental state I found myself in before I started the plan (overworked, overfed and underwhelmed – sounds familiar, right?) and the physical and emotional journey that took me from being an overweight 37-year-old to becoming a cover model. I also shared the fundamental exercise and eating concepts that helped me lose 10kg of fat in just eight weeks.

What I didn’t do, however, was detail the exact workouts that got me there. So to help you kick-start your own body transformation, we’re sharing the precise sessions that I did in the first fortnight-long block of the eight-week plan. 

The full plan is made up of four progressive blocks, each with a distinct goal. Once you complete this block, you can either use the book to follow Jon’s experience or you can repeat it to complete your own month-long routine. To get the full benefit of the plan we recommend that you also follow the nutrition advice you’ll find at newbodyplan.co.uk.

New Body Plan Training Theory

Goal

In this first fortnight of the plan your goal is simple: to create solid foundations from which you can build a bigger and leaner body. To this end, the first block of this eight-week programme has been designed to increase your strength levels, building stronger and more powerful muscles. This will start to re-shape your body by chipping away at body fat stores and creating the right stimulus for new lean muscle mass to be built. And building these strong foundations first will also enable you to work harder and smarter in the subsequent blocks to burn fat faster while also adding lean muscle mass quickly.

Split

The workout splits in this initial block are very easy to understand – they’re simply split into upper-body sessions and lower-body sessions. This approach allows you to work all your major upper- or lower-body muscles hard, then give them time to recover before you train them again. You’ll target your torso and arms twice a week, and your legs and abs twice a week too. A smart way to follow the plan this week (and every week) is to train on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then Saturday or Sunday, so you give your body as much time as possible to recover between sessions.

Structure

Every workout in this two-week block is made up of six different exercises, which you’ll perform as straight sets. This means you do all the sets and reps of exercise 1, sticking to the tempo and rest periods detailed, and then move on to exercise 2, and do all the sets and reps, and so on until you finish all the reps of the final set of exercise 6. This approach is both easy to follow and the smartest lifting strategy to use when working towards increasing strength levels.

Progression

The second week of the fortnight is very similar to the first week – you perform two upper-body and two lower-body sessions, each comprising the same exercises in the same order. There is, however, one major difference to help you get stronger faster. In week 2 you’ll do fewer reps per set than in the first week, but you’ll do an extra full set. This strategy is designed to help you lift heavier weights for each exercise in the second week. Even if you only increase the weight a small amount, it’s important to try to lift heavier because that’s what makes your muscles grow stronger. Check back on Friday 31st August for the exact details. 

Tempo

In every workout table in this plan you’ll see a column marked Tempo, between the Reps and Rest columns. In this column, each exercise has a four-digit number. Tempo is the speed at which you perform one rep of an exercise, and the four-digit number is the time in seconds you take to lift and lower the weight, and pause at the top and bottom. For example, a 2010 tempo for the bench press means you take two seconds to lower the bar to your chest, with no pause at the bottom, then lift the bar in one second, with no pause at the top. An X means you perform each rep explosively – but still with perfect form.

New Body Plan FAQ

What results can I expect to see after this two-week block?

Everyone is different but Jon lost just about 2.5kg of fat during his first two weeks on the plan, and the early feedback we’ve seen from people taking up the challenge suggests others have lost similar amounts of weight. To do that, however, you’ll need to complete the workouts and adjust how you eat.

What should I eat?

The best thing about the New Body Plan is that it uses a flexible, sustainable approach to food. No foods are banned and no food groups are cut out. Instead, you eat according to calorie and macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate and fat) targets in line with your overall goal.

How do these workouts differ from the rest of the New Body Plan?

The plan takes a progressive approach to training. It starts with challenging but achievable workouts, then gradually builds in intensity and difficulty as you get fitter and stronger. The final four weeks of the plan, for example, include “finishers” at the end of each workout, which are high-intensity drills designed to ramp up your fat loss efforts.

What weight should I lift for each exercise?

Use a weight that only just allows you to complete the final rep of the final set for each exercise. If you complete them with ease, the weight you are using is too light. If you fail early, you’ve gone too heavy.

Can anyone do this plan?

Absolutely. You’ll get great results whether you’re new to training or an experienced gym-goer. If you’re unsure about anything involved in the plan, ask us a question on social at @JonLipseyMedia (on Twitter and Instagram) and @NewBodyPlan (on Twitter and Instagram). Good luck!

Week 1 Workout 1

1 Dumbbell bench press

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Chest, triceps, front shoulders

Lie on a bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand at chest height. Plant your feet on the floor directly underneath your knees. Brace your core and back muscles, and press your feet into the ground. Keeping your whole body tight and your chest up, press the weights directly up until your arms are straight and the weights touch over the middle of your chest. Slowly lower the weights back to the start position under complete control.

2 Lat pull-down

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Targets Lats, biceps

Take a shoulder-width overhand grip on the bar and sit on the seat with your knees under the padded bar and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your chest up, core braced and feet on the floor, pull the bar down towards your chin, leading with your elbows. Pause at the bottom of the rep and squeeze your lats as hard as you can, then return the bar to the top position slowly and under control.

3 Dumbbell overhead press

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Shoulders, triceps

Stand tall with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing away from you. Keeping your chest up and abs engaged, press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight and the weights touch above your head. Slowly lower the weights back to the start position under complete control. Keep each rep smooth without any bouncing.

4 Dumbbell biceps curl

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Targets Biceps

Stand tall with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight and your elbows by your sides with your palms facing away from you. Keeping your chest up and your elbows tight to your sides, curl the weights up towards shoulder height. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top of the rep, then slowly lower the weights back to the start under complete control. Straighten your arms fully at the bottom and flex your triceps hard before you start the next rep.

5 Triceps press-down

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Triceps, lower chest

Stand tall in front of a cable machine with your chest up and core engaged, using both hands to hold a double rope handle attached to the high pulley. Keeping your chest up and your elbows tight to your sides, press your hands down until your arms are fully straight. Hold this bottom position and flex your triceps to keep the tension on them. Slowly return to the start position, without letting your elbows move away from your sides at any point. When you return to the top position, squeeze your biceps.

6 Press-up

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Chest, triceps, front shoulders

Get on all fours with your legs and arms straight, your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Raise your hips and brace your core to keep your entire body stable. Bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor, but don’t let them flare out to the sides – they should stay tight to your sides. Go as low as you can, then press back up to straighten your arms and return to the start position.

Week 1 Workout 2

1 Dumbbell lunge

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Quads, glutes, hamstrings, core

Stand tall with your chest up and your abs engaged, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step forwards with one foot, then lunge down until both knees are bent at 90°. Push off your front foot to return to the start and repeat, leading with your other leg. Continue, alternating your leading leg, until you have done 12 reps in total.

2 Goblet squat

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Quads, glutes, hamstrings, core

Stand tall with your chest up and core engaged, holding a dumbbell or kettlebell at chest height with both hands, as you might hold a goblet. Keeping your chest up and back straight, initiate the move by bending your knees and pushing your hips backwards, and squat down until your elbows brush the insides of your knees. Keep your weight on your heels and press down through them to straighten your legs and return to the start position.

3 Dumbbell step-up

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 1010 Rest 60sec

Targets Quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves

Stand tall in front of a raised platform or bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your chest up and your core engaged, step up onto the raised surface with one foot, then the other. Step back down, leading with the foot that stepped up first. That’s one rep. Alternate your leading foot with each rep, keeping your torso upright throughout the set.

4 Bodyweight squat

Sets 3 Reps 25 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Quads, glutes, hamstrings, core

Stand tall with your chest up, abs engaged and arms straight by your sides. Bend your knees to squat down as low as you can, either keeping your arms by your sides or raising them until your hands are level with your shoulders. Push through your heels to straighten your legs and return to the start position.

5 Crunch

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 1111 Rest 60sec

Targets Upper abs

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, and bend your arms so your fingers touch the sides of your head. Engage your abs, then raise your torso off the floor without tensing your neck. Keep the tension on your abs as you slowly lower your torso back to the floor. Make each rep harder by not allowing your upper back to touch the floor between reps.

6 Plank jack

Sets 3 Reps 20 Tempo 1010 Rest 60sec

Targets Core, lower abs

Get into position, supporting yourself on your forearms with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Engage your abs, then raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Without letting your hips sag, jump both feet out to the sides so your toes tap the floor, then jump your feet back in. Keep repeating this movement. Keep your head and neck relaxed and keep your breathing controlled – don’t hold your breath.

Week 1 Workout 3

1 Incline dumbbell bench

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Upper chest, triceps, front delts

Lie on an incline bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand at chest height. Plant your feet on the floor directly underneath your knees. Brace your core and back muscles, and press your feet into the ground. Keeping your body tight and your chest up, press the weights directly up until your arms are straight and the weights touch over the middle of your chest. Slowly lower the weights back to the start position under complete control. Keep each rep smooth without “bouncing” the weights at the bottom.

2 Seated row

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Upper back, biceps

Position yourself on the machine with your feet against the foot rest, holding a double-grip cable attachment in both hands. Keeping your chest up, back straight and core braced, row your hands towards your body, leading with your elbows. Once your hands are by your body, pause for a second and squeeze your back and biceps muscles hard, then reverse the move back to the start position.

3 Dumbbell lateral raise

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Targets Side shoulders

Stand tall with your chest up, abs braced and feet hip-width apart, holding a light dumbbell in each hand by your sides with your palms facing one another. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to the sides, no higher than shoulder height. As the weights approach shoulder height, rotate your wrists slightly so that your little fingers are pointing straight up – this will contract your side delts harder. Pause and hold this top position for a second, then slowly lower the weights back to the start under complete control.

4 Hammer curl

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Targets Biceps, forearms

Stand tall with your chest up, core braced and shoulders back, holding dumbbells with your palms facing your sides. Keeping your chest up and your elbows tight to your sides, curl the weights up towards shoulder height. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top of the rep, then slowly lower the weights back to the start under complete control. Straighten your arms fully at the bottom and flex your triceps hard before you start the next rep.

5 Cable triceps extension

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Targets Triceps

Stand tall with your back to a cable machine with your chest up and core engaged, holding a double rope handle in both hands behind your head attached to the low pulley. Lean forwards slightly from your hips, but keep your chest up and back straight. Keeping your elbows locked in position and pointing straight up, press your hands up and forwards to straighten your arms. When your arms are straight, pause and flex your triceps for one second. Slowly return to the start position and squeeze your biceps hard before the next rep.

6 Press-up

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Chest, triceps, front shoulders

Get on all fours with your legs and arms straight, your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Raise your hips and brace your core to keep your entire body stable. Bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor, but don’t let them flare out to the sides – they should stay tight to your sides. Go as low as you can, then press back up to straighten your arms and return to the start position.

Week 1 Workout 4

1 Dumbbell lunge

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Quads, glutes, hamstrings, core

Stand tall with your chest up and your abs engaged, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step forwards with one foot, then lunge down until both knees are bent at 90°. Push off your front foot to return to the start and repeat, leading with your other leg. Continue, alternating your leading leg, until you have done 12 reps in total.

2 Goblet squat

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Targets Quads, glutes, hamstrings, core

Stand tall with your chest up and core engaged, holding a dumbbell or kettlebell at chest height with both hands, as you might hold a goblet. Keeping your chest up and back straight, initiate the move by bending your knees and pushing your hips backwards, and squat down until your elbows brush the insides of your knees. Keep your weight on your heels and press down through them to straighten your legs and return to the start position.

3 Leg extension

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Targets Quads

Prepare the machine, following the instructions to make the necessary adjustments so when you sit on it you’re positioned correctly and safely. In the start position you should be sitting upright with your chest up and shins against the padded bar. Lift the bar by raising your feet until both legs are fully straight. Hold this top position for one second, keeping the maximum amount of tension on your quads, then slowly lower your feet back to the start position.

4 Hamstring curl

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Targets Hamstrings

Prepare the machine, following the instructions so when you sit on it you’re positioned correctly and safely. In the start position you should be sitting upright with your chest up and straight legs, with the padded bar against the back of your ankles, above your heel. Lower the bar by bending your knees and pulling your feet down underneath your body. Hold this bottom position for one second, keeping the maximum amount of tension on your hamstrings, then slowly raise your feet back to the start position.

5 Bicycle

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 1111 Rest 60sec

Targets Core, side abs

Lie flat on your back with your fingers by your temples and legs straight. Raise your torso off the floor. Engage your abs, then lift your feet off the floor. Crunch up and rotate your torso to one side, bringing your opposite knee in to touch your elbow. Reverse the movement to return to the start – without your upper back or feet touching the floor – then repeat on the other side. Return to the start to complete one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

6 Plank toe tap

Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 1111 Rest 60sec

Targets Core, abs

Get into a plank position, supporting yourself on your forearms with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Engage your abs, then raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Keep that tension on your core and squeeze your glutes. Without letting your hips sag, lift and move one foot out as far as you can to the side. Tap your toe down on the floor then bring it back in and repeat with the other foot. That’s one rep.

Check back on Friday 31st August for week two’s reps and sets

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