Part 3 of a 12-week plan

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 In This Series

The benefits

When you were building muscle in part 2 of this 12-week plan, you had to take on a lot of calories to fuel your workout and recovery so you’ve probably added some fat along with the muscle. It’s time to shave off that weight and bring definition to your new muscles. Include some high-intensity cardio intervals to gain powerful, sculpted muscles and a leaner, fitter body that will rise to any physical challenge.
The science

You need to burn fat without burning muscle, so long cardio efforts are out and intense muscle workouts that use explosive, energy-hungry moves to increase power and burn calories are in. To perform an exercise, such as the squat, plyometrically you need to ‘preload’ the muscles. Lower into the move slowly to expand the muscle along its full range of motion before contracting it explosively.

The timing

  • Do workouts A, B and C once a week each.
  • Expect each workout to take 45 minutes, including a ten-minute warm-up and a ten-minute cool-down.
  • Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets and for two to three minutes between each exercise.
  • Leave at least one day between workouts.

Quick tips

  • Warm up with ten minutes of cardio followed by some dynamic stretching.
  • Emphasise the lowering part of the exercise to preload your muscles.
  • Focus on making the lifting part of the exercise explosive.
  • Use a lighter weight than normal for these exercises.
  • Cool down with ten minutes of gentle cardio and some static stretching.
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