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Fat-Blasting Workout

The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008

Many Americans make the commitment to lead a healthier lifestyle after the holidays. It's not always the easiest goal to maintain, however. Research shows that more than half of those who begin exercising drop their program within six months. With the help of fitness trainer Mary Tedesco, here is an exciting workout that will not only jump-start your metabolism, but also your life.

The fat-blasting workout involves interval training, which is weight training and cardio done in intervals with no rest between. Putting cardio and weight training together saves a lot of time, as you're getting double the workout. For weight loss, the bottom line is burning more calories than you consume. If you increase your energy expenditure and limit your caloric intake, you will lose weight.

Not only does this workout burn fat, but it also increases the immune system to help reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and strokes. Make sure to keep your heart rate up the entire workout. By keeping your heart rate up, you'll increase your metabolism and burn much more fat than doing just cardio or weight training. Working in your target heart rate will burn both fat and carbohydrates.

Fat-Blasting Workout How-To
1. Warm up: Five to 10 minutes on a treadmill, elliptical, arc trainer, or bike.

2. Dumbbells: Use the weight that suits you best. Make sure you are challenging yourself but that you won't injure yourself by lifting too much weight. Most people use between  5 and 35 pounds. (Example: If you are a beginner, start with 5 pounds on the chest press and 10 pounds with a pullover. If you have been weight training for a while, start with 10 to 12 pounds on the chest press and 15 to 20 pounds with the pullover.) If you have any medical issues, check with your doctor before starting this exercise program. Do two sets of 16 reps of the incline chest press and two sets of 16 reps of the pullover with pelvic tilt.

3. Use cardio equipment for three to four minutes. Make sure your heart rate is now in your target heart-rate zone.

4. Do two sets of 16 reps of bench squats with arm raise.

5. Do two sets of 16 reps of the basic lunge on each side.

6. Use cardio equipment for three to four minutes. Stay in your heart-rate zone.

7. Do two sets of 16 reps of biceps curls.

8. Do two sets of 16 reps of triceps pressbacks.

9. Use cardio equipment for three to four minutes. Stay in heart-rate zone.

10. Do two sets of 50 reps of basic crunch for abs.

11. Do two sets of 50 reps of double crunch for abs.

12. Use cardio equipment, keep heart rate up for five minutes, then cool down for another five minutes.

13. Do a full-body stretch.

How to Determine Your Target Heart-Rate Zone
Calculate after warm up: low end = 220 - (age) x .65
Calculate at middle of workout: high end = 220 - (age) x .85

The heart rate monitor, which was the audience giveaway, can be purchased at

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Gym Source for providing the equipment use in this segment.

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