The 4-Step Plan to De-Flab Your Body and Tone Up, Trainer Says
A brand new year is on the horizon, and that means one thing: It's the prime time to get on track with your fitness, nutrition, and weight loss goals. We know sticking to New Year's resolutions can be a tad tricky—especially during this extremely cozy time of year—but your mind and body will thank you for getting back into shape. We chatted with Tony Horton, celebrity fitness trainer & founder of Power Life, who shares exactly how to get rid of body flab with four of his top-recommended tips. Read on to learn about them, and next, don't miss Drop Inches off Your Waist With This Cardio & Resistance Workout.
Tip #1: Interval training is king.
According to Horton, interval training is the most productive kind of exercise you can perform in order to tone and tighten things up. Intervals consisting of 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off—or 20 seconds on and 40 seconds off, if you're more of a beginner—increase your heart rate and turn on your body's fat-burning mode that keeps going strong after wrapping up your workout. "Interval training also keeps the body guessing to avoid a plateau in your progress," Horton adds.
Tip #2: Focus on foundational movements for your intervals.
"For your intervals, I always recommend incorporating 'foundational movements' that are proven to target the largest muscle groups in the most effective way possible," Horton explains. Foundational movements include pushups that target the arms, chest, and core; squats and lunges that activate the glutes and quads and have many variations; curls and rows that target the biceps, triceps, back, and shoulders, along with engaging your core; and finally, planks that "fire up" mostly all of your muscle groups.
Tip #3: Do some cycle workouts.
Horton points out that doing workouts with these "tried and true" foundational moves delivers results. At the same time, you constantly have to "trick" your body to make your muscles work aggressively, which will help you achieve your end goal. Horton recommends weaving in foundational movements on a consistent basis so you can see how you progress. If pushups are a regular part of your fitness routine, for instance, you can easily see how your performance is improving. You may want to tweak your pushups to take things to the next level, like swapping out traditional pushups for tricep pushups.
If your workout time is limited to 20 to 30 minutes on any given day, Horton suggests performing a total-body routine so you can target your entire body and make the most of your time. If time allows, you can concentrate on one body part each day. For instance, Monday can be dedicated to your arms and abs, Tuesday can focus on your legs and glutes, Wednesday is all about your back and chest, and so on. You'll continue this cycle on a weekly basis.
As far as how often you should stick to these fitness tips, Horton suggests performing cycle workouts every day for about 30 minutes, if you're able to. In addition, the foundational movements should be on rotation for six days, then take "an active rest day" on the seventh day, complete with a walk.
Tip #4: Fuel your body with just the right fat-burning foods.
Along with having an effective workout on deck, getting rid of body flab calls for proper nutrition. "You need to fuel your body with enough of the right foods to allow it to perform at optimal levels and also to burn fat the right way," Horton explains.
Cut out all processed foods, and eliminate any items with carbs and refined sugars. Then, make protein a top priority in your meals and snacks. Horton says a solid starting point is preparing protein shakes, but be sure your protein is high-quality. (He recommends the High Impact Whey Protein and High Impact Plant Protein powders from his PowerLife line.)
After 14 days, begin introducing healthy carbs (such as sweet potatoes), food items that are chock-full of healthy fats like omega-3s, and high-fiber foods into your diet. "Fibrous veggies are a great place to start to ensure you're incorporating fiber into your meals for satiety and proper digestion," Horton says, adding, "A safe rate of fat loss is between one to two pounds per week, so using that as a benchmark will help you evaluate progress."