How to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

train Nov 06, 2020
How to Lose Fat

Tired of going nowhere on the treadmill? Respectfully speaking, skip the long slow cardio if you want to build calorie-torching muscle.

As an added bonus you'll slow aging too.

Here's a step-wise plan to help you get lean and strong.

Or lean and powerful. Or better conditioned.

Simply choose your priority-one goal and then follow the program.

Strength Routines to Build Muscle and Lose Bodyfat

By Joseph Arangio

Originally appeared in Men's Journal

Dumbbells may not give you the ego-boosting numbers of a barbell workout with heavy plates, but the joint-friendly weights are a more versatile tool for achieving any fitness goal.

For these workouts you use a single pair of adjustable dumbbells, or just grab a heavy and light pair, about 45 and 25 pounds respectively, off the rack.

Use the lighter pair for the warm-up, which is perfect for all three workouts, and whenever else needed.

Of course the weight is just a force so choose something that allows you to use perfect technique.

If you want to see real results, choose just one of the of the three routines and then complete that workout weekly on three non-consecutive days for the next four weeks.

Dynamic Warmup

Before you start any of these routines, prime your muscles and nervous system with two minutes of this full-body move. Goal is to heat up your body and break a sweat so you're less likely to get hurt.

Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat another two minutes.

Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press

Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders, with your arms bent and palms facing in. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Brace your core and lower your body as far as you can by driving your hips back and bending your knees.

Stand up and then forcefully extend your hips to push the dumbbell straight overhead.

Pause, and then return to the start.

Routine #1 👉 How to Increase Explosive Power

This plan targets the fast-twitch muscle responsible for higher jumps and fast sprints.

Do three sets and three reps of each move. Rest for one minute between sets.

1. Dumbbell High Pull

Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip and let them hang in front of your hips.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and push your hips back, lowering the weights like a reverse deadlift.

Stop when the dumbbells pass below the knee, and in one explosive motion, straighten your hips, knees, and ankles, bend your elbows, and pull the dumbbells as high as you can.

This power move also preps you for more advanced Olympic lifts.

2. Dumbbell Muscle Clean

Grab a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing each other, and hold them in front of your hips.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, tighten your abdomen, and lower your body into a quarter squat by driving your hips back and bending your knees.

In one explosive motion, straighten your hips and knees, and shrug your shoulders.

Now pull the dumbbells as high as you can and punch your elbows under the weight — don’t simply curl the weight up.

3. Dumbbell “Squat” Clean

This exercise eliminates the wrist extension and sore wrists seen in the barbell version when you have poor mobility.

Grab a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing each other, and hold them at arm’s length at your sides.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and lower your body into a quarter squat by driving your hips back and bending your knees.

In one explosive motion, straighten your hips and knees, and shrug your shoulders.

Now pull the dumbbells as high as you can and as you punch your elbows under the weight, drop into a full squat.

Stand up and repeat.

Because you’re dipping your body down as you’re receiving the dumbbell, you should be able to use a heavier weight.


Routine #2 👉 How to Build Strength

It’s hard to match this super-efficient program: it strengthens you from ears to toes.

Do eight reps each of 1A and 1B back-to-back, without a break, and then rest 45 seconds.

Complete three sets, then repeat the same reps and rest for 2A and 2B.

1A. Dumbbell Overhead Bulgarian Split Squat

Hold a pair of dumbbells directly over your head, with elbows straight and palms facing each other.

Assume a shoulder-width stance, with your right foot about 24 inches in front of your left.

Place the top of your back foot on a bench. Brace your abs and drive your hips back to slowly lower your body. Pause, and then return to the start.

Between reps, keep a slight bend in your right knee and tense the muscles in your right thigh.

Complete all eight reps on one leg and then repeat with the opposite leg.

The higher your back foot is elevated, the harder the exercise is on your front leg.

Also, because you’re holding the weight over your head, it’s tougher on your core and challenges your hip and shoulder flexibility.

1B. Dumbbell Upright Row to Shoulder External Rotation

Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip and hold them in front of your hips.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together, bend your elbows, pull the weights straight up, and raise your upper arms as high as you can.

Now, rotate your forearms up and back as far as possible to bring the dumbbells up next to your head. Pause, then slowly reverse the steps and return to the start.

2A. Dumbbell Overhead Drop Lunge

Hold a pair of dumbbells directly over your head, with elbows straight and palms facing each other.

Stand as tall as you can. Puff your chest out and pull your shoulders back. Brace your abs.

Step backward into a lunge with your left foot. Your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause, then return to the start and repeat with your other leg.

That’s one rep.

If you experience lower back pain during this move, position the dumbbells at your sides.

This technique reduces compressive forces around your lumbar spine.

2B. Dumbbell Plank Row

Build your back and strengthen your abdomen at the same time.

Get into the plank position (top of a push-up) with a dumbbell in each hand.

Maintain a straight line through your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart for stability.

Shift your weight to your right side, bend your left elbow and pull the dumbbell to the side of your torso.

Pause, then return to the start and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.


Routine #3 👉 How to Boost Cardio Conditioning

Do these full-body moves at the end of a session, to work your heart and lungs.

Add a portion-controlled diet and you’ll melt away stubborn belly fat too.

Perform each exercise for two minutes straight, resting 15 seconds between movements.

Repeat for two total sets.

1. Dumbbell Swing

Challenge your entire body with the dumbbell version of the classic kettlebell swing.

With both hands, hold a dumbbell in front of your waist.

Bend at your waist, push your hips back, and lower your torso until it’s at a 45-degree angle to the floor.

Swing the dumbbell between your knees.

Without bending your arms, drive your hips forward, straighten your knees, and swing the weight to chest height as you stand up. Immediately squat back down and swing the weight between your knees again.

Repeat, building a rhythm as you explosively swing the weight back and forth.

2. Dumbbell Overhead Step-Up

Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them directly over your head, with elbows straight and palms facing each other.

Place your right foot firmly on a six-inch step or box, and then your left foot.

Pause then step backward, off the box, with your left foot followed by your right. Repeat on the other side.

Now it might sound weird to hear me say that the workouts I just gave you are worthless.

Unless you follow this golden rule:

You must be accountable.

Everybody thinks about doing things and talks about doing things.

Sometimes they’re even big things.

If you’re truly inspired, you might even write out a plan to achieve those things.

Or follow the one I wrote for you. But here's the cold, hard truth...

Thinking, talking, and planning are NOT the same as doing.

If you want the reward, you have to hold yourself accountable to doing the work.

To your success,

Coach Joe

 


 

Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

How to Change Your Behavior

Turmeric Ginger Lemonade Recipe

How to Avoid This Common Mistake