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  1. About the Author:
  2. How to Get in Shape Fast: Simple Steps to Success
  3. 11 exercises personal trainers swear by to get in shape fast — and 3 they'd never recommend
  4. 14 Shape-Up Shortcuts
  5. Watch Next

About the Author:

Seltzer and lime became my best friend. The other difficult part of the program was adjusting to the workouts themselves and the fast pace of it all. By the end of it, I genuinely felt nauseous and had to lie on the floor with my legs up to get blood flowing back up to my upper body. I noticed changes in my strength, fast for example, on week one, I could barely do five regular pushups, by the second week, I was doing 20 in a row.

Even looking in the mirror, I could tell my shoulders, arms, and back were more defined while my glutes looked more lifted and legs and waist overall seemed whittled down. After two tough weeks, I ultimately lost six pounds, two inches off of my waist nine inches off my body overall , and I could see the changes. Friends and colleagues did, too. My face thinned out. My stomach flattened. Even my thighs got leaner. Most importantly, I felt great. I no longer let intimidation sink me whenever I walked into the gym. I feel more confident using equipment machines and weights—and now know not only what to do, but exactly what exercises make sense together and are most effective.

One month after the project, and I've consistently weight trained three times a week, reveling every time I increase in weight or push through more reps than I was able to do the week before. That being said, I found it extremely difficult to fit in working out a minimum of an hour and a half, at least five days a week with my super busy work schedule. Unless you have an insanely flexible schedule or complete control over the structure of your day like only the rich and famous can have , it is an exhausting commitment and definitely not sustainable for the average person whose job doesn't require them to be super fit.

I could, however, see someone doing this in the short term before a wedding or other big event.

How to Get in Shape Fast: Simple Steps to Success

While I would never volunteer to restrict myself from all the joy I get from food forever—it was no fun having to go on a date drinking seltzer and the time I could only eat bok choy when my coworkers grabbed lunch at a dimsum spot was pretty tragic—I feel less of a victim to my cravings. I am more in control of my eating habits than ever. During the experiment, I actually cooked at home and prepared lunch ahead instead of resorting to Seamless. The experiment ended right before a big holiday party I was hosting.

I picked out the tiniest silver dress, hoping to show off my results. The week prior it was a teensy tight but this time, it easily slipped right on. All night, friends were commenting not only on how i looked, but how much confidence I was radiating having proved my own strength to myself. While I definitely planned to take all the workouts I learned and immediately signed up for a gym to keep going, I loosened up on the strict eating guidelines.

That means taking the stairs, parking the car farther from your destination, walking to the grocery store and carrying bags home. Strength training twice a week : Builds muscles, supports a healthy metabolism and keeps bones strong.

11 exercises personal trainers swear by to get in shape fast — and 3 they'd never recommend

Core strength sprinkled throughout the week : Supports your entire body, helps your posture and saves your back. Balance exercises sprinkled throughout the week : Stabilizes and protects you from fall-related injuries. Flexibility exercises sprinkled throughout the week : Keeps you agile and limber. A good fitness routine should encompass all 5 workouts.

But no matter what you choose — be it yoga, tennis or spinning — here are a few pointers to keep in mind. A slow start is smart. Then increase it to 30 minutes twice a week. Build a base and then grow from it. Be reasonable about what your body can do. Cardio intervals done with intensity burn fat cells, Peeke says. An interval can be something as simple as walking for 5 minutes, then speed-walking or jogging for 1 minute. The point is to add bursts of high-intensity effort to your workout to get the heart rate up and burn fat.

It can really help shed pounds.

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Be nice to your knees. Years of repetitive motion — from bending to pick up kids and the like — can wear out joints. So be kind to your body and stay away from deep-knee bends. Such exercises are just too intense for weakened joints.

One Day of Meals

Try this workout as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next. Work up to three circuits per session. Knee Pushup Starting Position: Kneel on all fours, your arms straight and shoulder-width apart and in line with your shoulders, fingers facing forward. Your knees should be under your hips. Walk your hands forward about 6 inches; press your hips forward until your body forms a straight line from your head to your hips.

14 Shape-Up Shortcuts

The Exercise: 1. Contract abdominal muscles and squeeze your shoulder blades together and down. Maintaining your starting position, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso until your elbows are bent at a degree angle and aligned with your shoulders. Contract your chest and triceps to straighten your arms, return to the starting position without locking your elbows.

Bench Dip Starting Position: Stand with your back to a sturdy bench or chair.

Workouts for Women : How to Lose Belly Fat with Exercises

Bend your legs and place palms — your arms are behind you — on the front edge of the bench. Position your feet in front of you so most of your body weight rests on your arms. Keeping elbows tucked against your sides, bend arms and slowly lower your body until the upper arms are almost parallel to the floor. Your hips should drop straight down. Then straighten your arms and return to the starting position. My strategy was basically to just stay balanced, and it worked. Though I felt progressively stronger throughout the two weeks, our workouts never got easier.

In fact, there was a memorable moment during our last session when I thought I had reached my limit. After particularly grueling intervals of pull-ups, push-ups, and squats with a barbell, Vando instructed me to finish off our session with a three-minute sprint on the treadmill. It was at precisely this point that I almost burst into tears—and suddenly we hit the three-minute mark; it was over. As I practically collapsed off of the treadmill, Vando took one look at my crumpled, furious face and howled with laughter.

It helped. But while I shakily made my way to the subway after that last session, I realized that I kind of loved that discomfort, as much as I hated it. In fact, I felt addicted. The badass-ness of pushing myself to physical limits I didn't even know I had and of punching, kicking, and beating the crap out of something felt cathartic—and I knew during our workouts that every agonizing burpee was making me stronger.

I have physical proof of these gains. While the number on the scale actually stayed the same, I lost an inch and a half around my waist, and a half-inch around my butt and thighs, which indicates that I lost fat but gained lean muscle , which takes up less space. My arms are more defined than they've ever been. And abs! I have abs that I can actually see —and a pile of forgotten crop tops I'd like to dust off. But as cool as it has been to see how quickly my body can grow stronger, for me, the most remarkable change has been mental.

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I couldn't help but think back to when I was 16 and making BS excuses to get out of my soccer team's two-mile run, or the fateful kickboxing class I took in college that left me feeling so uncoordinated that I vowed to never try anything remotely like it ever again.

Even as an avid yogi, I've always avoided Bikram for fear of feeling too uncomfortable and miserable in the heat. I felt plenty uncomfortable and even miserable, at times during these two weeks.