Fast Fitness: How to Get Toned and Trim in Record Time

While fitness is a lengthy process, taking too long to reach your goals can mean you lose motivation, and just give up completely. So how do you get a toned, trim body in record time?


1. Tone Up on the Treadmill: Michael George, trainer and owner of Integrated Motivational Fitness, instructs, ‘Save time at the gym with this 10-minute cardio/sculpt session: Hop on a treadmill holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and set the speed to a brisk walk. Do a one-minute set each of shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk. I’s an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping. Do this series two or three times each week. As you improve, work up to doing four-minute sets.’


2. Power Up Your Runs: According to Mindy Solkin, owner and head coach of the Running Centre, ‘Adding wall sits to the end of every run will strengthen your quads, hamstrings and glutes, improving your speed and endurance. Lean against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart, then squat until your knees are bent at 45 degrees. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds; work up to doing 10 sets. Add a challenge by including heel raises: Lift your left heel, then the right, then lift both together twice.’


3. Chart Your Progress: ‘Stay motivated using a fitness report card,’ recommends personal trainer Ken Alan. ‘Jot down these subjects: Cardio, Muscle Conditioning, Flexibility and Attitude. Set goals (for example, doing 10 “boy” push-ups) and grade yourself A through F at least four times a year. When you see how much you improve, you’ll want to stay in great shape.’


4. Try This All-in-One Toner: ‘A side-step squat with wood chop works your arms, torso, abs, back, legs, inner thighs and butt,’ says David Kirsch, trainer and author of The Ultimate New York Body Plan. ‘Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a three- to four-pound medicine ball in your hands. Bend your arms up so that the ball is at eye level over your right shoulder. As you bring the ball toward your left knee, step out with your left leg and bend it no further than 90 degrees, keeping your right leg straight. Return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps and repeat on the other leg.’


5. Work Out During Your Workday: Gregory Florez, personal trainer and CEO of, advises, ‘Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core, and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. Squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses and ab crunches; aim for two or three sets of each. This gives you more free time to fit in fun workouts like biking or tennis.’


6. Take The Jump-Rope Challenge: Michael Olajide Jr., former number one world middleweight contender and cofounder/trainer at Aerospace High Performance Centre, asserts, ‘The best cardio workout is the jump-rope double-turn manoeuvre. It’s intense: You’ll burn about 26 calories per minute! Do a basic jump for five minutes, then jump twice as high and turn the rope twice as fast so it passes under your feet twice before you land. This takes timing, patience and power. But you’ll get in great shape just by working at it.’


7. Give Yourself a Break: ‘You don’t have to be a fitness saint to get results,’ says Maureen Wilson, owner/personal trainer/instructor at Sweat Co. Studios. ‘Follow the 80/20 plan: Eighty percent of the year, you’ll exercise regularly and eat well. Know that you’ll slip 20 percent of the time due to holidays and work deadlines. When you accept that fitness isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition, you’re more likely to stick with it for life.’

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