Unite weightlifting with cardio in this plan to build lean mass
A four-week plan for lean muscle
How to split your time between burning fat and building muscle is a common problem. But you don’t have to compromise if you have an effective way to combine them in one workout. ‘Interval weight training (IWT) is a fantastic way to develop strength and endurance and blast fat without losing muscle mass in one full-body workout,’ says trainer Stuart Walton, who devised this plan.
Coach Pat O’Shea designed IWT for sportsmen – but the combination of power, strength and sprint- style conditioning each workout demands means it’s also an excellent tool for torching fat. In Walton’s version of IWT, each workout is made up of three phases. Phases one and two pair an explosive power development lift with a two-minute high-intensity burst. Phase three typically works whatever is missing, so if the first two phases are pull-focused, these moves will concentrate on pushing.
As a result you’ll boost your work capacity and improve your physique with every workout. Problem solved.
HOW TO DO THESE WORKOUTS
Every workout includes three supersets – pairs of moves done back to back with no rest – that work your whole body. Ideally you’ll do four workouts a week in the order they’re laid out, resting
WEEKS 1 + 2
Find out your one-rep max for the strength and power lifts, and lift 50-60% of this weight in moves 1A and 2A. For exercises 1B and 2B, always record the number of reps or distance covered during the two-minute interval so you can monitor your progress. To get the full benefit of these moves, aim to work at 90-95% of your max heart rate.
WEEKS 3 + 4
Repeat the first two weeks’ routines but, to increase training intensity to work your muscles harder and burn more fat in the process, aim to increase the weight you lift or distance you cover during the intervals, and in the third phase reduce your rest between sets from 60 to 30 seconds.