The good news: You don't need to ditch your current workout to see more weight loss success results. Flipping channels on the tube, you lope along, either running or walking, at the same ho-hum speed you were at yesterday.
You're bent forward at the hips, elbows locked, hands on the rails to ease your load on your beloved hills program, where you've been slogging away at level 7 since Christmas.
Integrate this 10-minute total body challenge, suggested by says Brooke Siler, author of The Ultimate Pilates Body Challenge, into your stair-stepping workout to tone and challenge muscles and blast more fat. To build shin strength, use just the balls of feet to push down the pedals (don't lift heels); For hamstrings, use just heels on the pedals (keep your toes lifted). If the bike doesn't fit your frame, you won't get the maximum benefit from your ride (you will, however, get a massive back ache.) If you've got petite feet, don't cram them into the toe cage. Intimidated by heavy metal, you stick to the light stuff — nothing more than 10 pounds, please — then saunter over to the watercooler for an extended drink. By clicking "Sign in", you confirm that you accept our terms of service and have read and understand privacy policy. By clicking "Create Account", you confirm that you accept our terms of service and have read and understand privacy policy. No reproduction, transmission or display is permitted without the written permissions of Rodale Inc. Familiarity might be comfortable, but it's not effective — certainly not when it comes to a sweat session. Runners should land lightly to minimize impact on the joints; you shouldn't be able to hear your foot strike over your iPod. During every third song on your MP3 player or every commercial break, ramp up the intensity and go as hard as you can.
Every other minute, concentrate on strengthening your arms or core — you'll recruit more muscles and incinerate more fat.


Pretend you're squeezing a balloon between your shoulder blades, says Brooke Siler, author of The Ultimate Pilates Body Challenge. Bend your elbows and palms close to your abs and twist slowly from side to side as you keep your abs engaged. Thirteen minutes after that, you're home — where you take off your shoes so you can find them tomorrow to do the exact same route.
Run your regular route in the opposite direction so your body doesn't know when to expect the hills.
At the end of a workout, slim down your legs, bump up your heart rate, and build speed by doing drills. The inner and outer thighs get a much better workout when you do squats, lunges, step-ups and leg presses; anytime you have to keep your knee tracking forward, they get a workout.
Doing the same thing over and over lulls your muscles into an I-can-do-this tedium and lessens your calorie burn. Follow these tips from some of the top trainers around the country for an ultra-efficient workout that zaps more calories and burns more fat. Keep your movement forward, not up and down, says Los Angeles-based personal trainer Gunnar Peterson. By focusing on your backside, you'll contract — and tone — the muscle (and make it, not the fat surrounding it, the star of your Sevens). For example, if you're on a full-body machine, consciously engage your arms; push and pull with the same intensity as you're using for your legs. For a back and shoulder workout, extend your arms from your shoulders and do small circles in one direction for 10 counts, then reverse directions for ten. If you originate all movement in your core, not your legs, it will (a) hurt like a bitch and (b) work new muscles hard [see (a)], giving you — you guessed it — a more intense burn.
That way, you'll use your muscles, not the momentum of the weighted front wheel, to power the bike.


When you stand, you can use your whole leg for leverage and your body weight for momentum; sitting means you have to push more weight around with less help. For 15 seconds, do knee pulls: Pull one knee high until your quads are parallel to the ground, then alternate with the other knee in rapid succession.
You'll keep your heart rate elevated and your metabolism juiced — both helpful calorie-burning boosts.
And the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll need to maintain it — and the more fat you'll burn.
If there are rails, lightly rest your hands on them — but no white-knuckling, since you may end up supporting your body weight that way. If it's a lower-body machine, put your arms in an athletic position — elbows bent, upper arms close to your ribs — to strengthen your core.
If you usually go long and slow, pick up the pace and shorten the step to about 6 inches to make your muscles react and therefore adapt — that's where the change comes in.
Find yours by counting how many times one foot goes around in 15 seconds and multiplying by four. For example, on the chest press machine, don't let your back touch the seat (or drop the seat all the way down).
Day 3, throw in some intervals: Run fast for 1 minute, easy for 2, and repeat 6 to 10 times. Finally, do grapevine (moving sideways, step your left foot over your right foot, then your left foot behind your right foot).



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