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Rev up your metabolism in three simple steps

For most people even faintly concerned about their fitness levels, January is gym season.

Jamal Shaikh        Print Edition: January 25, 2009

Jamal Shaikh is Editor, Men’s Health.
Jamal Shaikh
For most people even faintly concerned about their fitness levels, January is gym season. It’s no hidden fact that fitness clubs make a killing on new memberships this month (and most of their profits come from members who stop using the facilities once their enthusiasm dies down!). As if to recover their money’s worth, several gym goers make a cardinal mistake: they believe the best results can be achieved only by using the fancy equipment the gym provides. This is completely untrue.

A good fitness club offers you an area to do your workouts with likeminded people who inspire and motivate. Good music, guidance from qualified instructors, and a clean wet area to refresh yourself make up the space that you are meant to associate with fitness. Irrespective of whether you use the complex machines or not, a club that inspires you to build exercise into your weekly schedule adequately enough gives you back your money’s worth.

Dumb-bell split squat
This issue’s Treadmill is going to concentrate on revving up your metabolism with or without access to fancy gym equipment. The workout, put together by Men’s Health trainer Craig Ballantyine, C.S.C.S., M.Sc., requires access to just one pair of dumbbells and a pull-up bar. So, if you haven’t paid up that membership fee already, you could postpone joining the gym to next month when the prices come down. Yet another way to survive the economic slowdown!

Instructions: Complete the sequence, rest one minute, and repeat as many times as you can in 15 minutes.

Cross-body mountain climber
Ask the MH guy…

Q. Should I wear a weight belt every time I lift heavy weights? Kedar Hede, Mumbai
. No! Olympic lifters and power lifters don’t even wear weight belts—because they need to develop core strength. So do you. First, aim to improve stability in your shoulders, torso, and hips in your workouts. As you gain strength, your core will become solid enough to handle heavier weights and more complex exercises without a weight belt!
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Chin-up with Knee-up
Exercise 1
Dumb-bell split squat

Holding a pair of dumb-bells with your arms hanging at your sides, stand in a staggered stance, your right foot in front of your left. Keeping your torso upright, lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Raise yourself back up into the staggered stance and complete a total of eight repetitions. Switch legs and repeat.

Exercise 2
Cross-body mountain climber
Assume a push-up position, your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Brace your abs—you’ll hold them that way for the entire exercise. Now pull your left knee as close as you can to your right shoulder, without allowing your hips to sag. Return to the starting position and repeat, this time raising your right knee towards your left shoulder. That’s 1 rep. Complete a total of 10.

Exercise 3
Chin-up with Knee-up
Grab a chin-up bar with an underhand grip (palms facing your body). Do a pull-up so your chest reaches the bar, while also raising your knees to your chest. Then slowly lower your body and return to the start. If you can’t complete a chin-up, simply raise your knees while hanging from the bar. Complete 10 reps, or as many as you can.

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