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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Fitness > July 2019 > Here comes the summer

Here comes the summer

Torch fat and add muscle to hit the beach at your best

Summer is coming. Are you ready? If not, and you’re short of time to get yourself looking and feeling at your best, fear not – just try this quickfire circuit-training workout plan. It’s been designed to require a minimum of time, kit and space so you can get to work quickly and effectively to build muscle and burn fat. All you need to do is find a spare 20 minutes four times a week to turn your better-body ambition into a reality. You can make these workouts harder in each subsequent week by increasing the weight you lift, or the number of circuits and reps you do, to keep the positive results coming.

Photography Glen Burrows Model James Stark


There are four workouts, each containing four exercises that you’ll do in a circuit. Do the moves in order, sticking to the reps and rest detailed, and do five rounds of each circuit. Once each round is finished it’s time for the “supermove”, which is a single move designed to raise your heart rate high so you finish the session strong and burn as many calories as possible. You’ll do three rounds of the supermove at the end of each workout, working for 40 seconds and then resting for 20 seconds. Then you’re done!




Reps 10

Rest 0sec

HOW With feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the hips and knees simultaneously to lower, keeping your chest up and your weight on your heels. As you straighten up, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders.

WHY The squat part of the exercise works your entire lower body. Holding the dumbbells for the duration of the set works your grip strength, and the biceps curl adds an extra muscle and cardio challenge to raise your heart rate.



ROW Reps 10

Rest 0sec

HOW Stand tall with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forwards - hinging at the hips, not the waist - then row the weights up to your sides, leading with your elbows. Lower back to the start.

WHY Using dumbbells for this back exercise will ensure that you get equal muscle development on both sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the move to fire up more muscle fibres.



Reps 10

Rest 0sec

HOW Keeping your legs straight, bend forwards – hinging at the hips – and lower the dumbbells down the fronts of your shins until you feel a strong stretch in your hamstrings. Then return to the start.

WHY This deadlift variation shifts the emphasis to your hamstrings. Doing it with dumbbells will ensure each arm gets to hold its share of the weight.


You can either use a single pair of dumbbells or different weights for each lift. If it’s the former, use a weight that allows you to do all the reps of the hardest move.



Reps 10

Rest 90sec

HOW Stand tall with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with palms facing forwards. Press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight, then return slowly to the start.

WHY Following a legs exercise with a shoulder move in a circuit allows you to keep your intensity, and therefore your heart rate, high because you’re working completely separate body parts. This will maximise the calorie burn.



Do this move for 40sec, then rest for 20 seconds. Do 3 rounds.

HOW Start in the press-up position with hands directly underneath your shoulders, your core and glutes braced, and feet together. Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor, then press back up powerfully to return to the start.

BONUS TIP You’re doing reps for time, but that doesn’t mean you should rush them. Indeed, quality counts more than quantity, so do full-range reps, with a brief pause in the bottom position, to work your chest harder.

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