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The Best Exercise for an Apple Shaped Body

by
author image Ryan Mess
Ryan Mess earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Cal Poly SLO, where he played rugby. His fitness expertise bloomed during his college and semi-pro rugby career. And since then, he has been training everyone from youth to professional athletes to grandparents in all things fitness and health while still competing.
The Best Exercise for an Apple Shaped Body
A woman is preparing to do a box jump. Photo Credit Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

Having an apple shaped body, you might think that attention need only be paid to the areas where fat has accumulated, while ignoring the worry-free zones. But leg exercises like squats and deadlifts, pressing movements such as the bench press and overhead press, jumping, and sprinting are imperative to cut that apple down. Train your entire body as a symbiotic unit in a way that induces fat-burning and muscle-gaining tendencies. Weightlifting, jumping and sprinting exercises, in addition to nutrition and mental toughness, are mandatory ingredients for your body transformation.

The Plan of Attack

The first thing to understand is the blueprint in which your workouts need to fit. Anaerobic training is superior to aerobic training for muscle gain, fat loss, and increasing power output. Though it is better than sitting on your couch eating junk food, walking on an elliptical, running, or biking for hours to lose fat is a skewed blueprint due to the daunting hormonal response your body experiences from long-duration steady state movement in mid-range intensity zones. Short, intense workouts made up of two-minute max effort exertions separated by roughly one-minute rest for 10 to 20 rounds is a blueprint in which you can plug in any assortment of movements.

Strength Base For All Fitness

It takes strength, the base to all movement, to do a pushup and even more strength to do 50 pushups. All things being equal, a person who can do 50 pushups is more fit, burning more fat, and building more muscle than someone who can do only one. So, always start your workouts with a compound strength movement. After you warm up, choose one of the following movements: squats, deadlifts, overhead pressing, bench presses, clean and jerk, or snatches. Each day, do a different exercise, and start with 10 sets of 10 reps with two minutes rest between sets.

Upper Body Days

If you did a pressing movement to start the workout, you will follow with primarily upper body exercises. Movements like barbell rows, dumbbell rows, pull-ups, pushups, dips, and handstands strengthen the muscles that carry you through the press. An example interval workout after pressing is: four rounds of 10 bent over rows, 20 pushups, 20 pull-ups, and a 100m sprint, in that order. Complete the four rounds as quickly as possible and record your time. The goal is to do each movement unbroken, meaning without rest until the set is finished, then rest as needed between movements. So scale the difficulty of the movement appropriately. If pull-ups are not happening, you can jump into the pull-up or use an assistance band to help you up. For pushups, you can do them on your knees or standing while pressing against a wall.

Lower Body Days

If you squat, deadlift, clean, or snatch to start your workout, you will follow with primarily lower body and back movements. Lunge variations, broad jumps, box jumps, sprinting, and rowing movements will support these strength movements. A sample workout is: three rounds of 50 walking lunges, a 200m jog, 20 box jumps, and 15 pull-ups. Again, you would scale as needed to perform at least the first round unbroken when fatigue has not yet fully set in. Always time your workouts and aim for improved times consistently.

Wrapping Up the Blueprint

The days of separating “cardio” and weightlifting are over, especially for someone trying to lose fat and get fit. For an athlete who has to train specific to their sport, there will perhaps be less movement blending in their workouts. But for fitness, there is absolutely no better way to cut fat than to mix sprinting, jumping, gymnastics, and weightlifting into one short maximum effort workout. Dr. Holden MacRae, Professor of Sports Medicine at Pepperdine University, said that short maximal exertions for 15 to 20 minutes trigger fat burning for up to two hours post-workout compared to only 20 minutes after hours of jogging. However, the key to burning fat -- more than any exercise you will ever do -- is eating the right nutrition.

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