Nutrishop Clean & Lean 30-Day Women’s Challenge

With a focus on detox, lean muscle and stretching, this month-long plan is designed to have you feeling lean, healthy and refreshed.

  • With four days a week of weight training (two lower-body, two upper-body) and a recharge day focused on stretching, core strength & mobility, the overall goal is to stoke the body’s fat-burning furnace with supersets and compound movements.

  • Keep rest periods to no longer than 60 seconds between sets; if a superset is listed, take no rest between exercises within the superset, and rest only after the superset is complete.

  • If you are unfamiliar with a listed exercise, view a video demonstration: nutrishopcda.com/2015/11/clean-lean

Cardio: After your resistance workouts, perform 15 minutes of High-Intensity Interval Training on an elliptical or bike. Do at least 3 cardio sessions a week, but doing all 5 days or more will yield faster results. Use the 45-15 method: Do 45 seconds at a normal pace, not too fast, followed by 15 seconds of all-out effort (100-percent speed). Then ramp it back down and repeat for a total of 15 intervals.

Rest & Intensity: Focus on keeping the heart rate high for fat loss with supersets and trisets that recruit multiple muscle groups. Reps will be between 15-20, but no more – if you can perform 30 reps in any set, you need to go heavier until 20 reps is difficult to achieve.

The 30-Day Clean & Lean Challenge is a personal challenge for each individual and there are no suggested or guaranteed results. The information above is not intended as a substitute for individual, professional advice or medical advice in diagnosing, treating or curing a health issue or disease. Please consult your doctor, health care provider, or other health care professional including a certified nutritionist before beginning a new diet, exercise or supplement regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

CLICK HERE to print out an easy PDF of the workout to take with you to the gym!

 For those working out at home or with limited access to equipment, consider going with our Home Workouts. Click here to see them and download a PDF.

DAY 1 & 4, LOWER BODY

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Quads/Glutes: Deep Barbell Squats x 15-20. If you cannot perform 15 reps with only the bar, do body-weight squats.

    • Hamstrings/Lower Back: Stiff-Legged Deadlifts x 15-20. If you cannot perform 15 reps with only a bar, use dumbbells.

  2. 4 Supersets

    • Quads: Seated Leg Press x 15. If machine is taken, perform 15 alternating dumbbell forward lunges, per leg.

    • Hamstrings: Lying Leg Curls x 15. If machine is taken, perform 15 lying medicine ball or Swiss ball hamstring curls.

  3. 3 Supersets

    • 20 consecutive Jump Squats, as fast as you can – if possible, use stopwatch and track how long each set takes to complete.

    • 15 reverse lunges, per leg.

  4. 3 Supersets

    • Calves: 20 seated weighted calf raises, toes in

    • Calves: 20 seated weighted calf raises, toes out

DAY 2 & 5, UPPER BODY

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Chest: Machine Bench Press x 15-20. If no machine is available, perform 15-20 push-ups (do modified push-ups – knees on ground – if you cannot do 15 push-ups).

    • Back: Seated Cable Row x 15. If no machine is available, perform bent-over dumbbell rows.

  2. 4 Supersets

    • Chest: Incline Bench Machine x 15. If no machine is available, perform 15-20 incline dumbbell presses.

    • Back: Lat Pulldowns x 15-20. Alternately, you can use the assisted pull-up machine or, if working out with a partner, have them “spot” you on regular pull-ups.

  3. 3 Supersets

    • Chest: Alternating 1-Arm Bench Press x 15 per arm. You can use the Cybex machine or dumbbells if no machine is available.

    • Back: 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows x 15 per arm.

  4. 4 Tri-Sets

    • Shoulders: Smith Machine seated military press x 15

    • Triceps: Cable Pushdowns x 20

    • Biceps: Cable Curls x 15

DAY 3 CORE & STRETCH (OPTIONAL)

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Foam roller hamstring stretches x 15 per leg

    • Foam roller calf stretches x 15 per leg

  2. 4 Tri-Sets

    • Planks x 30-60 seconds

    • Brettzel stretches x 10 seconds per side

    • Foam roller thoracic spine release x 10

  3. 4 Supersets

    • Lying leg raises – both legs x 10 seconds, 1 inch off ground

    • Lying leg raises – alternate one leg up, other leg 1 inch off ground, x 10 seconds each

Nutrishop Clean & Lean 30-Day Men’s Challenge

A 3-day split of weight training and a recharge day focused on stretching, core strength & mobility, the goal is to stoke the body’s fat-burning furnace with supersets and compound movements.

Keep rest periods to no longer than 60 seconds between sets; if a superset is listed, take no rest between exercises within the superset, and rest only after the superset is complete.
If you are unfamiliar with a listed exercise, view a video demonstration: nutrishopcda.com/clean-lean

Cardio: After your resistance workouts, perform 15 minutes of High-Intensity Interval Training on an elliptical or bike. Do at least 3 cardio sessions a week, but doing all 5 days or more will yield faster results. Use the 45-15 method: Do 45 seconds at a normal pace, not too fast, followed by 15 seconds of all-out effort (100-percent speed). Then ramp it back down and repeat for a total of 15 intervals.

Rest & Intensity: Focus on keeping the heart rate high for fat loss with supersets and trisets that recruit multiple muscle groups. Reps will be between 15-20, but no more – if you can perform 30 reps in any set, you need to go heavier until 20 reps is difficult to achieve. Before each workout, perform a 5-10 minute warm-up (jump rope for 3 mins, 10 push-ups, 60 seconds of jumping jacks).

The 30-Day Clean & Lean Challenge is a personal challenge for each individual and there are no suggested or guaranteed results. The information above is not intended as a substitute for individual, professional advice or medical advice in diagnosing, treating or curing a health issue or disease. Please consult your doctor, health care provider, or other health care professional including a certified nutritionist before beginning a new diet, exercise or supplement regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

CLICK HERE to print out an easy PDF of the workout to take with you to the gym!

For those working out at home or with limited access to equipment, consider going with our Home Workouts. Click here to see them and download a PDF.

DAY 1 – UPPER-BODY PUSH

  1. 3 Trisets

    • Chest: Flat Barbell Bench x 15

    • Shoulders: Lateral Dumbbell Flys x 20

    • Triceps: Cable V-bar Pushdowns x 20

  2. 3 Trisets

    • Chest: Incline Dumbbell Flys x 20

    • Shoulders: Rear Delt Flys x 15

    • Triceps: Close-Grip Bench Press x 20

  3. 3 Trisets

    • Chest: Plyometric push-ups x 15 or to failure (clap your hands during ascent if you can)

    • Shoulders: Single-arm Kettlebell Press x 15 each (use dumbbells if no kettlebell is available)

    • Triceps: Diamond push-ups x 15 or to failure

DAY 2 – LOWER BODY

  1. 3 Trisets

    • Compound Lift: Barbell Front Squat x 15 (check your weight – this will be challenging to go heavy)

    • Hamstrings: Lying Leg Curls x 15 (do medicine ball hamstring curls if machine unavailable)

    • Quads: Seated Leg Press x 15

  2. 3 Trisets

    • Compound Lift: Standard Deadlift x 15 (again, watch your weight – should be light enough to allow proper form for each rep)

    • Quads: In-place alternating forward lunges x 15 per leg

    • Hamstrings: One-legged dumbbell Romanian deadlift x 15 per leg

  3. 3 Trisets

    • Calves: 50 body-weight standing calf raises on a step or stair

    • Calves: 25 seated calf raises (heavy, toes in)

    • Calves: 25 seated calf raises (heavy, toes out)

DAY 3 – UPPER-BODY PULL

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Back: Lat Pulldowns x 15-20 (wide-grip pull-ups or assisted wide-grip pull-ups are optional if machine is unavailable)

    • Biceps: Preacher Curls x 15 full range of motion reps, then 5 partial reps (top portion of curl only)

  2. 4 Supersets

    • Back: Seated Cable Rows x 15-20 (perform bent-over barbell rows if machine is unavailable)

    • Biceps: Incline Dumbbell Curls x 15 per arm

  3. 4 Supersets

    • Back: Hanging Rows x 15 (use Smith machine with bar locked in)

    • Biceps: Cable Curl 21s – 7 full curl reps, 7 bottom portion only, 7 top portion only

DAY 4 – CORE/STRETCHING

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Foam roller hamstring stretches x 15 per leg

    • Foam roller calf stretches x 15 per leg

  2. 4 Tri-Sets

    • Planks x 30-60 seconds

    • Brettzel stretches x 10 seconds per side

    • Foam roller thoracic spine release x 10

  3. 4 Supersets

    • Lying leg raises – both legs x 10 seconds, 1 inch off ground

    • Lying leg raises – alternate one leg up, other leg 1 inch off ground, x 10 seconds each

DAY 5 – REST DAY

Cardio Burns Muscle — Here’s How to Save It

Running is one of the oldest, most-beloved, low-fuss sports there is. All you need is you and your shoes and you’re off. Runners love many aspects of this sport: the scenery if you’re taking to a trail, the serenity if you do a distance run by yourself, and, of course, the physical benefits.

Running — in fact, any kind of long-distance cardio like cycling or even competitive swimming — is a great way to burn body fat, and while cardio may never have the same kind of after-burn effect on calories that weight-lifting does, research has shown that body fat gets eaten alive by cardio while it’s happening.

Unfortunately, so does muscle.

Because muscle tissue takes more energy to preserve and build than does fat, the body will try to break down muscle that is not used or needed in an effort to build up readily available supplies of glycogen. Sure, fat will burn too. But since muscle tissue is so precious to a fat-burning metabolism — remember, the act of simply maintaining it burns calories as you rest — those concerned with losing muscle mass can ill afford catabolism. This obviously presents a problem for athletes who enjoy prolonged periods of aerobic exercise but who don’t want to see their iron gains go to waste, either.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are one of our favorite products, and their best, most practical use could very well be in preventing muscle wasting and aiding fat loss. Your muscles are built of proteins, proteins which your body is itching to break back down into energy if you give it the chance. It will target proteins before it targets body fat! When proteins are broken down back into amino acids (the process is called proteolysis), the muscle loses size, your metabolism gets slower and fat becomes harder to lose.
Where BCAAs come in is during that exact moment. Research has basically come to a consensus that the big three amino acids – Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine – are muscle-savers and fat-burners (via increased metabolism). The International Journal of Sports Medicine performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled study that tested two control groups performing moderate-intensity endurance exercise: one taking BCAAs, and the other taking the placebo. The study found, of course, that running, cycling and swimming (and other aerobic activity) does indeed increase muscle breakdown. But there’s more:
Endurance exercise at moderate intensity enhances proteolysis in working muscles … [But] a single oral intake of 2 g of BCAA … at onset of exercise effectively suppresses exercise-induced skeletal muscle proteolysis. (Source)
In other words, the amino acids you give your body when you take BCAAs provides a buffer your body can use without affecting the muscle you’ve worked to build. The upshot, then, is that you build or maintain muscle mass while still continuing to burn body fat. And that is a trade-off just about every athlete wants to make.

Upper-Body Isometric and HIIT Workout

The true beauty of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) aerobic exercise is that it efficient AND effective. It takes less time than distance running, and burns more fat — why not do it?

The easiest way to put together an HIIT cardio plan to incorporate to your workout schedule is simple: Just paste it on to the end of your weightlifting sessions, and alternate 1 minute at 85-90 percent intensity and 1 minute of low-intensity training. So, if you’re running, you’d be sprinting for a minute followed by a minute of walking.

But, we can do you one better. For one, we’re going to cut down your intervals to 30 seconds. This will mean you can give a higher percentage of effort (over 60 seconds, your “90 percent” will be vastly diminished as opposed to just 30 seconds) and cut your rest times in half. The upshot is that you’ll work harder, but it will take less time. Again: More results, faster. Life should be as great as HIIT, right?

On top of that, we are going to add an anaerobic twist to this aerobic workout: Isometrics. If you’re pinched for time, this is a great way to add some muscle work to your HIIT routine. Since all your sprinting and walking is aerobic (requiring oxygen) and lifting is anaerobic, you can use the two in conjunction. Be warned: You really won’t be strength-training here, since most of your body’s energy will be going to the HIIT.

HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL AND ISOMETRIC UPPER-BODY ISOMETRIC WORKOUT

First Set: 30 seconds sprint @ 85-90 percent of max effort/30 seconds walk/30 seconds bench press hold. — For the bench press hold, simply begin a standard barbell bench, but instead of lowering it to your chest and up for reps, you’ll flex your chest and hold the barbell about 6-8 inches off your chest.

Second Set: 30 seconds sprint @ 85-90 percent of max effort/30 seconds walk/30 seconds isometric pull-up hold. — Iso holds are simply holding the top of a pull-up position (chin above the bar) with an overhand grip, using your back to keep yourself up. Remember to draw your shoulder blades back, your elbows back and down, to force your back to do the work and not your arms.

Third Set: 30 seconds sprint @ 85-90 percent of max effort/30 seconds walk/30 seconds plank.

Repeat above at least three times for a total of four times.

How to Burn Fat Through Exercise

We’ve said it a million times: The fastest way to losing body fat is through diet (or “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Take your pick). And it’s still true. Our estimate is that about 75 percent of the body fat you’ll lose has to do with what and when you’re eating. But that doesn’t mean that other 25 percent — your training — can’t figure in massively, too.

This week, we will examine four ways you can train to start burning fat: prolonged cardio, HIIT cardio, super-, tri- and giant-sets and skilled recreational training, plus we’ll provide a sample of each one and list the best supplements you can use to complement your fat-loss training. Each day, we’ll have an addition to this running blog with a way to burn fat through exercise. We’ll start today with No. 1: Distance cardio.

DISTANCE/PROLONGED CARDIO

Cardio-RoutinesThe most popular, long-touted form of aerobic exercise is about as simple as it gets: You just run around for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, and that’s your workout. You maintain a steady pace, focus on your breathing and keeping your legs and, sure enough, you’re beat when you’re done.

Is this our favorite form of cardio? No. But it can be effective in spots. Plus, some people really do find the run itself to be a time to decompress and think lucidly. A 2-to-3-mile jog has its benefits; runs that long definitely can start burning up fat, provided you allow your body to do so instead of catabolizing and eating muscle.

Our basic say on distance cardio wants you to follow just a couple rules:

  1. Don’t do it before your weight training, or as a warm-up. Your muscles need all the energy (glycogen) they can get for weight training. When you run before you lift, yes, you use up blood sugar and body fat for energy, which is what you want. But if you use your glycogen stores for your weight training first, your cardio will get to body fat anyway, and without the risk for catabolism. (That’s provided you supplement correctly … which leads us to our next point.)
  2. Take BCAAs before prolonged, static-state cardio, and even during if your sessions are extended. Most distance runners have a certain look: Very skinny, yes, with low body fat levels and scant musculature to go with it. Prolonged aerobic running/elliptical/treadmill activity eats up body tissue, fat and muscle, alike. Once your body is done with glucose, it turns to muscle BEFORE it turns to fat for energy. If you invest in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), however, you can provide a “buffer” — your muscles are protected, and fat stores are targeted instead.
  3. Challenge yourself. Our experiences, and those of the thousands of clients we’ve helped, have yielded one truism above all else when it comes to training: Intensity matters. A 3-mile jog is not as good as a 3-mile run; a 3-mile run with intervals or a “kick” of high-intensity speed at the end is even better.

HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING

imagesWe’ll come out and say it: This is the best cardio you can do for fat loss — our apologies if you just really love running long distances. The basic principle is that you bust your butt as hard as you can for a minute, then take another minute to slow it down or rest before cranking up the intensity again. The idea isn’t that you run a certain distance in a certain amount of time; it’s that you run for specific amounts of time at varying degrees of intensity.

Studies across the board show that HIIT is superior to prolonged, single-state cardio for fat loss, metabolic change and muscle support. It’s harder — you go for about 85-90 percent of what you can do given your state of fatigue in your “on” intervals — but it is much less time-consuming and much more effective. The calorie burn, additionally, can last up to 24 hours. A few notes on HIIT:

  1. Sprint, swim, jump rope, use a machine — whatever. Anything that gets your heart rate up and your body moving is a good option. Swimming is particularly good for you, given that it requires full-body support and it’s easy on the joints compared to pounding the pavement.
  2. Use a stopwatch. Simply put, there is no other way to keep yourself accountable than to actually know that you’re going for a full minute of all-out intensity (followed by a minute of rest, or low-intensity cardio). You’d be surprised at how long a minute actually is, and how horrible your mind can be at “counting” seconds when your body is exerting itself.
  3. Supplement properly. Just as with distance cardio, HIIT is much more effective at burning fat when body fat becomes the primary energy source. Try to avoid all carbs in the period before your cardio workout; instead, take a dose of BCAAs and stack regularly with KETOLEAN (for advanced lipid replacement to further promote body fat loss) and METABOLIC SPIKE. This trio will help ensure that your fat stores are getting targeted through exercise and from within.

SUPER, TRI AND GIANT SETS

Supersetting pull-ups and push-ups: Classic antagonistic work.

Supersetting pull-ups and push-ups: Classic antagonistic work.

Not all fat loss has to come from running, swimming, hiking or other forms of cardio. In fact, many cardiophobes prefer this very method for that reason: You can still get your heart rate up and avoid traditional aerobic exercise with your weight lifting — it’s all about blood flow.

Super sets involve consecutive sets, with no rest in between (trisets feature three sets, and giant sets four or more). It’s particularly effective for rushing blood all over the body to mix an upper-body lift with a lower-body one; say, pull-ups and Romanian deadlifts. Other supersets depend on your goal, but none of them are bad for fat loss as long as reps are toward the high side (usually a minimum of eight reps per set; so 16 per superset, is what you want).

Versatility is one of the keys of this type of exercise; how you pair them can mean quite a lot. An explosive movement, like box jumps, could pair well with a heavy one, like deadlifts; likewise, you can get a great pump and build strength by working antagonistic muscles (a set of bent-over rows, paired with incline dumbbell press).

Finally, super-, tri- and giant sets are a great way to shake up your workout routine. I’ve always found that when things are stagnating a bit, throwing in a few supersets gets the blood flowing and energy going (plus, it saves on time).

SKILLED RECREATION/SPORTS

Some people like putting in the time for cardio, but playing a competitive sport like basketball, soccer or football is an outstanding way to not only burn fat through exercise, but to have fun while doing it.

Basketball and soccer, in particular, are fantastic options because they offer a very similar approach to HIIT — lots of full-speed sprinting, plenty of endurance training and the added benefit of lateral and backward movement. Running and jumping competitively, for even short periods of time, provides an excellent aerobic workout, and when you add in things like body control and skilled movement — necessary in sports — it becomes even more challenging and rewarding. Other extremely underrated sports for fat loss (and, obviously, muscle gain) are wrestling, boxing and variations of mixed martial arts. If you can find a good trainer or gym, you’ll see just how hard of a workout these sports can provide.

Even if you’re not looking to play sports, you can train like an athlete would. Basketball wind sprints (“suicides”) are renowned for their HIIT style and can torch the fat in no time, and they’re a personal favorite of ours for in-the-gym cardio when you don’t want to give a bunch of time to aerobics.

Workout Wednesday: HIIT It

People tend to associate aerobic exercise (or the misnomer “cardio”) with “boring.” Well, when you plod away on the treadmill at an unchallenging rate for 30 minutes, yes, it certainly can be.

Mix it up instead, and get the after-burn effect that keeps fat burning for up to eight hours after your workout. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) gets you a better workout in a fraction of the time. By busting your butt in short intervals and using “active rest,” ie., jogging, you save your time and get a more effective workout without sacrificing muscle tissue, an inevitable casualty of prolonged aerobic exercise.

Go with this plan for today:

90 second jog (warmup)

60 second run at 60 percent effort

60 second sprint at 90 percent effort (this is the High-Intensity part)

30 second brisk walk

30 second run at 60 percent effort

30 second sprint at 90 percent effort

Repeat that 5-minute interval set at least twice, but aim for three total interval sets for a total of 15 minutes.

Workout of the Week: Full-Body Fat Loss

Follow the workout listed below, or just print out this page for a .pdf you can take with you to the gym!

Full Body Fat Loss Workout

  • Superset 1 (x3): Box jumps (10)/push-ups (20)
  • Superset 2 (x3): Leg press (10)/pull-ups (to failure)
  • Cardio: 5 mins HIIT on a treadmill
  • Superset 3 (x3): Romanian deadlifts (10)/cleans (10)
  • Planks (3 sets x 45 seconds)
  • Hanging leg raises (3×8)
  • Medicine ball twists (3×8 per side): Sit on the ground with your feet flat in front of you and a 5- to-10-pound medicine ball behind your back. Twist to your right, keeping your torso straight up, grab the ball, rotate it quickly in front of your body, and set it down behind you where you picked it up. Repeat that eight times, then switch directions for eight more.
  • Cardio: 5 mins HIIT on a treadmill