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Workouts for Women

A Week to Peak: Episode 5

In a week’s time, work your lower, upper and full body with these strength and conditioning routines.

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The premise of this series is simple — a week’s worth of workouts.

Perhaps you’ve got a big vacation coming up in roughly seven days and want to get in a great week of training before you relax (and look your best in a bikini). Or maybe your current program is just growing stale and you need something new to reignite your training spark.

These Week to Peak routines can get you there. Choose one that looks appealing and that matches your goals and accommodates your available equipment. The workouts are challenging and fun, and they are suitable for most intermediate and advanced athletes.
Enjoy!

Episode 5: Full-Body Strength and Conditioning

This routine was designed by veteran trainer Jim Ryno, owner of Iron House, a home gym design and remodeling company in New Jersey. The workouts alternate between full body, lower body and upper body, and they tap into a few different training objectives, namely strength, hypertrophy and high-intensity cardio.

“These workouts won’t take up a ton of time, and they don’t require much equipment,” Ryno says. “But they’re all pretty intense. The Tabata, EMOM and HIIT routines provide a good fat-burning stimulus and are also great for building mental toughness!”

Workout Snapshot

Number of Days/Workout 5
Primary Goals Strength / Conditioning
Equipment Needed Dumbbells, barbell in a rack/Smith machine, suspension trainer straps or a sturdy table

Workout Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Full-Body Strength Lower-Body Tabata HIIT Rest Full-Body EMOM Upper-Body Strength Full-Body HIIT Rest

Day 1: Full-Body Strength

Warm-Up

Perform five to 10 minutes of light cardio followed by one to two sets of bodyweight squats and one set of five to 10 bodyweight inverted rows.

Workout: Straight Sets

Complete all the sets and reps of one move before continuing to the next. Rest as needed.

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Dumbbell Sumo Squat 4 6-10 30-60 seconds
Inverted Row 4 6-10 60 seconds
Prisoner Jumping Lunge 3 20 each leg 60 seconds
Push-Up with Groiner* 3 2/10 60-90 seconds

*2 push-ups + 10 alternating groiners = 1 set

Notes

  • Groiners are similar to mountain climbers, only with a greater stretch: While in plank, jump your right leg up to the outside of your right hand. Pause briefly and then hop and switch feet midair so your right leg is extended and your left foot is by your left hand.
  • For your Sumo Squats, use the heaviest weight you can manage and still maintain proper form.
  • For your Inverted Rows, vary your hand placement from set to set. For example, do an overhand shoulder-width grip for set 1, an underhand shoulder-width grip for set 2, an underhand narrow grip for set 3 and an overhead narrow grip for set 4. To increase the difficulty, elevate your feet and/or place a weight on your stomach.

Day 2: Lower-Body Tabata HIIT

Warm Up

Warm up with one to two sets each of bodyweight or lightweight squats and lunges. Then
complete four rounds of the following workout.

Workout

Exercise Seconds
Dumbbell Sumo Squat 20
Rest 10
Prisoner Jumping Lunge 20
Rest 10

Notes

  • “Tabatas are very brief but extremely demanding, not to mention highly effective for fat burning and cardiovascular conditioning,” Ryno says. “The intervals are short, so kill it on every single one and push yourself.”

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Full-Body EMOM

Warm-Up

Warm up with this dynamic routine.

Exercise Sets Reps/Time
Jump Rope or Run in Place 1 30 seconds
Bodyweight Squat 1-2 20 reps
Leg Swings 1 30 seconds
Arm Circles (clockwise) 1 30 seconds
Arm Circles (counterclockwise) 1 30 seconds

Workout: 20-Minute EMOM

Every minute on the minute, perform the prescribed task. Rest any remaining time, then begin the next exercise at the top of the next minute. Complete five total rounds.

Minute Exercise Reps
1 Dumbbell Sumo Squat 10
2 Inverted Row 12
3 Prisoner Jumping Lunge 15 (each leg)

Note

  • “At the end of each round, make a note of how long it took you to complete,” Ryno says. “This will give you an idea of whether you need to add more reps or scale back. For example, if you complete 10 reps of the sumo squat with more than 30 seconds to recover and you didn’t feel sufficiently challenged, add two or more reps on subsequent rounds.”

Day 5: Upper-Body Strength

Warm-Up

Warm up with five to 10 minutes of light cardio, followed by one set of light lateral raises or overhead presses and one set of five to 10 bodyweight inverted rows.

Workout

Perform the moves in the superset back-to-back with no rest in between. Rest 60 seconds between rounds and complete four rounds. Then perform four sets of the inverted row, resting 60 seconds between sets.

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Dumbbell Front Raise

— superset with —

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

4 8, 8, 8, 6 + drop set

8, 8, 8, 6 + drop set

60-90 seconds
Inverted Row 4 6-10 60 seconds

Notes

  • For your shoulder superset, choose a weight for the first three sets that has you failing right at eight reps. On the fourth set, choose a slightly heavier weight and do six reps, then drop to lighter dumbbells and rep it out to failure.
  • On the inverted rows, increase the difficulty by putting your feet up on a bench and/or setting a weight on your lap. You can sub out for pull-ups, lat pulldowns or any other row available.

Day 6: Full-Body HIIT

Warm-Up

Warm up with this dynamic routine.

Exercise Sets Time
Jump Rope or Run in Place 1 3 minutes
Arm Circles (clockwise) 1 30 seconds
Arm Circles (counterclockwise) 1 30 seconds

Workout: Circuit 1

Complete five rounds of the following workout.

Exercise Sets Reps/Time
Groiner With Push-Up* 2 10/1 reps
Rest 20 seconds

*10 groiners + 1 push-up = 1 set

Rest one to two minutes.

Workout: Circuit 2

Exercise Sets Reps/Time
Groiner With Push-Up* 2 10/2 reps
Rest 30 seconds

*10 groiners + 2 push-ups = 1 set

Notes

  • “The groiner/push-up combo will really test your physical and mental stamina,” Ryno says.
  • With each push-up, pause and hover just above the floor for two seconds, then explode back to the top, Ryno recommends.

Day 7: Rest