The Zero Excuses Workout

From the Experts at Men’s Health

Prove you have what it takes to transform your body for good

Change your attitude; change your body. Yes, it’s that simple. Think about it: When guys start saying they don’t have the time, energy, or desire to exercise, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. After all, you probably accomplish a lot in the day. In fact, you likely get done what you absolutely need to get done. But if you don’t truly classify working out as priority, you aren’t going to do it. And everyone knows it’s easier not to exercise, right?
Well, we say it’s not that hard to exercise. Especially when you use The Zero Excuses Workout. This three-day-a-week, fat-burning routine—designed by Men’s Health adviser Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S.— takes just 30 minutes from start to finish, including your warmup. And all it requires is pair of dumbbells. Can you wake up a half-hour earlier? Hit the gym on your lunch break? Skip an evening sit-com? Then you have the time. The question is: Do you have the heart—or do you have excuses?

DIRECTIONS Alternate between Workout A and Workout B three days a week, resting a day between each session. So in Week 1, you might do Workout A on Monday and Friday, and Workout B on Wednesday. In Week 2, you’d do Workout B on Monday and Friday, and Workout A on Wednesday. Before each workout, perform the Warmup, which will boost your calorie-burn, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your performance in the subsequent workout.

Warmup
Step 1
Complete the warmup exercises in the order shown. Do one set of each exercise without resting. Once you’ve completed the warmup, you’re ready to begin Workout A or Workout B (depending on the day).
                    Lateral Slide
Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your hips are just slightly higher than your knees.
My Men's Health Exercises

Shuffle to your left by taking a big step to your left with your right foot, then following with your left foot
My Men's Health Exercises

Slide about 10 feet, then slide back to your right. Each time you reverse directions counts as 1 rep. Do a total of 20 reps.
                    Walking Knee Hugs
                    Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Step forward with your right leg, bend your knee and lean forward slightly at your hips
My Men's Health Exercises

Lift your left knee toward your chest, grasping it with both hands just below your knee cap. Then pull it as close to the middle
My Men's Health Exercises

That’s one rep. Release your leg, take three steps forward, and repeat by raising your right knee. Continue to alternate back an
                    Split Jacks
                    Stand in a staggered stance, you right foot in front of your left. Simultaneously jump back with your right foot and forward with your left as you swing your right arm forward and above your shoulder and swing your left arm back. Continue to quickly switch legs back and forth as you raise and lower your arms. Each time you switch legs counts as one rep. Do 20 reps.
My Men's Health Exercises

My Men's Health Exercises

                    Prisoner Squat
                    Stand with your hands behind your head, chest out, and elbows back
My Men's Health Exercises

Keeping your torso as upright as possible, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as deep as you can
My Men's Health Exercises

Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps.
                    Inchworm
My Men's Health Exercises

Stand tall with your legs straight and bend over and touch the floor.
My Men's Health Exercises

Keeping your legs straight, walk your hands forward.
My Men's Health Exercises

Then take tiny steps to walk your feet back toward your hands.
                    Reverse lunge with Reach Back
                    Stand tall with your arms hanging at your sides. Lunge back with your right leg, lowering your body until your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees. As you lunge, reach back over your shoulders and to the left. Reverse the movement back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete all your reps, then switch legs and reach over your right shoulder for the same number of reps. Do 10 reps for each side.
My Men's Health Exercises

My Men's Health Exercises
Step 1
Do these exercises as circuit, performing one exercise after the next without resting. After you’ve done one set of each movement, rest for 90 seconds. That’s one circuit. Do a total of 3 circuits.
                    Dumbbell Pause Squat
                    Garb a pair of dumbbells and stand tall with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width
My Men's Health Exercises

Keeping your torso as upright as possible, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as deep as you can
My Men's Health Exercises

Pause for two seconds, then push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 20 reps.
                    Burpees
My Men's Health Exercises

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
My Men's Health Exercises

Bending at your hips and knees, lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor
My Men's Health Exercises

Kick your legs backward into pushup position
                    Pushup
                    Assume a pushup position with your arms straight and your hands slightly beyond shoulder width. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles
My Men's Health Exercises

Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor
My Men's Health Exercises

Pause, push yourself back to the starting position, and repeat. That’s one rep. Do 20 reps.
                    Reverse Dumbbell Lunge
                    Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them next to your sides, your palms facing each other
My Men's Health Exercises

Step backward with your left foot and lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees
My Men's Health Exercises

Press your right heel into the floor and push your body back to the starting position.
                    Single-arm Dumbbell Row
                    Grab a dumbbell in one hand, bend at your hips (don’t round your lower back), and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbell hang straight down from your shoulders at arm’s length, your palm facing sideways; cross your other arm behind your back
My Men's Health Exercises

Without moving your torso, row the weight upward by raising your upper arm, bend your elbow, and squeeze your shoulder blades
My Men's Health Exercises

Pause, lower the dumbbell, and repeat. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps, then switch arms and do another 10 reps.
                    Plank
                    Assume a pushup position, but with your elbows bent and your weight resting on your forearms instead of your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. Now brace your core as if you’re about to be punched in the gut. Breathe deeply, and hold that position for 60 seconds.
My Men's Health Exercises
Workout B
Step 1
                    Dumbbell Split Squat
                    Holding a pair of dumbbells with your arms hanging at your sides, stand in a staggered stance, your right foot in front of your left
My Men's Health Exercises

Pause, lower the dumbbell, and repeat. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps, then switch arms and do another 10 reps.
My Men's Health Exercises

Press your front heel into the floor and push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.
                    T-Pushup
My Men's Health Exercises

Grab a pair of hex dumbbells and assume a pushup position, your arms straight
My Men's Health Exercises

Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor
My Men's Health Exercises

Push yourself back up, lift your right hand and rotate the right side of your body upward as you raise the dumbbell.
Workout B
Step 2
                    Single-leg Dumbbell Straight-leg Deadlift
                    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length in front of your thighs. Lift one foot off the ground
My Men's Health Exercises

Without rounding your lower back, slowly bend at your hips and lower your torso as far as you comfortably can.
My Men's Health Exercises

Push through your grounded heel and raise your body back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
                    Bent-over T-Raise
                    Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend at your hips (don’t round your lower back), and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang straight down from your shoulders at arm’s length, your palms facing forward
My Men's Health Exercises

Let the dumbbells hang straight down from your shoulders at arm’s length.
My Men's Health Exercises

Without moving your torso, squeeze your shoulder blades and raise your arms up and to your sides until they form a T
Workout
Step 2
                    Single-leg Dumbbell Straight-leg Deadlift
                    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length in front of your thighs. Lift one foot off the ground
My Men's Health Exercises

Without rounding your lower back, slowly bend at your hips and lower your torso as far as you comfortably can.
My Men's Health Exercises

Push through your grounded heel and raise your body back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
                    Bent-over T-Raise
                    Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend at your hips (don’t round your lower back), and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang straight down from your shoulders at arm’s length, your palms facing forward
My Men's Health Exercises

Let the dumbbells hang straight down from your shoulders at arm’s length.
My Men's Health Exercises

Without moving your torso, squeeze your shoulder blades and raise your arms up and to your sides until they form a T
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