Do in 21 Days: How to Get into Excellent Shape in Three Weeks

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If you think that three weeks isn’t enough to get buff a little and look as if you work out in gym regularly, you are mistaken. And it doesn’t matter whether you have already attended gym or you are a beginner who knows nothing. By following these instructions you will get faster, more flexible, more enduring, stronger, and you will also look and feel better just in 21 days. In order to help you we present a specially designed program that, despite the similarity of exercises, will be getting more complex and expanded each week. But don’t worry: it won’t take you too much time. And one more piece of advice from us: if you are a fan of skipping a warm-up and consider it just kids’ stuff, you will have to fulfill this condition nevertheless. After all, it will help you cope with what we have prepared for you. And yes, you must follow these rules with absolute accuracy. In that case you will see the results very soon.

Day 1

Warm-Up

Do two full three-exercise sets without a break between them. On the day 8 and day 15 all the warm-up exercises remain the same – both the number of sets and the number of repetitions.

“Toy Soldier”

Stand straight, stretching out your arms in front of you, palms down. Then take a step forward with your left foot and swing your right leg to touch the palm of your left hand. Then repeat it, but vice versa. Ultimately, you need to do ten repetitions.

“Squats”          

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and cross your arms behind your head. You need to squat as deep as possible, but, of course, not to the extent when you fall on the ground. Repeat ten times.

“Bear’s Gait”

Get down on all fours with your palms and feet firmly resting on the floor and your hips lifted up. It should look something like a bear’s pose. Quickly take five steps forward with your arms and legs in this position. Then go back the same way and repeat the exercise one more time. And after two full sets of these exercises wipe sweat off your face and exhale – the warm-up is over.

Workout

Now in one set you need to do 16 repetitions of each exercise. There must be no rest between the exercises – only after you complete the set you can take one minute rest. On the day 8 in order to build up your muscles more actively you will need to increase the weight of the dumbbells by a couple of kilograms and reduce the number of repetitions to 12. On the day 15 you will need to add 5 more kilograms and reduce the number of repetitions to 8.

“Squats + Abs”

So, here you will need dumbbells. For the first time you can take not the heaviest ones, but then you will need to increase weight. Let’s go: feet shoulder-width apart, arms with dumbbells stretched along the body. Slowly start to squat until your hips are parallel to your knees or even slightly lower. Then rise smoothly (but never jump up abruptly – it’s not burpee), raising your arms with the dumbbells right over your head. Done – repeat.

“Walking Lunges”

There’s nothing difficult here, too. Stand straight, arms with dumbbells stretched along, like in the previous exercise. Lunge forward with your right leg keeping your torso straight and almost touching the floor with your left knee. Then leaning on your right heel drag your left foot forward. Keep your arms down all the time. Go ahead, repeat.

“Rows of Apostates”

Get into a push-up position, but grabbing dumbbells with your hands instead of placing the hands on the floor. Raise your arms one after another. But be careful: when you raise your arm, don’t twist your body. If you still do it involuntarily, replace the dumbbell with a lighter one.

Day 2

It will help you improve your blood flow, increase lung capacity and recover from yesterday’s workout.

Warm-Up

Perform each exercise for thirty seconds, do one set. Are you ready? Let’s go. On the days 9 and 16 the entire warm-up remains the same.

“Knees Lifting”

Nothing difficult, you must remember this exercise from your PE lessons at school. Raise your knees to your chest one after another. Try to raise them as high as possible.

“Butt Kicks”

While standing still, keep warming up your legs, each time diligently trying to hit your butt with your heel.

“Low Walk”

Now you need to crouch, make five steps in this position to the right and then five to the left. You should keep your hands in front of you so that you won’t be tempted to enable them in the exercise to aid yourself.

“Claps”

It’s fairly simple. You must have seen a cheerleader performance, at least on the Internet. You need to do that well-known move (note: you do not need to dress up like a cheerleader). Jump up spreading your legs apart and clapping with your hands above your head. Keep doing it for 30 seconds. After that, warm-up is over.

Workout

Today everything is simple. In your discretion choose one of the workout activities for today. You can swim or walk for 15 minutes, but not more. You can choose 30 minutes jogging. Or ride a bike for one hour. The key point here is to manage your time correctly, since it is not recommended to exceed it in the first week of workout. On the day 9 you will need to increase your workout duration by 10-15 percent. Thus walking or swimming will be 17.5 minutes, jogging will be prolonged by 5 minutes, and cycling – by 10. On the day 16 walking and swimming will take 20 minutes, jogging – 40, and cycling – 80.

Day 3

Today, so to speak, you combine the first two workouts. That means, there will be both strength and speed exercises.

Warm-Up

Do two full sets of exercises without rest. On the days 10 and 17 the warm-up remains the same.

“Little Step”

It seems to be easy, but you will definitely crack your joints. Stand straight, your knees slightly bent. Then go down to the floor resting your palms on it (it looks a bit like the bear’s pose). Then push off with your fingers a little, raise yourself a bit and take a step forward dropping down on your fingers again. Do the exercise for 30 seconds.

“Push-Ups with Pauses”

Get into a standard push-up position. Start as you get ready. But don’t go too fast – do it evenly and without rushing. Lower your body and remain in this position for three seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat. Do five repetitions.

“Rise”

Place a low and steady box in front of you or choose some other similar solid surface. Then put your right or left foot (it’s up to you) on it so that your whole foot is on the surface. After that, climb up leaning on that foot. As you get back down, lean on the same foot. Do the exercise five times with each foot.

Workout (Part 1)

Here everything also seems to be easy. This part of workout includes 5 push-ups, 10 squats and 15 more squats. You need to do all this within ten minutes; the number of laps is limited by time. You can choose the break time between the sets by yourself, but don’t make it too long – from 30 seconds to a minute. In answer to your silent question about the difference between the two squats sets: the first set you need to do with your hands behind your head, while with the second one you need to stretch your arms forward. On the days 10 and 17 increase the duration of the exercise to 12 minutes. Try to make as little breaks between the sets as possible.

Workout (part 2)

Now you will be sprinting. It will take you ten minutes. What do you need to do? At the beginning of every minute you need to run 20 steps forward. After you have run this distance, go to your normal pace catching your breath before the beginning of the next minute. Note: to make this exercise effective for you, lean your body so that you can draw a straight line from your head to your heels. In no case should your palms be clenched into fists – it just undermines your energy. On the day 10 increase the number of steps to 25, and on the day 17 – to 30.

Day 4

This day is dedicated to recuperation and “active” recovery. The exercises you need to do won’t require any excessive expenditure of your energy, but they do require some flexibility and dexterity. First you will relax your stiff tissues that connect your tendons and bind your bones. Then you will stretch your back muscles, activate your hip and shoulder joints which will help you improve your performance during the workout at the end of the first week. And for all this you will need a massage roller.

Warm-Up                                              

You have only two minutes for each exercise. On other days, that are days 11 and 18, workout duration remains the same.

“Tendons and Quadriceps”

Sit on the roller, stretch your legs forward, and put your hands on the floor behind your back. Start rolling back and forth. First, move the roller from your hips to the inside of your knees. Then, move in the opposite direction.

“Upper Exercise”

While still on the floor, place the roller under your shoulder blades. Arms folded behind your head, knees half bent. Now start moving your legs, as if stepping forward, while the roller moves from your shoulder blades to your neck. Once it reaches the neck, repeat the exercise.

“Buttocks Warm-Up”

First, sit on the massage roller again. Then turn your body sideways as if you are lying on your side, but at the same time resting your hands on the floor. After you have fixed yourself in this position, move yourself with your hands so that the roller starts moving from your buttocks to your knees and then backwards. Two minutes for the exercise, do you remember it?

“Shin and Calf”

Put the roller under your knees with your hands again resting on the floor. Start moving so that the roller moves from your knees to your ankles. Once this part is done, do the reverse motion to bring the roller under your knees again. With this exercise your warm-up is over.

Workout

The following exercises you will do only in three sets. Move smoothly and slowly. If you suddenly get tired – of course, take a rest. But not too long, as usual. Don’t increase the number of repetitions or sets on the day 11. You should only increase the duration a bit. As you remember, this is a special workout aimed at good muscles stretching. So keep stretching for at least 20 minutes. Spend 10 more seconds for each position. You need to do the same on the day 18.

“Pass Over the Shoulder”

For this exercise you will need either a long pipe or a stick, yet even a simple durable belt will do. So, grab the stick or belt with both hands (place them wide enough so that you won’t need to bend your elbows) and start slowly lifting it up. Don’t rush. When the stick is above your head, start moving it behind your back in the same slow manner. Return to the starting position the same way. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

“Squat Stretching”

Just usual squats, but with some complications – it’s not your first day of workout. Standard position – feet shoulder-width apart. Palms pressed together as if you are going to bow to a Shaolin monk, elbows spread apart. Slowly start to squat spreading your knees apart. When you get down, place your spread arms between your knees so that there’s no temptation to bring them together. Sit in this position for about twenty seconds. Three repetitions will be enough for you. The main point to remember: you need to keep your back very straight and make sure that your heels don’t come off the ground. Raised your heels – doesn’t count, redo.

“Deep Lunge with Twist”

So, do you remember how to do lunges? Great, then there’s no need to explain it again. You just need to remember to keep your hands up. After you have done a lunge, twist your body to the side of your front leg. Remember that it’s not recommended to rush. Spend three seconds to twist thoroughly. Then rise to the starting position transferring your body weight to your front leg and then do it with another leg. Repeat the exercise ten times.

“Dog’s Exercise”

Get down on all fours with your arms and feet shoulder-width apart and your hips as high as possible. In 10 seconds put your palms on the floor pressing your shoulders to the floor as low as possible and pushing your hips back. After this, return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise three times. In this case, by the way, you can let your heels rise. The main goal of the exercise is to stretch your knee tendons.

Day 5

This day is completely devoted to strength exercises. It may be hard, but you are here not for relaxation, aren’t you? These exercises will help you increase your muscles size and speed up your body metabolism.

Warm-Up

Do two sets without rest. On the other days everything remains the same.

“Little Worm”

You need to do five repetitions. How? Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart. Then, without bending your knees, reach the floor with your hands, rest your palms on it closer to your legs. It should look something like a deformed bear’s pose. Then, without moving your feet, take several steps forward with your hands until you get into a push-up position. Do a push-up, lay down on the ground to rest for a couple of seconds. And again, push-up position and stepping back, just like you did before. Hey presto, the exercise is done.

“Engine”

Perform 10 repetitions. Again the same position – feet shoulder-width apart. Fix your hands by your chest holding a pair of five-kilogram dumbbells. Do a usual squat, but while rising stretch out your arms with dumbbells above your head. Then bring them back to the starting position and do the next repetition.

“Jumps and Squats”

Perform 10 repetitions. Mark some kind of target above your head (preferably a meter above it) that you can reach with your hands. Place your feet shoulder-width apart – yes, you know that perfectly. Slowly start to squat and then abruptly jump up lifting up your arms. You need to touch that target. This may seem something of a full-fledged workout. Now, exhale and inhale as deeply as you can, because the warm-up is over, and the most interesting part is coming.

Workout (Part 1)

The first part includes only 4 exercises performed in 3 sets. Take 1-minute rest after each set. Also there will be a different number of repetitions in each set: in the first one – 12, in the second one – 10, in the third one – 8. Ready? Go. The number of repetitions on the day 12 will remain the same, but the weight of the dumbbells will need to be increased. You also need to find a high surface to jump on. On the third week you should also slightly increase your performance from the day 12.

“Swinging Dumbbells”

Feet, guess what, shoulder-width apart. Grab one dumbbell firmly with both hands. Lean your body a bit forward slightly bending your knees. Now start swinging your body with the help of the dumbbell. When you swing the dumbbell between your legs don’t forget to bend your knees; when you try to swing it up straighten your legs. Ultimately, you need to swing your body and arms so that the dumbbell gets above your head. But be careful and don’t drop it! We don’t want you to kill or injure yourself.

“Box Jump”

You must remember this one from the crossfit course and from some types of burpee. There’s nothing difficult. You need to stand in front of some solid box or high bench (if you’re doing it in the street, don’t forget to clean the bench afterwards). Jump on it from the ground with both feet. The key point to remember is that you mustn’t jump back – just get down slowly, with a normal step, not with a jump. Do the next repetition.

“Dumbbell Bench”

Lie on a completely flat bench, arm with a pair of dumbbells. Elbows bent, a dumbbell in each hand, but at the same time they are tightly pressed to your body with your back a bit arched. Then, with all your strength as if you’re holding a barbell instead of dumbbells raise them up, then slowly lower your arms and do the exercise again.

“Dumbbell Barbell”

And again you will be a weightlifter with dumbbells. Get into the common position – feet shoulder-width apart. Grab a dumbbell with each hand, palms facing each other. Lean your torso at an angle of 45 degrees. In this position you need to pull the dumbbells up, towards your chest, hold them for a while, and then slowly lower them. To make it easier imagine that you are trying to hold a pencil with your shoulder blades by straining them. This will help you do the exercise with greater ease.

Workout (part 2)

Here you should use a rowing machine. However, if you don’t have one, you can easily do one of cardiovascular exercises instead, like jogging, swimming or cycling. What to do? Since it is the final part of your workout, it will last no more than 10 minutes. Yet you will need to strain yourself every minute. How to do it? For the first 30 seconds, let’s say, you run at a moderate pace. The next 20 try harder, and for the last ten seconds go all out. The most important thing to mind apart from time is breathing. Don’t run yourself out of breath. In this part of the workout on the days 12 and 19 you will need to increase the distance you swim/run. However, the duration of the exercise remains the same as before – not more than 10 minutes.

Day 6

Full repetition of the day 2. As for the warm-up, everything remains unchanged, from the number of repetitions to duration. However, as for the workout duration, it should be increased. Walking or swimming will now take 20 minutes, jogging – 45, cycling – one and a half hours. By the way, glycogen depletion in muscles will be maximized on this day, therefore, in order to restore it more quickly after a workout you should eat some whole grain bread with honey, or corn. On the day 13 you will need to increase the exercise duration by 15%. Therefore, on average, you will be walking and swimming for 23 minutes, jogging for 52 minutes or cycling for 100 minutes. On the day 20 increase the duration again. The ultimate duration for the third week is as follows: walking/swimming – 27 minutes, jogging – 1 hour, cycling – 2 hours.

Day 7

Dedicate this day to recovery. But this doesn’t mean that you can stay in bed the whole day. Yes, you can feel your muscles ache, but this only means that the next set of exercises will be easy and successful. Go for a walk, play football with your friends. Just don’t sit at home like a couch potato. It won’t bring any benefit. On the days 14 and 21 your rest should be the same. Or you can go to the forest or to the country, spend your time in the mountains or at the seaside. We favor any activity. And, by the way, at the end of the third week you will not only feel the result, but also notice it.

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