Three smart ways to cap off your workout.

If weightlifting is the fast track to fat loss – and most experts agree that it is – then why do so many guys in the gym have a gut? “Too many of them focus on beefing up body parts instead of working as many muscles as possible,” says strength and conditioning coach. BJ Gaddour, owner of streamfit. com. One solution: metabolic finishers – one or two exercises performed at the end of a workout that turn it into a total-body sweat session. “Think of them as fast-paced finales that ignite muscle growth and accelerate weight loss,” says Gaddour. “Oh yeah, and they’re great for melting stubborn belly fat.”

Do This: Select the finisher that transforms your typical routine into a total-body workout. If your workout targets your upper body, for example, go with the lower-body finisher. Already doing a total-body workout? Then shift your metabolism into high gear by performing the final two finishers (A and B) as a superset (back to back with 10 seconds of rest between them). Repeat the superset eight times.

Lower-Body Finisher

5-5 Split Squat:

  • 1 Face a wall and assume a split stance with your left foot forward, toes touching the wall. This is the starting position.
  • 2 Take five seconds to lower your body until the top of your left thigh is at least parallel to the ground, pushing your left heel into the floor as hard as you can.
  • 3 Hold for five seconds, and then explode back up to the starting position.
  • 4 Do five reps in one minute, and then immediately switch legs and repeat.
  • 5 Rest for 60 seconds and repeat the two-minute sequence, this time starting with your right foot forward.

1

“Keeping your toes against the wall more effectively engages your hamstrings and glutes, turning a move that traditionally targets your quads into one that works your entire lower body,” says Gaddour.

Upper-Body Finisher

Triple Crush:

  • 1 Kneel on the floor holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides. This is the starting position.
  • 2 Bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can.
  • 3 Next, press the weights overhead with your palms facing each other.
  • 4 Without moving your upper arms, lower the dumbbells behind your head.
  • 5 Now reverse the movements to return to the starting position.
  • 6 Repeat for 90 seconds, and then rest for 30. That’s one set; do two sets.

2

“You’re combining three exercises [biceps curl, shoulder press, triceps extension] into one move,” says Gaddour, “and kneeling works your core more effectively than standing.”

Total-Body Finisher A

Dumbbell Skier Swing:

  • 1 Grab two unevenly weighted dumbbells (a two kilogram difference is ideal) and hold them at arm’s length in front of your chest. Your feet should be hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • 2 Without rounding your lower back, bend at your hips and simultaneously swing your arms backward.
  • 3 Explosively thrust your hips forward and raise your torso until you’re standing upright, letting your momentum swing the weights up to chest level.
  • 4 Continue for 20 seconds. Alternate the heavier weight between your right and left hands in successive supersets.

3

“This move trains not only your oftenneglected hamstrings,” says Gaddour, “but also your entire core from shoulders to hips.”

Total-Body Finisher B

Dumbbell Mountain Climber 

  • 1 Assume a push-up position with a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your palms facing in. Your body should form a straight line from ankles to head. This is the starting position.
  • 2 Lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise your right knee as close to your chest as you can without rounding your lower back.
  • 3 Return to the starting position and repeat, this time lifting your left knee. Continue for 20 seconds, alternating knees with each repetition.

4

“You’ll target your abs and also send your heart rate through the roof,” Gaddour says.