It’s a predictable trend. Every year January rolls around and people jump on the health and fitness bandwagon, vowing to diet and workout religiously to burn off the holiday pounds. But Blake Lively’s personal trainer Don Saladino warns that, if de-bloating and getting fitter is your goal, you shouldn’t go “overboard with the exercise.” In fact, he suggests that even just committing to a 20-minute workout, at least two to three times a week, will help you to get back on track.
“If someone’s having a really difficult time getting into doing exercise, 20 minutes a day-plus [is good],” the trainer who helped the Gossip Girl star lose 61 pounds post pregnancy weight tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. For Don, the key is to focus on compound movements, doing “a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular.”
“I always like to say resistance training is the entrée. Cardio is the side dish,” Don says about the difference between strength training and getting your heart pumping harder by working up a sweat. “I think people go a little overboard with cardio… When you do resistance training it’s gonna raise the amount of fat calories you burn in rest a little bit more than going out for a run.
“Now, it’s still important. You still want to have that cardiovascular for our heart, but I wouldn’t base the majority of your training around it.”
But, with many gyms around the country closed and a plethora of apps at the public’s disposal, what can the novice actually do in 20 minutes? The answer is, a lot. Thankfully, Don has devised a short and sweet routine that can be done anywhere and can be squeezed into your day. Even better, it falls into the AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) category, so it’s great for beginners and advanced athletes alike.
It’s a very simple circuit of five moves, each one done for six reps. After you’ve completed all five moves, you start from the beginning and try to do as many rounds as possible – hence the term AMRAP.
“I kept the reps low to make sure movement quality is high,” Don says. “The biggest mistake a lot of coaches [make], is they put a very high level of repetition and most of the people out there [are] not high level athletes. Then their form breaks down and they potentially could get injured. So the reps are kept at six, because I want you to get as many rounds as possible in, in 20 minutes.”
Describing the workout as “high intensity,” Don says you can rest in between each exercise move for a few seconds if you want or just keep going. “Whatever you need,” he says. “It’s as many rounds as possible. That’s what makes this game fun.”
The beauty of the workout is that it’s challenging for all levels of fitness. “It’s impossible for someone to say this is easy, because if they’re saying it’s easy, it means they’re not going hard enough. A jump is not easy,” Don says, referring to the explosive jumps that he demonstrates in the video above. “You could take the highest level athlete on the planet and tell them to do five explosive jumps as fast as possible and, after the fifth jump, if they’re putting 100 percent into it, they’re going to be a little winded.”
For more information about Don, his programs and fitness apps, go to his website, DonSaladino.com. In the meantime, if you want to try out this 20-minute AMRAP routine check out the instructions below and the video above.
Don Saladino’s 20-Minute Cardio Charge AMRAP Routine:
1. Seesaw Lunge – Targets Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes & Core
Standing with both legs hip-width apart, step forward into a lunge with your left foot and transition straight back into a reverse lunge.
Do that six times on each leg, then switch. This can be done with or without dumbbells.
2. Jump Squat – Targets Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes & Core
Squat, then jump and squat again. Repeat six times.
Hold your arms out as a counterbalance to allow you to stay in a good position, but do what feels comfortable.
3. Side Crawls – Targets The Core, Hips, Chest, Shoulder & Triceps
Get down on all fours and then lift your knees so that you’re in a crawling position.
Crawl six steps to the left and back (six steps to the right). Repeat six times.
4. Prone Cobra – Targets Glutes & Lats (Lower Back Muscles)
Lie face down on the floor.
This can be done one of two ways. You can either do it by just raising your upper body, lifting upwards from the waist, with your arms extended out, or you can raise both your upper and lower body at the same time.
Tighten your glutes to take a lot of strain off of your lower back. Repeat six times.
5. Reverse Crunch – Targets Abs
Lie on your back. Pulling your abs in, raise your legs straight up in the air. Slowly lower them down and back up again, six times. Make sure your back remains flat throughout.