We all know wisdom isn’t the only thing that comes with age. Our bodies change, too. But some of the things women associate with the tip over 40—muscle loss, a slowed metabolism, stubborn fat, lower energy—don’t have to be yourdestiny. There are plenty of ways to maximize your results. What follows is a high-intensity workout and training guide for lasting fitness. Former IFBB Fitness Olympia champ Monica Brant has crafted a full-body circuit that targets hard-to-sculpt areas with strength exercises, plyometrics, and lateral and forward/backward moves that prime every muscle. Follow it along with advice from top fitness experts on how to keep yourmetabolism fired up at any age.
TIP: For better results in muscle definition, train at your highest intensity twice a week. Your muscles will thank you later.
Perform this entire workout (including cardio) as a circuit.
Beginner/Intermediate: Repeat 2-3x
Advanced: Repeat 4x
Our Model: Torrie Wilson (age 40); Hometown: Los Angeles; Occupation: Entrepreneur, model, actress, and former WWE Diva; Snapchat: @TheTorrieWilson
Perform for 10 minutes
For treadmill: Without holding on to the handles, walk at the highest incline you can manage at whatever speed you can maintain for 10 minutes. (Shoot for 10–15%.) If you feel like you have to hold on, slow your pace down instead.
For StepMill: Start with a resistance of 3, 4, or 5, working up to 15 over a few weeks. Keep the tempo slow and steady.
Perform: 12 forward and 12 reverse
- Stand with your feet hip width, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Keeping your hands by your sides, step your right foot forward a few feet, lowering into a lunge until your front thigh is parallel with the floor and your back knee nearly touches the floor.
- Pause at bottom, then power through your front heel to quickly return to standing.
- Immediately lunge your left foot forward.
Perform: 10 reps each leg
- Begin in plank with forearms on floor and hands clasped, forming a straight line from head to heels.
- Brace abs and slowly lift left leg a couple of feet.
- Squeeze at top, then lower to start and repeat.
- To make it harder, place hands on Bosu, round-side down.
Perform: 10 reps each side
- Stand with feet wider than shoulder-distance apart and toes pointed out 45 degrees.
- Lower hips back into a sumo squat, keeping chest high and hands clasped together. This is your starting position.
- Begin walking your feet to the left one at a time, keeping feet wide apart and staying low in the sumo squat.
- To make it harder, add a resistance band below knees or hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your chest throughout the move.
Want to make it dynamic?
Speed it up! Turn this sumo side walk into a sumo shuffle by staying low and shuffling from one end of the room to the other.
Perform: 10 reps
- Standing with feet shoulder width, toes facing forward or just slightly out, lower you hips into a mid-squat.
- Swing your arms back and then to the front as you leap forward, landing softly in a squat position.
- Quickly swing your arms back to starting position, then leap forward again.
- Jump as high and as far as you can, staying as low as possible once you’ve landed in the squat.
Perform: 20-23 reps
- Sit on a stability ball, then roll your body forward until only your lower back is supported on the ball.
- Bend knees 90 degrees and brace your abs to support your upper torso. Place your hands behind your head.
- From this starting position lean back for a good stretch, then crunch your torso up, exhaling all your air at the top; inhale as you stretch back to starting position.
Perform: 20 reps total
- Stand with feet hip width, holding dumbbells in both hands.
- Bracing your abs, hinge forward from the hips and simultaneously lift your right leg off the floor, using your left glutes, hamstrings, and quads to stabilize you.
- Continue lowering your torso until the weights are at mid-shin.
- Pull through your glutes to return to standing.
Perform: 30 seconds each side
- Begin in a side plank, left arm bent 90 degrees with elbow directly below shoulder, legs and feet stacked, forming a straight line from head to heels.
- Keeping hips high, lift your right leg; hold for 30 seconds.
- Switch sides and repeat.
- To make it harder, place your elbow on a Bosu ball, round-side
Perform: 10 reps each side
- Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand, then lie faceup on the floor with your right knee bent 90 degrees, left hand 90 degrees from body, and left leg straight.
- Keeping your right arm straight, press through your right foot and shift your weight onto your left elbow and then left hand until your torso is upright.
- Keeping your left leg straight and right arm overhead, lift your hips as much as needed to slide your left knee under you.
- Then place all your weight on that lower left leg and your still-bent right leg and lift your torso.
- Drive through your feet and press up to standing.
- Lunge back with your left leg to then reverse the process.
BY CAT PERRY