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Former NFL tight end Joe Donnelly knows fitness. He’s worked and trained hard to reach optimum condition, so he knows what it takes to get results, and get them fast. Joe took time out of his busy schedule to give us his exclusive tips and tricks to burn fat this fall.
It All Starts With Attitude
“The way we work out is a metaphor of how we live life,” Joe says, “so why sell yourself short?”
It’s that attitude that motivates the former Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills player to give his all, not just in training, but also in life. If you want to emulate his success, the time to start is now. The leaves are starting to turn, but there’s still enough light to combine the great outdoors with regular gym sessions.
“It’s not how many reps you do, but the intensity of the entire workout,” Joe says.
Want to know how to get started? Joe let us in on his top six intense exercises for a condition-boosting workout this fall.
#1 CAR PUSH
Joe’s favorite exercise from his college football days is a formidable challenge that will quickly build your strength.
You’ll need: A car, plenty of open space with no other vehicles around, and a friend to apply the brakes.
What to do: Put the car in neutral, get behind it, and push hard for six to eight seconds. Release, sprint for 40 yards, then turn around and stop the car’s momentum. Rest for one minute and repeat.
Reps: Five to six is great for beginners, 10 for intermediate trainers, and 12 to 15 for advanced athletes.
Joe’s tip: Make sure you have a strong leg base. Don’t worry about speed— just get the car rolling and release as soon as it does.
#2 PROWLER SLED PUSH
You’ll find prowler sheds in most gyms nowadays, so there’s no excuse to skip this intense exercise.
You’ll need: A prowler sled.
What to do: Drive the sled for six to eight seconds, spin it around and push back. Rest for 30 to 40 seconds and repeat. Start with no weight, and add weight with each set you do.
Reps: Start with 25 and build up to 30.
Joe’s tip: Use this exercise for intense muscle building.
Sprinting should be a mainstay of your workout regime. “Sprinting is the reason I can walk around at 240 pounds with only 5 percent body fat,” Joe says.
You’ll need: Enough space to sprint 100 yards.
What to do: Start by sprinting 40 yards, followed by a slow jog back for recovery. Repeat up to 10 times. Work up to 60 yards, then 80, then 100.
Reps: Beginners can start with five sprints of each distance and work their way up. Add another sprint every two weeks until you’re doing 10 at each distance in each session.
Joe’s tip: Don’t spend hours running on a treadmill. Instead, do your sprints in short, intense bursts for maximum effect.
#4 SUSPENSION STRAPS/TRX BANDS
If you want to add size and definition to your chest, and work out your front delts to boot, include these simple suspension strap or TRX band exercises in your regime.
You’ll need: Suspension straps or TRX bands, and a box or bench.
What to do: Elevate your feet on a box or bench to get them level with your chest. Get your chest pre-exhausted by repeating flyes followed by a deep stretch for eight to 15 reps, depending on your level. As soon as you hit failure with the flyes, go straight into chest presses until you hit failure with those.
Reps: Eight to 15 reps for six or seven sets, resting for a minute between sets.
Joe’s tip: Expand your range of motion with every rep if you can.
#5 HANGING LEG RAISES
“One of the biggest myths in fitness is that a 90-degree leg raise will give you a lower abdominal workout,” Joe says. Follow Joe’s method of hanging leg raises for a full abdominal workout that will build unbeatable core strength.
You’ll need: A chin-up or other overhead bar.
What to do: Get a good grip on the bar and steadily raise your legs so your feet leave the ground. Curl your legs up as far as you safely can.
Reps: Four sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Joe’s tip: Use your full range of motion to pull your legs up past 90 degrees for a complete abdominal workout.
#6 AROUND THE CLOCKS
Want to give your abs an extra powerful workout? Use this easy technique.
You’ll need: A chin-up bar.
What to do: Hang from the bar and swing your legs all the way around in a clockwise motion. Then swing them all the way back around counterclockwise.
Reps: Perform four or five sets of 10 reps each.
Joe’s tip: Make sure you swing your legs in both directions on each rep for maximum effect.
Make the World Your Training Ground
With fall upon us, there’s enough good weather left to get out and get active. Try biking, walking, jogging, hiking or even playing volleyball with friends or shooting some hoops.
“Train like an athlete,” Joe says. “That means giving your all, whether you’re hitting the gym or hitting the beach. Even if it’s just you and a basketball hoop, you can get in a good workout and raise your fitness levels.”
Eating For Success
The right diet is key to your success, but we all know that life gets in the way and sometimes carrying around tubs of healthy food just isn’t practical. The key is planning. Know what your day looks like before you leave the house, so you can plan ahead and eat well throughout the day.
Concerned about getting in your calories during a busy day? Joe sometimes falls back on liquid options to hit his goal of 5,500 calories a day. Liquid foods such as protein shakes and liquid carbs can provide the convenience you need during a busy day.
A typical day for Joe starts with a 4:00 a.m. wake up, followed by an energy-boosting shake of 50 grams protein, 50 grams complex carbs and 30 grams fat. A regimen of liquid meal shakes and whey protein throughout the day keeps his body working hard and provides the calories he needs to bulk up. A high fat snack late afternoon and a large meal early evening, followed by a snack of complex carbs before bed, round off the day.
“Solid foods are a better choice over liquid,” Joe tells us, so stick to the right solid foods where you can, but don’t be afraid to mix it up with a liquid regime if that’s what suits your lifestyle right now.
What about the cheat meal? Should you feel guilty about that one pizza? The answer is no. “You’re allowed a little margin of error if you train hard enough,” Joe says, adding, “If you like pizza once a week, that shouldn’t inhibit your physical transformation goals.”
Burn Fat More Effectively with Thermo Heat
So what does Joe recommend as the ideal addition to your training and diet program, or as an antidote if you just can’t shake the effects of that one cheat meal? Thermo Heat capsules. The advanced fat-burning compounds in Thermo Heat torch fat while boosting your metabolism, raising your energy and alertness and controlling your appetite. “I can’t even keep my weight up using it,” Joe says with a twinkle.
If you’re ready to burn fat and get into optimum condition this fall, try the powerful combination of the wisdom of a pro with the scientifically backed power of Thermo Heat. Take action now and you’ll be fighting fit by the time the dark days of winter come around.