Outside's Shape of Your Life, Part II: Strength

In part two of Outside Magazine’s National Magazine Award winning whole-body fitness program, you’ll combine heart-rate-zone cardio workouts while beginning a FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH training plan to help you build "muscle that matters" for your favorite sports. WHAT TO EXPECT: Three days a week you’ll be in the pool, or on the road or trail, for 30- to 40-minute basic cardio workouts, adding interval training in the last two weeks aimed at raising your lactate threshold. On strength days (two days a week) you’ll get a complete regimen of standard weight-room lifts with one key adaptation: all the exercises take place on your feet or a stability ball. Lifting on a wobbly platform develops your core, a muscle group that transfers strength gains to real sports. This regimen stresses quality over quantity, so you'll do only one set, but perform each rep in a slow, smooth manner (five to ten seconds each), placing equal emphasis on both the up and down portions of the lift. This is a perfect plan for people who’ve completed month one, or busy people who feel they have a solid endurance foundation, but now want a smart way to mix in regular strength- and cross-training.

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