Get in Shape this Summer: The Basics by Hugo Rivera

Get In Shape With These Body Sculpting Workouts 

So you want to get in shape and get your abs looking great but you have no clue what workouts you need to use in order to accomplish that. If this is your situation then you have come to the right place.

How Much Time Will Your Workouts Take?

How long do your workouts need to be in order to get in shape and get great abs? Unless you are a competitive bodybuilder who needs to perform several sessions of 45 minutes of exercise a day (some sessions of cardio and some of weights) to achieve the results needed for a competition physique, the most you will need to be in the gym for your body sculpting workouts is 4 weight training sessions of 60 minutes with 2-3 cardiovascular training sessions of 20-40 minutes.

Why Not 2 Hours At The Gym?

Because after 45 minutes to 1 hour of training the muscle building/fat burning hormones of most people begin to deplete while cortisol levels (fat storing/muscle burning hormone) increase.

This routine is designed to be performed in the comfort of your home assuming that you have the following equipment:

  • Adjustable dumbbells.
  • Adjustable bench with a good leg extension/leg curl attachment.
  • Pulley that can be attached at the end of the bench to perform pull-downs or pull-up bar.
  • Determination to get things done.

If you have all that, then let’s begin.

Types of Training

We will use two types of training in order to re-sculpt our physique and get those abs in mint shape:

Anaerobic work: Weight training is the number 1 way to re-sculpt your body. No ladies, weight training won’t make you muscle bound as you girls do not produce enough testosterone to allow for such a thing to happen. Why is weight training so important? Weight training is far superior to any other type of exercise because it increases your metabolism (which in turn helps you burn fat) and gives shape to your body.

Aerobic work: Walking, stationary bike or doing an elliptical machine in your Fat Burning Zone (which is (220 – Age) * .75 = Fat Burning Heart Rate) is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone, and as long as it is only used in addition to a good weight-training program. Cardiovascular exercise should never be used as a substitute for weight training because aerobics cannot create muscle tone.

Calculate Your Heart Rate!

Take 220 and minus your age which is accurate to approximately +15 Beats Per Minute. You then take that number and multiply it by .75 – .85, which will give you your percentages of 75% — 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate.

(220-Age) x .75 = beats per minute (lower range)

(220-Age) x .85 = beats per minute (upper range)

This is the Target Range or Zone that you want to stay in when doing any type of cardiovascular (aerobic) activity. When in this range your body is getting an optimum workout with maximum benefit, and it stays in a Fat Burning mode.

Also read Get In Shape for Summer Part 2 — The Workouts and Get in Shape for the Summer Part 3 — Cardio and Nutrition.


HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.