In 21 days you can see some pretty impressive changes to your body. Not only will you be forming a healthy habit, but you can lose some body fat and tone up those muscles. A 21-day tone up workout should include both resistance training as well as cardio to show off those hard earned muscles.
Resistance Training Guidelines
Perform resistance exercises two or three times each week on non-consecutive days. You need that day off between workouts so your muscles get stronger, and look better. Choose one to two exercises for each major muscle group, and do two to four sets of eight to 12 reps. If you're new to resistance exercise only do two sets of eight to 10 total exercises, and by the end of 21 days, you should be at three sets.
You have many choices when it comes to exercises that tone up your body. For example, you can start with a bent over barbell row for your back. Drop to your knees or toes and perform pushups for your chest. Stand up and hold a set of dumbbells as you do walking lunges for your thighs. Take those dumbbells out to the sides and do lateral raises for your shoulders. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height and squat down and up for your thighs again. Move to a cable apparatus and perform press-downs for your triceps. Lower the cable setting and do bicep cable curls. Then stand on a bench or platform and perform calf raises for your lower legs. Finish your workout with some crunches on a stability ball.
Beginning exercisers should take a break of about 30 to 60 seconds between each set of exercise. Allow your body to get used to exercise to avoid injury and overtraining. As you get stronger you can perform the exercises in a circuit to increase calorie burning, and shorten the amount of time you exercise. Keep the reps at eight to 12 but instead of taking a break between each set, just move to the next exercise quickly. Perform all exercises with little to no rest between for one complete set. Repeat the circuit one to three more times for a challenging workout that will tone your muscles.
Don't Forget the Cardio
You can't see your improved muscle tone if it's covered by fat. Add cardio in three to five days per week to see modest fat loss. If you have a lot of weight to lose, do cardio five to seven days each week. Each session should last 30 to 60 minutes, and be moderate- to vigorous-intensity. Start slow, alternating resistance training days with cardio training days. Over 21 days you could see modest weight loss of three to six pounds of fat.