Can a “wimpy” workout build more muscle than ever? Try this routine and see for yourself.
THEY’RE NOT FOR WIMPS. SERIOUSLY. Valslides—the popular plastic sliding discs you see online and in some gyms—may look like they’re for weaklings who can’t put up a ton of weight on the bench. But they’re as masculine a training tool as the barbell itself. We’ll prove it to you with this workout program, which builds muscle and strength in just three sessions a week. Man up and try it!
Perform each workout (Days 1, 2, and 3) weekly. The exercise pairs (marked “A” and “B”) are done as a superset. Perform a set of A, rest, then do a set of B, rest, and repeat until all sets are complete. Then move on to the next pair. Rest 30–60 seconds between exercises; rest 90–120 seconds between supersets.
HOW IT WORKS
Valslides create instability. Place your hands or feet on them, and it will be hard to keep your balance while you do an exercise. This forces your muscles to work harder and recruit more muscle fibers to help stabilize you. This extra muscle activation also burns more calories, so they’re an exceptional tool for fat loss. You can pick them up at valslide.com for $30—but if you have old furniture sliders (the things you put under the feet of your couch to move it), those work just as well. And if you have a slick wooden floor to train on, towels can be used as a substitute, too.
3. DAY 1
1A PUSHUP REACH
SETS: 4 REPS: 5 (EACH SIDE)
Get into a pushup position with your hands on sliders. Brace your abs, then slide one hand out with a straight arm, allowing your other elbow to bend into a pushup, until your chest almost touches the floor. Return to the top position, then repeat on the opposite side.
1B REVERSE LUNGE
SETS: 4 REPS: 12 (EACH SIDE)
Stand with one foot on a slider. Slide that foot backward, allowing your knees to bend until the back knee is an inch above the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Reverse the motion, driving the heel of your front foot into the floor to return to the start position.
SETS: 3 REPS: 5
Hang from a pullup bar with your palms facing forward and your hands outside shoulder width. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
2B ECCENTRIC LEG CURL
SETS: 3 REPS: 6
Lie faceup on the floor with your heels on sliders. Pull your heels into your butt while pushing your hips as high into the air as they can go. Then, keeping your hips high, slowly let your heels slide out until your legs are straight again.
Forcing your body to stabilize itself means burning more calories and fat.
3A ALLIGATOR WALKOUT
SETS: 3 REPS: WALK 10 YARDS
Get into pushup position with your feet on sliders. Brace your abs and walk your hands forward with straight arms, so your feet drag behind you. If you don’t have the space to go 10 yards, walk backward and forward in place.
3B BODY-WEIGHT SQUAT
SETS: 3 REPS: 20
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly out. Squat down as far as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.
If this is too easy, wear a weighted vest. This will also get your heart rate up faster.
2. DAY 2
1A PUSHUP FLYE
SETS: 4 REPS: 6–8
Get into pushup position with hands on sliders. Slide your hands out to your sides with only a slight bend in the elbows, until your chest almost touches the floor. Bring your hands back in toward your chest to return to the top position.
1B LEG CURL
SETS: 4 REPS: 8
Lie on your back with your heels on sliders. Squeeze your glutes and abs and push your hips into the air. Keep them elevated as you bend your knees and draw your heels toward your butt. When your shins are perpendicular to the floor, reverse the motion.
2A BODY-WEIGHT SPLIT SQUAT
REPS: 10 (EACH SIDE)
Stand with your feet staggered and bend your front knee until your back knee almost touches the floor. Push your front heel into the floor to return to the start position.
Valslides, furniture sliders, or even towels on a waxed floor can be used to do this workout.
2B ECCENTRIC CHINUP
SETS: 3 REPS: 3
Grasp a chinup bar with an underhand, shoulder-width grip. Jump up so that your collarbone is at the bar and slowly lower yourself—take about three seconds—until your arms are straight again.
3A MOUNTAIN CLIMBER
REPS: 20 (EACH SIDE)
Get into pushup position with your feet on sliders. Rapidly alternate them, pulling your right and left knee in to your chest. Be sure to complete the full range of motion for each rep.
Keep your head aligned with your spine. This will help keep your posture rigid.
Using slides forces your muscles to help stabilize you.
3B TOE-TOUCH SQUAT
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes turned slightly outward. Reach down and grab your toes, then lower your butt toward your heels. From that position, raise your hands straight overhead and stand up.
1. DAY 3
SETS: 4 REPS: AS MANY AS POSSIBLE
Hang from a pullup bar with hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing you. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
1B BODY SAW
SETS: 4 REPS: 8
Get into pushup position and bend your elbows so your forearms lie flat on the floor. Rest your toes on sliders. Brace your abs and pull your elbows in so your body moves forward, then move your body backward as if it were a saw. Keep your hips in line with your torso.
Retract your shoulder blades during the body saw to keep your upper back from rounding.
2A REVERSE LUNGE
SETS: 3 REPS: 8 1½ REPS (EACH SIDE)
Perform as you did on Day 1, but after you reach the bottom position, come halfway back to the starting position. Return to where your back knee is almost touching the floor, then reverse the motion, driving your front foot’s heel into the floor to stand up.
Plant your hands for the single-leg eccentric curl. It will help you stabilize on one leg.
2B SIDE PLANK
SETS: 3 REPS: HOLD FOR 30 SEC. (EACH SIDE)
Rest your right forearm on the floor and turn your body so your right side is facing the floor. Lift your hips off the floor so that only your forearm and right foot are touching it. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position, bracing your core.
The reverse lunge is easier on the knees than the regular front-step lunge.
3A SINGLE-LEG ECCENTRIC LEG CURL
REPS: 8 (EACH SIDE)
Lie on your back on the floor with your right heel on a slider. Straighten your left leg and aim it at the ceiling. Pull your right heel in to your butt, squeeze your core, and push your hips into the air. Then slowly let your right heel slide back out.
SETS: 3 REPS: AS MANY AS POSSIBLE
Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, and keep your feet close together. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lower your chest until it almost touches the ground. Push yourself back up.