Ready for your best body? Master these basic training rules for Oprah's Boot Camp, and you're on your way!
- You have eight workouts a week with one day of rest.
- Six days a week, you do 20 minutes of resistance training using dumbbells. Choose a weight that's heavy enough to tire the muscle by the 12th rep—most women begin with five to ten pounds (Oprah's using 15 pounds for the biceps and 12 for all the other moves; the rest of the team is starting with eight). If you already weight train, go through your upper-body exercises. Try some of Oprah's favorites!
- Each session includes a cardio workout. Start with 30 minutes, five days a week, and on the sixth day, double the time to an hour. But here's the trick: The more comfortable a workout is, the less effective, so the aerobics are designed to constantly up the metabolic ante. Oprah and her team are using treadmills and increasing the challenge every two minutes by raising the speed, incline, or both. The idea is to continually push yourself a little further than you thought you could go, until you get to the point where you can talk but don't want to.
- Every day, take it up a notch; staying at the same level is the biggest mistake people make. Don't be afraid to jack up that incline!
- Every week, extend the aerobics sessions by two minutes (week two would be 32 minutes and 64 on the long workout). So by the end of the three months, you'll be doing almost an hour a day, and double that on the sixth session.
- On top of all of this, you do a second half-hour workout two days a week. This session is a combination of cardio and strength training that Oprah learned from John Travolta's trainer, Steve Maye: Every five minutes, you alternate between the treadmill and a series of floor moves: situps, squats, and biceps curls and lateral raises with the hand weights. "You sweat a lot," she says. "I wouldn't do this if I wasn't in boot camp."
- Before taking even one step, sign and date your Oprah's Boot Camp contract with yourself. Stick it on your fridge as a reminder of your daily goals. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the checklist. Download it here.