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[WOTM, 05/2013] Crystallize Your Abs With The Fat-Blasting Summer Hypershred Workout

[WOTM, 05/2013] Crystallize Your Abs With The Fat-Blasting Summer Hypershred Workout

April’s officially gone — you’ve got one solid month to go before your beach body goes on display. May’s WOTM — The Fat-Blasting Summer Hypershred — builds on the workout and dietary principles laid out in April, amps up the intensity, and aims to melt the last few percentage points of body fat, incinerate the horrible fat pouch plastering your lower abs, and peel back the curtain on the muscle you’ve slaved over to construct.

There became a point when Michelangelo went full jackhammer-mode and had to chisel out the marble to reveal the cuts in David’s obliques. No masterpiece is ever complete without the finishing touches; adopt that mindset.

In May it all comes full circle. May is where beach body champions are made. Most people wilt after a long winter/spring of diligent dieting, endless cardio, and muscle-searing weight training. Will that be you, or will you thrive and finish on a high note, ready to storm the beaches like Normandy.

Continue to follow the nutritional tactics laid out in April — you’re not in the dietary clear yet, they remain absolutely critical — while pivoting to May’s workout plan; a hybrid routine designed to maximize fat burn and crystallize your abs, all while preserving the muscle you’ve worked tirelessly to shape. Shifting workouts provides variety and muscle confusion, prevents plateaus, and ensures that progress follows an exponential trajectory.

*One note: Because this plan is rigorous, I HIGHLY recommend taking BCAAs — I like Monster Amino or the unflavored variety — to enhance recovery, reduce soreness, and minimize muscle breakdown.

Here’s the schedule — broken down into Workout A and Workout B — with details of each below. If you unexpectedly need to skip a day, resume where you last left off. Ideally follow a 3 on, 1 day off schedule.

  • Workout A: Upper Body, Lower Body, HIIT Cardio (15 m)Printer and Fax
  • Workout B: Abs, HIIT Cardio (11 m), Distance Cardio (20 m)
  • Workout A: Upper Body, Lower Body, HIIT Cardio (15 m)
  • OFF
  • Workout B: Repeat
  • Workout A: Repeat
  • Workout B: Repeat
  • OFF


Workout A — Upper Body, Lower Body, HIIT 15


*Click each exercise name for a video demo and additional info.


1. Swiss Ball Chest Press

Protocol: 3 sets, 12 reps

Target Muscle(s): Chest, Core

Make sure that your upper back is firmly on the ball with a flat, tight core. The top of the ball should sit in between your shoulder blades. Stabilize your abs throughout and don’t let the ball roll.


2. Dumbbell Clean & Press

Protocol: 3 sets, 10 reps

Primary Muscle(s): Shoulders, Core

Dip down into a half squat with the dumbbells along the side of your legs. Powerfully ascend, rotate your shoulders, and pull the dumbbells up to shoulder height. Finish the press by explosively pressing the dumbbells overhead.

Make sure that your abs remain tight and your back stays straight throughout — resist the urge to bend backwards.


3. Barbell Lunges

Protocol: 3 sets, 10 reps per leg

Primary Muscle(s): Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Core

Maintain a tight core, flat back, and strong posture throughout. Initiate the movement by taking one step back and stop just before your knee hits the floor. Your front quad should be parallel with the ground. Powerfully ascend and repeat for the opposite leg.

You can find our full write-up on barbell lunges here.


4. Bent Over Barbell Row

Protocol: 3 sets, 12 reps

Primary Muscle(s): Back, Biceps, Core

Bend at the waist so that your torso sits at 60º. Maintain strong posture, tighten your abs, and keep your back straight throughout.

Slowly pull the barbell in to the center of your stomach, hold the contraction for 1 second, and lower back down to start.


5. Front Squats

Protocol: 3 sets, 15 reps

Primary Muscle(s): Quads, Glutes, Core

Rest a barbell on top of your shoulders, cross your arms, and secure the bar in place. Your elbows should remain at shoulder height or above throughout the entire movement.

With your core tight, shoulders back, and lower back pinched, drop down so that your butt is at-or-slightly-below parallel. Powerfully explode up to start and repeat.


6. Push Up with Torso Rotation

Protocol: 3 sets, 10 push ups + 10 raises/side

Primary Muscle(s): Chest, Lateral Deltoids, Core

Assume push up position (A). Do one push up (B), brace your core, and powerfully torque your stomach so that your chest opens up and your arm shoots overhead into a full extension.

Hold at the top for 1 second, return back to point A, and repeat the twist & raise for the opposite arm. Complete 10 push ups and 10 raises per side, per set.


7. Standing Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension

Protocol: 2 sets, 12 reps

Primary Muscle(s): Triceps, Core

Leave a slight bend in your knees and maintain a strong core. Place your hands on the underside of a dumbbell and raise it overhead. Slowly lower the dumbbell down until your forearms are parallel with the floor, and without bending your wrists, powerfully press the dumbbell overhead.

Squeeze your triceps at the top for 1 second; repeat.


8. One Arm Dumbbell Row

Protocol: 2 sets, 12 reps per side

Primary Muscle(s): Back, Biceps, Lats

Place your left knee and left arm on a bench so that your body forms a flat bridge; don’t let your lower back sink. Tighten your core and powerfully pull a dumbbell upwards until it’s slightly higher than your torso — do NOT rotate; keep your back flat.

Hold the contraction for 1 second, lower to a full extension, and repeat.



9. Pull ups/Assisted Pull ups

Protocol: 1 set, as many as possible

Primary Muscle(s): Back, Lats

Complete as many pull ups as possible, or assisted pull ups if you’re unable to do more than 5 regular pull ups. Make sure to draw your shoulders back and pull upward until your chest hits the bar.


10. Swiss Ball Decline Push ups

Protocol: 2 sets, as many as possible

Primary Muscle(s): Chest, Triceps

Place your shins on a Swiss ball, brace your core, and assume push up position. Without letting the ball move, complete a set of push ups until failure.

Rest and repeat for a second set.

siss ball push up

HIIT Cardio – 15 Minutes

Really intense HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) allows the body to access deep, stubborn fat stores that are difficult to burn off. Do it after an intense weight-lifting session and it’ll zap fat at an unparalleled level.

For this version of HIIT cardio, use a 2:1 rest-to-work ratio on a treadmill.

1. Warm-up: walk 2 minutes on a treadmill (~3 MPH)
2. Interval 1: 45 second sprint. Sprint speed is going to vary on a person-by-person basis, but typically it’ll range from 9-13 MPH. Choose a level that’s intense and makes you run HARD, but at the same time make sure it’s safe. Gradually work your way up over time.
3. 90 second walking rest interval (~3MPH)
4. Interval 2: 45 second sprint
5. 90 second walking rest interval (~3MPH)
6. Repeat 3 more intervals (5 total)
7. Cool-down: walk 2 minutes (~2.5 MPH)



Workout B — Abs, HIIT 11, Distance Cardio 20

tumblr_m6pomriHt71rar0uuo1_500 (1)

*Click each exercise name for a video demo and additional info.


1. Hanging Knee Raises

Protocol: 2 sets, 10 reps center + 5/side

Primary Muscle(s): Lower Abs, Obliques, Rectus Abdominis

Start in a dead hang from a pull up bar. Keep your back straight, contract your lats and lower abs, and crunch your knees upwards into your chest.

Hold the contraction for .5 seconds and lower. Complete 10 reps down the center and 5 per side, per set


2. Mason Twists

Protocol: 3 sets, 45 seconds

Primary Muscle(s): Obliques

Sit firmly on your butt, bend your knees, and lower your torso into a V position (top position on the right). While bracing your abs, powerfully twist your torso from side to side, tapping the medicine ball/kettlebell to the floor on either side.

Do not drop your legs or torso during the motion; your arms should remain bent throughout as if they’re in a half-curl position.

Kettlebell Workout 3.indd

3. Swiss Ball Jackknives

Protocol: 3 sets, 10 center + 8/side

Primary Muscle(s): Lower Abs, Obliques, Tranverse Abdominis, Rectus Abdominis

Assume push up position with your shins on a Swiss ball. Tighten your abs, keep your back flat, and contract your lower abs, rolling the ball inwards.

Hold the contraction for .5 seconds and extend back out to start. After doing 10 down the center, complete 8 per side to shred the obliques.

swiss-ball-jackknife (1)

4. Cable Crunches

Protocol: 3 sets, 15 reps

Primary Muscle(s): Rectus Abdominis

Set up a cable station with a triceps rope and sit on your knees so that they’re spread out wider than shoulder width. With your torso at 75º, hold the rope on either side of your head and slowly crunch down into your belly button. Hold the contraction for 1 second and slowly return up to a full extension.

You can find our full write-up of cable crunches here.


5. Decline Medicine Ball Crunches

Protocol: 2 sets, 20 reps

Primary Muscle(s): Rectus Abdominis

Grab a medicine ball and lie on a decline bench. Hold the ball in front of your chest, contract your core, and powerfully ascend, extending your arms overhead into a full extension.

Maintain a straight back throughout. Slowly return to start and repeat.


6. Single Arm Planks

Protocol: 3 sets, 60 seconds per set

Primary Muscle(s): Transverse Abdominis

Assume regular plank position. Without rotating your torso or slumping, brace your core and raise one arm straight out in front of your face. Hold for 15 seconds, or as long as possible, and return to start. Continue to alternate arms for a total of 60 seconds.



7. Ab V Holds

Protocol: 2 sets, 45 seconds

Primary Muscle(s): Transverse Abdominis

Brace your core and raise your legs & torso to form a “V.” Without slumping, maintain a contraction in your core and hold for 45 seconds.



HIIT Cardio – 11 Minutes

1. Warm-up: walk 1 minute on a treadmill (~3 MPH)
2. Interval 1: 45 second sprint. Sprint speed is going to vary on a person-by-person basis, but typically it’ll range from 9-13 MPH. Choose a level that’s intense and makes you run HARD, but at the same time make sure it’s safe. Gradually work your way up over time.
3. 90 second walking rest interval (~3MPH)
4. Interval 2: 45 second sprint
5. 90 second walking rest interval (~3MPH)
6. Repeat 2 more intervals (4 total)
7. Cool-down: walk 1 minute (~2.5 MPH)


Distance Cardio – 20 Minutes

Pick your favorite cardio method — or multiple methods to form a circuit — and perform at moderate intensity for 20 minutes. Running outside, swimming, biking, or using the treadmill/elliptical/stair climber/arc trainer/stationary bike, etc. are just a few viable options.


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Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
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