By Jenna Anderson | Photography by Greg Lindstrom
A fter a winter with excessive snowfall, spring can’t come fast enough. Granted, right behind spring is summer, which means tank tops, swimsuits, and outdoor activities on a regular basis. Now, before you start to worry if you’ve overwintered, I have a great program for you that will help tighten and tone your body for whatever summer activity may be calling.

Keep in mind, as you tackle the Elite Eight, work at your own strength and conditioning. What’s hard for one person might be unreachable for another, so let yourself work into this. If you haven’t worked out all winter, ease into this complex series of exercises at about half speed for the first two weeks, adding in the remainder over the last four weeks. Yes, try to commit to six weeks to get the results you want.

Go all out. Don’t leave anything in the bucket at the end of the workout.

Here’s the fun part. Since you have eight minutes of exercise, you’re going to move through the program quickly and efficiently. Ideally, you’d like to have one weight that can be challenging for all the exercises, so that you’ll be able to work harder versus constantly changing weights.

Equipment A treadmill or spin bike, kettlebell, and weight plate.

1 Start off with a High Incline sprint at 5-8 percent grade or a High Incline Climb on a spin cycle. If you choose the cycle, you need to climb standing out of the saddle, grinding at 80 percent effort. Do it for two minutes.

2 Hop off your cardio equipment and grab your kettlebell. Now you’re going to do a Single Arm Kettlebell Squat to Press, with the opposite arm out in front. You’ll rack the kettlebell in front of the shoulder. Put the opposite arm straight out. You’ll squat (knees behind toes) and then stand up and press. Do one minute on each side for a total of two minutes.

3 No rest. Keep going! Switch to Kettlebell Swings, focusing on powering the movement through your hips and not lifting the kettlebell with your arms. Do it for two minutes. Tell me how many swings you managed!

4 Your final exercise with the kettlebell is a Squatting Figure 8. Remember to keep your hips back and your back in neutral spine. You should be able to see your toes at all times. Furthermore, you’re trying to get the hip crease almost in line with the knee or below. Don’t cheat this by hunching your back and dropping your chest. Get low into your squat. Do it for two minutes.

Phew, what a mad dash! Grab a drink, no more than 30 seconds. You’re halfway done — eight elite minutes down. Wipe the sweat off your brow and jump back on your cardio equipment.

5 Do a High Incline or Hard Climb for two minutes. Commit — you can finish this!

6 When you’re finished, hop off and grab your weight plate. We’re going to start once again with a Squat and Press. This time you’re going to squat and then press the plate over your head for two minutes.

7 Then you’re moving on to Plate Bent Over Rows. With hips hinged, moving back, and knees soft, your chest should be shooting straight to the floor. Initiate your row by squeezing your shoulder blades away from your ears and then drawing your elbows back and the plate toward your chest. Make sure your core is tight to keep your lower back safe. Do it for two minutes.

8 You’re going to finish on the floor with Plate Stutter Crunches. You’ll hold the plate over your shoulders, arm straight. Do a crunch, then go back to the floor, and do a full sit-up. Do it for — yes, you guessed it — two minutes.

Don’t worry if you remain lying on the floor wherever you happen to have finished. As hard as you’ve worked, that’s perfectly acceptable for a moment or two. Pair this with a healthy eating plan and eliminating processed foods, do it three to four times a week, and you’ll feel better before you know it. Look forward to hearing from you!

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