April 30-Day Workout

Time to Turn it Up

It’s time to turn things up. 

You know it, too. For much of 2020, many of us were limited in our training, thanks to equipment shortages and coronavirus gym lockdowns. But gradually, much of that has shifted and that’s created new workout options whether you’re training from home or you’re back in the gym. 

Last month, we showed you how to jumpstart your fitness journey after that rough 2020. But this month, it’s time to take things up a notch. What does that mean? It means starting to load your body and push it beyond the basics. Is it time to max out on the bench press? Maybe not quite yet, but you can get plenty of work done and start pushing for those gains with this workout. 

The key: How you load. If you have a full rack of dumbbells available for this workout, don’t be afraid to use them. Aim to add at least 5 pounds on your final set of each superset. Yes, it’ll be hard and yes you may struggle with your reps. But fight to maintain your form and fight through it; this is how you’ll be able to make gains. 

DIRECTIONS: Do this workout 4 times a week. On days you don’t do this workout, aim to go for a 20-minute run, walk, or bike ride. Warm up for each workout with 1 minute each of planks, reverse lunges, and jumping jacks. Then jump into the action. You’ll do 3 supersets in this workout. Rest 30 seconds between each sets. Rest 90 seconds between each pairing. 

Superset 1

Romanian Deadlift to Alternating Row

Stand holding dumbbells at your sides, core and glutes tight. Keeping your core tight and the dumbbells close to your shins, push your butt back and lower your torso to the ground. Stop lowering when your torso is parallel to the ground, or when you feel your hamstrings start to tighten, whichever comes first. Pause, and tighten your core. Row the left dumbbell to your left ribcage. Lower. Repeat on the right side. That’s 1 rep. Do 12 reps the first set, then 8 reps in each of the next 3 sets. 

Incline Eccentric-focused Dumbbell Press

Set a bench to a 30-degree incline, then lie with your back on it, holding dumbbells directly over your shoulders. Tighten your core. Bend at the knees and shoulders, lowering the dumbbells to your chest. Take 4 seconds to do this, lowering slowly. Press back up. That’s 1 rep; do 4 sets of 10.

Superset 2

3-second Paused Goblet Squat

Stand holding a dumbbell at your chest, core and glutes tight, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees and hips, lowering your torso until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Pause for 3 seconds, then press back up. That’s 1 rep; do 12 reps in the first set. Then do 10 reps in the next set, and 8 reps in the final 2 sets. 

Mixed-rack Alternating Reverse Lunge

Stand holding a dumbbell overhead in your right arm, and a dumbbell at your side in your left arm, core tight. Step back into a reverse lunge with your left leg; stand back up. Step into a reverse lunge with your right leg; stand back up. That’s 1 rep; do 4 sets of 10. 

Superset 3

Chin-up Hold

Hang from a pull-up bar using an underhand grip. Tighten your core and pull your chest up as high as you can. Hold for 30 seconds. Struggling? Come down from the bar, take a breath, and pull yourself up again; it’s OK if you don’t get all 30 seconds at once. The goal is to accumulate 30 total seconds. Do 3 sets. 

Hollow Rock

Lie on your back, legs and arms straight. Press your lower back into the ground. Tighten your abs, lifting your thighs an inch off the ground. Tighten your abs some more, lifting your shoulder blades an inch. Rock your legs a bit to gain some momentum. Rock back and forth, maintaining core tightness. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 20.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Fitness Director for Men’s Health Magazine and CSCS trainer -

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He's logged training time with NFL and track athletes, and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men's Health in 2017, he served as a sports and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.