Ask most trainers what muscles you should work to look great, and they’ll steer you back toward long-term fitness. Forget the mirror, they’ll say. Let’s work on your core. But Steve Zim, an L.A.-based trainer and author of 6 Weeks to a Hollywood Body, has an unusual expertise. His movie-star clients need beach physiques as much as overall fitness, and the secret is drop sets — working to failure in repeating sets of lighter and lighter weight, which forces your muscles to work harder in less time.
“We’re all about drop sets,” he says. “They won’t strengthen your lower back, but if you want to look cut, they’re phenomenal.” Toss these exercises into your routine and you’ll be photo-ready in no time.
How to perform drop sets: Start with a weight you can rep six times with perfect form. When your form fails, lighten by 5 or 10 pounds. Repeat, stopping when you reach a weight you can rep 20 times.