“Any day is the best day to work out.”
A trainer told me that once, and I get the sentiment — any time you can actually will yourself to exercise is the ideal time to go to the gym.
But if we’re talking hard facts, then the best day to work out is Tuesday. According to a ClassPass nationwide survey of nearly 21 million workout reservations, no matter who you are or where you live in the country, Tuesday is the most popular day of the week to exercise — the day you actually are willing yourself to sweat.
Psychologically and physiologically, there are plenty of good reasons for that, says exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer Michelle Lovitt. “On Monday, people are generally sluggish, and recovering from lack of sleep or overindulgences during the weekend,” she says. “They go through the day’s activities lacking motivation.” Which means leg day or a nice morning jog or those Tabata intervals you swore you would do aren’t happening. But thanks to a bit of healthy remorse, you’re also likely to spend Monday ordering salads, chugging water, and generally atoning for the weekend’s sins. “Sleep is typically better on Mondays than on Sundays (when we’re anticipating the upcoming week), and our nutrition and hydration are better too — all of that leads to a more energetic and excited psyche,” she says. Presto, wake up Tuesday morning, and your will to work out is at its highest of the week.
With peak energy, hydration, and nutrition, “this also means workouts can be more focused and intense,” Lovitt says. That means boring, vanilla Tuesdays should be your most grueling training sessions.
We’ve got just the one for you here. It’s an intense, total-body, and equipment-free routine that blends wind-sucking cardio and explosive strength moves to melt fat and build muscle. And it only takes 30 minutes. Cue it up, any given Tuesday.
The Best Damn Tuesday Workout
Perform each segment of the routine below in succession, resting as little as possible between segments.
Do three rounds of the following exercises without pausing between rounds.
· 25 jumping jacks
· 30 seconds high knees / 30 seconds butt kicks
· 25 walking lunges
· 10 push-ups
· 10 air squats (pause for two seconds at the bottom)
Strength Part 1: 10-minute Push-Pull EMOM
Find a pull-up bar (or any place you can perform a pull-up) and call up the timer on your phone. Do the following three moves Every Minute On the Minute — an EMOM — using the remainder of the minute as rest. For the pull-ups, if you want (or need) to switch to a chin-up grip half-way through the 10 minutes, do it.
· three pull-ups
· five push-ups
· eight plank hip taps (get into plank position on your forearms, and keeping your back flat and abs engaged, tap one hip to the ground, then the other)
On a track or any straightaway, sprint for 100 meters, then walk back to your starting line. (If you’re on a treadmill, gradually increase the machine’s speed to your max sprint pace; once it actually hits that speed, sprint for at least 15 seconds. Toggle the speed down and recover with a walk for 30 seconds.) Repeat the 100m spring/walk combo for a total of 10 sprints.
Strength Part 2: Squat & Lunge Burnout
SQUATS: For one minute, perform air squats at a steady clip (you’re aiming for 40 or more in the minute). For the second minute, do slo-mo air squats — you’re taking at least five seconds to descend down, and five second to rise back up (that means you shouldn’t get more than 6 reps). For the third and final minute, do jump squats, exploding out of your heels to jump as high as you can, then landing with soft knees to immediately squat down into the next rep (your goal: 30 or more).
Now rest for two minutes, shaking out your legs.
LUNGES: For one minute, perform backward standing lunges on each leg at a steady clip (you’re aiming for 30 or more total). For the second minute, do slo-mo forward lunges — taking at least five seconds to descend down into the lunge, and five seconds to rise back up (so you shouldn't get more than three reps for each leg). For the third and final minute, do jumping lunges, exploding out of your heels to jump up as high as you can, scissoring your legs in midair, and landing with your opposite leg forward; immediately explode back up for the next rep (your goal: 25 or more).