If you've been yearning for a body like Lady Gaga, Megan Fox, Katy Perry or Eva Mendes, take your workout cues from their personal trainer: Harley Pasternack. His 5-Factor Diet emphasizes using only five ingredients for five meals a day. The complementary 5-Factor Fitness plan features five sections that each total five minutes in a circuit-style workout. While the routines only take 25 minutes, when done five times a week, Pasternack promises that the challenging, non-stop lineup of exercises result in big changes in just five weeks.
Breaking it Down
Pasternack's routine attacks your body using exercises separated into five major sections. The first is a cardio warmup for five full minutes. This can include any cardio exercise of your choice, from jogging on a treadmill to jumping jacks. After the warmup come three strength-training sessions that feature free weights and body resistance for 30 repetitions each. The first concentrates on the lower body, the second targets the upper body and the third exercise isolates the core. This is followed, without a break, by 15 seconds of high-intensity cardio, like jumping rope. The three strength-training exercises are then repeated, followed by another 15 seconds of hardcore cardio, two more times as a circuit. Finish the workout with five more minutes of regular cardio.
The exercises featured in the circuit are simple and easy to customize to your ability. For instance, one of the exercises for the lower body is a dumbbell deadlift. Beginners can perform the basic deadlift, holding two dumbbells in an overhand grip and squatting with both legs. More advanced practitioners can opt to use one leg at a time, increasing the difficulty of the move. Similarly, during the core exercises, adding a medicine ball to a crunch increases the weight your abs pull up, ramping up the challenge of the move. For beginners who want to just get started, all you need is a mat and a pair of dumbbells to perform the 5-Factor workout.
The Basics of Circuit Training
By rotating different strength exercises and separating them with brief bouts of intense aerobic activity, the 5-Factor workout elevates your metabolism to turn you into a fat-burning machine. Not only can you burn more calories in 20 minutes through circuit training than an hour on an elliptical machine, the effect of this intense activity keeps your body burning calories for hours afterward. Circuit training that uses lots of different machines can be difficult to do in a gym, where there might be a wait, or at home, where you have limited space. But Pasternack's routine is designed for far less equipment that brings you the same fantastic results.
Stepping it Up
The 5-Factor workout is designed to initiate beginners to the program during an easier initial week of exercises and then steps up the difficulty every week. Starting as early as week two, the sets increase, the repetitions decrease and the weights get heavier. The intention with this is to fatigue muscles locally, which means pushing specific muscle groups to their limit for big change. This is more effective for muscle-building than doing the general calorie burning that occurs with exercises that use a lot of repetitions.
Meredith Berg received her B.F.A. in directing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Now living in Los Angeles, she works as a film and television writer, comic-book editor and director of plays and films. In addition, she loves tackling paleo recipes, workout routines and DIY projects.