For those of you who lost count, I started getting serious about my weight when I hit 200 lbs. It's been a long and arduous trek getting to my goal weight, with many stops and starts. Oddly enough, I lose the most weight when I am unemployed, I'm still trying to figure that one out.
Pick a form of cardio you can do for two minutes at an all-out pace. Rich's preferred activity? Jumping rope. It's an incredibly effective cardiovascular workout that can be done almost anywhere, plus it's a killer calorie burner (according to the National Institutes of Health, jumping rope can burn up to 750 calories per hour). It also helps the routine move fluidly—it's faster and easier to drop the rope and hit the mat than wait for the treadmill to come to a complete stop, walk back over to your mat, and so on. But if jumping rope isn't your thing, feel free to sub in any heart-pumping activity (running, spinning, elliptical).
Do this workout three days a week on alternating days: Start with a two-minute cardio interval (go as fast as you can), then immediately do the first two Pilates exercises as instructed. Hop back up (no resting!) and bang out a second cardio interval. Follow with the third and fourth Pilates moves. Finish with two more minutes of an all-out cardio interval and then complete the final two Pilates exercises.
The first time you do the workout, hold your jump rope (you can also use a dog leash or a towel) as you work your way through the Pilates exercises; gripping the stretched rope encourages better posture and engages your lat muscles for even better total-body toning. After two or three workouts, you can make the routine harder by swapping the rope for light dumbbells (try three to five pounds) for extra resistance.
Do you have any favorite at-home workouts?