Eliminate "junk reps" in favor of serious muscle activation and calorie burn thanks to this 20-minute total-body workout

By Jaclyn Emerick
November 02, 2015

While you're sweating through your favorite barre DVD or CrossFit WOD, consider this: Certain muscles of yours may be holding back. Those glutes are not doing their part during plié pulses or bridges. Your abs are letting the hip flexors take over during sit-ups. The truth is, some of your major muscles have a tendency to tap out during exercises in which they should be starring, and that means many of your reps may be missing their target.

We enlisted Joe Holder, the Nike run coach and trainer who heads smart running program at 45 Grand, the brand's exclusive fitness studio. Holder has a term for the phenomenon of your muscles phoning it in: junk reps. "People tend to be concerned with the quantity or difficulty of moves rather than the quality," says Holder, who's also a certified women's fitness specialist. "But if you want exercise to deliver results faster, you need to focus on two game-changing words at the beginning of any session: muscle activation."

Ready to finally get the sleek physique you've been repping for? You won't even need a set of dumbbells! Just do Holder's super seven series, a compact total-body workout that takes just 30 minutes. Watch Holder demo the moves above, then get to it!