Every guy deserves a vacation -- even from the gym. While a short break from your normal routine won't make your gains completely disappear, the first workout after time away can be hellacious. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be. We reached out to Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., creator of Turbulence Training, for the best routine to hit the ground running again. His answer: A quick routine that consists of body-weight moves and light weights like the circuit below.

It'll get your heart pumping and your muscles burning, without the next-day soreness, he explains. After all, there’s nothing worse than lifting too heavy after a break, and then skipping the gym the next day because you’re too sore. Plus, moves that you could crank out rep after rep before vacation -- like the pushup -- may not seem as easy this time around. And that's all the motivation you’ll need to kickstart your workout plan again. (Beat your workout plateaus with this 5-move Total-Body Muscle Assault.)

DO THIS
Performing the following six exercises in order, resting 15 seconds between moves. That's one round. Rest for one to two minutes, and then perform one more round.

Pushup
Assume a pushup position, with your arms straight and hands below and slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend at your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, and push your body back up. That’s one rep. Perform as many as you can and finish 1 rep short of failure.

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We found 3 simple tricks to perfect your form and protect your shoulders: The Best Way to Do Pushups.

Inverted Row
Using an overhand, shoulder-width grip, grab a bar that’s been secured at about waist height. Hang with your arms completely straight, hands positioned directly above your shoulders, and heels touching the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head. Pull your shoulder blades back, and continue to pull with your arms to lift your chest to the bar. Pause, and lower your body back to the starting position. That's one rep. Perform as many as you can and finish 1 rep short of failure.

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Body-Weight Squat
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes forward. Push your hips back as if you’re about to sit in a chair, and lower your body. Pause, and then push back up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Perform 30 reps.

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Dumbbell Single-Arm Row
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, and place your left hand on a bench. Lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbell hang at arm's length from your shoulder. Pull the dumbbell to the side of your chest. Pause, and return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 8 reps with one arm, then switch.

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Dumbbell Bench Press
Lie on a bench holding a pair of dumbbells with your arms straight above your chest, palms facing forward. Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest, and then push the weights back up to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Do 8 reps with a weight you normally do 12 times.

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Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Take a long step back with your left foot so your left knee nearly touches the floor. Push back up and repeat. Do all your reps with your left leg, and rest before repeating the move with your right leg. Do 1 set of 8 reps per side with a weight you normally do 12 times.

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Crawling probably isn't part of your regular core routine, but it should be. "The bear crawl strengthens your midsection and improves your ability to stabilize your spine," says Sean De Wispelaere, a trainer for Men's Health Thrive in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "This allows you to lift more weight and boost your athletic performance. Crunches alone can't do that."

Think of the bear crawl like a traveling plank. You have to maintain the same rigid, neutral torso you would while in a plank position, but now you're moving forward, backward, and side-to-side. As your arms and legs move, the more than two dozen muscles in your core must resist the urge to rotate and flex, says De Wispelaere. If you do this often enough, you'll soon notice more stability, strength, and power in everything you do -- plus a more chiseled middle. (Reveal the abs you never knew you had with the 6 Moves for a Six-Pack.)

Ready to try it for yourself? Start with this simple -- but core-crushing -- bear crawl circuit. Travel 10 yards to your right and then 10 yards to your left. Rest and repeat. Watch the video below to see how to perform the move with perfect form.

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Think you have the pushup down? Think again. Here are 5 Body-Weight Exercises You're Doing Wrong.

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The chinup is one of the best moves you can do for your upper body. "It strengthens your biceps, back, shoulders, and core with every rep," says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., co-founder of Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. "And because it's a body-weight move, it's a great indicator of how strong you are for your height and weight."

The exercise isn't a cakewalk, though. Because of this, you'll find a big gap between the guys who can crank out rep after rep and the ones that avoid the chinup bar like it's a crazy ex-girlfriend. (Think you have the pushup down? Think again. Here are 5 Body-Weight Exercises You're Doing Wrong.)

So where do you fall? Check out the numbers below to find out how many reps the average guy can do in your weight range and test yourself. The good news: If you conk out early, Gentilcore has offered up the tips and training strategies you need to improve quickly.

THE AVERAGE GUY’S CHINUP COUNT

Weight Total
140-159 8-12
160-179 7-10
180-200 3-5
200+ 1-3



Test Yourself
Hang at arm's length from a chinup bar using an underhand, shoulder-width grip. This is the starting position. Now pull your chest to the bar keeping your body straight the entire time. Bring your chest to the bar, pulling your upper arms down forcefully and squeezing your shoulder blades together. (You can Bolster Your Shoulders, put your strength to the test--and grow bigger--with the ultimate overhead exercise.)

Pause, and then take 2 seconds to lower yourself back to a dead hang. Do as many as you can with proper form.
 (Watch the video below to make sure you're perfecting the move.)

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Did you perform only 1 or 2 reps? Then start with the band-assisted chinup and the negative chinup. The assisted chinup perfects your form, while the negative chinup increases your pulling strength, says Gentilcore.

Band-Assisted Chinup: Loop the band around a chinup bar, and then pull it through the other end of the band. Cinch it tightly to the bar. Place one knee in the loop of the band, and hang at arm's length using a shoulder-width, underhand grip. Now perform a chinup. Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Negative Chinup: Stand on a box or bench beneath a chinup bar. Grab the bar with a shoulder-width, underhand grip. Jump up, pulling your chest to the bar. Hold the top position for 2 seconds, and then take 6 to 10 seconds to lower yourself until your feet touch the box. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps.

Redesign your upper body workout with this three-move chest and shoulder blasting exercise.

Go Beyond Average
Want to blow your chinup max out of the water? "Focus on form instead of taxing your nervous system and burning out," says Gentilcore.

DO THIS: Say your max chinup count is 6. Shoot for doing sets of 3 reps (half of your max chinup count) with perfect form throughout the day, says Gentilcore. (It helps if you have a pullup bar at home or can get in the gym in the morning and evening.) Shoot for 3 to 5 sets each day--one set in the morning, one at lunch, one before bed, and others when you have a few extra minutes. By the end of the day you’ll have at least doubled the amount of efficient chinups you can do each day, and after a month your original max should grow by at least 50 percent or double as the move becomes easier, says Gentilcore. Once you reach a new max, cut those reps in half and repeat the process.

Try these 5 Secrets to a Perfect Workout and you'll never be held back in the gym again!

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Ripped abs are reason enough to add some core moves to your routine. But a strong torso can also give you the foundation you need to lift more weight with less risk of injury. "Crunches alone won't get the job done, though," says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., author of The IMPACT! Body Plan." You need to train the two dozen muscles between your hips and shoulders the way they function."

That means doing moves that bend and stabilize your core. The exercises in this weekend's challenge -- the running man, side ups, plank to pushup, and cross-body mountain climbers -- do both of those things. "They'll test your core from every angle," Durkin says. "The better you are at these, the stronger you'll be in everything else you do." (Think you have the pushup down? Think again. Here are 5 Body-Weight Exercises You're Doing Wrong.)

Here's how it works: Grab a stopwatch. Perform 20 reps of each exercise in the following order: running man, sideup (right side), plank to pushup, sideup (left side), and cross-body mountain climber. Todd's time, and your goal: 1 minute and 48 seconds. Let us know your score in the comments below.

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We found 3 simple tricks to perfect your form and protect your shoulders: The Best Way to Do Pushups.

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When it comes to revving your metabolism, one move reigns king. "The squat burns more calories per rep than almost any other exercise because it hits a lot of muscles, particularly big ones like you glutes, hamstrings, and quads," says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., author of The IMPACT! Body Plan. This weekend, push your calorie-burning furnace into overdrive with Durkin's sinister squat and jump rope challenge. (Try these 5 Secrets to a Perfect Workout and you'll never be held back in the gym again!)

Here's how it works: Start with a descending squat ladder. Do 10 goblet squat to presses. When you finish, immediately drop the dumbbell and perform 10 bodyweight jump squats. Next, perform nine goblet squat to presses followed by nine bodyweight jump squats. Continue to decrease the number of reps by one every round. Your last round of squats should consist of one goblet squat to press and one jump squat. End the challenge with 100 rope jumps. Do them as fast as possible to supercharge your metabolism for hours after you're done. (Want to get the most from your workout? Then take the advice of this The Fitness Rule You Must Follow.)

Ready to try it? Durkin completed this challenge in 4 minutes and 17 seconds. Let us know if you beat his score in the comments below.

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Do these Fat-Blasting Cardio Combos just once, and you'll rethink cardio forever.

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One sentence you aren't likely to hear: "Those crunches were so much fun!"

In fact, you'll rarely hear that kind of declaration with any exercise. Which is too bad, for plenty of reasons.

But we've found three new core exercises that are indeed fun. Yes, they work your abs. Yes, they're effective. (Super-effective, actually.) And yes, they're hard. Yet despite this last concession, people absolutely love them.

How about you? Check out these awesome moves -- and have a blast, blasting your abs.

Mountain Climber with Feet on the Wall
If you're looking for ways to keep your ab workout challenging (and interesting!), then you must try the "mountain climber with feet against a wall." Yes, that's a mouthful. But this move--from fitness expert BJ Gaddour, owner of StreamFit.com--is without a doubt one of the coolest new core exercises we've seen in a while. It'll fry your abs, but it also works your shoulders and glutes. So much so, that it’ll help improve your performance at all the other exercises in your workout. “There’s no better way to train the weak spots that are holding you back in every other lift,” says Gaddour. (You can Bolster Your Shoulders, put your strength to the test--and grow bigger--with the ultimate overhead exercise.)

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Kettlebell Figure 8
The kettlebell figure 8 looks more like a kid’s game than it does a cutting-edge core exercise. But make no mistake: It’s a terrific way to train the muscles that stabilize your spine, says David Jack, director of TeamWorks Fitness in Acton, Massachusetts. And because you’re moving the weight in a figure-8 around your body, you work those core muscles from every angle. Plus, this exercise also challenges your thighs and shoulders, helping you build a healthier total-body. (Build muscle and fry fat all over with this killer Total-Body Kettlebell Workout.)

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Plank Walkup with Dumbbell Drag
This exercise is courtesy of sandbag-training expert Josh Henkin and Men’s Health adviser Rachel Cosgrove, creator of the Men’s Health Spartacus Workout Series (our legendary fat-blasting boot camp). The plank walkup with dumbbell drag is a new--and much more fun!--version of the classic plank. What makes it so novel and, more importantly, so effective? While in a plank position, it requires you to drag a dumbbell from one side of your body to another. "The plank exercise is about keeping your core perfectly stable," says Cosgrove. "Adding the dumbbell drag means that you have to still maintain core stability while you move a load back and forth, making it an extremely challenging version of the plank." (To make it even harder, you can use a sandbag instead of a dumbbell.)

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One of the most intriguing prospects in the NBA draft is 18-year-old Dante Exum. He is a 6-6 point guard from Australia, who had considered playing college basketball in the United States last season but opted to stay home. Although he was recruited by traditional powerhouse programs such as Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina, Exum remains largely a mystery to fans. In preparation for the draft, Exum did some cutting-edge testing of his physical and mental capabilities with Red Bull. This included wearing brain-monitoring sensors to gauge how he responds to different situations. Here's a more detailed look:

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Los Angeles Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout is the first baseball player since Ken Griffey Jr., to get a personal shoe designed by Nike. As part of the unveiling, Nike offered media members a chance to do a workout run by Trout's offseason trainer, Dan Richter.

ThePostGame, obviously knowing a thing or two about this intern's decorated junior varsity cross-country career, tapped me for the exercise. I'm still young enough to get carded (at R-rated movies, that is), and Trout himself told me that I look fit.

But truth be told, I'm a long way from my JV running and seventh-grade baseball heydays (season stat-line: 0-for-3 with five or six walks -- Billy Beane should have scouted me for that astounding OBP), so I was a little apprehensive about the prospect of doing Trout’s workout. ThePostGame's executive producer, Jeremy Berg, had gone through Kobe Bryant's regimen a few years earlier at a similar Nike event and claimed it left him sore for three weeks.

Even more intimidating was the idea of competing against a bunch of other reporters -- you know, the people who are always criticizing the world's best athletes for not running fast enough or hitting enough home runs. These people, I thought, must be at the peak of Herculean fitness and power.

Thankfully, Richter took it easy and led us through what must have been a tenth of Trout's real workout. I also felt an ego boost from running three sprints in 55 seconds when Trout does them in a minute. (What? He finishes six sprints in a minute. OK, let's ignore that irrelevant little detail.)

I touched the top of the Cal State Fullerton fence, and I'm sure that keeping track of a flying baseball while angling my body and timing the leap perfectly are pretty simple next steps to robbing a batter of a home run. We also went through other routine drills like shuffling and planking, which I successfully completed.

I bet Trout thinks he's really impressive with his own shoe and a fancy name for it like "Vapor." He and his corporate wardrobe still have nothing on my T-shirt from high school Senior Day. And sure, Trout has tallied more Wins Above Replacement (WAR) than any player in MLB history through his age-21 season, but perhaps he isn't familar with this concept.

Trout is two years older than I am, so maybe I still have enough time to develop the requisite strength, bat speed, pitch recognition, hops, endurance, agility, maturity and baseball IQ to become his equal on the diamond.

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We polled Men's Health readers on the body parts they want to work the most, and two areas topped the list: abs and arms. To give you what you want, we turned to BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S. -- one of the top metabolic conditioning coaches in the world -- to create a workout that smokes your upper body. (You can Bolster Your Shoulders, put your strength to the test--and grow bigger--with the ultimate overhead exercise.)

He came back to us with a routine that consists of the single-arm dumbbell curl and press. Sure, it's only one move, but it's a brutal one. "It smokes your biceps, upper chest, traps, upper back, and triceps," says Gaddour, "and since you're only holding a dumbbell in one hand, your abs have to fight to stay steady as the weight pulls you to the side." (Boost your gains by downsizing your workout with The One Dumbbell Workout.)

It sounds simple enough, but fair warning: It won't be easy. That's because you'll perform 10 different variations of the move for 10 minutes straight. Each variation will challenge your arms and abs in a new way, so your muscles never know what's coming next.

"You'll spend almost the entire 10 minutes working," says Gaddour. "It's intense, but that training density increases your production of growth hormone, promoting fat loss and muscle building, and cranking up your metabolism to an insane level." Think your arms and abs are ready for the attack?

Watch the video below, and follow along as Gaddour takes you through the workout.

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And if you want more quick fat-burning routines like the Arms and Abs Assault, check out 10-Minute Torchers, the new DVD set from Men's Health. You can build your own workouts from a menu of 12 routines. Each one is only 10 minutes long, but they're all lung-busting challenges. The more of them you do in a row, the hotter your metabolic fire will burn.

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You learned how to tie your shoes sometime around kindergarten. But that doesn't mean it's the best bind for your running sneakers. (These 14 awesome kicks will help you conquer the outdoors this summer. Check out our 2014 Running Shoe Guide.)

In fact, if you've ever tripped over a rogue lace or found yourself retying your shoes during a run, you're probably lacing up all wrong. There's a better way to do it, according to Jeff Dengate, Runner's World shoes and gear editor. It's called the reef knot, and it only gets tighter as you run. (Read about these 5 common running shoe claims before buying your next pair.)

Check out the technique in the video below, and remember that laces are laces, so it will work on any kind of shoe that requires tying.

Be strong, energetic, and healthy like you were at 25!

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