Friday 28 October 2016

30 Fit Days with Siobhan Byrne: Intervals - shock your body into burning more calories

In the third week of our 30 Fit Days challenge, our fitness guru looks at how to turn things up a notch and increase the cardio workout to work with bodyweight exercises and achieve the best results

Siobhan Byrne

Published 18/01/2016 | 02:30

Siobhan Byrne: intervals work because they shock the body.
Siobhan Byrne: intervals work because they shock the body.
Bowl of porridge
Rice cakes
Invest in a good non-stick oil to reduce your use of oil.
Curtsey lunge with calf raise 1
Curtsey lunge with calf raise 2
Curtsey lunge with calf raise 3
Floor dips 1
Floor dips 2
Shoulder press 1
Shoulder press 2
Squat thrust 1
Squat thrust 2
Squat thrust 2
V-sit up 1
V-sit up 2
Walkout push-up 1
Walkout push-up 2
Walkout push-up 3
Walkout push-up 4

Welcome back to 30 Fit Days. I hope you all got on well last week. This will be our third workout. This week we are talking about how you can increase your cardio to work with your bodyweight exercises to get the best results.

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By week three you should be getting a little more used to the training and the cardio that you started with. The exercises should start to become a little more achievable each week. It's now time to take things up a notch.

One of my favoured ways to achieve this, is by looking at doing intervals. Intervals work well because they shock the body and help it burn more calories then steady state cardio.

If you can only manage a light run, that is fine, go at your own pace steadily and slowly, picking it up as the weeks go on.

Intervals can be on all cardio equipment or outside running. If you struggle with impact on joints then hit the gym cardio equipment like cross trainers and bikes, as they may feel more comfortable for you.

A few weeks into training programmes is where sometimes people give up, remember to set yourself set times to train and make sure to keep those appointments.

It's easy to decide to miss it just once but, remember, consistency is the key and like with anything else if you don't persist you simply will not get the results you want to achieve.

Sample meals



Overnight oats topped with dessert spoonful of berries and a desert spoon of Greek yoghurt


Rice cake loaded with tomato, cucumber and a quarter of avocado


Homemade vegetable soup with torn chicken breast



Sliced apple with desert spoon of almond nut butter available from health food stores


Loaded chilli sweet potatoes.

Start by baking your sweet potato, when it is cooked spoon out the soft centre, add some homemade cooked turkey/beef chilli to the skins and cover with the mashed sweet potato and bake again for 15-20 mins.

Tip of the week


Invest in a good non-stick or stone pan for cooking foods.

Many people excessively use oils for pan cooking meats and even stir-fries, adding unnecessary amounts of calories and making meals a lot less healthy than you think.

I always use a dry pan and add a small amount of healthy oil, like extra virgin olive oil after cooking, if required.

Fats may play an important role in our diet but good oils like coconut, rapeseed and olive oil should be portion controlled just like any other healthy fat, such as nuts or avocado.

30 Fit Days Week no 3

Curtsey  lunge with calf raise

1/ Start by standing upright with feet hip-width apart.

2/ Step behind and across into a curtsy, lowering your body down towards the ground.

3/ Push off the front foot back to start position.

4/ Then come up onto toes into a calf raise, elevating your heels off the ground. Complete all reps on one side first before changing to the other side.

Walk out push-up

1/ Start by standing upright with your arms by your sides.

2/ Then bend forward at the waist putting your hands on the floor.

3/ Walk your hands out into push-up position.

4/ Complete a push-up, then walk hands back until you return to start position.

V sit-up

1/ Start by leaning back, balancing on your hands in a sitting position with your knees bent and your feet flat and slightly off the ground.

2/ Then simply lift your upper body towards the knees and raise your knees to your chest at the same time, coming into a V position.

3/ Return to start position then repeat.

Squat thrusts

1/ Start by going into a squat position with your hands on the ground.

2/ From there thrust both legs out and back to full extention then return to start position and repeat. Ensure that you keep your tummy tight and do not let the lower back dip when your legs are extended.

Shoulder press

1/ Start with feet and hands flat on the floor and hands shoulder-width apart and your body in a v shape with bottom towards the ceiling.

2/ Press down towards the floor keeping your chin tucked in tight. Your head should not touch the floor in this exercise.

Floor dips

1/ Start by sitting on the floor with your hands behind you, fingers pointing toward your feet and feet flat on the floor.

2/ Lift your hips off the ground so your weight is on your hands and on your feet.

3/ Dip down towards the ground bending at the elbows and then return to the start straight-arm position. Your glutes should not touch the ground throughout this exercise.

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