Saturday 22 October 2016

30 Fit Days with Siobhan Byrne: Sculpting your body with cardio and weight training

In the second week of our 30 Fit Days challenge, Siobhan Byrne explains how to get that lean, athletic look by striking the right balance between exercise and muscle toning

Published 11/01/2016 | 02:30

Siobhan Byrne advises on how to get the lean, sculpted look.
Siobhan Byrne advises on how to get the lean, sculpted look.
Side to side squat 1
Side to side squat 2
Side to side squat 3
Split squats 1
Split squat 1
Split squat 2
Alternating hamstring curls with sliders 1
Alternating hamstring curls with sliders 2
Alternating hamstring curls with sliders 3
Side plank reach 1
Side plank reach 2
Side plank reach 3
Mountain climber 1
Mountain climber 2
Mountain climber 3

Welcome back to 30 Fit Days. I hope you all got on well last week. This will be our second workout. This week we are going to be talking about the difference between strength training and cardio.

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If you follow my articles you will know I'm a lover of all things strength-training related for a few reasons. I love how it sculpts and shapes the body and the stronger and more advanced you get in your training programme, the more you can really push your sets and get a great workout.

However, it is important to give our muscles some time to rest and recover, which can be where cardio on alternating days can be great. Whether your idea of cardio is a brisk walk, a light run, a sprint or cycle, it can be a great way to keep active and allow your body to recover before your next strength training session.

The main difference between strength training and cardio is strength training strengthens ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints, helps prevent osteoperosis, improves mobility. This is a great way to really sculpt the body and get that lean look you have always desired once done in conjuction with a healthy balanced diet.


Don't forget to include upto 1.5 - 2 litres of water per day.

Second workout

Many people think hours on end on the treadmill will be the answer for a lean, toned look, when, in fact, too much cardio can burn muscle and prevent you from getting a lean, athletic look.

Remember, one of the key differences between cardio and strength training is that cardio burns calories while you are doing it, however, strength training helps burn calories for several hours afterwards. Where cardio really comes into its own is it helps circulate the blood more efficiently throughout the body, making your everyday activities seem easier over time.

Cardio improves your lower resting heart rate, which improves overall health and helps prevent common diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stress, so it is definitely worth including into your fitness regime.

30 fit days: Week no 2

Side-to-side squat

1/ Start with your feet no more than hip-width apart and squat back and down.

2/ With your arms raised as you return to start position, take a step out to one side leaving the trailing leg where it is.

3/ Squat again and repeat alternating legs.

Split squats

1/ Stand upright with your feet split from back to front.

2/ Lower your body down towards the ground like a lunge position.

3/ Push off the front foot and return to the start position and then repeat all reps on one side before changing sides.

Alternating Hamstring Curls with Sliders

1/ Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the sliders on the floor, and arms and hands by your side.

2/ Bridge your hips up, then extend one foot out keeping your hips bridged.

3/ Then return the foot back to start position. Repeat the same movement on opposite leg.

• If you don't have sliders at home you can use cloths on a tiled or wooden floor. When using sliders or cloths for the first time take it easy and find the extension and reach that you are comfortable with without overextending and loosing your form.

Mountain climbers

1/ Start with feet on the floor and two hands on the ground. Make sure your back is flat with your core engaged.

2/ Slowly bring one knee up to the chest, then return back to start position.

3/ Repeat with opposite leg. This is one rep.

Side plank reach

1/ Start by lying on your side, one foot on top of the other and on the elbow with your hand on the ground.

2/ Using your free arm twist and reach under the body.

3/ Then extend your arm straight to the ceiling and repeat 10 reps before changing sides.

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