Friday 22 September 2017

Irish fitness coach Pat Divilly - 'How you can drop a jeans size in 21 days'

Take up top coach Pat Divilly's plan and give your 2017 a kick-start with better health, weight loss and improved sleep and energy

Fitness entrepreneur Pat Divilly
Fitness entrepreneur Pat Divilly
Follow our plan to drop a jean size in just three weeks
Write a diary
Push ups 2
Hip bridge
Hip bridge 2
Push ups 1
Plank
Lunge 1
Lunge 2
Burpee 2
Burpee 1
High knees
Overnight oats
Omelette muffins
Chicken stir fry
Cajun salmon
Curried cod
Turkey meatballs
Spanish meatballs

With a new year upon us many of us have set our health and wellness resolutions and sights on a happier and healthier 2017. Anything worthwhile in life takes effort and time so although you aren't going to completely transform your body in just three weeks you can give yourself a great kickstart back into health, weight loss, improved sleep and energy.

The plan I'm about to outline has helped people drop up to a stone in just 21 days; you can expect to drop a least a jeans size if you stick with the plan. Weight loss is always a result of improved overall health so that is the main focus of this plan. When a body is healthy it doesn't store excessive body fat.

Galway-based trainer and nutritionist Pat Divilly has a new book called Naked Paleo – Food Stripped Bare
Galway-based trainer and nutritionist Pat Divilly has a new book called Naked Paleo – Food Stripped Bare
Pat Divilly

Many people believe it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and with that in mind I'm going to stretch you for the next 21 days by encouraging you to form a magnitude of habits that will lead to a happier and healthier you.

The fitness industry is a minefield of information with conflicting ideas, plans and theories emerging every week. One of the struggles most people encounter is they start one plan but quickly become distracted by something else they read or see elsewhere. Within a few weeks they've jumped from one plan to the next countless times and haven't seen the results of any. Almost any training and nutrition plan will work but you must stay consistent and trust the process.

If you choose to take this 'drop a jeans size challenge' please commit fully to it for the 21 days and don't fall victim to shiny object syndrome and hop from one plan to the next! If you give this your full attention for the three weeks I promise you'll see a host of incredible health benefits - decreased bloating and improved digestion, improved focus and clarity, improved sleep and energy, and of course fat loss.

To me, our internal dialogue or mindset is key to attaining success in any area so before we start this program here are two main principles I'd like you to consider:

1. Are your goals YOUR goals?

We can often set goals for the sake of setting goals. It's the new year so it's what you are 'supposed' to do. So if you've set goals it's worth having a look and asking yourself 'why do I want this?'. Often the goals we set are just mimicking other people's and aren't authentic to us. A goal should be something that inspires you to grow as a person, not something that turns into a miserable slog. So how do you know if you are going after an authentic goal for you? If it's something you say you 'should' do it's probably to impress or validate yourself to someone else. A goal for 'you' will get you excited. There's a million ways to improve your health and fitness. Pick something that excites YOU and not something that you have to force yourself to commit to. Think about your reason for making a change. It should bring you inner satisfaction and pride.

2. Are you focused on the outcome or the process?

We live in a world where most people are seeking perfection... In rare cases this is powerful because it encourages people to constantly work on their skill or craft to get better every day in the pursuit of mastery... But for the majority chasing perfection leads to procrastination. Being obsessed on the outcome (six pack abs, weight loss, marathon day or other) but disinterested in the process (healthy recipes, training sessions, better lifestyle choice and other) is a sure fire way to stand still. If you want to achieve success with your health in 2017 you need to fall in love with the journey - start viewing every training session as an opportunity to get that little bit better. See every meal as an opportunity to become a little bit healthier. Learning to enjoy progress is the key to making real change. It's not about getting to the top of the mountain, it's about the person you become on the journey getting there. The traditional view people take when embarking on a diet or training plan is that they'll follow the plan for X amount of days and then when it's over they'll be 'happy, fulfilled and will go back to living and eating normally'. As cliched as it sounds, this needs to become a lifestyle and the idea of deferring your happiness and sense of accomplishment to the end of a training plan is counter-intuitive and harmful to your confidence and self-esteem. Start to see every day, every meal and every training session as progress in the right direction and a 'mini-win'.

Recognise the power of identity, the most powerful force when it comes to success with improved health.

Our identity is a culmination of how we see ourselves and comes down to our past, our experiences, our environment and more than anything the stories we've told ourselves again and again countless times in our heads. We speak to ourselves more than anyone else in this world and most of us beat ourselves up and criticise ourselves.

A common theme for people when it comes to the gym is a recurring story of 'I'm not a runner, I'm not a gym person or I've got bad genetics'. These stories eventually become our identity and we will always act in accordance to our identity. In practice here's how that will look:

1 You decide you want to make a change and find a plan to help you lose weight.

2 You start making changes but the results take time and these changes are out of alignment with how you see yourself.

3 You get stressed or frustrated and revert to doing what is in line with your identity. "I've got bad genetics so it doesn't make sense to eat what someone with 'good genetics' will eat."

Here are some practical things we can work on to re-shape our identity to match our goals.

Focus on progress not perfection

Can you think of anyone you know who has seen massive success in changing an area of their life? It is highly likely they took small consistent steps and over time came to change the way they saw themselves (their identity). Often when we try to change too much too quickly it is completely foreign to us and leads to stress. Instead, focus on some small changes you can build upon - consistency will always win. If the thought of following the exact plan I've laid out here is too far a stretch for you right now, don't beat yourself up. Instead, pick two or three things you can focus on for the months of January and February. Then once you've made those changes add some more healthy habits in March and April. Think of it this way. If you are at point A and your end goal is point Z, instead of trying to jump the whole alphabet and get to Z, think of how you would take a small step to B. Then when you are at B get to C and so on. If your kids were failing in school and you took the approach of expecting them to jump straight to straight As in their exams they'd become overwhelmed and wouldn't progress, but if instead there was a focus on consistent marginal progress there could be massive improvements. Take this same approach with your own goals. I believe the two best changes you can make with your nutrition to start your lifestyle change are drinking a minimum of 2.5 litres of water a day and focusing on a healthy breakfast based on fats and proteins. When we have sugar or carbs we tend to crave them throughout the day. Protein and fats keep us fuller for longer and cut out the sugar cravings.

Learn from your previous attempts. A common thing I see with people setting goals is that they never look back at where they've struggled in the past. For example joining a gym in January, dropping out by February and trying the same approach the following year. Ask yourself the question "What were the three biggest struggles I've had with previous weight loss plans?" and then come up with appropriate tactics to combat them. If it was a lack of motivation maybe you need to hire a coach, if it was a lack of time to cook your meals maybe you need a food prep company to deliver your meals a few times a week.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best

Life is never perfect or predictable so it's important to have some back up plans. It can be common to come up with a plan, be excited and ready and then be thrown completely off course when the plan falls apart.

So although we'll always hope for the best it's important to prepare for the worst and respond accordingly.

For example, packing your training gear and being excited to train only to find out the gym is closed for renovations. You could allow this change of plan to de-rail your progress or just adjust accordingly and get a run or cycle in instead.

Progress beats perfection every time. Perfection is really just a form of procrastination.

Get some accountability

I've got coaches for my business, for my nutrition, for my health and for other areas of my life. They are there to speed up my results by taking out the guesswork and guiding me like they've guided hundreds of others to my desired results. A coach isn't going to do the work for you but having someone to stay accountable to can make a huge difference in how you see yourself and how you perform and move toward your goals.

People will often complain about the cost of investing in a coach but think of it this way - any money you spend on something that's going to bring you more confidence, clarity, success or self-esteem is an investment. Any money spent on things that are going to move you away from your goals are a distraction. If you can't afford to work with a coach on a regular basis maybe try to hire someone for an hour every month and ask them to set you out a plan which they will re-assess the following month.

Friends who are gym goers or fitness fanatics can also be great for helping you shift your identity towards that of someone who excels with their health and wellness. They say you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

So who's in your social circle?

Mindset

There are two simple exercises I'd like you to complete every day in terms of mindset. Please don't neglect these, they are important and are too often dismissed as 'airy-fairy'. We've had more than 15,000 people go through our online program and the people who stuck with these mindset tasks always saw the best results. I'd like you to pick up a diary and make an entry every morning and evening for the three weeks. In the morning I'd like you to write down three things you are grateful for and what your intention is for the day. An example might look like this:

I'm grateful for my mum.

I'm grateful for coffee!

I'm grateful to have the energy to get out for a walk today.

Today my intention is to be warm and outgoing with everyone I meet.

This is a way of starting your day in a positive head space and setting a precedent for how you intend to show up in the world. It might seem simple but it works. Now if you want to make this more powerful, complete this journal entry before turning on your phone. As soon as your phone goes on and you are looking through your social media feed you automatically go into playing the comparison game with other people and their lives. What if for 21 days you started by focusing on the most important person in the world - YOU, rather than starting your day from a place of living through others.

In the evening you'll have another diary entry listing your three daily wins and one lesson learnt. Here's an example:

Daily Wins

1. Went for a 5km run.

2. Gave a great presentation at work.

3. Had lunch with my friends

Lesson Learnt

I need to plan my day the night before to be most productive. Today I got caught up doing a lot of busy work but don't feel I was very productive.

The evening diary is a chance to reflect on small changes you can make the next day to see better results in all areas.

We'll keep the mindset component of the program simple - so for 21 days just remember you'll have your morning and evening diary entries.

Leave your diary somewhere where you won't forget to fill it out.

NUTRITION

The second part of the program is nutrition. You'll have heard the expression you can't out train a bad diet and it's very true.

Food can be the greatest medicine on earth or our greatest poison so though there are many different approaches to nutrition and conflicting views, here's the main point that's hard to argue with:

Just Eat Real Food

Fruits, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, beans, pulses, eggs, herbs, spices and vegetables are real foods. They don't need a food label because they only contain one ingredient.

Processed and packaged foods might be low in sugar, low in calories or low in fat but typically as a result they are high in preservatives, chemicals and additives which cause hormonal chaos in the body.

In the last 50 years we've been warned away from fat and more recently from sugar, and the food companies have responded by providing alternatives marketed as healthy alternatives but it is no coincidence that we are unhealthier than ever before despite these low calorie alternatives. Simply getting back to how our grandparents would have eaten with real foods will have a profound impact on how we look, feel and move.

Ideal case scenario, stick with the guidelines and sample meal planners provided, but failing that, take note of these five top tips for nutrition:

1 Drink more water. Around 60pc of our body is water and most of us are dehydrated frequently. Try to shoot for a minimum of 2.5 litres of water a day and 500ml first thing in the morning. This alone will help you flush out toxins and remove stubborn body fat.

2 Eat more vegetables. It doesn't matter if you are advocating the paleo diet, low-carb, low-fat, high-fat, vegan or other, almost all diets will recommended an abundance of vegetables. "Taste the rainbow" by getting a wide variety of colours in your salads and vegetables. Shoot for two fistfuls with each meal.

3 Have a serving of protein with each meal. This can come from eggs, fish, meat, poultry, seafood or beans/lentils. I typically encourage people to aim for a serving of protein roughly the size and depth of your palm.

4 Keep the carbohydrate for post workout. Our body can only store a certain amount of carbohydrate as glycogen within the muscle before it is stored as excess fat. The way I think of this is in our hunter-gatherer days we had an abundance of fruit available in the summer which allowed us to fatten up for the winter! When you are having sugary foods it's best to keep them to post workout when our glycogen stores have been depleted and can be topped up.

5 Get into the habit of cooking at home. We all live busy lives but try to get into the habit of cooking more from scratch. This gives you a much greater appreciation for the food and you know exactly what is going into your meals.

Those who plan to stick specifically to the meal plans provided (see sample meal planners and shopping list) should keep the following in mind:

* Each meal should contain a protein source the size and depth of your palm, two fistfuls of vegetables, and two-three tablespoons of healthy fats. Pick the options you like best from the shopping list!

* The meal after your workout you will add in a carbohydrate source the size and depth of your palm and you have the option of two additional snacks throughout the day.

* Shoot for 2.5 litres of water minimum per day.

* Try to avoid alcohol and processed foods for the three weeks and stick with single ingredient foods as shown on the shopping list.

* If you choose to use supplements you add in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning mixed with some water and a serving of Omega 3 fish oil with each main meal. These are optional but beneficial in digestive and brain health.

Top Tips For Sticking With Your Nutrition Plan

1 Dedicating two 45-minute slots in the week to batch-cook some meals is one of the best things you can do for your health. Those who are short on time would be better off missing a training session and spending that time in the kitchen. Nutrition is so important.

2 It's worth cooking a double portion of your dinner and putting the second serving in a container that you can take with you for lunch the next day. This can be a great time-saver.

3 Invest in a few healthy cookbooks or get recipes online and try to take time on the weekend to try out new recipes. Cooking your own meals in a non- stressful environment when you have some additional time can give you a new-found appreciation for what you are putting in your body.

Shopping List

Not strictly limited to these foods but these are a sample of some of the options. Remember to stick with foods which contain one ingredient and are not filled with additives, preservatives and chemicals.

Proteins

Chicken

Turkey

Fish

Lean beef

Veal

Venison

Lean turkey mince

Lean beef mince

Shellfish

Nuts

Beans

Cottage cheese

Eggs

Flaxseed

Low fat natural Greek yoghurt

Vegetables

Broccoli

Artichoke

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Courgettes

Tomatoes

Lettuce

Onions

Cucumber

Leeks

Bok choy

Cabbage

Carrots

Peppers

Cauliflower

Green beans

Kale

Spinach

Fats

Unsalted nuts

Almond butter

Cashew butter

Hazelnut butter

Canola oil

Rapeseed oil

Coconut oil

Seeds

Eggs

Flaxseed

Oily fish

Olive oil

Sesame oil

Avocado

Real butter

Carbohydrate

Fruits

Rice

Chickpeas

Oats

Rice cakes

Sweet potato

Potato

Brown pasta

Miscellaneous

Any herbs/spices

Coconut or almond milk

Snacks

Chopped chicken breast

Small handful of nuts

Rice cakes with nut butter

Berries

Half an avocado

Tin of tuna

Cottage cheese

Hard boiled egg

Beef jerky

SAMPLE MEAL PLANNER

Monday

Breakfast

2 poached eggs, sauteed spinach in coconut oil

Lunch

Grilled chicken breast, spinach, rocket salad, 1/2 avocado

Dinner

Marinated Cajun chicken

Tuesday

Breakfast

Avocado breakfast berry smoothie

Lunch

Turkey, tomato & spinach omelette

Dinner

Lime chilli chicken stir-fry

Wednesday

Breakfast

Poached eggs, grilled turkey rashers & 1/2 avocado

Lunch

Roast pepper & tomato soup

Dinner

Pan-fried curried cod with green vegetables

Thursday

Breakfast

Overnight oats

Lunch

Omelette muffins

Dinner

Turkey vegetable meatballs

Friday

Breakfast

Strawberry coconut smoothie

Lunch

Chicken, rocket & spinach salad

Dinner

Spanish meatballs

Saturday

Breakfast

3 egg omelette with mixed peppers & spinach, 1/2 avocado

Lunch

Berries, Greek natural yoghurt, protein shake & nuts

Dinner

Grilled Cajun salmon with avocado & tomato salsa

Sunday

Breakfast

Coconut & almond pancakes

Lunch

Smoked salmon, avocado & green salad

Dinner

Steak with steamed green vegetables

RECIPES

Avocado Breakfast Berry Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 tbsp lemon zest

1/2 ripe avocado

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

Place all the ingredients in a blender, blitz up and serve.

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats.jpg
Overnight oats
 

Serves 1

1/3 cup gluten-free oats

1/2-1/3 cup almond or coconut milk

1 tbsp Greek yogurt

1 tbsp almond butter (optional for protein - 1/2-1 scoop of protein powder)

Handful frozen or fresh raspberries

Handful flaked almonds

1. In a jar add all the ingredients. Put the lid on the jar and shake to combine ingredients.

2. Place in fridge overnight to soak.

3. In the morning remove from fridge and eat.

4. Heat up if you prefer it hot.

Strawberry Coconut Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup coconut milk

1 frozen banana

2 cups frozen strawberries

Add all the ingredients into the blender/smoothie maker and blend until smooth. Serve with breakfast greens of wheatgrass shot, or side salad of greens. Add protein powder for your protein source

Coconut and Almond Pancakes

Serves 1

30g ground almonds

20g desiccated coconut

2 eggs n Almond milk

1 tsp coconut oil for frying

Topping

2 tbsp full fat natural Greek yogurt

Fresh berries and chopped nuts

Omelette Muffins

Omelette muffins.jpg
Omelette muffins
 

Serves 1

1-2 tbsp coconut oil for frying

2 turkey rashers, grilled

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Handful of spinach, finely chopped.

2 eggs, beaten

2 scallions, finely chopped

Dash almond milk

1. Put a drop of coconut oil in 5-6 silicone muffin cases (to stop mixture sticking).

2. Preheat the oven to 180 C.

3. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and stir together until combined.

4. Pour the mixed ingredients into the muffin cases and place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes.

6. Remove and cool on wire rack.

7. Serve with salad or alone as a snack.

Marinated Cajun Chicken

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts

2 tbsp Greek yogurt

1 tbsp Cajun spice

1/2 tbsp turmeric

1. Place the chicken breasts in a bowl.

2. Add the Greek yogurt and ensure that the chicken breasts are completely covered.

3. Add the spices and mix thoroughly.

4. Leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

5. Take out of fridge and place on a baking tray.

6. Preheat the oven to 210 C.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and serve with salad or greens.

Pan Fried Curried Cod

Curried cod.jpg
Curried cod
 

Serves 2

3 tbsp mild curry powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 chunky cod fillets, skin on, scaled and boned (about 200g each) n Few sprigs of fresh coriander

Knob butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

1-2 tbsp natural yogurt

Spanish Meatballs

Spanish meatballs.jpg
Spanish meatballs
 

Serves 4

500g organic lean minced beef

1 large organic or free range egg

1 white onion, finely sliced (or equivalent in spring onions)

2 organic gluten-free beef stock cubes

Salt and ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil n 1 garlic clove, finely sliced

2 400g tins chopped tomatoes

Selection dried mixed herbs

1 litre boiling water

1. Mix the mince with the egg and half the onion, chopped. Season with a stock cube and black pepper.

2. Roll the mixture with your hands into ping pong-sized balls and fry in oil until almost cooked (the meatballs can be slightly pink in the middle as they are going to simmer in the sauce).

3. Be sure to turn them now and again so they cook evenly.

4. Take the meatballs out and put them on a plate.

5. Drain all but 1 tbsp of oil in the pan, retaining the bits of meat that are left in the bottom of the pan.

6. Add the rest of the chopped onion and some finally chopped garlic and saute for a further 2 minutes until golden.

7. Add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes and a good sprinkling of mixed herbs.

8. Add in the water and crumble in the final stock cube.

9. Season with salt and pepper, if required.

10. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens a little.

11. Add the meatballs and mix them well with the tomato sauce.

12. Cook for another couple of minutes. Serve with steamed green vegetables.

Lime, Chilli Stir Fried Chicken and Vegetables

Stir fry.jpg
Chicken stir fry
 

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts

2 courgettes

Stir fry veg (broccoli, bok choy - in bite-sized pieces)

Handful cashew nuts

1 lime

Chilli powder

Coconut oil

1. Cut the chicken into little pieces and sprinkle with chilli powder and a squeeze of lime.

2. Heat some coconut oil in a large pan and add the chicken and vegetables.

3. Cook until the chicken is nice and brown, adding a little more chilli and lime juice half way through.

4. Finely chop the courgette in long (noodle like strips), while the chicken and vegetables are cooking.

5. When everything is cooked add in the courgettes and cashews and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring and tossing regularly.

6. Remove from the heat and squeeze on a little more lime and serve.

Turkey Vegetable Meatballs

Turkey meatballs.jpg
Turkey meatballs
 

Serves 4

2 medium carrots

1 red or green bell pepper

5 large mushrooms n Handful fresh parsley

1/2 onion

1 clove garlic

2 tsp granulated garlic (garlic salt)

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

500g ground turkey or chicken

1. Preheat oven to 180 C.

2. Combine carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, parsley, onion, garlic and seasonings in a food processor and blend until well chopped.

3. Empty the contents of the food processor into a large bowl, add the ground turkey and mix.

4. Form meatballs and place on a non-greased baking sheet (about 1 1/2"-2" each).

5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until completely cooked. Serve with iceberg lettuce or side salad

Cajun Salmon with Avocado, Tomato Salsa

Cajun salmon.jpg
Cajun salmon
 

Serves 2

1 tsp olive oil

2 large salmon darnes, skin on (220g)

2 tsp Cajun seasoning

Avocado Tomato Salsa

1/2 medium ripe avocado

4-5 baby plum tomatoes, halved

1/2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped

1 small spring onion, finely chopped

1 tsp lemon or lime juice

Pinch of chilli flakes or fresh finely chopped chilli (optional)

Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Rub olive oil over the flesh of the fish, rub with spices and set aside for an hour in the fridge or overnight.

2. Preheat grill and cook fish skin side up for 3 minutes, flip and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the fish easily flakes.

4. Mix all salsa ingredients. Serve salmon and salsa with additional green vegetables.

1. Sprinkle the curry powder with a good pinch of salt and pepper over a plate or chopping board.

2. Roll the cod fillets in the powder, patting them until completely covered

3. Pick the coriander leaves off the stalks.

4. In a pan on high heat place the butter and coconut oil until melted.

5. Place the cod fillets skin side down into the pan.

6. Keep spooning the oil over them as they cook to get them nice and crisp.

7. Cook them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for 200g fillet (bigger fillets may need longer).

8. Place on a bed of cauliflower rice, with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and some coriander leaves sprinkled on top.

1. Combine ground almonds, desiccated coconut and eggs into bowl and whisk

2. Add in almond milk to desired consistency

3. Heat coconut oil in frying pan

4. Pour in 1/2 pancake mixture and fry on a low/medium heat - flip and heat on the other side

5. To serve add yogurt, blueberries and flaked almonds.

TRAINING

The third part of the plan is your training. I'm keeping this really simple as I feel the most effective plan in the world is the basics done right. Here's the three key factors:

1 Full Body Sessions. We'll have two different sessions. One is to be completed Monday and Thursday, the other Tuesday and Wednesday. Split training is where you'll train different body parts on different days but for this plan we'll be training the whole body four days a week. The body works in unison so it makes sense to train the entire body as one unit.

2 Progressive Overload. This is a fundamental training principle. The idea is that if you progressively challenge yourself a little bit more by doing more repetitions or using more weight your body will adapt to the new stresses placed upon it. With that in mind I just want you to focus on making small improvements with every session. Remember, consistency is key. You'll complete 12 workouts over the three weeks so a marginal improvement over each session will create a compound effect.

3 Interval Training. This means regardless of your fitness level the workout should challenge you. You'll complete as many repetitions as you can with good form in the given time and then rest for the allotted time. Using the progressive overload principle if you completed 10 push ups in 40 seconds this week we would hope to push that to 11 in the next session and continue to improve.

Remember, go at your own pace and if the exercises are new to you take your time in getting comfortable with the movements. Start each session with a warm up and finish with stretches and a cool down.

Now It's Time To Take Action!

One of the biggest things that holds us back these days is the need for constant distraction - always searching for more information or jumping from one plan to another.

If you continue looking for the perfect plan or waiting for the perfect time you'll spend your whole life avoiding improved health.

You have in your hands a plan that'll drastically improve your energy levels, sleep and overall health in just 21 days if you stick with it. 21 days from now you could be up to a stone lighter, happier, healthier and more confident, or you could be in the same place you are right now.

So hop on the weighing scales and take some 'before' pictures, then give this plan your undivided attention and show yourself what you are capable of. Any way I can help you please get in touch, and be sure to let me know how you get on.

Pat Divilly is a health and wellness coach, international speaker and best-selling author from Galway. Pat holds an Msc in Exercise and Nutrition Science and has worked with over 15,000 clients. His new book Upgrade Your Life - How to take back control and achieve your goals is available at Amazon.co.uk. See PatDivilly.com

Videos of all the exercises mentioned can be found on Pat's YouTube channel at youtube.com/patdivillyfit

EXERCISE PLAN

Push Ups

Push Ups 1.jpg
Push ups 1
 

1. Start with your knees on the floor and hands outside shoulder width directly under your shoulders.

2. Squeeze your tummy and bum to maintain a tight core as you lower yourself toward the floor.

3. Exhale and continue to squeeze your bum and tummy as you push yourself back to the start position. As you become stronger you can take your knees off the floor and perform full push ups.

Step Ups

1. Standing tall, step with your right leg up onto a step or chair around 18in high.

2. Squeeze your bum at the top of the movement and lower yourself in a controlled manner, before repeating on the opposite leg. If you are very comfortable with the movement you can add dumbbells to make it more challenging.

Plank

Plank.jpg
Plank
 

1. Resting on your forearms with your thumbs directly under your nose, try

to imagine a straight line from your shoulder to your hip to your knee. Squeeze your bum and tummy as tight as you can to maintain a strong core protecting your lower back.

Hip Bridge

Hip Bridge 1.jpg
Hip bridge
 

1. Lying flat on the floor with knees bent, push your heels into the floor elevating your hips toward the ceiling.

Hig Bridge 2.jpg
Hip bridge 2

2. Squeeze your bum for 2 seconds before lowering in a controlled manner.

Squats

1. With feet shoulder-width apart and keeping your heels on the floor, imagine sitting back into a chair until the crease of your hip is as low as your knees.

2. Keep your chest up throughout and exhale as you squat up to the start position.

Lunges

1. Begin standing tall before taking a big step to the front and lowering your hips. Keep your chest proud throughout.

2. Without letting your back knee hit the floor, get a good bend in your front leg before pushing back to the start.

High Knees

High Knees.jpg
High knees
 

1. Standing on the spot nice and tall, run on the spot bringing your knees high. As you become comfortable try performing a sprint as fast as you can.

Burpees

1. Begin standing tall, before placing your hands on the floor and kicking your feet back.

2. Kick your feet forward, return to your feet and jump, landing softly on your feet.

Week ONE

Workout One (Mon & Thurs)

Push Ups 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

Step Ups 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

Plank 30 seconds hold, 30 seconds rest, repeat 5 times and then take a one minute break

Hip Bridge 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest, repeat 4 times.

Workout Two (Tues & Fri)

Squats 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

High Knees 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

Burpees 30 seconds hold, 30 seconds rest, repeat 5 times and then take a one minute break

Lunges 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest, repeat 4 times.

Week TWO

Workout One (Mon & Thurs)

Push Ups 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

Step Ups 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

Plank 40 seconds hold, 20 seconds rest, repeat 5 times and then take a one minute break

Hip Bridge 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest, repeat 4 times.

Workout Two (Tues & Fri)

Squats 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

High Knees 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

Burpees 40 seconds hold, 20 seconds rest, repeat 5 times and then take a one minute break

Lunges 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest, repeat 4 times.

Week THREE

Workout One (Mon & Thurs)

Push Ups 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest, repeat 4 times then take a one minute break

Step Ups 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

Plank 45 seconds hold, 15 seconds rest, repeat 5 times and then take a one minute break

Hip Bridge 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest, repeat 4 times.

Workout Two (Tues & Fri)

Squats 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

High Knees 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest, repeat 4 times and then take a one minute break

Burpees 45 seconds hold, 15 seconds rest, repeat 5 times and then take a one minute break

Lunges 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest, repeat 4 times.

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