Saturday 1 October 2016

Siobhan Byrne: Finding the right balance between diet and exercise

Our fitness expert offers advice on developing strength, great body shape and the perfect amount of body fat

Siobhan Byrne

Published 14/06/2016 | 02:30

Siobhan Byrne: don't compare yourself to other people.
Siobhan Byrne: don't compare yourself to other people.
Sumo squat
Sumo squat 2
Reverse lunge 1
Reverse lunge 2
Jumping squat 1
Jumping squat 2
Jumping squat 3

Over the next few weeks I'm going to discuss the common errors we make and why we can't stick to a clean-eating regime, and also provide the tricks and tips I give my own clients to help them achieve results.

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We are all individuals and in order for you to achieve the best possible shape for your body you must start by stopping comparing yourself to other people.

Most clients I see on a weekly basis have one mission in mind when they come in - they want to lose weight and tone up. In essence, this will mean decreasing body fat and gaining some muscle.

For all you ladies out there worried about getting big and muscly - it doesn't work that way. Women simply do not have the levels of testosterone in their body to develop such great muscle tone. I understand why women think like this, as when they see another woman working out with weights and looking a little stocky, they blame the weights. The fact is, weight or strength training does not give you a licence to eat all that you want. The problem is that even if you manage to develop a small amount of muscle tone with strength training, it will just be covered and not visible because of the body fat coating it, possibly making you feel more stocky unless you target that body fat with diet.

Remember the saying - you can't out train a bad diet? Over the next few weeks I'm going to be looking at common mistakes people make with their training and food in order to help you achieve your best possible body.

There are no shortcuts, no hidden tricks but it is easy to be confused by advertising and inexperienced social media 'experts' rather than truly understanding what your body wants, craves and needs, to develop great strength, great body shape and the perfect amount of body fat, to keep those curves and how to maintain a lean and fit lifestyle.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week.

Focus on legs

Sumo squat

1/ Start by standing upright with your arms straight and your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.

2/ Simply lower yourself towards the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees. Then push through your heels to return to the start position, keeping your back straight and head up throughout the exercise.

Reverse lunge

1/ Stand upright holding dumbbells by your sides with your arms straight.

2/ Take a step backward, dropping your back knee to the floor and leaning your torso slightly forward with your weight on your front leg. Then push off your front foot to return to the start position.

Jumping squat

1/ Start with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms by your sides.

2/ Bend at the hips and knees into a semi-squat position, leaning your torso slightly forward.

3/ Then simply push off your feet, jump straight up into the air and land in a semi-squat position.

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