Siobhan Byrne: Striking the right balance
Our fitness expert provides tips for how to improve on the results you are getting from training
When you begin your training journey, it is easy to focus on everything you should be doing - training, nutrition, eating at the right times, but after a while we can find it hard to stick to and maintain such a rigid routine.
Training and nutrition should always be looked at in accordance with your lifestyle. For example, deciding that you want a ripped six-pack and small body fat percentage is not going to be conducive to going out four times a week.
Finding a balance between life, training and nutrition can be empowering. What you may have had time for 10 years ago you may find an impossible task in the present day, and that's fine. If you're in the middle of this transition don't be despondent, it doesn't mean your shape and all that hard work will go to waste, it only requires some clever adjusting to get you back on track and help you achieve your goal.
Here are some tips to achieve that:
* Eating out often can play havoc with your macros and micros, so stick to lean meats for mains, don't feel bad about asking for something to be grilled and fill up on salads;
* Take progress pictures: it can be easy sometimes to forget how far you have come since the beginning, they're a great way of reminding yourself of progress and also allow you to asses and change where needed;
* Up the ante: when you start a programme your body will respond very quickly, but progress will then slow down. It may be time to add in some supersets or lower rest periods to your workouts;
* Keep trying new things, stay out of your comfort zone, it is when we learn the most;
* Listen to your body: recovery is a crucial part to any fitness regime;
* Enjoy yourself: make working out an activity you love, train with a friend, in an area you like, and set mini competitions;
* Look at your food, ensure you're eating enough and hitting your macronutrient and micronutrient requirements;
* Introduce active rest days into your week, go for a walk, a light jog, take a yoga class;
*Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will keep you alert, focused and help you stay on track;
* Sleep is often overlooked, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. Try and ensure you are getting at least 6-8 hours every night;
* Get your friends and family involved. It's often easier to stick something out if you're surrounded by it every day;
* Keep up to date on the latest information, this will help you make informed decisions about training styles for achieving your goals, and making smart food choices.
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 results
Curtsy Side Crunch
1/ Start by standing upright with arms by the sides of your head. (If you have bad balance hold onto something stable for support with one hand.)
2/ Step one foot behind the other into a curtsy.
3/ Then bring the back foot up in front, bending your knee and bringing your elbow towards your knee. Return to start position and repeat on same leg.
1/ Support your body on your toes and hands with your arms straight.
2/ Bring one knee in towards your chest, keeping the rest of your body in the push-up position.
3/ Straighten this leg and repeat on the other side. Keep your back flat and your hips in line with your shoulders throughout.
The mix of compound and plyometric makes this exercise a real worker, which is why I love it. Depending on what you want to work more, a nice deep squat will engage the glutes while a shallower one will fully engage the quads but both will equally work the calves.
1/ Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and with your arms straight by your sides.
2/ Bend at the hips and knees into a semi-squat position, leaning your torso slightly forward.
3/ Push off your feet and jump straight up in the air and land in a semi-squat position.
1/ Start by leaning back while balancing on your hands in a sitting position, with your knees bent and your feet flat and slightly off the ground.
2/ Then lift your upper body towards the knees and raise your knees to your chest at the same time, coming into a V position. Return to the start position and repeat.
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