Fitness expert Karl Henry shares his exclusive four-week fitness and diet guide. In Part One, he reveals the secret of success and the exercises and recipes that will help you meet your goals
Welcome to my 30-day beach body plan! It has been designed to get you into the best shape possible in four weeks, healthily and safely.
If you follow it, I can guarantee you that you will be leaner, firmer, healthier and have a flatter stomach just in time for that long-awaited holiday.
I will guide you through each day, one at a time, showing exactly what you need to eat and what exercise you should be doing. You will have shopping lists and six easy recipes each week. My plan is based on the low glycemic index, which means you eat all the food groups, just the right type of each. So white carbohydrates are out and brown carbs are in. The focus is on clean and healthy foods, ones that are wholesome, readily available and easy to cook.
From today until Thursday, I will give you a plan for each of the four weeks. On Friday, I'll show you how to maintain your motivation during the temptations of the summer.
Every week, you will have three new exercises to do, so by the fourth week you will have 12 in total. There will be a mixture of cardiovascular and resistance training.
Follow the plan day by day and let me become your personal trainer over the next 30 days.
So what's your reason for starting this plan? I know that I've designed it to help you get in shape for your beach body. But what has stopped you from beginning a fitness regime of your own?
Take out a sheet of paper and write down all the possible reasons preventing you from embracing a healthier life. Leave it to one side for five minutes, then go back to it and highlight the top five reasons.
Now you finally have your explanation and this is the starting point, not just for the next month, but for the rest of your life. This is the key to motivating yourself and keeping yourself going on the days when things get tough.
Once you feel how good it is to be healthy, you'll want to embrace the feeling. And there is one treat day a week where you can indulge yourself because life is for living!
You can lose between seven and 14 pounds if you follow my plan to the letter. However, you will need one day each week to allow for planning. Take each shopping list and get everything you need to follow the diet – this way you won't have any excuses. You should also use this day to schedule the exercise into your weekly diary.
Planning your shopping, cooking and exercise will ensure your success over the coming weeks. It also reduces your stress levels, giving you a sense of control and it means that there is no barrier to stop you from achieving your best beach body ever!
PRE PLAN HEALTH CHECK
Before starting this or any exercise programme, you should always consult your GP to ensure that you are safe to exercise. If you have any injuries, please visit your local physiotherapist for advice.
If you feel sick, dizzy or nauseous at any stage, stop exercising straight away. Ensure you are drinking plenty of water while exercising.
Treatment for any injuries always follow the RICE technique, which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. If you haven't exercised for sometime then don't jump in and overdo the exercise contained in this plan – ease into it at a level that suits you and gradually increase the intensity over time.
The talk test is always a great measure to ensure you're not working too hard. You should never be fully out of breath during this exercise programme, so just always ensure that you can talk but are lightly out of breath. This will ensure you don't work too hard and that you are also getting the most out of your training.
Coming next -
Why cardio counts
How to tone your stomach
The final countdown
How to stay svelte this summer