| 12.7°C Dublin

Part three of Five: Karl's fab 30-day beach body plan

Fitness expert Karl Henry shares his exclusive four-week fitness and diet guide. In Part Three, he explains resistance exercise

Let's clear up one of the most common myths that scares most people away from it: resistance or weights won't make you bulky!

A big well done on a successful first two weeks! By now you should have more energy and be 3-5 pounds down in weight. Your stomach should be beginning to flatten out and your clothes feeling much, much better.

The first two weeks were about getting the body used to eating healthily and exercising. The exercise plans have been gradually increasing so that you are building up your fitness each week, making the workouts that little bit harder.

My goal is to use this plan to show you just how easy weight loss and health can be, by taking a sensible approach. Don't forget: each pound of fat you are trying to lose contains 3,500 calories; those calories have to be burned off through effort or come from a change in diet. The two combined give you the best result: real weight-loss.

So now we come to week three. At this stage, you have gained a huge amount of fitness, both aerobically and in terms of resistance fitness. Now it is time to take it to the next level, with three new exercises this week, bringing the total now up to nine.

Close

Food intake is more important than sit-ups to achieve a flat stomach.

Food intake is more important than sit-ups to achieve a flat stomach.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Food intake is more important than sit-ups to achieve a flat stomach.

You have six new recipes to cook and there are shopping lists that will keep you prepared. Keep up the good work!

RESISTANCE IS KEY

Last week, we looked at cardiovascular work and why I feel it is so important. It's such a fun and crucial element, yet so many of us leave it out of our lives. This week, I want to talk about the other essential type of exercise: one that even more people forget about or are scared of – resistance exercise.

What is it? Basically, any exercise that uses weight to provide resistance. All the exercises in the plan so far are resistance-based and they are crucial to increasing your lean body mass, increasing your metabolism, and sculpting your physique into the best shape possible.

Let's clear up one of the most common myths that scares most people away from it: resistance or weights won't make you bulky! Different styles of training will lead you towards a certain type of physique; my method is about sculpting the body.

Look at the exercises you have done over the last two weeks – have you got big muscles from them? No! You have firmer arms and legs that's exactly what resistance work will do for you.

HOW TO GET THAT FLAT TUMMY

The flat stomach is something that everyone I know wants. The essential thing to remember is that, more than any other body part, your waist and the shape of it is totally related to your food intake.

Eat starchy carb foods and you will get the pregnant stomach syndrome, where you're bloated. Foods such as white pasta, white rice and white bread can often cause bloatedness as do beer and cider.

But in reality there are different triggers for many people: you will know yours. If you cut out these foods and add in some exercise such as your cardio and resistance that we have used on this plan, you will find that your stomach can flatten down over a day or two.

If you are still struggling, then you should get some digestive enzymes or natural yogurt. Both will help you to digest food better and reduce the bloating. If you have tried this and you're still struggling, then you might be gluten-intolerant; try cutting out all gluten.

The essential thing to remember is that sit-ups won't flatten your waist. Food is far more important.

Irish Independent