Wednesday 23 January 2019

Siobhan Byrne: On the road to a leaner, fitter, stronger you

Small amount of fat loss are perfect for achieving long-term results, says our fitness expert

Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
About 2lbs weight loss is ideal each week
Go for a brisk walk
Skipping rope
Flutter kicks 1
Flutter kicks 2
Quad hip abductions 1
Quad hip abductions 2
Crunch reach 1
Crunch reach 2
Glute kickback 1
Glute kickback 2
Split squat 1
Split squat 1
Split squat 3

Welcome to week two of our eight-week plan to a leaner, fitter, stronger you.

Last week you should have weighed and measured yourself and got started with your training and your healthier eating options.

Today is the day to re-weigh yourself. Remember that we are looking for long-term results, so if you have a loss of about 2lbs that is the perfect start. So many people get disheartened when they only see one or 2lbs of loss a week, but this is the right amount of fat loss in order to achieve long-term results.

I often tell my clients to pick up 2lbs of butter in the supermarket and look at what 2lbs of fat actually looks like, and they are usually quite surprised.

Now that you have started on your eight-week plan you might have some questions, such as how often you should train and should you do anything else.

The most important thing is to make small changes that you can stick to. In my vast experience as a trainer, the people who take on too much usually fail because it's just completely unsustainable.

The only thing that works is to make lifestyle changes that you can stick to long-term. Therefore deciding that you are going to workout six days a week in the gym for two hours at a time and only eat chicken and broccoli or some other fad diet, is just completely ludicrous.

I can't stress enough that both food and training has to work for you. As a mom to a four-year-old and a newborn, training three times a week is manageable for me, sometimes I even rope my four-year-old into working out at home with me because that's what works for me.

If you are starting out as a beginner, I would recommend that if you can get this workout done three times a week you will be doing well.

Should you also be doing anything else? The simple answer is, if you can manage it, some brisk walking is ideal if you are a beginner. Aim for approximately 20-25 minutes of brisk walking or if you are looking for something a little more advanced aim for an interval walk/run - walking for 30 seconds then running for 30 seconds.

Week 2 of your workout plan

Let's get started with the second week's exercises. Each week we are going to look at six exercises.

For this week I have picked split squats, crunch reach, quad/ hip abductions, side dip, glute kickback and flutter kicks.

You will need to complete each exercise for 20 seconds before moving on to the next exercise and completing all six exercises in the same format.

Afterwards, pick one of the following cardio workouts, depending on your ability and fitness level, and complete this for two minutes.

Complete three more circuits of the exercises breaking each circuit with the same cardio workout.

Skipping rope

Choose your cardio workout from:

* Two minutes of stair climbs or two minutes of step-ups;

or choose

* Two minutes of jumping jacks;

or choose

* Two minutes of skipping with/without skipping rope.

8-week fitness challenge - week 2


Split squats

1/ Stand upright with your feet split from back to front.

2/ Lower your body down towards the ground like a lunge position.

3/ Push off the front foot and jump into the air landing with the opposite foot forward. Repeat.

* Advance this exercise further by using a weighted ball or dumbbell, holding it at chest level.

Crunch reach

1/ Start by lying on your back, with your knees bent, feet flat and your hands on your thighs.

2/ Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and slide your hands up to your knees. Keep your feet flat throughout. Then lower your head, shoulders and hands, and repeat this movement.

Quad/hip abductions

1/ Start by kneeling on all fours with your knees and hands on the floor.

2/ Raise one leg up and out to the side while keeping the knee bent and your back flat. Bring the leg back to the start position then repeat all reps on one side before changing sides.

Side dip

1/ Start by leaning on your side, on your elbow and on the side of your foot, with the opposite foot sitting on top. Keep your body straight and hold that position.

2/ Dip your hip down towards the floor and then return back to start position.

Glute kickback

1/ Start by kneeling on your knees and hands with a straight back.

2/ Raise one leg up with the foot pointing towards the ceiling and the leg bent at a 90-degree angle. Bring the leg back down towards the start position and then repeat.

Flutter kicks

1/ Start on your back, with legs straight out in front, slightly off the floor and your arms by your sides.

2/ Raise one leg straight up a few inches from floor level and then raise the opposite leg. Continue raising your legs in scissor-like motion.

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