Thursday 19 April 2018

Siobhan Byrne: Stay focused on the goal: you're halfway there!

At this milestone in the eight-week plan, don't be tempted to let things slip, says our fitness expert

Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Skipping rope
In out squat jump 3
Flutter kicks 2
Uni glute bridge 1
Side lunge chop 3
Side lunge chop 2
Side lunge chop 1
Squat thrust 1
Squat thrust 2
Uni glute bridge 2
Close grip push-up 2
Close grip push up 1
In out squat jump 2
In out squat jump 1
Flutter kicks 1
Careful planning means you can incorporate your training regime into your busy life

Welcome to the halfway mark of our eight-week fitness plan: Leaner, Fitter, Stronger. Hopefully you have managed to stick with the programme so far, keeping up with your training and changes to diet.

In my experience this is the time when people start to lose motivation, for various reasons.

Perhaps their weight is not coming down as much as they had hoped, or maybe the novelty of their New Year fitness resolutions is wearing off.

Let's take the first point - if you feel the weight is not coming off as quickly as you hoped, remember that it is important to concentrate on fat loss rather than weight loss.

You don't want to lose any muscle.

Also, to help put things into perspective, weight does not go on overnight so it's not going to come off overnight either.

Your consistency with cleaning up your diet and training will mean you increase muscle slightly which, in turn, will help further burn bodyfat. You should find that you have more energy too.

It takes a lot of effort to shed fat, so stick to a cleaner eating food plan and a training routine, and you will be less inclined to go off the rails.

In my experience, you will find over the next couple of weeks that, if you have stuck to the plan, you will suddenly wake up and feel like it's starting to work and that your body is adapting to your new routine and is responding to it.

This is your motivation for going forward - no diet or training plan works overnight , it takes time and consistency to achieve true results in the long term.

Turning now to the second point, the novelty of a New Year's resolution wearing off. It can be easy to lose focus of January goals as we approach February, so this is my advice to you - stop looking at any negatives and instead focus on the positives.

You have managed to stick to the plan so far and, even if you have slipped up every now and then, the majority of the time you have stuck with it and got back on track when you have fallen off.

At this point in the programme, if you have missed a few of your training sessions take a look again at your time management - even busy moms and dads can find a small amount of time at home to fit in some training.

Even if the time slot you thought would work for you doesn't, fit in the training at some other point.

You simply can't fail at this plan even if you have only managed to do half the amount you thought you would - it is still more than you were previously doing.

Remember, every little change will count towards you being successful in getting what you want from the plan, so stay focused and give yourself a pat on the back for getting this far.

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

For this week I have picked the side lunge chop, close grip push-up, in out squat jump, squat thrusts, uni glute bridge 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.

Choose your cardio workout from:

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

or choose

* Two minutes of jumping jacks;

or choose

* Two minutes of skipping with/without skipping rope.

Week 4 of your workout plan

Stay focused on the goal: you’re halfway there!

At this milestone in the eight-week plan, don’t be tempted to let things slip, says Siobhan Byrne

Welcome to the halfway mark of our eight-week fitness plan: Leaner, Fitter, Stronger. Hopefully you have managed to stick with the programme so far, keeping up with your training and changes to diet. 

In my experience this is the time when people start to lose motivation, for various reasons.

Perhaps their weight is not coming down as much as they had hoped, or maybe the novelty of their New Year fitness resolutions is wearing off.

Let’s take the first point — if you feel the weight is not coming off as quickly as you hoped, remember that it is important to concentrate on fat loss rather than weight loss.

You don’t want to lose any muscle.

Also, to help put things into perspective, weight does not go on overnight so it’s not going to come off overnight either.

Your consistency with cleaning up your diet and training will mean you increase muscle slightly which, in turn, will help further burn bodyfat. You should find that you have more energy too.

It takes a lot of effort to shed fat, so stick to a cleaner eating food plan and a training routine, and you will be less inclined to go off the rails.

In my experience, you will find over the next couple of weeks that, if you have stuck to the plan, you will suddenly wake up and feel like it’s starting to work and that your body is adapting to your new routine and is responding to it.

This is your motivation for going forward — no diet or training plan works overnight , it takes time and consistency to achieve true results in the long term.

Turning now to the second point, the novelty of a New Year’s resolution wearing off. It can be easy to lose focus of January goals as we approach February, so this is my advice to you — stop looking at any negatives and instead focus on the positives.

You have managed to stick to the plan so far and, even if you have slipped up every now and then, the majority of the time you have stuck with it and got back on track when you have fallen off.

At this point in the programme, if you have missed a few of your training sessions take a look again at your time management — even busy moms and dads can find a small amount of time at home to fit in some training.

Even if the time slot you thought would work for you doesn’t, fit in the training at some other point.

You simply can’t fail at this plan even if you have only managed to do half the amount you thought you would — it is still more than you were previously doing.

Remember, every little change will count towards you being successful in getting what you want from the plan, so stay focused and give yourself a pat on the back for getting this far.

8-week fitness challenge  - Week 4

Close grip push-up side lunge chop

1/ Start by standing in an upright position with your arms raised overhead, hands clasped.

2/ Then take a step to one side, leaning forward and lowering your torso slightly forward, bringing your arms down to the side of the knee like a chop. Push off the outside foot to return to start position.

3/ Then repeat exactly same movement on the opposite side alternating, each side.

1/ Start on your toes (or on your knees if you are a beginner) and hands, with your hands touching each other in the middle at the fingers, directly under your chest and with your elbows bent.

2/ Push up to a straight arm position, then lower straight back down to start position, keeping your back straight and hips down throughout.

• Tip: If you find this exercise a little bit too advanced, try it off an elevated position such as a step.

1/ Start in semi-squat position with feet wider than shoulder-width apart.

2/ Jump into the air, changing your foot direction to split-squat before landing,

3/ then dipping toward the floor before jumping back to squat position and completing a squat, repeating as you go.

1/ Start by going into a squat position with your hands on the ground.

2/ Then from there thrust both legs out and back to full extension, then return to start position and repeat. Ensure that you keep your tummy tight and do not let the lower back dip when your legs are extended.

1/ Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor with hands by your sides.

2/ Raise your hips off the floor making a straight line and extend one leg straight out. Lower yourself back to the floor and repeat.

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

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

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