Thursday 18 January 2018

Karl Henry: It's time to test your mettle

In week two of his August Challenge, our fitness expert wants you to step it up with more intense workouts

Stay on track: Karl Henry has devised a month-long challenge
Stay on track: Karl Henry has devised a month-long challenge
Vegetable lasagne

Karl Henry

We're now into week two of our August Challenge - I hope you made a good start with our week one exercises. This week we are taking things up a notch and pushing a little harder. If you find it too hard then you can add in some breaks, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself.

Workout challenges

Complete the following exercises for 90 seconds and take a 30-second rest afterwards. Do all exercises and then repeat five times. If you find this too hard you can decrease the time you do the exercises for to 60 seconds. Always stop if you feel unwell.

Press up: An old-school classic that's great for the upper body. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet together. Start with arms extended, hips in line with your shoulders. Now bend at the elbows and lower your chest towards the floor ensuring not to arch your back. You can also do this with your knees on the floor, ensure there is a straight line from your shoulders to your hips if you do.

Step up: This can be done on a low wall or bench and it's great for all the muscles of the lower body. Stand in front of the wall or bench with your shoulders tall and back straight. Simply step up onto the bench with the right leg and repeat for 30 seconds, then the left leg. If it's too easy just look for a higher bench.

Plank: This is great for the core and centre of the body. Just aim to do it for as long as you feel is challenging. Why not have a competition with your family to see who can last the longest? Start lying on the floor chest down, with your feet together, knees and elbows on the floor, with your elbows directly under your shoulders. Raise your body off the floor, pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine and hold. Aim for your back straight, hips inline with your shoulders.

Burpee: Start on the floor in a press-up position, bring your knees into your chest, jump up as high as you can and then back into a press-up position. Do as many as you feel is a challenge.

Cardiovascular workouts

Here are two that you can choose from or aim for both if you really want to. These can be done on any form of cardiovascular training: walking, running, swimming or any piece of cardiovascular gym equipment.This week we are adding in intervals, a simple but effective way to get more from your sessions.

40 minutes: 10-minute moderate intensity warm up. Now do 1 minute hard and 1 minute easy. Repeat 10 times and leave 10 minutes for your cool down.

If you want something a little harder, try this.

• 5-minute warm up

• 2 minutes hard/ 1 minute easy for 5 repeats

• 3 minutes hard/1 minute easy for 3 repeats

• 4 minutes hard/1 minute easy for 2 repeats

• 3 minutes flat out as hard as possible

• 5 minute cool down

Total time 50 minutes

That's your exercise sorted, now for food. Each recipe will be from my #superfastfitfoods on Instagram and Twitter, and this week's is my veggie lasagne.

Roast vegetable lasagne

if Lasagne.jpg
Vegetable lasagne


Serves 4

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 green pepper

1 carrot

1 pack of wholegrain lasagne sheets

1 pack of cherry tomatoes

1 pack of mushrooms

300ml of passata

1 courgette

1 pack of spinach

300ml of greek yoghurt

2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil


Firstly you need to roast the vegetables. To do this, simply chop the peppers, courgettes, carrot, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms and place on a tray. Cover with the oil and place in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until roasted.

For the lasagne

Once the vegetables are roasted, place them into a deep dish and cover in spinach. Pour in half the passata to cover the vegetables and then cover in the wholegrain lasagne sheets.Now pour in half the greek yoghurt. You can repeat two or three times depending on the size of the dish. If you want to add cheese they you can add a ricotta cheese layer to it.

Pop in the oven at 180 degrees for 40-45 minutes and enjoy!

Irish Independent

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