Lifestyle Health

Sunday 25 February 2018

It's time to up the intensity and get results

Clockwise from top right: 1. Alternating twist and press, 2. Kettlebell swing with jump, 3. Alternating clean
Clockwise from top right: 1. Alternating twist and press, 2. Kettlebell swing with jump, 3. Alternating clean

Siobhan Byrne

With only two weeks left of the six-week fitness challenge, it is time to become really focused on your goal.

January is behind us and it's very easy to revert to your old ways, but remember, it's much harder to start all over again. This is why so many people fail to keep focused after January when new year resolutions can be easily left behind. The training method I want to discuss this week is High Intensity Training (HIT).

Changing your workouts is the most effective way of getting the best results. It will also help you stay interested in training and help you to achieve your goal more quickly. Doing the same workout each week can be boring and stagnant. HIT is another great way of achieving results.

Studies have shown how three high-intensity 15-minute sessions per week can be more effective than two hours of low-intensity cardio.

What I love about HIT is that, within two to three weeks, it can help to improve your aerobic capacity by as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training and it also burns more calories.

The great thing about HIT training is that you don't have to use equipment as it can be done using your own body weight. This is an ideal way of training if you love cardio but want the body shape to go with it.

Don't worry if you missed previous weeks of the six-week challenge. You can catch up online at

Each week, I'm giving you a set of exercises to do at home. They should be done in a circuit-style of four sets of 20 reps, with a one-minute rest after each set.

6-Week Fitness Test for New Year: week 5 Alternating clean

1/ Start by standing upright, holding a kettlebell in each hand. With your knees slightly bent, thrust your hips up, pulling one kettlebell up to shoulder height.

2/ Lower the kettlebell back to the start position, repeating the exact same movement on the opposite side. Continue the exercise, alternating throughout.


1/ Start by lying on your back holding the kettlebells at shoulder level with your elbows bent on the floor.

2/ Press one arm straight up over your chest, just like the dumbbell press, then twist your torso while slightly raising your shoulder off the floor. Return to the start position by bringing your shoulder and elbow to the floor before repeating on the opposite side.


1/ Start in the squat position holding the kettlebell in both hands between your legs.

2/ Swing the kettlebell to shoulder height, thrusting your hips and keeping your arms straight, while at the same time jumping straight up in the air. As you land, guide the kettlebell back down to the start position. Ensure to keep your back straight throughout to protect the lower back.

Irish Independent

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