NEW! Fitness instructor Michael Black is back with donegaldaily.com with a new series of articles to help you get fit for summer! The clocks go forward an hour this weekend, so with longer evenings (and some decent weather) there’s no excuse for just sitting there! So get up, get out and get moving!
BY MICHAEL BLACK: Summer is fast approaching and hopefully your new year fitness resolutions are still going strong. It’ll be time to get rid of the woolly jumpers, put on your shorts, and hit the beach. This should be a great feeling; unless of course you’re fitness resolutions stopped as quick as it came into your head and you ate your way threw a load of junk food with little or no activity…..If so, you may be keeping the woolly jumpers out and covering up for the next few months.
But there is hope if you want to get in shape for our version of Summertime. But you have to start right now!! . We have put together your ultimate summer fitness plan, and it all starts with the commitment to yourself.
OK, so by now you will be talking yourself into getting started. What next? You must have a plan. “Fail to plan and you will plan to fail,” as the saying goes. Make sure you keep a record of what you are doing. Stick it up on your wall at work or fridge at the house. That way, every morning when you get up and walk into the kitchen, you’ll see what your daily workout is that day. This is as important as any other meeting or task you have that day, even more in some cases, so don’t put it last on the list of things to do. “You are worth it too!”
You don’t need any fancy equipment. All you need is your imagination, the will to succeed and heaps of determination.
If you are really serious about improving your fitness and shedding some weight, I recommend you try working out at least 5 days a week. You have to be consistent and be patient with your body. Be comfortable and feel good about yourself when your training. Invest a little money in a good pair of running shoes and some workout gear. The last thing you’ll need is a pair of dumbbells (or a 2-litre bottle, a heavy book, brick or jar lying around your house if you don’t have the equipment).
Once you have all this sorted you can get started on your fitness plan. I have broken down a week to let you see how it works.
Start out with five to 10 minutes of walking or jogging to get warmed up then we move on to some Total Body Circuits.. Beginners may want to start with less and the more advanced fitness folks can use the upper range. We’re going to do two sets of 10 (beginners) to 50 (advanced) of each exercise. Go through the list and do each exercise one time with 10 jumping jacks in between. Then do the circuit again. Do 2 more times if you’re feeling really energetic.
- Sit-ups or crunches
- Dips- Sit on a bench or chair. Begin with the hands next to or slightly under the hips. Lift up onto the hands and bring the hips forward. Bend the elbows (no lower than 90 degrees) and lower the hips down, keeping them very close to the chair. Keep the shoulders down
- Alternating lunges-Step forward with one leg and lower your body to 90 degrees at both knees. Don’t step out too far. There should be 2 to 2.5 feet between your feet at this point. Keep your weight on your heels and don’t allow your knees to cross the plane of your toes. Push up and back to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat all reps on one leg, then switch to complete one set
Remember to do the 10 jumping jacks between each exercise. Finish it off with five to 10 minutes jogging or walking and 10 to 15 minutes of stretching.
It’s time for hill or stair repeats. Start with a five to 10 minute warm-up and finish with a 5 – 10 minute cool down and 10 -15 minutes of stretching. Find a hill or set of stairs–the steeper the better. You have to go from the bottom to the top ten times pushing really hard each time. You should be out of breath after each one. If you are on a hill, try and get at least 20 seconds of hard uphill running or fast walking. Add a burpee every second uphill effort.
Bring out your dumbbells or your make shift equipment. Remember warm up for 10 minutes first and follow the following exercises with no recovery in between.
- Dumbbell squat/curl/press (all one motion)
- Dumbbell alternating lunges
- Sit-ups/crunches with a dumbbell
- Dumbbell squats
- Dumbbell deadlifts
- Overhead triceps extensions
- Dumbbell Bicep curls
- Flutter kicks
Let’s get outside and pick up the pace. Go to the park or local track and remember warm up easy walk or jog for 10 minutes. Begin with 100m fast sprinting, recover 30 seconds. Sprint for 200m, recover 1min. Sprint for 300m, recover for 1min.Sprint for 400m (1 lap of a track) recover for 90sec’s. Then work your way back down from 400,300,200,100. Finish with 10 min easy jog or walk.
Ok last day of training and our aim is to take the exercises you have on Monday and Wednesday and put them all together but with a little twist. Start with your pull up then do 10 jumping jacks. Then do another exercise and do 100m run or 20 sec jog on spot. Another exercise and follow that with 5 burpees. Keep repeating this cycle until you have all the exercises on, Monday and Wednesday completed.
Keep this format going for 4-5 weeks to see real results. You can play around with some of the exercises, take some out put some in but work hard on each of them. Try and get outside and do this now that the weather is getting better. Kepp smiling and work hard. Onwards and Upwards!
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