This month, Virgin Active’s Personal Trainer Charley Crivari is helping you reach your fitness goals. In her first post of the three part series, she gave us the low down on the importance of warming up and some circuits you should start your routine with using kettle bells. Now, she tells us how boot camp can boost your fitness, the best way to perfect your core, the ins and outs of interval training and why cooling down is crucial.

What can I expect from a bootcamp circuit?

Be prepared to use some odd bits of kit when taking on a boot camp circuit, including plyo boxes to jump on, ropes to battle with, suspension training and Bulgarian bags. By combining jump squats on the plyo boxes and using your upper body to battle the ropes, you can have a routine that is great for all over body training that burns fat whilst building and toning muscle. If the following routine is too easy, double the number of reps for each exercise:

Bootcamp Circuit

  • Squat jump onto the plyo box x20
  • Half snatch & squat with Bulgarian bag x20
  • Squat press using the TRX Rip Trainers x20
  • Power doubles with the battle ropes x60 seconds
  • Break for 1 minute and then go again
  • Repeat for 20 minutes

Core circuit

There are some sure fire ways to get your abs toned in no time:

Core circuit

Give crunches with a kettle bell a go – laying out straight on the floor with the kettle bell behind your head, bring your knees in towards your elbows, and repeat 20 times. You can also use the suspension equipment from the warm up in part one to give your core a great workout. Suspension lunges, reaching rows and knee tucks will help to build and tone muscle using just your own body weight.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

You may have heard a lot of people talking about HIIT training without actually knowing what it is. Essentially HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is where you exert yourself for a short burst repeatedly for around 20 minutes. It gets your heart rate up, and gets your body going in and out of the anaerobic/aerobic system, and helps to burn fat a lot quicker than if you ran on a treadmill for the same amount of time at the same speed. Give the following routine a go, raising the incline of the treadmill depending on fitness:

  • 1 minute of running at the fastest speed you can
  • 2 minutes of active rest – walking or jogging depending on your ability
  • Repeat for 20 minutes

Cool down stretches

A lot of people just tend to walk out of the gym and think “I’ll do my stretches later”, but it’s really important to do your stretches. Not only are you more likely to pull a muscle and put an end to your training, but also you need to calm your body down – not just your heart rate, but get your body back to its normal temperature that it was when you walked in the gym – it can cause a lot of stress around the body and in the abdominal area. It can be a lot harder to get rid of fat in the abdominal area if you aren’t cooling down properly. On the floor use a foam roller – if you’re feeling tight at the beginning of a session or at the end, it’s a self-massage technique, it’s great for your lower back, quads and calves. You can use it up against a wall or on the floor on mats. There are your basic stretches like your quad stretches, and hamstring stretches, hip flex stretches, tricep, shoulders, chest and back. They are really important to do.

Check back for the final instalment, part 3, where Charley will tell you her dietary dos and don’ts for your summer body.

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