Are you ready to make 2017 your fittest year yet? Virgin Active personal trainer Emily Cole has devised a plan to leave you toned and feeling transformed in no time.
This plan takes less than half an hour to do, just four days a week, and gets total body results fast. Keep things interesting by mixing up gym workouts with outdoor training and, if you’re really pushed for time, speed through a session at home.
Week 1-4: HIIT sessions
These weeks are all about getting your body moving and increasing your cardio fitness – priming your body for fat loss and really aiming to burn some calories. Do four exercise sessions a week, made up of two high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions (see below), one swim, bike ride or run (aim for up to 30 minutes), plus one long walk (40 minutes) – this is your active recovery session. Do dynamic stretches before each session, such as gentle lunges with a twist. These will warm up your muscles safely and effectively while getting your heart rate up.
Follow the 20-minute HIIT workout video to exercise along with Emily, or if you prefer to do it yourself, all the exercises and timings are included below.
HIIT session: Complete three rounds of the seven exercises below to create your HIIT session, with a one-minute rest between rounds. Do each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of recovery time in between, and an optional 45-second cool down of jogging on the spot at the end:
1. Squats Cross your arms over your chest as you lower yourself down. Keep your chest and shoulders upright, while your back stays straight.
2. Press-ups Get into a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Keep your back flat. Do these on your knees if you need to.
3. Side lunges Stay low as you drive your weight from one side to the other, flexing your knee and hip into a side lunge. Keep your head and chest up.
4. Running on the spot Go for maximum effort as you move up and down on the spot, keeping your back straight and raising your knees as high up as you can.
5. Sit-ups Keep your feet and glutes on the floor as you raise your upper body towards your thighs. Keep your head in line with your spine.
6. Tricep dips Using a sturdy chair or bench, dip down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle, then raise your body back up.
7. Jogging on the spot Keep moving on the spot – use this exercise as time to cool down.
Look out for our week 5-8 transformation exercise plan and video – coming soon!