Carrying on from weeks 1 to 4 of your 10-week transformation workouts, Virgin Active personal trainer Emily Cole has devised this fitness routine using weights – perfect to do at the gym or at home.

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 5-8: Weights sessions

HIIT sessions using your bodyweight mean you’ll see results up to a certain point, but to really start building lean, toned muscles you need to pick up some weights. They don’t have to be super-heavy – you shouldn’t risk injuring yourself – and you can always increase them as soon as you feel able.

In the second month, you should do two weights sessions a week (see below), one HIIT session and one session of swimming, cycling or running (at least 40 minutes). Use dynamic stretches to warm up, as in month one.

Follow the sculpting weights workout video to exercise along with Emily, or if you prefer to do it yourself, all the exercises and timings are included below.

Weights session: Do three rounds of the sets below, with a one-minute rest in between each set. They’re designed to work both the upper and lower body in turn, really fatiguing the muscles to boost lean muscle mass – and by engaging your abdominals throughout you’ll strengthen and tone your core too. 

1. 12 squats Raise a 10kg dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest as you squat down.

2. 12 shoulder presses Using a lighter weight (4kg or 5kg), raise the weights until your elbows are extended.

3. 12 lunges Use 5kg weights in each hand as you lunge – make sure your knee doesn’t go beyond your foot.

4. 12 upright rows Pull the weights upwards, elbows bent outwards.

5. 12 side lunges Hold a 5kg weight in your hand as you lunge, keeping your core strong and back straight.

6. 12 chest presses Lie down on a bench or the floor and use 5kg dumbbells, lifting directly upwards.

Look out for our weeks 9-10 transformation exercise plan and video – coming soon!

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