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The summer season beckons with its bare midriffs and bathing suits. Time to get in shape. Gary Dawkins, of Creative Conditioning, has done all the hard work, designing a pre-Christmas fitness and fat destruction programme. Now all you have to do is exercise.
This is the first week of a seven-week fitness and fat-destruction programme. It is designed so it can be completed by anybody, regardless of your fitness level.
It is important to know that when losing body fat (and weight), the body will lose the fat where it chooses. It is for this reason we are unable to achieve ‘‘spot reductions'' on specific areas of the body just by exercising these areas.
For example, the mid-region and upper legs are areas from which people commonly want to lose fat. But simply doing countless exercises using these areas will do nothing (other than demoralise you), so for the time being put your ab- and thighworking machines back in the cupboard.
Instead, we are going to complete cardiovascular bodyweight exercises such as walking, stair climbing and certain bodyweight resistance exercises, to achieve our fat-loss and fitness goals.
This programme has been designed for you to complete at home so you do not need any additional exercise equipment.
If you have not exercised on a regular basis for the last six months, then follow the beginner programme. If you have exercised regularly two to three times per week over the last six to 12 months, then follow the intermediate programme. If you have been a regular exerciser and have worked out four or more times per week for the last six to 12 months, then follow the advanced programme.
Simply use the category column on the left of the table to decide if you are a beginner, intermediate or an advanced exerciser.
Body weight squat: Have a medium-sized box to sit on so that you go no lower than 90 degrees at your knee joint. Start in the standing stationary position and hold your arms out straight in front to balance you and sit down as though you are sitting into an armchair. Now stand up again. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart.
Body weight squat with a Swiss ball: Use a Swiss ball to help balance you better if you have one.
Forward stationary lunge: Start in the standing stationary position. Take a big step forward with one leg. Drop down to 90 degrees at your knee joint. Make certain your knee remains behind your toes at all times. Simply drop down and up in this position until you have completed the required repetitions. You will feel a muscle burn in the front and back of your legs.
Reverse lunge: Start in the standing stationary position. Take a big step backwards with one leg. Drop down to 90 degrees at your knee joint. Make certain your front knee remains behind your toes at all times. Now stand back up to the position you started in and repeat this for the required repetitions.
Side lunge: Start in the standing stationary position. With your hands out in front to balance you, take a big step to the side and bend your outside leg while keeping your inside leg straight. Come back up into the starting position and do the same on the other leg.
Incline press up: Use a box and either complete press-ups on your knees or press-ups on your feet. Have your hands at shoulder width and on the box and go down to 90 degrees at your elbow joint and then push back up to the starting position.
Flat press-up: Hands at shoulder width and with a straight back, bend down to 90 degrees at your elbow joint. You can complete either kneeling or full press-ups.
Standard dips: Hands on a box with legs bent, let your elbows go down to 90 degrees while keeping your back straight at all times.
Advanced dips: Same as standard dips but this time have your legs supported by a Swiss ball and out straight.
E1: (Endurance 1): Walk at a moderate pace on the flat for 15 minutes or bike for 20 minutes on the flat or aqua jog for 20 minutes.
E1A: (Endurance 1 Advanced): Walk for 40 minutes with hills included or bike for 40 minutes with hills included or aqua jog for 30 minutes and swim lengths for 15 minutes.
E2: (Endurance 2): Walk for 40 minutes and power-walk (as fast as you can) every second lamppost or jog 3 minutes and walk 3 minutes for 40 minutes or bike 3 minutes fast and in the highest gear for 5 minutes and cruise for 5 minutes for 40 minutes.
E3 (Endurance 3 Advanced): Complete E2 plus jog a total of 10 minutes or bike up a hill for 10 minutes at the end.
BW1 (Bodyweight 1): Complete bodyweight squat for two sets and 8-15 repetitions each set, complete flat press ups on floor and on knees for two sets of 6-12 repetitions each set, complete standard dips for two sets of 4-10 repetitions.
BW2 (Bodyweight 2): Complete bodyweight squat for 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions, complete forward stationary lunges for 3 sets of 12-18 repetitions, complete 2 sets of side lunges for 12-20 repetitions, complete 2 sets of incline full press-ups for 10-20 repetitions, complete 2 sets of standard dips for 10-15 repetitions.
IN1 (Interval 1): Choose a staircase that has about 100 steps and complete a power walk up by stepping on every step and then walk back down slowly (complete this 4 times).
IN1A (Interval 1A): Complete IN1 6-8 times and run some (or all) if you can.
S1 (Stretch 1): Spend 15 minutes stretching today: stretch the hamstrings (back of the upper legs), the calf muscles, the chest and the back.