The following routine incorporates High Intensity Interval Training which is the best way I have found of smashing through plateaus when losing weight. It also saves time – it is said that 15 minutes of HIIT is equivalent to a 45 minute run!
What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
The principle idea of HIIT is that you perform very high intensity exercise (such that you cannot last more than 20-30 seconds) then have a rest (or perform the same exercise at a normal intensity) for 20-30 seconds. You repeat this in a loop for as many goes as you want to (or can!). A variation as per the routine below is that you perform each repetition of an exercise a specific number of times then rest for a specific number of seconds, looping this several times.
The beginners’ routine
So, try this exercise 3 times a week, looping for 20 minutes. Repeat each exercise 10 times, rest 10 seconds then move on to the next exercise.
Warm up: 5 minutes to warm up – jog on the spot or dance to your favourite uptempo music.
- Jump Squats – start in squatting position with hips below knees, jump up; rest 10 seconds
- Side jumping – feet together, jump to left, jump back to right; rest 10 seconds
- Lunges – step forward with just left leg, bend so knee close to the ground, return, then for right leg; rest 10 seconds
- Mountain climbers – in press up position, right leg straight, bring left foot forwards, keep hands on floor, “jump” into air and swap feet so right foot is forwards and left leg is straight, reverse feet position; rest 10 seconds
- Star jumps – feet together, hands by sides, jump and land with feet apart, hands in the air; rest 10 seconds
5 minutes cool down, gently stretch various muscles.
If you combine this with a mild daily calorie deficit in your diet you will improve your weight loss even more. By mild daily calorie deficit, you will need to work out your Basal Metabolic Rate. Use this site: BMR Calculator
Now, multiple your BMR by 1.2 and that’s a rough guide for the calorie intake you should not exceed.
How can I make it harder?
There are a number of ways you can make things more interesting:
- Increase the number of reps
- Increase the total length of time spent exercising
- Decrease the rest time
- Jog on the spot instead of resting
- Complete all 5 exercises before each rest period (if you do this, I suggest extending the rest to 30 seconds and see how you get on)
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