Workout Of The Week: Fitness Plan For Slackers

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Let's be honest, you're running out of time. We've had a little taste of hot weather this year but the real good stuff is still to come. In short, it's only a matter of time before you're going to need to expose your criminally neglected physique in public. But it's not too late. Whether you're carrying too much around the middle or could do with adding some strength and size to your atrophied office-boy limbs, help is at hand in the form of our summer fitness plan.

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Having enlisted the expertise of personal fitness trainer Pete Fraser (www.petefraser.com), we've drawn up a specific summer program to get you back on track in just a few hours a week and will be posting regularly on how to progress. For this first phase, the onus is on clearing out those metaphorical cobwebs.

"During the initial stage the focus should be on re-introducing you back into a health and fitness regime," says Fraser. "If you've been relatively detrained, the aim is to quickly increase the metabolic rate, and bring the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neurological systems up to speed."

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That means starting with a simple all-body workout that mixes cardio with bodyweight resistance, and enjoys the added advantage for gym-dodgers of being perfect for the park or even at home. To get the most out of the first phase, try the workout below three times a week and bear the following five points in mind:

1 - Assess yourself - Wake your body up by discovering the maximum number of press-ups, sit-ups and squats you can perform in one go, keeping good form throughout. Write the numbers down, and keep it as a concrete target (you’ll smash it a month or so down the line).

2 - Think circuits - Circuit-based activity is perfect for the purposes of getting you back into a fitness routine. Your aim is to keep heart-rate up and work the major upper and lower body groups to help see th biggest short-term gains.

3 - Get to the core - There should be a special focus on building up the core in these early stages. It's likely to have been neglected and is integral to all body movements so strengthening it creates a crucial platform for the weeks to come.

4 - Ditch the white carbs - Don't rush into some deprivation-based diet devoid of any carbohydrate at all. Just start the process by steering clear of the white stuff - pasta, rice, potatoes, white bread. That should do for the starters.

5 - Keep good form -  Nothing beats a trainer showing you how to execute a move correctly but failing that, do your research on the right technique for specific exercises. Remember to keep the core tightened throughout each movement.

 

The Back-to-Basics Workout

Warm-up for 5 minutes.

Run for 3 mins, walk for 1 min (x5)

12 bodyweight squats
10 dynamic lunges (on each leg)
10 press-ups
10 back raises
(do circuit 3 times)

Forward plank hold - aim for 30 seconds
20 basic crunches
12 alternating crunches
(repeat)

Stretch

Aim to do this 45-minute session three times a week. Watch this space for phase 2.