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7 days to ultimate health with Tegan Haining

With the help of the author of The 7 Day Quickie and personal trainer Tegan Haining, we’ve come up with an approach to the week-long kickstart.

Haining’s book is a simple yet detailed guide to seven days of health and fitness that combines a balanced diet with a more active lifestyle. Nourishing food and drinks Haining says simple, nourishing food is key to incorporating good food habits into your lifestyle. Throughout the seven days, meals should be built around a palm-sized portion of protein (such as chicken, fish, organic grass-fed red meat, eggs, quinoa or tempeh), two cups of vegetables and a thumb-sized portion of healthy fats (such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado or nuts).

When it comes to carbohydrates, Haining includes nutrient-dense carbohydrates in her plan but advises to add them last. “Carbohydrates are part of The 7 Day Quickie but we have brown rice instead of white rice, sweet potato instead of potato or rye toast with almond butter instead of white toast with jam, so the general person wouldn’t feel deprived eating this way,” says Haining.

Choose your vegetables wisely by including carrots, cauliflower, beetroot or pumpkin on your plate and you get your carb hit simultaneously. To get the most out of your week, drop all processed foods, sugar (if you fancy something sweet Haining suggests low sugar fruit such as blueberries, green apples or ruby red grapefruits) and pre-packaged food.

For liquids, maximise your water intake and aim for two litres daily. For caffeine lovers, Haining says one coffee per day before 2pm is fine. But for those keen on a glass of red, the news isn’t good. “Having a glass of wine in the evening really affects my sleep pattern because the liver often detoxes around 3am in the morning.

This is when you want to be getting that rejuvenating sleep, not detoxing the glass of wine or bad food from the day before,” says Haining. “Without an evening wine, I find I wake up before my alarm clock and feel really good. So give it a try for one week and notice what it does to your morning motivation.”

Exercise smart If you think the seven-day period of amazingness means you’ll be smashing yourself in the gym two hours every day, think again. Haining believes a balanced approach achieves the best results, including two rest days. “The people who give themselves rest days and time to allow their lean muscle mass to develop actually become more efficient at fat burning than those constantly running on the treadmill,” says Haining. “Yes, they’re burning fat, but they’re burning muscle too, and their cortisol is very high and they’re stressed…it’s not an ideal way to get a happy life at the same time.”

Instead, factor in two days of strength or resistance training, two days of interval training and a day or two of gentle yoga stretches over the week. Instead of leg or arm days, Haining recommends whole body workouts that work the front and back for ideal posture. “Work the front and then the back of your body so you’ve got nice posture, balance the upper and lower body exercises, work both pushing and pulling movements so we don’t get any rounded shoulder positioning that produces tightness in the chest – all of these are factors to consider,” says Haining. “Focus on a balanced, flexible and strong body – be really mindful of tightness because that’s where injury starts.”

Sleep The importance of sleep this week (and always) cannot be underestimated. When we get less than eight hours of quality sleep, our body produces the hormone ghrelin, making us crave foods (especially sugar) and our hunger is often insatiable. On the flipside, a decent eight-hour sleep produces the hormone leptin, which increases satiety, reducing the urge to overeat. “It’s often the most challenging thing for my clients when I talk about going to bed at 10pm. They think I’m from Mars, but it makes such a difference,” says Haining. “One of the models I trained in London couldn’t shift weight from around her waistline and when we looked at her sleep, she wasn’t ever going to bed before 1am. As soon as we got her to bed at 10pm, she lost that layer.”

The magic time between 10pm and 6am, working with the sun, seems to be the ideal sleep format to prevent us reaching for stimulants the next morning. “When we’ve had a good night’s sleep, everything else flows from there,” says Haining. “We’ll make better food choices and we might be a little bit happier about going to the gym. A bad night’s sleep messes with our mindset, and positivity is what gets us through the day and kicking goals!”

Self-care When you’re exercising hard plus eating lighter and healthier than ever, you may find some sore muscles and detoxing symptoms are the result in the first few days. Haining says self-care over the week is crucial to staying on track. “Choose one wellness factor, whether it be going for a massage, going to a sauna or a feelgood thing you wouldn’t usually do on one of your regeneration days,” suggests Haining. “Day six is good because you’re nearly at the end of the week, you might have detoxed and be feeling a bit average, so give your body some extra love.

Even an Epsom salt bath for half an hour at home will feel really good on sore, tired muscles.” For a daily hit of love, Haining is a firm believer in the power of affirmations, twisting any negative thoughts around. “Affirmations are a huge thing in my life and they really work,” she says. “If you’re feeling negative about something, you have to change your thinking, which might involve writing down a positive flip on that thought, such as ‘How am I ever going to get through these seven days’ and turn it around to ‘I can’t wait to feel how good I’m going to feel after these seven days’.

Write it down and put it on your fridge or on your phone as a daily alert; just constantly remind yourself.”   Pros & Cons Pros Seven days is achievable for anyone and Haining’s The 7-Day Quickie caters for all fitness levels and most taste buds. The balanced approach with carefully thought out nutrition alongside a mixture of exercise means you are unlikely to feel hungry or exhausted during this plan and, by the end, your energy levels will only increase.

While Haining is reluctant to mention a number on the scales as everyone is different, she says people will lose a layer and gain a flatter tummy. Without alcohol and processed foods, your sleep pattern should improve, which means you’ll look fresher and experience better moods.

Cons Whenever we go full throttle and deprive ourselves of favourite foods, there’s the possibility of backlash once we reach the finish life. Haining says slips are part of being human and if you fall off the wagon on day eight, don’t sweat it. “I worked with James Duigan for so many years and his motto or mantra is to be kind to yourself – which I so agree with. At the end of the day, you might have the worst eating day of your life on day eight after the program,” says Haining. “Drink your wine and eat your chocolate but know on day nine you can go back and do the quickie again for seven days and you’ll feel great.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a day of bad eating, it’s when you have a bad couple of years of eating that we have a problem. Be kinder to yourself: it’s more important to feel happy and enjoy life, and not feel as though you’re being deprived of anything so you can maintain longevity.”


7 days to ultimate health with Tegan Haining

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Train like an elite

Your goal doesn’t have to be to make it to the Olympics in order to get the most from your workouts.

Whether you’re training for a race or simply looking to stay active, why shouldn’t you at least be able to train like your favourite athletes? Fitness expert and coach Nick Grantham – who has worked with many top athletes and Olympians – thinks we should all be able to train to our full potential regardless of our individual goals.

His new book The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete is designed to give you everything you need to make it happen. ‘Anyone who wants to improve their fitness levels and is willing to invest some time and effort can optimise their training and performance,’ he says. ‘And that’s pretty much anyone!’

Gone are the days when you needed the most expensive training tools and elite trainers by your side to train smart. From guide books to online personal trainers, there are increasingly easy and effective ways to get training – but with Nick’s experience working in high-performance fitness and sport science, you can really count on The Strength & Conditioning Bible to not only explain what to do and how to do it, but also why you’re doing it.
‘As a coach I know the power of understanding,’ Nick says. ‘If you understand why you’re performing an activity, you’re far more likely to stick to the training programme.’

As well as giving you the chance to take exercises up or down a notch, it also preps you to continue your training confidently on your own. ‘It offers sample sessions, and appropriate progressions and regressions,’ he adds. ‘It also provides the reader with an understanding that will allow them to develop their own effective programmes.’

The workout over these pages, devised by Nick, will allow you to train your body from head to toe in a fuss-free, effective way. In Nick’s own words, no matter what your level or experience, ‘anyone can train like an athlete’.


Areas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves


Holding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles,

stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Bend at your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.

Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your level


Areas trained: chest, triceps, core


Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten up through your core, ensuring your back is flat.

Bend your arms to lower your body until your chest is about 1cm from the floor.

Drive back up to the starting position where your arms are extended.

Romanian deadlift

Areas trained: hamstrings, lower back, glutes


Hold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs).

Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead.

Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor.

Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start position.


Areas trained: core, stomach


Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle with arms fully extended towards the ceiling.

Simultaneously lower your arms behind your head and your legs out fully until they are both close to the ground, without touching it.

Return to the start position and repeat.


Areas trained: shoulders, core, glutes, sides


Lie on your back and hold a kettlebell in your right hand, straight above your shoulder, arm vertical. Position your left arm out to the side and bend your right leg so that your right foot is alongside your left knee.

Pushing off your right foot, roll onto your left hip and up onto your left elbow.

Push up onto your left hand and holding yourself up on your left hand and right foot, lift yourself up off the ground, then thread your left leg back to a kneeling position.

You will be in a kneeling position with your left knee on the floor, right foot on the floor and the kettlebell locked out overhead in your right hand.

From the kneeling position, move into a standing position.

Reverse the movements to come back down to the starting position on the floor.

Perform on the opposite side for the next rep.

Hip thrust

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, core


Set up in the position shown – your shoulder blades in line with the bench and holding a barbell to your hips.

Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor.

Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to push your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.

Lower; repeat.

2-point dumbbell bent-over row

Areas trained: upper back, biceps


Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, start with your feet hip-width apart in an offset stance with your right foot slightly staggered behind the left.

Take up the same position as you would for a bent-over row (your knees slightly bent and your torso bent forwards at your hips at a 45-degree angle).

Row the dumbbell up to your ribcage and then return to the starting position.

Repeat all reps in the set and then switch sides.

Kettlebell swing

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, back, core


Hold a kettlebell with both hands and bend your knees so you are in an athletic position.

Bring the kettlebell through your legs, so your forearms are in contact with your inner thighs.

Swing the weight upward and out to eye level, using the extension of your hips to move
the load.

Return to the start position and go straight into another rep.

Buy the book

Packed with plenty more workouts just like this one, The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete by Nick Grantham is published by Bloomsbury (£18, bloomsbury.com). Get your copy now!

Train like an elite

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Image shoulder-front-raise.jpg

Strengthening shoulder workout

For all the girls carrying the world on their shoulders, Karey Northington provides an epic upper body circuit designed to build strength and create some serious shape.

The why

This workout is a fantastically efficient time saver that hits the deltoid from multiple angles, creating beautifully sculpted shoulders. Using dumbbells, the body bar and the plate help vary the muscles used and make the workout convenient to do almost anywhere. With today’s busy schedules, it’s crucial to have at-home options that save a trip to the gym.

The do

Complete 12 reps of each exercise one after the other, with little to no rest in between. Begin with two rounds, working your way up to four rounds as you become stronger and fitter. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between each round.

Start by holding the body bar with a pronated grip and hands shoulder width apart, elbows slightly bent. Raise bar to chin height engaging anterior deltoid. Control bar back to start position.

Dumbbell shoulder press


Lift dumbbells and rotate hands so palms are facing up. Start with dumbbells even with your ears and press overhead without letting the dumbbells touch. Return to start position and repeat.


Hold dumbbells at sides, palms facing your body and elbows slightly bent. Raise arms leading with your elbow and small finger to shoulder height. Lower slowly to starting position and repeat


Holding a plate on each side, raise to chin height and rotate plate from side to side. Lower and repeat.

Tip: challenge yourself by doing 12 front raises alone with the plate to pre-fatigue the muscles, and then holding the plate in the top position to complete reps rotating the plate.


Start in a low plank position on your forearms, with your feet shoulder width apart and your lower back flat. Push your body up into a high plank position, first onto your right hand then onto your left. Lower yourself back down to the low plank position one arm at a time.  Repeat, alternating which arm pushes up first.

Model/Workout: Karey Northington // northingtonfitnessandnutrition.com

Photography: James Patrick // jamespatrick.com

Strengthening shoulder workout

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Upgrade your lunch break workout

Forget clocking extra office hours – lunchtime is the perfect time to burn calories!

Making it to the end of the working day is so much harder if you don’t take a break. A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports shows that even a 30-minute lunchtime stroll can significantly boost a person’s ability to handle stress at work. But why not ramp up the intensity of your workout and amplify results? ‘It sounds obvious, but don’t use the time to just go through the motions,’ says Georgia Gray, Fitness First personal trainer. ‘Be focused. Get the most out of every rep. Don’t text during your rest periods. Basically, just work hard.’ Heading to the gym this lunch hour? Follow these smart strategies to get more from your session.


Guilty of wandering around the gym aimlessly? What you need is a game plan for workout success. ‘Know exactly what you’re going to the gym to do,’ advises Gray. ‘Not only will you be more motivated to beat your weight or rep targets, but you’ll also save the time you’d normally spend thinking about what bit of kit to use next.’ If you’re not sure what sort of plan you should be following, speak to one of the gym instructors and ask if you can book a gym induction, during which they should provide you with an exercise plan. Get in there and just do it. Got it?


Modern gyms may be fitness-lovers’ playgrounds – with battle ropes, tyres, sleds and plenty of exciting new-fangled kit – but it’s important not to simply ‘play around’ with the latest equipment. In fact, New Balance ambassador Shona Vertue thinks it’s best to use as little equipment as possible. ‘There’s nothing worse than getting to a packed gym only to spend half your time waiting for kit. Standing in line won’t burn calories! If you’re using the gym at a peak time, such as during the lunch hour, find an empty corner, grab a kettlebell or resistance band and do a circuit. That way, you’ll spend your lunch hour working out rather than waiting it out,’ she says.


When time is short, compound exercises that work multiple muscles at once are the key to strength rewards. ‘Revolve your session around big, compound moves such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, chest presses, bent-over rows, chin-ups and dips,’ says Gray. ‘These moves require oodles of energy and are great for fat loss. A lot of my clients love the adductor (inner-thigh) machine, but a squat will work the adductors, rest of the lower body, core and lower back.’ In short, these moves offer more bang for your exercise buck.


Sure, rest periods are important. They give your body a chance to restore, recover and replenish, meaning you can hit the next set just as hard as the last one. But, by cleverly selecting exercises that work different muscle groups, you can skimp on rest, give worked muscles a chance to recoup and keep up the intensity. ‘Switch between upper- and lower-body movements,’ says Vertue. ‘For example, perform 10 squats, then immediately [without rest] do 10 push-ups. By going from a lower- to an upper-body exercise, your body is quickly shunting blood from the legs (from the squat) to the arms (for the push-up). This takes quite a bit of energy and will burn lots of calories.’


Love spending the entire hour on the treadmill? Bad news – unless you’re training for an endurance event, spending that long on a cardio machine isn’t the best use of your time. What you need to do is to up the intensity and decrease the time of your aerobic session to supercharge cardiovascular results. ‘There are lots of ways to increase the intensity of your workout,’ says Allyn Condon, personal trainer at The Gym Bristol. ‘You could vary the sets [try doing hill intervals, for example] or increase the speed of your movements to improve your overall performance and get more from your workout.’ Do this and you’ll free up time to spend using the other kit as well.


If you’re still plugging through the 3 x 12 reps session that the gym instructor gave you a year ago, it’s time to mix up your weights workout. ‘Your body needs progressive overload to make progress,’ says Gray. And this means taxing your muscles more this week than you did last week. ‘If you’re coming in and going through the motions, you’ll struggle to see results. Try doing dropsets, which involves completing an exercise at a certain weight before dropping the weight slightly and performing the same exercise. This is a great way to push the body to failure [when it can’t physically do that move anymore, which leads to strength gains].’


If you’re motivated by competition, one of the most effective ways to gain strength and improve your fitness results is to compete with yourself by tracking your workouts. ‘When you’re not sticking to a plan, you really will struggle to see results,’ warns Gray. ‘To get the most out of any workout – whether it’s long or short – you need to be recording what you’re doing and aiming to improve on that [by running a bit faster, lifting more weight or clocking more reps, for example] week-on-week.’ Yes, it’s time to invest in that workout diary you’ve been promising yourself.


Upgrade your lunch break workout

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Why you should train your glutes?

Covet strong glutes? We asked the Base Body Babes to share their advice when it comes to training your glutes.

We love having and creating well balanced, beautifully proportioned and functional bodies. Our programs are specifically designed to ensure the body is structurally balanced and moving correctly, with a focus on posture and creating feminine proportions. Generally speaking, women are lower body dominant (whereas men are upper body dominant), so when we design our programs we place a greater focus on the lower body movements to create or maintain these feminine proportions. In our experience, women love having a shapely booty and toned, lean legs.

As the glutes are the biggest muscle in the body, it’s important to specifically work and build muscle in this area: not only because we like the look of a well developed, perky behind, but because the glutes are important to the overall function of the body.

From a functional strength standpoint, it’s quite common for people to have lazy or underactive glutes. This can lead to lower back pain and injuries, as the glutes are primarily responsible for day-to-day tasks such as bending over and picking things up. If the glutes aren’t strong, more stress is placed on the lower back unnecessarily. In most instances, if someone suffers from lower back pain, strengthening the glutes is a great place to start.

It’s no secret that squats are the first exercise that people turn to when they want to build a booty. Although squats are our favourite movement and our programs are based around them, there is certainly more to booty gains than just the squat rack. Too many times we see women squatting without knowing how to correctly activate their glute muscles; without proper technique and activation, results cannot be achieved.

Getting the most out of your booty

1. Technique is everything. Correct technique is vital to keeping you free from injury, to allow you to lift the correct weight and to ensure you are working the exact muscles that you are targeting. If your body starts to fatigue and your technique breaks down, it’s time to stop the set. Many people like to train until failure and take the body beyond what it is capable of, but this only increases the risk of injury. Always remember: safety first!

2. Progression is key. The body must continuously be challenged in order for it to change and develop; if you keep doing what the body can already do, the body doesn’t need to adapt! Every week, aim to increase the amount of weight you are lifting by about two to four per cent. Challenge your body for best results!


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Top fitness tips for building strong abs

Try: Pre-workout muscle engagement

When you’re pushed for time, you want to get the most bang for your buck. Pre-workout muscle engagement is a technique that aims to engage more muscles throughout your workout, which burns more calories and creates a stable base.

How: Try adding the following core and glute activation exercises into your routine:

a.   Toe Taps – 20 reps
b.    Plank – 1 min
c.    Leg Raises – 10 reps each leg
d.    Clams – 20 reps each leg
e.    Body Rolls – 10 reps

Complete 2 rounds

Why: A strong core will ensure you engage the correct muscles during your training and allow you to build a well-shaped physique.

INSIDER’S TIP: Begin each workout with the routine above and you will be well on your way to a killer core!
Activating these muscles prior to your workout will promote a muscle/ mind connection. This increases muscle fibre activation, improving your lifts and decreasing your risk of injury.

Alternatively, if you are unable to effectively engage your core, try a Pilates class to ensure you have the correct technique to build your base.

Tips by Zana, trainer at Goodlife Health Clubs Prahran.


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How to sculpt your core

The vision

Fat loss is key to what the majority of women want in a stomach: one that is ‘flat’ or lean, with a little definition and no love handles.

“The most common complaints I receive are from new mums who have a flabby stomach or saggy skin after giving birth, or from individuals who have gained weight and now have a ‘pot belly’,” says director of Soul Centre Yoga & Pilates Studio Libby Wever (soulcentre.com.au)

“Beyond aesthetics, core conditioning also improves posture, which contributes to a trimmer appearance, and improves flexibility and balance. Moreover, developing core muscle strength can boost the effectiveness of workouts and reduce the risk of injuries that sideline our efforts to stay in shape. It also protects your back, which is very important to maintain.”

Key features

Your core is actually a highly complex set of muscles, encompassing the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, and the rectus abdominis. Minor core muscles include the latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus and trapezius.

“The transverse abdominal muscles, which wrap from the sides of the lower back around to the front, are well-coordinated core muscles that stabilise the spine and help create a firm base of support for virtually all movement,” says Wever.

The plan

From an aesthetic point of view, there is little point smashing out the crunches if your obliques are hidden by layers of fat. That said, like any muscle, the abs still need to be worked for proper function and image once the fat does come off.

“Exercises that strengthen abdominal and other core muscles should be part of an overall fitness plan that includes regular moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking 30 minutes per day, most days of the week. Strength training two to three times a week designed to work the core (think Pilates and compound lifts) will also help,” says Wever.

Given the abs are notoriously resistant to fatigue and contain predominantly of slow-twitch (endurance) muscle fibres, they usually respond best to higher volume training. Think upward of 12 reps, for multiple sets.

“Performing basic movements such as sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts, squats and lunges – 12 reps by three sets – as well as holding a full-body plank for two minutes will help to engage and strengthen the core, aiding in your performance across other sports and activities, such as running or swimming,” adds Wever.



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The best reasons to work out

Losing inches shouldn’t be your only motivation for hitting the gym. Regular training sessions benefit your entire body

Toned legs and a flat stomach aren’t the only benefits of working out. According to a research review in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, regular exercise can help cut your risk of more than 20 illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

‘Exercise is essential for losing and maintaining weight loss,’ says sports scientist Nick Morgan, ‘but the other benefits are just as important.’ Here’s what exercise does to keep you healthy, happy and alive!


Staying active cuts your risk of dementia and age-related memory loss by increasing the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain that makes memories. A 40,000-person Norwegian study found that those who engage in regular activity of any intensity are less likely to develop symptoms of depression.


Brisk walking for as little as one and a quarter hours every week can help reduce oestrogen levels in the body, which may lower your breast cancer risk by 18 per cent!


Bone-thinning osteoporosis now affects around one in three women in the UK, according to the latest research. Taking part in a 45-minute Step aerobics class, three times a week, will help boost bone density, especially in your spine, legs and heels. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) also reports that heavy resistance training may increase bone mass, as it places strain on the bones of the joint you are working.


Intense exercise can reduce levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates your appetite, while raising levels of the peptide YY, which lowers appetite. A study in the journal Appetite also found that a brisk 15-minute walk decreased chocolate cravings by 12 per cent.


Not only will exercise add about four years to your life, it can also lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number that measures your blood pressure while the heart is beating) by as much as five to 10mmHg (millimetres of mercury). This is as good as some blood pressure medications. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week.


Lifting weights and upping your lean muscle mass could lower your insulin resistance, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes. For every 10 per cent increase in muscle mass, the risk of pre-diabetes should drop by 12 per cent.


Three to five weekly workouts of 20-60 minutes of vigorous activity is an effective treatment for IBS, according to a Swedish study. Demanding workouts improve bowel movements, and relieve gas and constipation.

Sex drive

Around 20 minutes of cardio exercise gets your body aroused faster and more intensely for a bit of rough and tumble. Not only that, lifting weights can also cause testosterone surges, and women with more testosterone tend to be more aroused and enjoy sex more.

Source: The best reasons to work out

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Image samly-abs-plank.jpg

15-minute ab workout

Want a strong core?

Add this high-energy workout to your workouts and boost fat loss, muscle gain and strength.

All you need is 15 minutes two to three times a week and a medicine ball.

1. Straight-arm plankLie on a flat surface.

Position hands directly under shoulders and legs, shoulder-width apart


2. Mountain climbers

For the next 30 seconds, incorporate spider mountain climbers, alternating movements on each side with the knee to elbow, back into the straight-arm plank for a total of one minute. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.




3. Medicine ball crunches

Start with feet on the floor at a 90-degree angle. Lean back onto tailbone and lift feet off the floor at 45 degrees. Hold a 4 kg medicine ball at your chest. With knees bent and toes pointed upwards, extend arms with the medicine ball while bringing the knees towards the chest.

Keeping the abdominal muscles contracted, bring the medicine ball back to chest and extend the legs without letting your feet touch the ground. Stay in that position and preform a Russian twist with the medicine ball for weighted resistance.

Twist core with medicine ball from side to side. Keep legs as steady as possible while twisting without touching the floor. Do this as one motion for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.




4. High knees

Standing on a flat surface with feet hip-width apart, comfortably jump on one foot, lifting your knees as high as possible. Let arms flow with the motion of the opposite knee. Alternate legs for one minute at maximum speed and drop to the floor into the straight-arm plank. Perform spider mountain climbers for one minute, alternating movements on each side with the knee to elbow, back into the straight-arm plank. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.


Words/workout: Sam Ly (pictured)Photography: Jamie Watling


15-minute ab workout

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Eating for Distance

Fuelling your body with the right food is a recipe for success, says Louise Pyne

A good training regime is, of course, essential for distance running.

But for real success on the endurance front, it is important to give your nutrition a long hard look.

The longer you run, the more fuel your body needs. As a general rule, if you exercise at intensity beyond one-and-a-half hours, your body needs to replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes to maintain performance, says nutritionist Sarah OíNeill (sarahoneill.co.uk). And if you don’t consume the extra salt and sugar your body craves, you’re more susceptible to dehydration. Plus, without additional fuel, your body can start to break down lean tissue.

Your body burns fat more efficiently as a fuel in the presence of glucose, but otherwise, when your glycogen stores become depleted, your body turns to muscle as its next choice, which is obviously counterproductive and not the desired outcome of training, adds Sarah. Paying close attention to timing will also help you get the most out of each and every training session. You need to know what to eat and when, so weíve put together an easy-to-follow guide with some simple recipes for you to try.

Performance-boosting eats

2 hours before

Eat this: Grilled salmon with quinoa. This provides a good ratio of protein, carbs and healthy fats to help sustain energy for gruelling long runs. 

Avoid this: Lentils and beans. These can be difficult to digest and may bring on cramps during training. Save legume-based meals for in between training sessions instead.

Star recipe: Turkey meatballs with brown rice

Mix together 100g lean turkey mince, 1 chopped onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1tsp tomato purée and
shape into balls. Dip into a beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Place on an ovenproof tray with
a spoonful of coconut oil and bake for 25 minutes at 180
°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Serve on a bed of brown rice. 

1 hour before

Eat this: A light snack combining easy to digest carbs and a small portion of protein. Good options include a banana topped with nut butter or cheese on wholemeal toast.

Avoid this: Gas-producing fruits like peaches, apple and pear will leave you feeling uncomfortable and bloated prior to training.

Star recipe: Homemade granola bars

Combine the following ingredients: 200g oats, 100g flaxseeds, 50g raisins, 50g dried cranberries, 100g mixed seeds, 2tbsp almond butter, 1 pinch ground cinnamon and a generous drizzle of maple syrup. Neatly spoon into an ovenproof tin and bake for 25 mins at 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 or until lightly browned. Allow to cool and then cut into bars. 

15 minutes before

Eat this: A small helping of easily digestible carbohydrates will help to supercharge energy levels and counteract
fatigue. Excellent choices include a couple of oatcakes, half a banana or a few pieces of dried fruit.

Avoid this: Huge servings of food, especially complex carbs, protein-rich, fibrous or fatty foods, as these will take longer to digest, bring on a stitch and may make you need the toilet while running! 

Star recipe: Oat and raisin cookies

Mix together 1 beaten egg, 70g plain flour, 150g oats, 100g caster sugar, 1 pinch cinnamon and 100g raisins. Roll into balls and place on an ovenproof tray.
Bake for 15 minutes at 180
°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. 

Post-run recipes

If you don’t eat the right food after your run, fatigue and headaches can set in, making you feel sluggish
for hours or even days afterwards. To offset the effects, a combination of carbs (to replenish glycogen stores) and protein (to rebuild lean muscle tissue) eaten within 30 minutes is the best choice. Try these simple recipes to get back on your feet after a hardcore training session:

Choco-fruity smoothie

Blend together the following ingredients:

1 small pot of Greek yoghurt

1 banana

Handful of frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries)

250ml semi skimmed milk 

1tsp cocoa powder

1 pinch cinnamon

Cajun chicken sandwich

Sprinkle 1 chicken breast with Cajun seasoning and grill. Once cooked, cut into small pieces. Spread two slices toasted wholemeal bread with 1tbsp crème fraîche, and top with the chicken breast pieces. Add 1 chopped tomato, mixed salad leaves and a squeeze of lemon. 

Salmon and veggie pasta

Place a salmon fillet on a piece of foil with 4 cherry tomatoes and half a sliced yellow
pepper. Season with mixed herbs and place in the oven at 180
°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
for 15-20 minutes. Cook 60g wholewheat pasta, drain.
Flake the salmon into the drained pasta and add the remaining ingredients. Stir in 1tbsp crème fraîche and the juice of half a lemon and a few shavings of Parmesan.

Injury prevention foods

Keep your body in tip-top condition with these healthy bites

Kiwi fruit

Your body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein that gives connective tissue its strength. Load up on kiwis to make sure your body has the required levels of vitamin C it needs. 


Nibbling on cheese will provide your body with calcium, an important mineral that helps to keep bones healthy. 


Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A, a nutrient needed to speed up wound healing by helping cells to reproduce properly. 

Finally, here are some tips on how to get in great shape with these simple strategies

One size doesn’t fit all 

There’s a wide range of sports nutrition products available on the market, but sometimes you have
to try different things out to see what suits you best. ‘We all have slightly different digestive systems and responses to sports drinks, gels and protein shakes,’ says Sarah. 

Ditch the booze

Endurance training places a huge stress on your body, which means you really need to load up on extra nutrients. So, while a glass of wine (or two) might seem like it hits the spot after a long training session,
it won’t do your nutrient levels any good. Unfortunately, alcohol depletes the body of vitamins and minerals, slowing down performance and making you more susceptible to illness. So keep drinking to a minimum (no more than two alcoholic drinks (per week) or, better still, cut out booze completely in the run-up to a marathon. 

Don’t binge

It’s tempting to reward yourself with food after completing a long run, but if you overeat junk post-run you’ll just gain weight. ‘You may burn 2,000 calories, but it’s still easier to replace these calories than burn them! It’s important to eat the “right” things, such as a range of fruit and veg, healthy fats and lean proteins to help provide the range of nutrients your working body requires,’ says Sarah. 

Source: Eating for Distance

Posted in Diets, Fitness Models, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

Paige Hathaway

Paige Hathaway

1 day 7 hours ago

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Paige Hathaway

1 day 10 hours ago

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