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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Need some gym inspiration? Here's a short, painful session

Research has shown that shorter, higher intensity bouts of exercise can be just as beneficial as longer exercise periods.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

THE OBJECTIVE HERE is to go as fast as possible through the session, without compromising the quality of each exercise.

Research has shown that shorter, higher intensity bouts of exercise can be just as beneficial as longer exercise periods at moderate intensity.

This session is designed to improve your cardiovascular fitness as well as providing strength gains.


Start with a 3-5 minute warm-up however you like, be it running or rowing, or some cross training. Follow this with some stretching of the major muscles groups; quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves.

* Next we’re going to do a couple of exercises one after another; push ups immediately followed by jumping lunges.

10 of each should suffice for each set. Take a 30-second rest and repeat twice more.

This number or reps-and-rest period is very fluid, so it’s very much up to the participant.

However, it is important to challenge yourself on every rep and set. That completes phase one.

* Now we’re going to introduce some weight.

Perform 12 step-ups with each leg using a dumbbell you’d struggle to complete 12 bicep curls with. This weight is entirely up to you. Step up onto a box or a bench.

Superset this with 12 dumbbell lunges on each keg with the same weight. Dumbbell lunges are where you hold the weights down by your side and take a step out in front, drop your knee, rebound back up and return to the starting position.

Repeat the superset three times with minimal rest. That competes phase two.

*Follow this exercise with some medicine ball throws supersetted with gym ball press-ups.

This exercise is designed to really target your core muscles and glutes, respectively. The medicine ball throws will be undertaken facing a high wall. Grab a ball, 4-8kg should suffice.

Now, squat down with the ball held close to your chest and when you extend upwards, throw the ball as high as you can against the wall. Catch it as it drops and squat down as low as you can. Do that 12 times and superset it with gym ball press-ups.

These are where you plank on the ball with your arms extended. Now, with one hand on the ball, bring the other to the side and perform a normal press-up. The hand that was pressing up from the ground is now placed on the ball and the other hand is placed on the floor to perform the press up. Eight on each side followed by two minutes rest is perfect.
This completes phase three.

*Finish out the session with another triumvirate of exercises; ab crunches, tricep dips and side lunges.

Again, like what got us underway, these require nothing more than an exercise mat and a chair.

Perform 30 ab crunches and without rest, go straight into tricep dips, remembering to do the movement as slowly as you can to really fire those muscles and finally, side lunges. The latter are done by standing still, hands behind your head and in one movement, take a large step to one side, keep your back straight and really focus on rebounding back up strongly.

Take 60 seconds rest after completing the three exercises and repeat twice more.

That completes one hell of a session. Go have a protein shake.

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About the author:

Brian Canty

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