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The ultimate HIIT workout - it's week 4 of our gym programme with a personal trainer

Short, sharp and intense.

IT’S THAT TIME of the year again when we all have good intentions but achieving results is easier said than done.

Unfortunately parting with a membership fee and dragging yourself to the gym a couple of days a week is only laying the foundations for you to achieve your end goal, whatever that may be.

Not all of us have access to a personal trainer to kickstart our training so we’ve teamed up with a leading personal trainer to design a six-week programme for you to follow.

This is a full body workout and will help you settle into the gym, become familiar with the machines and exercises and help you on your way to discernible results.

The equipment and machines we will be using will be available in any gym. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email fitness@the42.ie.

Before we get into week four, here’s last week’s workout.

Week 4

This week we are going to change our approach and look at HIIT (high-intensity interval training) circuit training. The big positives of this workout are, it’s quick and you can do it at home or anywhere you have a little space.

It’s all bodyweight exercises so no equipment is needed. However, use weights if you want to progress some of these exercises.

We will do eight exercises lasting 45 seconds each with a 45 second rest. If we achieve three rounds it’s roughly a 35 minute workout. Doing this daily or alternating the days with the previous three weeks workouts will give you great results.

shutterstock_231816463 Source: Shutterstock/Tyler Olson

1) Burpees

Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms down by your side. Lower into a squat position with your hands flat on the floor in front of you.

Kick your legs backwards into a press up position and lower your chest to the floor. Push your chest back up to the press up position thrust both feet forward so you are back in the squat position. Jump up and raise both hands over your head.

2) Crunches

shutterstock_319842065 Source: Shutterstock/Undrey

Lay on your back with the soles of your feet flat on the floor and your knees up. Place your hands on your thighs and run them up towards your knee, your torso leaving the floor. Squeeze your abs on the way up and release on the way down.

3) Jumping jacks

shutterstock_315919550 Source: Shutterstock/baranq

Stand with your feet at hip width and hands down by your sides. In one motion jump your feet out to the side and raise your arms above your head. Immediately reverse that motion by jumping back to the starting position.


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4) Plank

Start by getting into a press up position. Bend your elbows and rest your weight on to your forearms but not on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine. Squeeze your abs and glutes, hold this position for the 45 seconds and do not let your lower back drop.

5) Lunges

shutterstock_278388485 Source: Shutterstock/Undrey

Very similar to the split squats in last week’s programme except we alternate the legs and won’t use a step. Start with your feet together, hands on hips. Step forward a good pace (hence lunges) placing your foot firmly in front of you, the rear foot should come up on its toes.

Begin by descending, flexing your knee and hip to lower your body down. Maintain good posture throughout the movement, head up, shoulders back.

Keep the front knee in line with the foot as you perform the exercise. At the bottom of the movement, drive through your heel to extend your knee and hip to return to the starting position. Switch feet immediately and alternate for 45 seconds.

6) Press ups

shutterstock_296586320 Source: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

Support yourself face down on the ground, with your arms extended, hands shoulder width and feet slightly apart.

Inhale, squeeze your abs and bend your elbows bringing your rib cage close to the ground without arching your lower back excessively.

Push yourself back up to complete arm extension. The aim to keep your body in a straight line on the way up and down.

7) Mountain climbers

shutterstock_195171083 Source: Shutterstock/Summersky

You can use a step, sofa, edge of a chair for this exercise. Begin in a push-up position, with your weight supported by your hands and toes. This will be your starting position.

Flexing your knee and hip, bring one leg up until the knee is approximately under the hip, as if being pulled towards the tummy.

Explosively reverse the positions of your legs, extending the bent leg until the leg is straight and supported by the toe, and bringing the other foot up with the hip and knee flexed. Repeat alternating for the 45 seconds.

8) High knees

Stand straight with your feet hip width apart, looking straight ahead and arms down by your side. Jump from one foot to the other at the same time lifting your knees as high as possible, try and reach hip height. The arms should be following the motion and touch the ground with the balls of your feet.

Matt Keatley is a Personal Trainer & Nutritionist. For more information on training programmes and diet check out his Facebook and Instagram. Check back next Wednesday for the fifth week of the programme. 

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