Each video is in real time so you can literally follow each one for a full workout video. You can simply flow through them in succession for a complete 30 minute workout or use some of my workout combinations to make the plan easier or harder to do. If you don’t have time or the inclination to do it all together then aim to break it up throughout the day into 10 or 15 minute bursts.
You will also find a weekly fitness planner that you can download and stick on your fridge. Write on the planner the number of minutes you spend on each workout - Your aim is to add up to 30 minutes, 6 days a week. For an extra bit of motivation why don’t you get together with some other Hungry Girls (and boys) and do these workouts together? You could even encourage a bit of friendly competition by seeing who can add up the most minutes on their planner over the weeks!
It’s really important to build up gradually and always have one day of complete rest. Read below to find out how much you, depending on your fitness level, should be doing each week.
You can also aim to burn more calories by doing other activities of your choice. This can be what I call ‘on the move’ minutes. These activities can be everyday actions such as walking to work or taking the stairs - the more you do, and the faster you move the more calories you’ll burn. Recent research has shown that people who move spontaneously throughout the day can burn as much as 500 extra calories per day. This really makes a difference. Do it as much as you can!
This is you if you have never worked out or not done any exercise for 6 months or more.
Start by doing more on the move minutes (see above) and doing the 3 minute videos every other day.You can attempt any of the workout plans except the ‘step it up’ and ‘Intense cardio’Look at my workout combosfor ways to make up your 30 minutes per dayAdd an additional workout day each week until you are doing 30 minutesIf it starts to feel easy, move up to the intermediate workout combos.
This is you if you have exercised in the last 6 months but only once a week or less.
Aim to do the videos every other day, but include both the step it up and Intense cardio videos.Add an additional 30 minutes each week until you are doing 30 minutes, 6 days a week by the last week of the plan.You can also attempt the step it up and intense cardio videos in the last week.
This is you if you are currently exercising 2 -3 times a week.
Start with all videos on each dayProgress your plans by trying some of the harder combinations, such as the ‘Intense Circuit’ by the end of your 4 weeks. You can also make your workouts longer than 30 minutes if you wish, just repeat cardio and strength intervals for a harder workout.
The intensity talk test
You MUST work out at the right intensity. During warm up and cool down sections you should be working at a level where you can talk comfortably. During Easy cardio, Step it up Cardio and toning sections you should always be able to string 1 – 2 sentences together. During Intense Cardio you should not be able to string a sentence and be huffing and puffing in between each word!
A lot of the exercises are based around mine and Lorraine and Nadia’s love of Pilates. Pilates is all about using good posture and core muscles – do this all the time you are working out...
Use perfect posture – this is also known as holding a ‘neutral spine’. Stand tall, look straight ahead, keeping your chin drawn in – imagine holding a grapefruit under your chin.Maintain a small curve in your lower back – if sitting or standing you should feel like your tailbone is drawing to the floor without tucking under – put your hands on your hips - your hips should feel level, like a full bucket of water that doesn’t spill! When lying you should feel your tail bone on the floor and a small gap above it.
Draw your shoulders back and down but don’t stick your boobs right out. You should be able to draw a horizontal line from your breast plate through to your spine.
Use your inner core - these are the muscles that support your spine and breathe deeply and slowly to make you taller and slimmer!Pull up your pelvic floor - this is a deep muscle that lies like a hammock from your pubic bone to your tailbone - imagine pulling these two points together and drawing them up inside you – bit like stopping your pee midstream but should feel deeper.
Pulling up your pelvic floor (PF) should also signal your deep abdominal muscles to work, so when you pull up your PF subtly draw your belly in at the same time – think of zipping up a zip from your pubic bone to your belly button.
Flatten your shoulder blades into the back of your rib cage and gently draw them down – imagine a piece of string attached to the bottom of each shoulder blade, gently pulling them in and down.Take big breaths and try to relax as you breathe out – this makes it easier to connect to your inner core and focus on your exercises.
Breathe slowly and aim to breathe out when you contract your muscles or push, pull, lift or draw into a movement.
You don’t have to use any equipment to do these workouts. I use a step and a 2–4 kg weight but if you don’t have these then you can use a bottom stair in your house or a step/bench outside or simply do the same movements without. For weights you can instead use a washing powder box or even a handbag! – Both need to have short handles and something inside to add 2–4 kg of weight. You’ll also need a towel and a mat or rug to lie on.
To get good results you need to tire out your muscles in your toning exercises but in a good way! This should be where you can do the exercise as shown in the videos, whilst holding good posture. If you can’t hold good posture or feel your muscles fatiguing, switch to the easier versions shown or simply rest until the video moves onto the next exercise. Each day you repeat the video, aim to increase the number of exercises you can do.