Monday, 12 July 2010

Shape up in 6 weeks

I finally got round to watching Sex and the City 2 yesterday and it made me come away wanting two things: 1) a beautiful designer wardrobe and 2) to look as good as they do even now, never mind when I’m their age! I definitely can’t afford option 1 so today I kick off trying to achieve option 2!!

I’m going to start the 6 week Slendertone plan today ( I go on holiday in 7 weeks) and if it’s as good as it says then hopefully I’ll notice a difference. I’ve taken a before photo but think it makes more sense just to compare at the end. My waist measurement at the moment is 29…so we’ll see what happens in 6 weeks’ time! 

I Already eat healthily by following the GI diet anyway, so they do offer dietary advice which I’ve included below but I am going to follow their exercise tips. Each session with the Slendertone is the equivalent of 120 sit-ups, so I’m sure that by using it alone it would make some difference, but obviously a big part of the plan which will make the majority of the difference is simply eating healthily and exercising as they suggest below – even if you don’t have a Slendertone then it’s probably worth trying the 6 week challenge anyway!

The plan has been devised by Elise Lindsay, Colleen McLoughlin’s personal trainer, and here’s what she suggests:

The 6 Week Plan
Two different 30 minute workout plans (30 minute = minimum requirement) to be done 3 times a week and should be alternated. For example:
Week 1 (workout 1, 2, 1)
Week 2 (workout 2, 1, 2)
(Repeat over six week period)

Exercise 1

Skipping - 1 minute (You do not necessarily need a rope for this! Just imagine it as you skip). Heel to bottom.
Step ups - 1 minute on your right leg, 1 minute on your left. Using the stairs and alternating legs, step up, up, down, down.
Half jacks - 1 minute. Step to the side with the right foot and put your body weight on your right leg. At the same time, lift both arms to the sides. Bring the foot and arms back to starting position. Repeat for either side for 1 minute.
Leg curls - 1 minute. Lightly kick the heel in towards the bottom. In this exercise, you will be moving sideways. Step to the right, left foot behind right, step to the right, leg curl with the left leg. Place the foot on the floor to the left, right foot behind the left, step to the left, leg curl with the right leg. Repeat.
Knee and kick combo - 10 minutes approx. Imagine you are smashing something with your knee as you lift it up. And when you kick imagine trying to push a door open with the sole of your foot. Don’t lock the knee when you kick. Do it with the right leg first and repeat on the left.
Wide squats - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Stand with feet slightly wider than the hips and knees in line with the toes. Keep the weight in the heels. Bend at the knees whilst sending the last bone in your spine backwards while maintaining a flat back. Breathe out as you return to standing, slightly squeezing the abdominals and gluteals (bottom!) as you lift the body.
Seated or standing reverse fly (small weight, like a tin of beans, required) - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Sit on a chair, lean forward from the hips with arms lengthening down to the floor and palms facing inwards. Hold a weight in each hand and lift arms out to the sides to shoulder height, nip the shoulder blades together and return arms to the sides.
Press ups (chest press as an alternative option) - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Start on all fours, with hands directly under your shoulders, fingers pointing forwards. Engage your abs and push your body weight into your hands, bending the elbows to lower the upper body in a straight line from the hips to the floor. Push the hands into the floor to lift the body back up.
Chest press - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Lie on your back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, parallel with the hips. Hold a weight in each hand (tin of beans will suffice). Have elbows on the floor at chest level, palms facing forwards, knuckles pointing towards the ceiling. Keep elbows in line with the wrists, push both hands up and extend the arms over the centre of the chest. Lower them back down and lightly touch the elbows to the floor.
Lateral lift (small weight required – tin of beans will be fine) - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Stand with your feet hip distance apart and hold a weight in each hand with arms by your sides. Keep the arms straight and lift them out to the sides to shoulder height. Do not lock the elbow. Lower arms with control.
Lunges - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Stand with feet hip-width apart, with one foot forward and one foot back. Lift the heel of the back foot slightly off the ground. Lower body down, not forwards, until you adopt a right angle with the back knee. The front knee should bend so your knee is above the ankle, not the toes. Straighten back to the starting position.

TOTAL: 30 minute workout

Exercise 2

Boxing combo - (Jabs/half jacks) 5 minutes. Jabs - A quick punch, pushing arm out from shoulder in front of you, turning slightly at the torso. Half jacks - as before.
Skipping combo - 5 minutes. You don’t even need a skipping rope for this! Just imagine it as you skip. Heel to bottom x 8, travel forward 8 steps x 4, on the spot x 8. Repeat.

Grapevine / kneelift - 1 minute. Step to the right, left foot behind the right, and then lift the left knee. Return foot to the floor and repeat on the other side.
March and kick combo - 5 minutes. March on the spot x 3 and alternate with front, side and back kicks, repeating on each leg.

Easywalk right and left (into powerful squat position at the end) - 2 minutes. Imagine walking forwards and backwards in a box on the floor then drop into a deep squat position.

Bicep curl - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart with a weight in each hand. Arms by your sides. Keep elbows into the sides bending them to lift the weights. Lower arms back to sides and repeat.
Tricep dip - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Place a chair against a wall and sit on it with knees bent and feet hip distance apart. Place hands on edge of the chair with fingers pointing forward and straighten the arms to lift the bottom off the chair. Bend the elbows directly behind you to lower the body, then push through the arms to lift back up.
Wide squats - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. As before. Repeat x10.
Chest flies - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Lie on your back with a weight in each hand with arms outstretched above the chest. Lower the weights sideways to shoulder level and return to starting position. Do not arch the back. Keep the abs engaged.
Back extension - do for 1 minute, repeat 3 times. Lie on your tummy and slightly lift upper back from the floor with your hands behind your back. Engage your abs, don’t overarch the back.

TOTAL: 30 minute workout

Additional outdoor activity option: 15 minutes walking / jogging.

General Tips
• Take a picture (day 1) front, side and back. Write down what you see.
• Write down what you want to be and what you want to achieve.
• Keep a food diary.
• Stay focused and positive.
• Eat slowly.
• Exfoliate 2-3 times per week.
• Maintain correct posture whilst either at work, outside or inside.
• Perform your household jobs with a stop watch and try and do a little quicker than normal.
• Perform mild exercises to a TV programme of your choice.
• Time a brisk walk/jog route. Aim to complete in the same time or better each time.

Slendertone Toning Tips
• Remember, five Slendertone sessions every week for the first six weeks! For maintenance - 3 times a week.
• If you miss a day, don’t worry, just be sure to do a session the day after.
• Use the highest toning intensity you can - there are 99 levels - the more you push yourself, the better the results you will see!
• For the best workout, increase the toning every five minutes during a session e.g. first five minutes level 50, last five minutes level 70.
• Use your unit once a day only, extra sessions on the same day don’t mean extra results.
• You can walk and tone with your belt to get a two in work workout, toning + cardio!
• If you are sporty, the best time to do sit-ups is straight after a Slendertone session - this gives even better results!
• It is better that toning sessions be completed before a large meal than after.
• Remember to take two rest days each week so that your muscles have time to recover.

Dietary Advice
• Reduce all carbs or eliminate after 7pm.
• Cut down on daily red meat intake.
• Abide to an alcohol curfew of 10.30pm.
• Eat less sugar.
• Eat more fruit and vegetables.
• Replace all snacks with vegetable and fruit.
• Drink boiling water with a slice of lemon first thing in the morning.
• Cut down on portion sizes.
• Make healthy soups and stews and replace your potential high-calorie lunch.
• Eat a good breakfast and enjoy it.

Exercise Tips
• Do a 5-10 minute stretch at the end or the beginning of the day.
• Do an extra 15-30 minutes cardio (this may be divided throughout the week).
• Perform 5-10 extra tricep dips twice a week.
• Perform 30 wide squats on top of your weekly exercise programme.
• Go for a brisk walk before dinner.
• Find a friend or join a group: doing exercise with other people is a great way to stay motivated.
• Take the stairs instead of the lift.
• Replace a car journey with a walk/run.
• Take away the TV remote .
• Do a family activity.

I've signed up on the website for motivational emails etc but will let you know how it goes in 6 weeks' time, if anyone fancies joining me on the challenge with or without the Slendertone then keep me updated with how you're doing!

Wish me luck girls!

SBB xxx 

For more information see and download your own 6 week challenge.

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