Strength of body and mind comes from strategic preparation and practice sessions. KATHRYN THOMAS says it’s time to rethink your workout.
I’m not an advocate of quick fixes when it comes to losing weight for short-term goals like holidays and events. For me, it’s all about the long term and having a healthy approach to food and training. Life is one big event. I believe we, as women, need to shift our focus from our weight to our overall wellbeing and remove the word “diet” from our vocabulary. Ninety per cent of people who go on a diet either regain the weight they lose or end up putting on more. We need to shift the focus to the importance of wellbeing and retraining the mind through exercise and nutrition.
1. SUPPORT AND THE RIGHT HABITS
There is not enough emphasis on support when we’re attempting to achieve results. We need support in order to succeed, whether that’s at home, at work, or personally. Surround yourself with the right people or immerse yourself in the right environment, and you are halfway there. Clean your kitchen of bad foods, get yourself a training buddy, and every week, sit down and map out your training programme together. Put the dates into your phone and stick to them. This way, you can encourage each other when either one of you is having an off day. Also, focus on goals that are fun. An upcoming 5k for charity, a triathlon or half marathon. It is all about telling yourself that your body is capable of so much more than you give it credit for. It is your head just as much as your body that gets you across any finish line.
2. KICKSTART YOUR DAY RIGHT
I know some people are not morning people, but honestly, getting some gentle movement in before breakfast and the beginning of your day is key to implementing positive changes to your daily routine. It also keeps you more focused during the day. What we advocate in Pure Results Bootcamp is gentle exercise in order to wake the body up before we put food into the system. A light jog or walk, anywhere between 2 and 5k. We call that our Kenyan run because it was devised by the Irish priest Brother Colm O’Connell out in Kenya, who trains all the Kenyan marathon runners, and he has had more success than anyone else in the history of sport. He gets all his runners to go on a walk, bring it up to a slight jog, then again to a walk, then a jog, and back down into a walk. The whole idea is your body is a machine that needs to be woken up slowly, by getting the blood flowing and the heart rate slightly accelerated.
3. FOOD PREPARATION TO FUEL THE BODY
We are all so busy, and time is of the essence. There is no point trying to eat things you don’t like. So this requires a certain amount of experimenting to come up with at least eight healthy meals we love and can whip up without too much hassle. We also need to make the freezer our best friend. These days, we’re all so busy juggling work, families, friends and our general wellbeing. Therefore, our food is the critical source of fuel for the energy needed to keep us going. Preparation and meal planning is essential. We need to ensure that we have the correct balanced diet – good fats, lean protein, etc. Your food is key to fuelling the body for peak performance in training and in life.
4. GET ON THE SEESAW – TABATA TRAINING
High/low intensity workouts are key, not just for getting results, but for keeping things interesting. High intensity training such as boxing, swimming, circuits, interval training or running when mixed with yoga, stretching, and walking is a great way for your body to feel the benefits of both. I have just started Tabata, which I learnt from my head trainer Dave Kenny. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is currently viewed as the most effective training method for burning fat. Not only that, but it also boosts your metabolism. Tabata, created by Japanese physician Dr Izumi Tabata, is a HIIT workout featuring four exercises that last for four minutes. Twenty seconds of high intensity exercise followed by ten seconds of rest, repeated eight times, adds up to four minutes total. Dr Tabata discovered that over a six-week period, the group surveyed improved both aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels by 28 per cent. Many exercises and types of equipment can be incorporated into the Tabata approach. You could use push-ups, planks, squats, stability ball exercises, resistance bands, weights or a bench. To start, use four exercises per Tabata.
A typical Tabata workout
- 11 push-ups, 12 squat jumps, 13 medicine ball slams; 14 jumping rope skips
How to do it
- 20 seconds of push-ups, then rest for ten seconds.
- 20 seconds of squats, then rest for ten seconds.
- 20 seconds of ball slams and rest for ten seconds.
- 20 seconds of skipping rope and rest for ten seconds.
- Repeat that whole cycle again –eight more times.
Pure Results Bootcamp, founded by TV presenter Kathryn Thomas last year, offers four- and seven-day all-inclusive programmes, which consist of high-impact and low-interval training. This summer, Pure Results will be moving to its second location from June 1 to September in the Temple Lodge & Spa in Co Westmeath, pureresultsbootcamp.com.