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The four-week fitness programme: Whip yourself into shape!

Last updated on: November 25, 2013 20:58 IST

The four-week fitness programme: Whip yourself into shape!

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Brinda Sapat

For the last three weeks, fitness expert Brinda Sapat has been making losing weight fun, taking you through a fitness regime one week at a time.

If you haven't been following this column for the last three weeks, perhaps you should start by reading this, this and this to get a lowdown on what you've missed so far.

However, if you have been reading it (and hopefully putting it to practice too) you're probably waiting for the next set of instructions!

So, without much ado, let's get into the third week of the workout, shall we?

Over to Brinda Sapat!


Strong people! Hope you are feeling fitter, lighter and tighter already. Here’s what we are doing this final week.

Adding Tabata training!

Tabata Training is a four-minute high intensity workout that focuses on fat burn and strengthening the muscles and bones. You will be doing it for eight minutes!
It is going to leave you with your tongue hanging out!

Walking
Jog (or brisk walk and jog) three alternate days of the week for 30 minutes nonstop. Do your strength training on these days.

Tabata training the other three alternating days of the week.

Tabata

The exercise routine involves 20 second bursts of exercise done at high intensity (as many reps as possible while executing the movement properly); followed by 10 seconds of complete rest.

There are four exercises that you will repeat four times. Keep a clock with a second hand in front of you to keep a check on the time.

Take a look at the routine beforehand so you know the order of exercise.

Please note: this exercise should be done strictly wearing well cushioned shoes and on soft surface like carpet, wood, grass or sand.

Tabata routine:

  • 20 seconds Push Ups (from week 2)
  • 10 seconds REST
  • 20 seconds Jump Squats (from week 3)
  • 10 seconds REST
  • 20 seconds Abdominal Crunches (see below)
  • 10 seconds REST
  • 20 seconds Gallop (side to side facing front, 4 counts gallop to the right, 4 counts to the left)
  • 10 seconds REST

Repeat this routine 4 times.

Abdominal Crunches
Lie on your back. Place your hands behind your head with elbows out to the sides. Bend both your knees and raise your feet up, crossing them at the ankles. Raise your upper body and your hips off the floor, lift up again.

Read the full series:

Part 1: Four weeks to a fitter you! Can you meet this challenge?

Part 2: Get set for Week Two

Part 3: Kill the fat in Week Three!


Image: At the end of Week Four start feeling lighter and better.
Photographs: Susana Vera/Reuters

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Strength training

Day One and Three

  • Walking in & out Push ups
  • Lift and Fly
  • Lateral Raises
  • Pull Ups/Bent Over Rows
  • Plank with Inverted V
  • Reverse Plank with Alternate Leg Raises

Day Two and Four

  • Regular Squats (no jumping)
  • Heel Raises
  • Lunges with Knee Lifts
  • Ham Curls
  • Oblique Crunches
  • Swimming

Some soreness and ache post workout is normal. If you have any acute pain stop immediately and consult your doctor before resuming

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh


Image: Ham Curls


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Food

Keep up the diet as is.

By the end of your fourth week, you may be feeling

  • Lighter and more agile
  • Tighter
  • Soreness
  • More active and alert
  • Happier
  • And looking fitter!

That's been 4 weeks of a lot of work! Well done!

You may not have reached the ideal body you have in mind just yet. The time frame for that depends on your goal.

Keep up with the exercise routine and alternate between Weeks Three and Four

If you are happy with what you have achieved, maintain it by alternating between Weeks Two and Three.

Try to keep up with the healthy food plan!

Reversing back to no exercise and your old food habits will reverse the body too, so beware!

Regular exercise and eating sensibly will keep you fit through life.

Reward yourself with something to keep you motivated, like a new workout tee or a pair of trainers or even some up tempo music to workout to!

Please check with your doctor before beginning the exercise program.

This programme is designed for people who are currently not doing any exercise. If you are working out, the program may not prove as effective.

Read the full series:

Part 1: Four weeks to a fitter you! Can you meet this challenge?

Part 2: Get set for Week Two

Part 3: Kill the fat in Week Three! 


Image: You may not have achieved the body you want by the end of these four weeks but remember this is just the beginning and you CAN fight the fat!
Photographs: Keith Bedford/Reuters
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