International women’s rugby player Claire McLaughlin gives us her tips for getting in shape in time for summer.
It’s now well into 2015 and only a couple of months before you need to be on the beach turning heads so we’ve called upon International women’s rugby player Claire McLaughlin to give us a workout plan that strips fat, builds muscle and still leaves you looking feminine in time for summer. But let’s be clear, it’s not enough to go on a diet and be skinny. Triple A Workouts: Accessing all areas of your body is a great way to streamline your exercise, boost recovery time and multiply your progress. The best goal to have when taking the step to train for the summer is to have a balanced muscular mass. No use having a flat stomach from all those crunches if your arms or legs look like they haven’t seen a gym in years. So let’s start with a full body workout. Not only does this allow your muscles to develop in sync, but also boosts testosterone levels and despite the negative connotations synonymous with this word, is pretty essential even for females. Thirdly, a full body workout needs time. Many people don’t progress because their body’s simply aren’t allowed to recover from their previous workout. If you’re doing one muscle group at a time you’ll need to be training five times a week so try training you’re whole body three times a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday give you ample time for your body to recover in between, without neglecting any muscle groups. Compound Exercises: These are exercises that incorporate more than one muscle group. By recruiting more muscles, you create a higher energy demand forcing your body to burn more calories, and thus raising your heart rate. They also use your core muscles, as they require balance. Deep squats for example work your entire core to keep you upright, as well as your legs and bum. Try tightening up your abs while you’re doing them for a greater effect. This is actually the best way to get a toned waist and the round bum like you’ve always wanted. And again, it saves time. Circuit Training: Big point coming up; you want to be burning fat AND toning your muscles. Circuit training allows you to exert muscular force, doing exercises like press ups, squats and so on, whilst raising your heart rate and burning off the excess fat. Again, when time is tight, cut out your cardio workouts by doing intense muscular circuit training three times a week to whip your body into shape. This technique will allow you to have fast, explosive workouts that take next to no time to complete. You’ll see a theme appearing here. Get on with your life, by getting in and out of the gym in 45 minutes. Variety: Like most things, your body gets used to something if you keep doing it. This will cause a plateau, a speed bump in your progression where you’re body simply doesn’t react the same to the paces you’re putting it through. Surprise your muscles by making a few changes every month. Most PT’s will recommend changing your workout routine every 4-6 weeks. These don’t have to be monumental. If one of your exercises is push-ups, change them to sideto-side push-ups, or add a clap for a more explosive motion. Try this circuit routine three times a week for the next six weeks, and then switch it up. We’ll give you another in the next issue. And remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. Warm Up: 5 Minutes Rowing/Cycling (Moderate Intensity) Circuit 1- 3 Rounds: 10 Squat Jumps 10 Glute Raises 3 Pull Ups 5 Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts (Each Leg) 8 T-Press Ups 20 Plank Shoulder Taps 1 Minute Wall Sit Circuit 2- 3 Rounds: 10 Burpees 5 Forward Lunges (Each Leg) 10 Tricep Dips 10 Push Ups 5 Bulgarian Split Squat Each Leg 20 Cross Body Mountain Climber 90 Second Wall Sit
Claire McLaughlin is from Northern Ireland and plays rugby for Ulster Women.