I’ve just started a six-week holistic bikini body workout with personal trainer Claire Waughman. The aim is to firm up the wobbly bits in time for the summer hols. It’s the first time I’ve invested in a personal trainer. I’m pretty active and happy to walk all day but when it comes to training and resistance work, I’m pretty lazy. Having a structured routine and targets to achieve will be good for me. I also like the fact that it’s holistic, taking nutrition and lifestyle into account, rather than just focusing on the three D’s (drills, diet and deprivation).
Resistance Workout For Weight Loss
Week 1 – There are four of us in the class. Claire started by taking our body measurements – abs, hips, thighs, and arms as a starting point so we have a starting point. Our task for the week is to read through the handouts on nutrition, keep a food diary, and to do two further workouts (leaving a day in between) before next week’s session. She gave us each a Dyna-Band to work with at home.
“Only two workouts?” asked Liz, on my right, raising her eyebrows. Claire explained that working out every day is detrimental to the body and will have a negative effect on body tone. Toning and resistance work breaks down muscle, and the body needs a day to recover and rebuild the muscle for “toning” to take place. If we repeat the same exercises daily, we will break down any muscle tone and the body won’t have a chance to rebuild it.
Healthy Eating – Keeping a Food Diary
Claire asked us to keep a food diary for the next week. I hate keeping food diaries so I felt quite resistant to this. They make me think about food all the more – how honest should I be? Will she think I’m strange for eating half a bagel? Claire reassured us that the objective of this exercise is to make us (and her) aware of any emotional eating issues, which are sabotaging our bikini bodies. So that we can do something about them.
I’m aware of my bad habits: too much cheese (I’m vegetarian, so cheese has replaced meat). I drink too much coffee, not enough water, and I can’t resist croissants and cake. Claire gave us some useful foodie tips – eat 7 a day instead of 5 a day, and try to eat as many coloured foods as possible, as they are higher in antioxidants. We also need to eat every three hours to stop our bodies going into starvation mode, which makes us store fat around the middle.
Body Toning and Sculpting Exercises
We did the following set of exercises, using the Dyna-Band.
Straight Arm Rear Deltoid
Position: Sit on your bottom with your legs straight in front of you. Hold the resistance band behind your back, gripping it firmly with each hand and bring your arms in front of your chest and back to the side again. Do 15 reps and hold the last one for 10 seconds.
Stand with your feet hip width apart, holding one end of the resistance band under your foot. Grip the other end taut with your hand and slowly raise your arms from waist height to shoulder height, and then back down again. Do 15 reps and hold the last one for 10 seconds.
Put one foot slightly in front of the other and hold the band under your front foot. Hold the other end on one hand. With your arms straight out in front of you, slowly raise your arms to shoulder height and back down again. Do 15 reps and hold the last one for 10 seconds.
Hold the band with one arm behind your back and the other, elbow raised at the side of your head so it is taut. Slowly raise your upper hand towards the ceiling while keeping the other hand behind your back, to work the triceps. Do 15 reps and hold the last one for 10 seconds.
The exercises aren’t difficult but holding them for 10 seconds is, and you really do feel the burn. The tricky bit for all of us was maintaining balance and posture while holding the band in place.
Claire broke us in gently for the first session – the exercise routine didn’t feel too onerous so I was surprised at how much I was aching the following day (in all the right places). My weakness is lack of flexibility. I can’t stretch as far these days because I’m not doing yoga or swimming regularly. Claire also said my pelvic area is very tight, and needs loosening up, which has been the case since I had my daughter. Next week, she will bring some specific exercises, tailored to each of us, based on her observations from the first class.
At £65 for six weeks’ training it’s not the cheapest way to tone up but it gives you defined targets, individual feedback on posture and movement, and it’s holistic and social. If you have a holiday lined up with the girls and need a kick start to help you meet your fitness goals, I recommend doing this course, or finding a personal trainer who offers a similar one.