Get fit in eight weeks with Bevan Eyles

BEVAN EYLES
Last updated 05:00 08/05/2014
Iain McGregor

Home exercises with Bevan Eyles: The lunge.

The squat press

The press up

The plank

The lower back lift

The band pull

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The No 1 job of a fitness professional like me is to get people moving and help them enjoy exercise.

With this in mind, I have worked with the team at The Press to create an eight-week exercise programme. When I designed the programme, I felt it needed the following to be successful:

- Different levels so people with different abilities can participate.

- To include cardiovascular fitness and strength conditioning.

- Exercises that were easy to perform, using as little equipment as possible.

- Motivation to help you be the best you can be over the eight weeks.

- Flexibility so it fits into your daily life.

- A way to record and measure your performance throughout the eight weeks.

So, taking all of the above criteria into consideration, I have created Bevan's Fitness Bash.

The programme has three different blocks. Blocks 1 and 2 are strength-based. These are functional exercises where you use more than one muscle group at any one time. Functional training improves strength, joint mobility, balance and stability.

For equipment, all you need is some form of hand weights (cans of food work well) and an exercise rubber band (these can be bought from any sports store for under $10).

Block 3 is your cardio block. You choose the exercise but make it something you enjoy doing. It may be walking, salsa classes, spin classes, skipping, rowing - whatever you want. The challenge is more about the amount of time doing the exercise.

Each week you should do four to five workouts, which include one Block 1 session, one Block 2 session, and either two or three Block 3 sessions.

The key to Bevan's Fitness Bash is using the measurement tool to keep you motivated. You will see there are different levels of difficulty to aim for, within each session and as a whole over the eight weeks. By recording your progress and having a goal for each session, you will create momentum and you will also see improvement.

This will help motivate you when you may be struggling. The more you commit to keeping a record, the more motivated you become.

Put the progress chart on your fridge. Think of a realistic overall target that you want to aim for, then tick those sessions off.

If you commit to Bevan's Fitness Bash and stick at it for eight weeks, you will experience many benefits. You will become stronger and fitter as you develop a routine of exercise, but the mental health benefits are just as important.

Watch the exercise videos to learn the right technique so you keep safe and make sure you get the most benefit possible.

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MOTIVATE YOURSELF

This programme is designed so you do four to five workouts a week. That comes from one Block 1 session, one Block 2 session, and either two or three Block 3 sessions. You can only score points from these four or five sessions.

Here's how the points work:

For each block you do, you can gain either 1, 2 or 3 points depending on the difficulty level you achieve. Count the points at the end of the week to find your total. You can increase the difficulty by going for higher points as you get fitter and stronger. So you will see your weekly points totals increase.

BLOCK 1:  LEGS, CHEST, AND SHOULDERS

You do each exercise for the time frame based on the difficulty you choose. For example: If you are doing the 1 point level, you see how many back-stepping lunges you can do in 30 seconds. Then you rest and repeat that set two more times. Then you do the same thing with the squat press and the press-up.

Back-Stepping Lunge

Start with eyes looking forward, straight back, shoulders over hips. Kick back with one leg, a long step back, and drop down, keeping back straight. At the bottom of the movement the front knee should be parallel to the ground. Return to the original position. Repeat with the other leg.

Squat Press

This uses lots of muscle groups at the same time - shoulders, chest, core and legs. The hand weights can even be cans of food. Start with feet slightly outside the line of the hips and on a slight angle outwards. Always keep looking ahead and keep a straight back. Squat by pushing the hips back and bending through the knees until the thighs drop back to knee height. Push back up, pushing through the heels of the shoes, which activates the glutes. Finish at the top with a push out and up with the hands carrying the weights.

Press Ups

Set up the hands wide enough so that at the bottom of the movement the elbows end up above the hands making a 90-degree angle. That also indicates the depth of the move down needed. Keep the back straight. Brace the belly and push up through the chest. This is not a hip exercise. Press-ups are hard and can be done in three levels of difficulty. Easiest is doing it with the knees under the hips. Next has the knees pushed further out past the hips. The hardest is with the knees also off the floor and the toes as the pivot.

Block 1 points:

1 point: 30 seconds of each movement three times with 45 seconds of recovery.

2 points: 1 minute of each movement three times with 30 seconds of recovery.

3 points: 2 minutes of each movement three times with 20 seconds of recovery.

BLOCK 2: BACK AND CORE

You do each exercise for the time based on the difficulty you choose. For example: If you are doing the 1-point level, you see how many lower back extensions you can do in 30 seconds. Then you rest and repeat that set two more times. Then you do the same thing with the band pull and the plank.

Lower Back Extension

Lie face down on the floor. Keep eyes looking down. Hold ankles and knees together, and squeeze buttocks together to anchor the lower body and create tension in the lower back. Place hands out wide straight from the shoulders, palms facing forward. Lift the upper body smoothly up and down from the floor. Keep breathing throughout.

Plank

The plank builds core strength. Lying face down on the floor, place the elbows placed directly under the shoulder. Put hands together as two fists and look straight down at them. This keeps the head and neck in a good, straight position. Spread the legs so the knees are outside the line of the hips to give a stable stance. Brace the belly. Hold the position either with the knees on the floor (easier) or with the knees off the floor and the straight line running from the head to heels.

This can be cycling, swimming, running, walking, dance classes, group fitness classes - whatever you enjoy. Again it's based on time - 15-20 minutes; 20-40 minutes; more than 40 minutes.

Band Pull

This is all about the upper back muscles. Use a rubber that can be bought cheaply from sports stores. Or something with some give. Sit on the floor. Lean back with a straight back, belly braced, shoulders down and chest up. Put the band around your feet. With belly braced, lean back slightly. Keep elbows high and pull back, then release. This will pull your shoulder blades together.

Block 2 points:

1 point: 30 seconds of each movement three times with 45 seconds of recovery.

2 points: 1 minute of each movement three times with 30 seconds recovery.

3 points: 2 minutes of each movement three times with 20 seconds of recovery.

BLOCK 3: CARDIO

This can be cycling, swimming, running, walking, dance classes, group fitness classes - whatever you enjoy. Again it's based on time - 15-20 minutes, 20-40 minutes, more than 40 minutes.

Block 3 points:

1 point: 15-20 minutes

2 point: 20-40 minutes

3 point: more than 40 minutes

- The Press

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