They are such a great way to add resistance to your home workouts to help tone up while still getting an awesome calorie burn.
In this demo I use the 6kg for all exercise because the colour matches and it lookS fabulous. If using kettlebells, I’d encourage you to get a set so you can challenge yourself and lift as heavy as possible (with good form). That weight will vary for each exercise.
20 minute workout
40s work 20s rest
Plank pull through
Side step swing
Clean & press
Goblet squat hold
On the single arm exercise switch arms each round.
Sometimes, we over complicate workouts with fancy exercises that require strength, flexibility, coordination, balance etc.
In an attempt to simplify things, I’ve created this workout for you that is 6 simple to do exercise with the focus being on 2 things….fun and calorie burn. Let’s just get the arms and legs moving as fast as we can. Have fun!
Squats are a fantastic exercise for working the legs and butt. There are loads of variations of body weight squats that you can do from home. Pick a few and combine them into an awesome lower body, home workout.
Before you attempt the progressions and variations, make sure you follow the steps below to get the right technique for the basic squat then build from there.
Primary Muscles – Quads, Glutes
Secondary Muscles – Hamstrings
1️. Stand upright with feet flat and shoulder width apart.
2️. Lower your body towards the floor, pushing your hips back and down and bending your knees.
3️. Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor and knees at 90 degrees then push through your heels to return to the top position.
4️. Squeeze your glutes as you return to the starting position.
Tip – You should be able to wiggle your toes at any time throughout the movement.
(The video has been sped up to ram 20 exercise into a 60s clip…don’t go as fast as me)
Try this quick, easy to prep and super tasty recipe from my 10 Week Lean & Learn programme.
Shopping & Ingredients List
1 tbsp Olive Oil
3 x 150g Rump Steaks
1 Onion, thinly sliced
200g Chestnut Mushrooms quartered
2 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
100ml Beef Stock
juice ½ Lemon, plus an extra squeeze
80ml Half-fat Crème Fraîche
handful flatleaf Parsley, finely chopped
250g x 2 packets Microwave Rice
1️. Set a frying pan over a high heat & oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the steaks & fry for 2 minutes on each side. The meat should be very rare as it will cook in the sauce, too. Set the steaks aside.
2️. Turn the heat under the pan to low, then add the onion & fry for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms & fry for 10 minutes more or until the mushrooms start to soften and brown.
3️. Stir in the mustard, stock & lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche & turn the heat down – don’t let it boil. Heat the rice according to the pack instructions.
4️. Slice the beef into strips, then stir it into the sauce, along with any resting juices & the parsley. Serve with the rice & an extra squeeze of lemon juice.
Your Fitbit is telling you that you are burning 3000 calories per day.
MyFitnessPal is telling you that you are only eating 1500 calories per day.
So you are in daily calorie deficit of 1500…but you are making no progress.
-no weight loss
-no cm’s off
-no physical change
-your clothes look and feel exactly the same
WHAT IS GOING ON? Why aren’t these basic laws of fat loss working for you? Are you cursed? Are you destined to be overweight and miserable forever? Are you the exception to the rule?
The answer is no, but I understand why you would think that way. You’ve invested time and money to track your calorie burn and your food intake so you want to believe that these numbers are accurate. You want to believe that you really are in a 1500 calorie daily deficit and still not losing weight.
The reality is that you’re not in a 1500 calorie deficit. You’re not even in a 750 calorie deficit, in fact you are in a 0 calorie deficit.
That’s the harsh reality….IF YOU ARE NOT BURNING FAT YOU ARE NOT IN A CALORIE DEFICIT, despite what the technology is telling you.
So how can the technology be so wrong? Let’s look at a few possible reasons:
Your fitbit is over reporting calorie burn. Fitbits are great for recording steps but several studies have shown them to over report calorie burn by 10-15%. They also estimate BMR (the calorie burn you start each day with) and yours could be lower than the estimate.
Your MFP entries are inaccurate. MFP is a database of entries created by the users so it’s not guaranteed that what you are entering is 100% accurate.
This is the most likely reason. You are under reporting you food intake on MFP. Are you really only eating 1500 calories per day? Are you recording everything? All fruit, vegetables, oils, tea/coffee/juice, sweets/cakes brought into the office, the mouthfuls of food while cooking, the chips pinched off the kids plates, drinks at the weekend…and accompanying crisps, drunkfood……..it all adds up to a lot more than you may think.
Instead or trusting the technology, digging your heels in and carrying on regardless, take a look at WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING and make some adjustments.
Eat less and move more, while true, is not particularly helpful advice so here are a few things to consider.
Look at all your exercise variables and change the one that is most practical for you. Frequency, duration, volume, intensity, resistance….there are several ways to increase calorie burn through exercise without always doing another workout.
Increase your NEAT. This is your calorie burn outwith exercise. Walk instead of taking the car, take the stairs, park further away from your destination, stand at your desk, drink more water so you need to go to the toilet more, play with your kids……again there are loads of options.
3. Adjust your calories and macro goals. If you feel that you can eat less, eat less. It doesn’t matter what your targets are set at if you are not hitting them. Every way of calculating calorie and macro target is an estimate. If it’s not working, you may need to nudge them down a bit. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you’re not making progress because your no eating enough.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
Amongst other roles, it helps to build muscle and keeps us feeling fuller for longer. So when dieting it’s safe to say that protein is the most important macronutrient.
Food companies, recognising the increased awareness of the importance of protein, have started adding protein to carb based foods to market them as ‘high protein’.
Cereals are one of the major culprits with many people falling for the ‘high protein’ versions of weetabix and shredded wheat.
The difference in protein between regular and high protein weetabix is only 1.5g per biscuit. But the high protein version will cost you 50% more.
RDA of protein will vary depending on what you read but 2g per kg of bodyweight is a decent guide. So for a 70kg person who needs 140g of protein per day, that extra 1.5g from the weetabix will have very little impact.
And there are lots of ‘high protein’ versions of other carbs like bread, rice and pasta. They may contain more protein than the cereals but they all taste terrible.
I agree that most of us need to eat more protein but there are easier, cheaper and simpler ways to achieve this than trying to eat protein versions of carbs. Get your protein from protein sources like meat, fish, eggs, yoghurts, cheese, beans, lentils, tofu etc. and enjoy your carbs as they should be……tasty carbs.
If you are looking for a quick, easy, and cheap hit of protein, a whey protein powder is a great option. One scoop will yield approx 20g protein and can be quickly drank with water or milk or thrown into a smoothie.
You get out of bed, step on the scales, your weight is down, you’re delighted, all is well in the world, you’re happy and you spread love and joy to everyone you meet that day.
You get out of bed, step on the scales, your weight is up, you’re raging, you can’t understand why, you’ve been training hard, eating healthy, you’re in a foul mood for the rest of the day and the word better watch out ‘cause someone’s gonna get it!!!
If fat loss is your goal, yes, scale weight is important and you should expect to see a drop but there are so many variable that affect weight on a daily/weekly basis.
1️. Alcohol – If you’ve had a few drinks, you may be lighter the next day due to dehydration, but you will retain water for the next few days while the body regulates.
2️. Carbs – When you consume carbohydrates, your body converts them to glycogen. For every gram of glycogen stored, you gain approximately 2.7 grams of water.
3️. Sodium – Your body reacts by storing more water to keep the sodium-blood concentration at a healthy level.
4️. Menstrual cycle – Shifting hormone levels can cause temporary bloating and water weight gain.
5️. Body temperature – Fluctuations will cause water retention.
6️. Strength training – This causes mini tears in the muscles which can lead to fluid retention.
7️. Food – You haven’t been to the toilet.
8️. Water – You’ve just drank a load and it’s swirling around inside you.
9️. Muscle – When new to weight training, expect some muscle growth, even in a calorie deficit.
1️0. Scales – Different scales or even moving the scales will affect the reading.
1️1. Time of day – It’s common to weight 2-3 lbs more in the evening.
1️2. Clothing – Those joggers are heavy.
Don’t judge your success solely on weight. Look at other measures like clothing, photos, mirrors, other people comments, how you feel, increases in fitness, strength, flexibility, mobility, improvements in hair, skin, nails etc. Celebrate all progress.
If you are using weigh to measure progress, weigh yourself several times a week and record the average for a more accurate result.
You were in the zone before you went on holiday. You were working hard, exercising regularly, eating healthy, making great progress, disciplined on social events….you had a goal. You wanted to look good and feel confident around the pool and fit into your holiday clothes that haven’t fitted since last summer…
You made great progress, you lost weight, you toned up, you dropped a dress size, you felt confident in your bikini, you got fitter, stronger…….you were buzzing! And after only 2 weeks of overindulgence……..ITS’ ALL GONE!!
You feel like 6 months or hard work has been completely undone in only 14 days. You’re back to where you started in January…..you’ve gained weight, lost all definition, the clothes no longer fit you, you’ve lost all your strength and fitness…..what is the point in all that hard work when it goes so quickly?
STOP. These are just irrational thoughts in your head. You may feel like you have taken a major step back because you have eaten and drank much more than normal but the reality is that you you can do very little damage in 2 weeks. Most of the weight you have gained and the fluffiness you see is just water….not fat. And if you get back into your healthy routine, it will be gone again in no time.
It is hard to get back into it after a holiday but the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. Recognise these irrational thoughts as excuses you to prolong the laziness and overindulgence. Overcome these thoughts and take action. You are one healthy meal and workout from picking up where you left off.
Make health and fitness a lifestyle, not something you switch on and off in between special occasions.
First things first, holidays are a time to relax, eat and drink….not a time to count calories, macros or follow meal plans. But if you have worked hard on your holiday bod and want to limit the damage, here a few things to consider.
Choosing protein and veg with each main meal is a smart move. This will help keep the calories low and prevent snacking.
A spirit and low cal mixer is approx 80 calories compared to some super sweet and creamy cocktails which could rack up 500 calories. So instead of a pina colada, have 6 G&T’s and get pure steamboats….oi oi!
Increase your water intake. It will have a huge impact on your mood, energy levels and snacking tendencies
Exercise. I love a morning workout on holiday. It puts me in an awesome mood and sets me up for the day. There’s nothing like a run on the beach at dawn.
Stay active. Take the stairs instead of squeezing into a lift with 8 people and a inflatable crocodile, join in the activities….PLAY!
Note – If holidays for you are about pure relaxation and overindulgence….crack on!
I used it daily for a couple of years and still use it occasionally when I’m focussing on burning fat.
It is a fantastic tool to help achieve your goals by tracking food intake and keeping you accountable.
From working with 1000’s of clients I have seen some common mistakes that people make when using MFP.
1️. Using it’s recommended targets for calories. When you set up an account it will ask you to input some details then your ideal weight. It will then give you a calorie goal which is normally way too low. To find you calorie and macro goals, use a formula like Mifflin St Jeor, or an online calculator likeIIFYM.com or pay a nutrition coach to do it for you.
2️. Connecting your activity tracker. It seems like a really cool feature to hook up your Fitbit to MFP but it causes more harm than good. When you set your goals, you will have already taken into account your level of physical activity and exercise so adding this again will increase your calorie allowance and result in overeating.
3️. Using the pie chart and percentages. Ignore these. The pie chart will always add up to 100%. If all you eat and input is 1 peanut, the pie chart will show 80% fat, 10% carbs and 10% protein. This doesn’t mean that you have gone over your fat allowance. Track the actual calories and grams of protein, carbs and fat. To see this on your phone, turn it to landscape.
4️. Inputting incorrect data. MFP is a database which any one can add to so there are millions of dodgy entries. When adding to your diary, type as much info as possible e.g. Tesco large banana or look for the ✅ or even better use the barcode scanner.
5️. Lying. I never recommend micromanaging and adding every vegetable, every cup of tea, every spread of butter, every dollop of ketchup but don’t kid yourself and leave out the treats, booze, drunk food and the constant grazing throughout the day. If you are going to track your intake, be honest, or what’s the point?
“You’re not losing weight because you’re not eating enough.”
Most of us will have heard or read this statement at some point when trying to lose weight. What’s being referred to is ‘starvation mode’. The concept that you are not eating enough calories so your body thinks it’s being starved. As a result, you stop burning fat because your body stores the fat as essential energy reserves.
When we hear this, we want to believe it as it means that we are working hard and sticking to our diet…..in fact we are doing it so well, it’s having the opposite effect.
I’m sorry folks but starvation mode is not a real thing….it’s a myth. If you really think about it, it makes absolutely no sense.
“You’re not losing weight because you’re not eating enough” is like saying…
“You’re not learning because you’re reading too much”
“You’re not getting any better at golf because you’re practicing too much.”
The reason you are not losing weight is because you are eating too much.
The quickest and most efficient way to lose weight is to stop eating. If you did actually starve yourself, your weight would drop very quick as you burned through all the fat stores and most of the protein stores. I’m not suggesting anyone do this as you would eventually die of organ failure due to the absence of vitamins and minerals but at no point is your body smart enough or self preserving enough to stop burning fat.
If you are in a calorie deficit, you will burn fat. If you stop making progress, it means you are no longer in a calorie deficit…despite what your Fitbit and MyFitnesspal are telling you.
This one is a core workout with 5 exercises and finisher. The key to these exercises is keeping a straight back and minimising hip rotation. Visualise a tray of drinks on your back and prevent any spillage.
Sometimes we overcomplicate exercise, making excuses not to workout because we can’t get to the gym or we don’t has certain equipment. Exercise is simply any activity that raises the heart rate and the good ole’ high knee sprints are as good as any. Get the heart racing and calories burning with this simple but effective home workout exercise.
Intensity – High
Primary Muscles – Heart
Run on the spot raising your knees as high as possible with each step.
Rapidly switch feet using your arms as if running.
Tip – Put you hands at waist height and try to hit your hands with your knees.
I love this exercise as you get a lot of bang for buck with it. As well as being an explosive, high intensity calorie burner you work all the leg muscles and because of the lateral movement, the abductor and adductors are also in play.
Intensity – High
Primary Muscles – Glutes, Quads
Secondary Muscles – Hamstrings, Calves
Start in a semi squat position on one foot with your hips and knees bent and arms by your side.
Push off this foot, jumping laterally to one side about 3-4 feet (or as far as you can)
Land in a semi squat position on your other foot and touch your toe with the opposite hand.
Immediately jump back to the starting side and touch the opposite toe and repeat.
Working with a 9 year old is exhausting. After 100 takes Layla wouldn’t take this seriously so the demonstration of this exercise is dodgy at best! Curtsy lunges are a good lunge alternative to introduce so lateral movement to work the abductors and adductors.
1. Heat oil in large & deep non-stick frying pan & cook sausages, turning when needed, for 10 mins until golden. Set sausages aside.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery & garlic to the pan & cook gently for 10 mins.
3. Take a spoonful of the beans & mash into the tomato paste.
4. Add the rough paste to the pan along with the sausages. Next add the stock & remaining beans. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer & cook uncovered for 10 mins before adding herbs & serving.
4 x 150g Chicken Breasts, diced
1 tbsp Honey
2 Lemons, juice only
3 tsp Cornflour
4 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 Egg White
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Water
1. In a bowl combine honey, lemon juice, egg white, soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic.
2. Place chicken & 2 tsp cornflour in a plastic bag & toss to coat.
3. Heat oil in non-stick frying pan & cook chicken pieces about 8 mins. Then add sauce ingredients.
4. Mix remaining cornflour with water & stir into chicken dish. Cook until sauce has thickened.
5. Serve with steamed greens.
1. Preheat the grill to a medium heat.
2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Form the mixture into 5 burger patties.
4. Place them under the grill, turn mid-way through & cook them for 10 – 15 minutes, or until they are thoroughly cooked through.
6 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
8 rashers Smoky Bacon, chopped
3 Red Peppers, deseeded & into chunks
2 Onions, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tbsp dried Oregano
690g jar Passata
1 tbsp Olive Oil
50g Black Olives, sliced
300g Mozzarella, cubed
handful of fresh Basil as garnish
1. Preheat oven on 180c (160 fan), 350f, Gas Mark 4.
2. Heat oil in large non-stick frying pan. Add peppers & chicken and sauté until chicken has browned. Remove & put into large casserole dish.
3. Next add onions & bacon and cook for 10 mins. Add this to the chicken. Stir in the passata, garlic & herbs. Cover & cook for 1 hour.
4. Remove from oven add mozzarella & black olives. Stir. Cover & return to oven for 10 mins.
5. Garnish with fresh chopped basil & serve.
1. Heat oil in a large deep frying pan. Add onion & saute for a few mins until it starts to soften.
2. Then add garlic & chopped pepper. Cook for 5 mins.
3. Add the mince & break it up while cooking. Continue to stir & break the mince up until brown all over, about 4 mins.
4. Stir in tomatoes, puree, spices & seasoning. Simmer for 7 mins.
5. Crack in the eggs, cover & cook for 10 mins. Garnish with parsley before serving.
1. Preheat oven to 180c (160 fan), 350f, gas mark 4.
2. To make sauce, combine tomatoes, parsley, paprika, olives in a small pan & cook over a medium-low heat for 15 mins. Stir occasionally.
3. Set out 3 bowls. Fill one with cornflour, one with eggs, one with breadcrumbs.
4. Coat the chicken breast in cornflour, dip in egg & toss in breadcrumbs.
5. Heat oil in large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add chicken & cook for 4 mins on each side.
6. Place chicken breast in ovenproof dish, spoon over sauce & top with parmesan (or cheddar if parmesan not available). Cover & bake for 15 mins.
7. Serve with salad.