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Four weeks of training have finally come to an end, all in aid of that leaner and slimmer me. My body, mind and lifestyle have taken a severe hammering since the beginning of December but those stubborn inches have finally vanished from my sides.

I am delighted to reveal after a lot of lunges and squats, I am now a svelte size 10 for the party season.

A new defined physique and more chiselled exterior has given me the determination to never go back to those old unhealthy ways.

Fighting the fat has been tough but I have taken away golden nuggets of advice.

One being how it is imperative to have the right healthy and nutritious foods at one's fingertips.

Another the importance of shaking up a work out for a varied training regime.

I was forced to put the latter into practice the past week, with my personal trainer Loren Ryan skiing in Austria.

So I spiced up my activity and worked with Shauna McGroarty at D8 Fitness to reawaken the motivation levels.

Shauna created her own plan for me which involved less weights and more cardio.

The motivation and enthusiasm was pumping when Shauna relayed how we would be focusing on a combination of TRX classes and a one-on-one full body HIIT circuit.

The superb thing about TRX suspension training is the versatility. Almost immediately I could feel the bodyweight exercises developing my strength, balance, flexibility and core stability.

By just adjusting my feet and body position, I was in control of how much I wanted to challenge myself.

I quickly became addicted as the sweat pores opened to deliver an all over body workout, made harder by doing burpees, goblin squats and high intensity mountain climbers in between TRX routines. As the week drew to a close, I could feel my muscular endurance enhancing and being able to go that bit longer.

With the blood flowing, I was reliably informed how the workout would help me burn fat through excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) for a number of hours after my workout.

Undergoing a burpees and Kettlebell Swings Ladder challenge where I worked from 10 burpees and 10 kettle bell swings down to one of each, left me with a time of six minutes and 34 seconds.

A prowler challenge involved dragging and pushing a heavy machine up and down a room. I could feel it building my lower and upper body strength and endurance as I pushed with difficulty and through gritted teeth.

Shane McShea, who owns D8 Fitness Training Centre, told me the benefits of the prowler.

He said: "It's an excellent conditioning tool where you use the legs to push the prowler and your upper body and core muscles contract to transfer the power to the prowler."

The weeks of strength and conditioning-style training have helped me to identify my weak areas, while also improving my overall posture, flexibility, speed and power.

I don't think I will become disillusioned with exercise in 2015 after seeing such real results time and I'm on track for the bikini body in six months time.

As the weeks have progressed, I haven't needed to be as strict with my clean eating while still being able to obtain a toned and trim looking me.

I refuse to become a glutton during the next few weeks but at the same time I will enjoy the odd Christmas pudding and insides of a selection box combining it with getting outdoors in the cold air.

Through the expert knowledge of both trainers, they have equipped me with the tools to get me into the best shape of my life. I'll be enrolling in a TRX Suspension Training class as well as continuing the HIIT and strength and conditioning-style training come January.

Together with Caveman Training and Baz/Boxercise available in D8 Fitness, I am going to be spoiled for choice.

Now down to the more important business of which will I slide into, my tight jeans or that figure hugging dress? D8 Fitness - Bond House, 12 Lower Bridge St, Dublin 8.


Fighting fit: Alison

Working up a sweat: Alison is stretched to the limit
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2014
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