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Work it out; Paying for a gym membership but not sure how to make it work for you? You're not alone. Kirstie McCrum talks to Gethin James, personal trainer from the Vale Resort and Spa, and finds out the best exercises to help you lose shape up at the gym.

Byline: Kirstie McCrum

SO this is the end of January - and what have you done? Perhaps you haven't even thought of lifting yourself off the sofa, and who can blame you with all the wind, rain and snow we've had to contend with.

If, however, you were among the legions who signed up for a year-long gym membership, you may find that one month in is just about the time you start to lose heart. It's easy to make fitness resolutions and leap into a healthy regime with an almost religious fervour, but after that first flush of excitement, you might find you need a little nudge.

Personal trainer Gethin James works at the Vale Resort and Spa in Hensol Park, and he wants you to be fit. Booking sessions with Gethin means someone trained and qualified watching your workouts, giving you the guidance and motivation of an expert in personal fitness.

But if you're going to the gym alone and need some tips, he's put together a no-fail programme to get results. What are you waiting for? Workout #1 WARM-UP | 4 minutes on the rower | Full body mobility exercises (stretching and twisting, general warm up) MAIN PART Strength: Gethin says don't go mad and start lifting weights at speed: "A slow tempo within weight training increases metabolic rate by engaging a larger amount of chemical reactions within each muscle fibre used through the duration of the exercise as these chemical reactions require calories." | Lunges for 2 lengths of the hall (up to 25 repetitions) | Single arm chest press for 3 sets of 12 repetitions | Single arm cable shoulder press for 3 sets of 12 repetitions Circuit training: | 500m sprint on the Concept 2 rower | 10 press ups | 20 mountain climbers| Repeat this circuit 3 times with a minute of light jogging between each station. | "For a better training session time yourself on the first attempt and try to beat that time on the second go," says Gethin. Core-stability: | Lying leg raise for 3 sets of 30 second intervals with 45 seconds rest in between.

WARM-DOWN: | 4 minutes on the cross trainer | Full body flexibility exercises Workout #2 WARM-UP | 4 minutes on the rower | Full body mobility exercises MAIN PART Strength: | Dead lifts for 3 sets of 20 repetitions | Lateral pull down for 3 sets of 12 repetitions | Upright row for 3 sets of 12 repetitions Circuit training: Have a partner hold a focus pad as you continuously hit it with a medicine ball. Your partner should slowly walk backwards until he/she is at the other end of the gym.

Perform reverse lunges until you are back to where you started from.

Repeat this drill as many times as you can in a 2 minute time frame. This should be done 3 times with a minute of light jogging on the spot in between each set. Core-stability: "Equipment such as gym balls and bosu balls, which you stand and balance on, engage the abdominals as the muscles on the mid section of the body are responsible for stability," Gethin says.

Gym ball roll out for 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 45 seconds to rest between each set.

WARM-DOWN: | 4 minutes on the treadmill | Full body flexibility exercises Workout #3 WARM-UP: | 4 minutes on the cross trainer | Full body mobility exercises MAIN PART Strength: Gethin explains, "A compound exercise is an exercise that uses a large variety of skeletal muscle fibres. The more muscle fibres hit during an exercise, the more calories the body burns whilst benefiting the tone of the muscle." | Gym ball press up for 3 sets of 10 repetitions | Dumbbell shoulder press for 3 sets of 12 repetitions | BOSU squat for 3 sets of 15 repetitions Circuit training: | Medicine ball pass for 30 seconds | Rope slams for 30 seconds | Kettle-bell swings for 30 seconds | Modified v-sits for 30 seconds | Lightly jog on the spot for 1 minute before repeating this circuit twice.

Core-stability: | Russian twist for 30 seconds with a 45 second rest between tests WARM-DOWN: | 4 minutes on the rower | Full body flexibility routine Workout # 4 WARM-UP: | 4 minutes on the rower | Full body mobility routine MAIN PART Gethin says, "The super-sets and tri-sets encourage a larger range of muscles to be used. For example, a large portion of lower body muscles and a large portion of upper body muscles can be exercised one after another for larger calorie burn."

Strength: | Dumbbell bench press for 3 sets of 20 repetitions | Standing row for 3 sets of 12 repetitions | Kettlebell snatch for 3 sets of 12 repetitions Circuit training: | Barbell push press for 10 repetitions | 200m sprint on the Concept 2 Rower | Medicine ball slam down for 10 repetitions | 200m sprint on the Concept 2 Rower | Leg press for 15 repetitions | Repeat this circuit 3 times with a minute of light jogging between each station.

Gethin says, "For a better training session time yourself on the first attempt and try to beat that time on the second go."

Core-stability: | Leg drop | Gym ball roll out for 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 45 seconds to rest between each set.

WARM-DOWN: | 4 minutes on the cross trainer | Full body flexibility routine Nutrition Getting what your body needs out of your diet requires careful attention and planning. As well as being aware of your danger times, Gethin says it's key to think differently about your food intake, and not be fixated on usual mealtimes.

"Smaller meals that are re-distributed throughout the day ensures that the metabolic rate stays high and that you don't go hungry," he explains.

The sample diet here is a good guideline for what sort of foods you should be working into your daily diet.

"A lower starchy carbohydrate consumption and relying on fruit and vegetables as energy will ensure no insulin spikes," says Gethin. "Insulin spikes encourage the body to hold on to more calories.

Micronutrients are nutrients for humans required in small quantities throughout life, such as vitamins, calcium and iron.

"Remember, more fruit and vegetables are needed for more micronutrients in the body and the higher protein is needed for growth and repair," Gethin adds.

BREAKFAST Porridge oats with mixed berries Boiled eggs | Gethin's tips: "The porridge oats will provide long lasting energy for throughout the day. The mixed berries will supply your body with a quick burst of energy so that it stops metabolising the amino acids in your muscles as well as supplying your system with a variety of micronutrients. Research suggests that higher protein in the morning (such as the protein supplied by eggs) will reduce cravings and hunger for later on throughout the day."

MID MORNING Mixed nuts Apple | Gethin's tips: "The nuts will supply the body with a rich source of protein and healthy fats. The acidity of the apple results in the body increasing its ph level which reduces the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. Cortisol is known to increase fat intake from foot and waist muscle tone by metabolising the amino acids that the muscles are made of."

LUNCH Chicken Sweet potato Broccoli | Gethin's tips: "The chicken is a high source of protein for growth and repair of all tissue in the body. Sweet potato digests slower than regular potato which will provide energy for much longer throughout the day. Broccoli is one of the richest sources of vitamins and minerals."

MID AFTERNOON Beef Stir fry vegetables | Gethin's tips: "Although red meat has a reputation for increasing the level of an individual's body fat, when cooked correctly it can be a lean and rich source of protein as well as a number of micronutrients that have been proven to show improvements in body composition. The stir fry offers a variety of different coloured vegetables with a number of different micronutrients to benefit from."

Would like to thank the following partners for their ongoing support in our Health Check Wales initiative Health Check Wales is a new multi-media initiative to encourage healthier living. Weekly and monthly pages will appear in the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and our Celtic Newspapers titles as well as a special section on our website www.walesonline.co.uk/health-check-wales/ The campaign will focus on Waleswide initiatives aimed at all age groups, delivering sensible, practical and easy-tofollow healthy lifestyle guides that will cover all aspects of modern-day living.

If you are interested in supporting Health Check Wales please contact Elizabeth Bedford on 029 2024 4155 or email: liz.bedford@mediawales.co.uk or Thea Jefferies on 029 2024 4161 or email: thea.jefferies@mediawales.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 30, 2013
Words:1432
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