Achieve the results you crave in just a few weeks by following this at-home workout plan by fitness expert Laura Williams.
Medically reviewed by Dr Louise Wiseman MBBS, BSc (Hons), DRCOG, MRCGP and words by Laura Williams
Trying (and failing) to lose weight? Setting a specific goal can breathe life into your fitness regime. Personal trainer Laura Williams has devised the following 7-day fitness plan, so stick with it and expect to see results in as little as a fortnight.
The 7-day fitness plan rules
✔️ Regularity and consistency: These are your best friends when it comes to seeing results. The cumulative effect of exercise cannot be underestimated. Schedule exercise sessions in your diary and stick to them no matter what.
✔️ Keep an eye on your diet: If weight loss is your goal, try not to ‘eat your workout’. Never go hungry but avoid high-calorie food rewards (we’re talking post-workout pastries and muffins) and oversized meals. Good post-workout snacks include pitta and humus, a protein smoothie shake or yoghurt and fresh fruit.
✔️ Follow the plan: You can switch sessions around, but try and stick to following a higher intensity day with a lower intensity workout the next day.
It’s Monday which means a full-on (but easy-to-follow) workout after the weekend. Start with a 4-minute warm up consisting of:
- Easy jogging-on-the-spot
- Shadow boxing
- Shuttle runs
Next, try the following with 30 second intervals for each move:
- Mountain climbers
- Jumping jacks
- 30 seconds rest
- High knee jogging-on-the-spot
- Squats-with-a-jump (at the top)
- 30 seconds rest
- Fast alternating lunges
- Lateral jumps
- 30 seconds rest
- Fast step-ups left leg
- Fast step-ups right leg
- 30 seconds rest
- Reverse lunge with knee drive left leg
- Reverse lunge with knee drive right leg
- Rest and…repeat!
This is your active recovery day – the perfect excuse to try this calorie busting walk:
- Start by walking at a moderate pace for five minutes to warm up.
- Then speed up so that you can still hold a conversation, but so that your heart rate is raised and you start to break a sweat.
- Hold this pace for three minutes.
- Slow down to a stroll for one minute and repeat.
- Repeat this four minute cycle a total of five times.
Lunchtime run club
Grab a friend or a colleague and head out to boost fitness levels, strengthen bones and whittle waistline with this 30-minute, mixed intensity run:
- Run at moderate pace (6/10) for 4 minutes.
- Run at a fast pace (8-9/10) for 2 minutes.
- Run at slow pace (4/10) for 2 minutes.
- Run at moderately fast pace (7/10) for 2 minutes.
- Repeat twice more, to a total of 3 times.
Yoga cardio blend
Try the following with one minute intervals for each move:
- Marching on the spot
- Alternating shallow reverse lunges (think speed, not depth)
- Skipping lunge
- Jogging on spot with arm circles
- Shallow walking lunges
- Repeat a total of three times
Next up, try these four high calorie burning yoga moves:
Chair pose. From a standing position, bend knees, push hips back and squat down towards the floor as you extend arms into the air, palms facing forward. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Rest and repeat up to five times.
Warrior II. From a standing position, take a wide step out with right leg and bend knee to a 90-degree angle, foot also turned to the right. Your left leg is straight, foot turned slightly inwards. Reach arms out to sides, palms facing the floor. Rotate torso to the right looking forward. Inhale and exhale several times before repeating on the other side.
Warrior III. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, lift right leg parallel to the floor before hinging forward from the waist. Maintain a slight bend in the left leg as you reach forward with arms – arms, upper body and right leg should all form a straight line. Switch sides after a count of 10. Slowly increase time to 30 seconds on each side.
Plank with arm raise. Assume push up position with weight distributed evenly between palms and balls of feet, with body forming a straight line. Reach your right arm forward and hold for a count of 3. Relax down and repeat on the other side. Do a total of 5 but slowly increase to 10. Switch sides.
Don’t want your workout to eat into wine-o-clock? No problem. Instead of taking a complete rest day, however, just try a bit of desk-ercise. Add three sets of 20 reps (spread throughout the day) of the following moves into your daily routine.
- Leg extensions: straighten legs out in front of you, hold for count of 5, lower and repeat.
- Tricep dips: edge body off seat with hands either side before lowering yourself to floor by bending elbows.
- Bottom lifts: place hands either side of seat and lift bottom off chair a few inches.
- Double leg raises: for the tum – lean back in seat, lift legs off chair and straighten at knee).
Try this metabolism-boosting, muscles-strengthening, all-over body toner to get a decent weekend workout that won’t eat into your leisure time. After a 5-10-minute warm up consisting of either a short jog, power walk or Monday’s warm-up, repeat the following three times:
- 30 wide squats
- 1 min walking lunges
- 15-20 press ups
- 30-second side plank each side
- 25 tricep dips
- 20 cycling crunches
Low intensity cardio
Try this fat-busting cardio session on the one day of the week you should have a little more time to exercise. We’ve varied the pace, while keeping it low intensity, so heart gets a decent workout and calorie-burning’s maximised.