Lunch Break Burn

Oct 9 08:12 2008 Sandra Prior Print This Article

If you’re keen to get fit but don’t have the time, try this lunch-hour gym or park workout.

We devised a workout that has serious fat-burning benefits but still fits into a lunch hour.

It's based on the concept of PSI training (progression,Guest Posting supersets and interval training) - a hot new way to structure your workout, which maximizes afterburn by making the most of every minute you spend exercising.

The approach relies on maximum heart-rate training, which means you'll be challenging your cardio fitness by working at 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Because this workout is varied and progressive, it ensures your strength and endurance keep improving.

Each part of the circuit has both a gym and an outdoor option, so you can pick the setting that suits you. The average 64kg woman should blitz up to 2 000kj with this circuit, thanks to its impressive afterburn.

Change into Fit Kit

Gym: Warm up for 10 minutes at a slow pace on the treadmill, cross trainer or exercise bike.

Park: Jog slowly for 10 minutes.

Gym: 10 Minutes Speed Progression on the Treadmill

Before doing this, you'll need to measure the fastest pace you can sustain for 60 seconds. Start out at a slow jog, then increase your speed a little every 60 seconds, until you're running at your maximum speed in the final minute.

Park: 10 Minutes Speed Progression on a Track or Path

Do the workout above. Use a stopwatch or, even better, choose a watch or heart-rate monitor that will beep every 60 seconds.

Gym: Standing Plie Squats

The exercise: Stand, holding a 10kg dumbbell (work up to 20kg as you get fitter), feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes turned out 45°. Squat down, making sure your knees are in line with your toes and your heels stay flat. Then slowly stand upright.

The reps: Do two sets of 25 repetitions (reps), with a 10-second break in between.

Park: Standing Plie Squats

Without the dumbbell, do two sets of 30 reps of the squats.

Gym: Walking Lunges

The weights: Start with 5kg dumbbells and work up to 8kg as you get fitter.

The exercise: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, take a big step forwards with your right leg, so your left knee almost touches the floor and your right knee bends to 90°. Bring your left leg forwards to meet your right, then repeat, leading with your left leg. Keep your torso upright. Move forwards as you lunge, or do alternate lunges on the spot.

The reps: Do a set of 20 reps, then a set of 30 reps.

Park: Walking Lunges

Do the lunges without weights, but make fists with your hands and do bicep-curl arm movements.

Gym and Park Half-Press-Ups

The exercise: Lie face down on the floor or grass with your hands flat next to your shoulders. Keeping your knees on the floor and your ankles crossed, push yourself upwards until your arms are straight, then lower yourself down, so your arms bend at 90° and your nose almost touches the floor.

The reps: Do a set of 20 reps, then a set of 25 reps, with a 10-second break in between.

Gym: Bench Press

The weights: Start with a 7,5kg to 10kg barbell or dumbbell, working up to 20kg as you get fitter.

The exercise: Lie on a flat weights bench with your knees bent. With your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and facing upwards, hold a barbell above your chest. Push up until your arms are fully extended, but not locked, keeping the barbell above your chest and then slowly lowering it.

The reps: Do a set of 20 reps, then a set of 25 reps, with a 10-second break in between.

Park: Extended Side Plank

The exercise: From a straight-armed press-up position, raise your left arm towards the sky and rotate your upper body. Keep your feet still. To make this move more challenging, turn your head to look straight up at your arm. Hold for five seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

The reps: Do eight on each side.

Gym: Single Upright Rows

The weights: Start with a 6kg dumbbell, and work up to 15kg.

The exercise: Rest your right lower leg and right hand on a bench and keep your left foot on the floor. Holding a dumbbell, pull upwards and back with your left arm until the weight reaches your armpit. Keep your elbow high and close to your ribs during the whole movement.

The Reps: Do a set of 20 reps with each arm followed by 30 reps, with a 10 second break between the two sets.

Park: Tricep Dips

The exercise: Sit on a bench with your hands resting on it. Now 'walk' your feet forwards, knees bent, and lower yourself, using your triceps. Then push back up again.

The reps: Do a set of 20 reps, then a set of 30 reps, with a 10-second break in between.

Gym: Interval (Bike) Training

Cycle on an exercise bike for five minutes, varying the resistance every minute. Keep your speed constant - aim for 70rpm to 80rpm. For example, cycle on level four for one minute, then go to level eight for one minute, then take it back down to level four again.

Park: Interval (Foot) Training

For five minutes, alternate slow jogging for one minute with running at 80% to 90% of your maximum speed for one minute.

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Sandra Prior
Sandra Prior

Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at

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