Shape up with intense interval training…

I was lucky to have the pleasure of working with Patrick Holford on a new book. Patrick is a leading international nutritionist whose 30+ books have been translated into 20 languages. For his latest publishing project he was keen to bring in a detailed exercise element alongside his fascinating dietary advice and I was delighted to be asked to join the project and bring this aspect to it.

Burn Fat Fast is about diminishing the effects of the fat making gene whilst unlocking the skinny gene through a combination of a low GL diet (Glycemic Load), alternate day fasting, reducing insulin levels and my exercise plans. And weight loss and shaping up will follow without living in hunger or compromising your health in any way!


My exercise plan is devised around interval training. I’ve been a practitioner and advocate of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for several years and have guided large numbers of clients and Boot Camp members up to and beyond their fitness goals. I also practice what I preach and have been pursuing HIIT myself!

It wasn’t too long ago that this form of training suffered some adverse media. It followed the serious stroke suffered by Andrew Marr. The BBC broadcaster explained that he’d been watching a documentary about seriously intense, short burst exercise. He decided to adopt this himself and went as hard as he could on a rowing machine for a few frantic minutes.

The result was a massive stroke and he was lucky to survive. Naturally this gave some sensationalist media plenty of rope by which to try and hang the whole notion of working out. All kinds of hysterical ‘exercise is bad for you’ pieces appeared and Interval Training got a bad time of it.

Of course going flat out when you are in your 50’s, unprepared and not an experienced exerciser is never clever. And by the presenter’s own admission, he was “seriously overworked” at the time. However Interval Training is manageable, time efficient and super effective. For the Burn Fat Fast exercise plans I alternate just eight minutes of strength training with 30 minutes of cardio every other day.

Here are five resistance exercises for your total body toning..

1. Wall Sit

It might not look like much is going on but this exercise really hits the spot! Squat with your back to a wall, knees bent to 90 degrees as if sitting in an invisible chair. Push with your thighs into wall. Hold 45 seconds x 2 sets.

Interval Training WallSit

Targets: bottom, inner thigh, quads and hamstrings.

2. Squat Shoulder Press

Feet shoulder width apart, hold dumbbells up by shoulders (can be drinks bottles, food cans or sugar bags). Squat down keeping your back straight, then drive back upright and press your arms up to full extension above your head.

Interval Training Squat shoulder press

2 sets of 60 seconds duration.

Targets: quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, lower back and shoulders.

3. Box Press with Alternate Leg Lift

Kneel on all fours, hands underneath shoulders as if ready to do ‘cheat’ press ups. Lower chest towards floor and as you push up lift one knee off the floor. Repeat for other leg. 20 repetitions each leg.

Interval Training Box press leg lift

Targets: chest, upper back, shoulders and core.

4. Plank Step-Outs

Position yourself at the top of a full press-up position. Arms straight weight supported by arms and toes. Keeping the leg straight, step it out tapping a point 12 inches from start position and return. Repeat with other leg. Continue for 45 seconds.

Interval Training Plank Step Outs

Targets: core and shoulders.

5. Alternate Reverse Lunge

Stand upright, hands on hips, feet shoulder width apart. Take a step back dropping your back knee to just a few inches above the floor. Weight should remain on front leg. Return to start position and step back with other leg. 2 sets of 45 secs.

Interval Training Alternate Reverse Lunge

Targets: quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Have a go at these short and sharp exercises with just a very small rest in between.

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans