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Monday, January 01, 2007

Carnival Shape Up

It's the first day of 2007 and I have vowed to make no resolutions for this year EXCEPT that it's time to get serious for Carnival !

My no carbs for 47 days (until Carnival Monday) rule starts today and exercise is on from this afternoon (I pulled out my Pilates DVD finally!).

So I was especially happy to see this article in today's Guardian fitness section. Copy, print and follow this routine like it is your bible!!

So despite my warnings, you were intent on devouring that artery-clogging black fruit cake and the tempting bottle of ponche de crème given to you by your grandmother.

Now that Christmas is over, you are worried about shedding those extra pounds you gained during the yuletide season.

Carnival is looming around the corner and you have approximately six weeks to fit into that costume you ordered since September.

You are probably conjuring up images of slabs of fat hanging over your wide carnival belt, or wondering if there will be a shade of stockings dark enough to hide the dimpled quantity of cellulite stored at the back of your legs, which now gives your thighs a cottage cheese appearance.

Dark stockings and glitter can only take you so far. You now have to be prepared to pull out all the stops which would entail tightening your diet and sticking to your fitness programme.

Strictly speaking, if you are playing mas, you should have stepped up your fitness and your nutritional programme since September.

However, asking the average Trini to train and eat properly during the Christmas season is a monumental task.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared to work hard, we can have you looking fairly decent in your carnival costume. Bear in mind, these are general guidelines. You may desire a more specific programme relative to your body type.

Week one

During the first week in January 2007, I want you performing only aerobic training. You could jog, walk, bike, run or perform Tae-Bo for at least 45 minutes per session.

Use a heart rate monitor to ensure that you are within your training zone. Your degree of intensity in any of the above mentioned disciplines will depend on your present level of fitness.

Do five aerobic workouts in this week. Abs must be done five times per week during the next six weeks.

At this point, start eliminating junk foods which include chocolates, fried foods, soft drinks, ice cream etc from your diet. Choose your carbohydrates carefully by using the Glycemic Index rating as a general guide.

From the Glycemic Index, you will notice that white flour (white bread), white rice, mashed potatoes etc all have very high ratings.

Stay away from these foods. Quality carbohydrates with low glycemic index ratings include: sweet potatoes, yams, oats, brown rice etc. If you want a specific diet consult a certified nutritionist. For the full six weeks be disciplined with your eating habits.

Week two

In addition to some aerobic training, you are now going to add weight training to the equation.

At Carnival time, two body parts that are usually quite noticeable on women and men are legs and abdominals.

Women in particular need to work legs very hard, because most female costumes begin life as a bikini. Men sometimes feel that there is no need to work legs, because most times they wear baggy short pants.

They are wrong; women will still notice your leg size even when you are in your baggies. Apart from that, what about your calves?

Unless you intend to play sailor mas, it is a good idea to work your legs.

In week two concentrate on basic movements which include squats, clean and press, bent knee dead lifts, barbell curls, military and bench presses. Weight train for approximately 1 hour, four times per week.

Continue your aerobic training with at least two long sessions (45 minutes) on the days that you don’t weight train and on your weight training days put in at least 20 minutes of aerobic training just before you start your weight training workout.

Week three

Begin to refine your weight training workouts. Work whichever body parts (muscle groups) are giving the most amount of trouble, with a wide variety of exercises Use the same format as in week two for your aerobic training.

Week four

In week four, I only want two weight training sessions and in both sessions I want you to continue to work difficult body parts. Increase your aerobic workouts to four long sessions (45 minutes each) for this week.

Week five

Most big gyms carry weight training circuit workouts with specific machines. Circuit train four times in this week and ensure that you keep your heart rate elevated, as you move quickly to each station. Work all muscle groups during circuit training (45 minutes).

Week six

Perform three long sessions (45 minutes each) of aerobics for this week then cease all aerobic training.

For the rest of the week and remaining days till Carnival Friday concentrate only on various weight training routines and include some basic movements: squats, clean and press etc.

Consult your doctor before starting any exercise programme. Keep training.
©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

Happy New Year!!

I am on the slowest dial up ever spending the New Year at a house lime and just wanted to shout :

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