Fitness / 21.01.2016

Ambush those pounds with these military moves

By Julia Pritchard
Are you ready to get in shape, army-style?
WorkoutFor many of us at this time of year, the prospect of restarting our fitness regime is daunting. After all the indulgences of Christmas, it’s easy to fall into an exercise rut, repeating the same gruelling, and often lazy, routine each week.

Thankfully, Paul Derham, a British Military Fitness instructor, is here to help. He’s given us some insight into how to shake up your workout with army fitness moves, burning more calories and melting more fat in a shorter space of time. From this moment on, you can be spending less time on the treadmill, and reaping greater benefits. What more could you want?

Maintain your new year fitness routine with these simple changes, inspired by military regimes, to get the most out of your workout:

1 Make your warm up work harder
While warming up is vital to ensure your body is well prepped ahead of a workout session, it doesn’t mean you can’t reap the calorie busting benefits as well. Many people think of interval training as the main event in a workout, but it’s also a great way to warm up. Start off running at a steady pace for 5-10 minutes, then follow with five sets of high intensity intervals of 30 seconds on and 60 seconds off, finishing with a one minute recovery period. This can be also done on a bike or rowing machine. This warm up is a great way of blasting fat quickly, and the best part is that your body will continue to burn calories long after your workout has finished.

2 Opposites attract
We all know that weight training is a great way to build muscle and burn calories, but did you know you can maximise the benefits through antagonist-agonist training? This involves working the opposite muscles during rest periods, which not only ensures that you maximise the time used resting, but studies have also shown that a muscle can work harder if it’s preceded by the contraction of the opposite muscle. Try doing a press up followed by some sets of inverted rows, or a chest press followed by a lateral row if you’re in the gym to ensure maximum output and calorie burn.

3 Up the intensity
The number one way to get more calorie burn in the same amount of time in your workouts is to up the intensity through intervals. Tabata is one of the most popular types of interval training and for good reason – with 20 seconds of all-out intensity followed by 20 seconds rest, it’s the best way to blast fat and burn calories in no time. Do 20 seconds of crunches, burpees, mountain climbers, squat jumps or high knee runs as fast and hard as you can, then rest for 20 seconds before going all over again. Do 4-5 sets, and if you’re not feeling exhausted by the end of it, you’ve not been working hard enough!

4 Don’t neglect your core
Always finish your workout with a circuit of core exercises, to keep the calories burning. The core is usually the muscle group we neglect the most, but, if we want to get good abs, it’s vital that we work them like any other part of the body. Do a variety of exercises that work the upper, mid and lower core, and include plenty of plank variations to strengthen the lower back.

Tweet us your workout selfies @healthymag!

For more information on British Military Fitness, see and to try a class for free, visit

Ambush those pounds with these military moves
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Ambush those pounds with these military moves
Paul Derham, a British Military Fitness instructor, gives us his four military style workout tips. Does army fitness work for you?
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