This bikini season, get ready for a sizzling new bod with these hi-octane work-outs Jennifer Hawkins style.
When we think of the perfect beach bod, Aussie beauty Jennifer Hawkins usually comes to mind. The good news is, no matter what fitness level you're at, it's possible to achieve great results in four to six weeks by taking a leaf from her fitness regime.
Burn fat with interval training
"Jen Hawkins is a huge fan of interval training in all its forms and for good reason it's an incredibly effective way to burn fat while giving your metabolism a boost," says fitness expert Libby Babet. Babet recommends the following interval-based cardio training for each fitness level:
Beginner: Warm up by starting your walk off slowly and incorporating some stretches along the way. Then add some intervals by walking as fast as you can for one minute, then dropping back to a slow walk for a second minute to catch your breath. Repeat for 30 minutes.
Intermediate: Sprint up a set of short stairs, then slowly walk down to the bottom to catch your breath and repeat immediately. If you are using a bike, treadmill, or cross-trainer, try running or pedalling at a slow, steady pace for a few minutes before increasing the incline and going as hard as you can for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat five times.
Advanced: When running, do one or two minutes at a fairly quick pace, with roughly the same amount of time spent jogging at a slow steady pace. Alternatively, you may do short bursts (say 10 seconds) at a full sprint, before giving yourself one minute to walk back to the starting line and recover. Repeat eight times.
Tone up without bulking up
The best way to build long, lean muscle and a toned body is by using your own bodyweight and some light resistance equipment, Babet says. This may include yoga and Pilates or circuit training with light weights and plyometrics (jumping) drills.
Try creating your own circuit at home by mixing and matching several of exercises listed below. Do 15 to 20 repetitions of each, then break for 30 to 60 seconds and start all over again. Repeat four or five times.
- Lower-body exercises: bodyweight squats, lunges, wide-leg squats, hip extensions.
- Upper-body exercises: tricep dips, push-ups and shoulder presses.
- Plyometric exercises: squat jumps, burpees, lunge jumps and high knees.
- Ab exercises: mountain climbers, plank, bridge and bicycle crunches.
Sample weekly programs
For maximum fat-burning
- Three days of resistance training, at 30 to 45 minutes per session.
- Two or three days of intense cardio intervals, at 30 minutes per session.
- One or two yoga class for lengthening muscles.
For instant toning
If you're already lean but feel your body needs more tone, try:
- Four days of resistance training, at 30 to 45 minutes per session. Maintain cardio fitness by adding four minutes of intense cardio intervals on to the end of each of resistance work-outs.
- Two yoga classes, at 50 to 60 minutes each. This is important for muscles lengthening and also to help your sore bod to recover after all that weights work.
For absolute beginners
- Three days of easy interval cardio, at 30 minutes per session.
- Two beginner Pilates sessions, at 30 to 40 minutes each to build core strength.
- One yoga class at 50 to 60 minutes each.
Watch the video above for Jen's diet secrets
High-protein, low-carb diet
Hawkins is an advocate of a high-protein, high-vegetable diet the best nutrition approach to take if you want to see results in less than a month! Babet suggests challenging yourself to eat only the following foods for the next four weeks and see how quickly your body responds:
- as many colourful vegetables as you can get your hands on;
- lean meats and seafood (or substitute with quorn or tempeh if vegetarian);
- low-GI fruit;
- nuts and seeds; and
- some brown or wild rice, or quinoa.
Sample menu: A day in the dietary life of Jennifer Hawkins
Breakfast: A good protein source, such as poached eggs or some turkey or ham slices, with wilted spinach and tomatoes.
Snack: A small handful of nuts, plus some low-GI fruit, such as an apple or some berries.
Lunch: All-you-can-eat salad ingredients (eg: green leaves, tomato, capsicum) with some avocado and a good quality protein source such as a small tin of salmon or sardines, or perhaps some chicken or turkey breast.
Snack: A small bowl of minestrone soup, or another serve of protein (white meat or seafood) with some green vegetables (the best choices are broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cabbage).
Dinner: Lean protein source, ideally white fish (like basa, ling, whiting) with a big serve of coloured vegies. Perhaps a small serve of quality carbohydrate like sweet potato or wild rice too.
Dessert: Cup of lemon or ginger tea with a splash of honey, or some sweet berries.