January 29, 2023

Healthy About Liver

Masters of Health

12 days of fitmas: Fitness plan to take you until the 2023 resolutions

Courtney Black will show you how to get fitter (Picture: Matt Marsh Photography)

Dubbed The Queen of Home Workouts, personal trainer Courtney Black took the online world by storm during lockdown.

Her at-home sessions were a big hit, thanks to the fact that they were free and offered a combination of high-intensity training and weight training.

Two books, an app and a fitness apparel line later, Courtney now has 1.1 million followers across social media channels and is helping women of all shapes and sizes to stay in shape.

So, if you want some help to keep your health and fitness regime going over the festive period, Courtney has devised this exclusive 12-day plan for Metro readers.

Day 1: HIIT – December 21

Are you ready? (Picture: Matt Marsh Photography)

‘Life might be getting a bit hectic and your normal routine may be out the window, but that doesn’t mean your health has to take a back seat,’ says Courtney.

‘Get back on track today with this quick and effective 20min workout to kick-start your 12 days of Fitmas. It will get the blood pumping, increase your energy levels and get those endorphins flowing. It’s brilliant to squeeze in between festive fun.’

Round 1

25 seconds on, 5 seconds of rest. Repeat each exercise twice.

  • Squat heel kicks
  • Plank jumps (feet jump laterally)
  • Walkouts
  • Skater lunges
  • High knees
  • Squat jumps
  • Burpees – chest to floor
  • Plank shoulder taps
  • Jumping lunges

Round 2

25 seconds on, 5 seconds of rest. Repeat each exercise twice.

  • Burpee press-up
  • Tuck jumps
  • Knee drive kick
  • High knees
  • Mountain climbers – knee to alternate elbows
  • Star jumps
  • Fast feet on the spot into a burpee
  • Bum kicks
  • Squat and twist

Day 2: Plank challenge – December 22

You can do this while waiting for dinner to cook (Picture: Matt Marsh Photography)

‘Today we’re turning up the heat with a five-minute plank challenge. No excuses, we can ALL find five minutes. The best part about this challenge is, it’s a real burner. Your full body will be working by the end as, done effectively, the plank will activate your core, glutes and shoulders giving you a real full body workout! The best part? You can literally do this while you’re waiting for dinner to cook.’

  • Plank on hands (1 min)
  • Elbow plank (30 seconds)
  • Plank on hands with one leg off the ground (30s each side)
  • Side plank on forearm (30s each side)
  • Full plank on hands (30s)
  • Elbow plank (1 min)

Day 3: Mince pie swirls – December 23

Healthier version of traditional mince pies (Picture: Supplied)

‘Too good to leave out for Santa, these mince pie swirls will have your taste buds tingling and they are perfect if you’re looking for a healthier version of your favourite festive treat.’

Ingredients

Serves 10-12

  • 1 x 375g ready-rolled light puff pastry
  • 200g tin mincemeat
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Icing sugar, to dust

Method

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/Fan 180C.

2. Roll the pastry but leave the paper attached underneath it. Spread the mincemeat all over the pastry and then dust the cinnamon over the top.

3. Roll the pastry into a long sausage shape, using the paper to help. With a sharp knife, cut into 12 smaller sausage shapes.

4. Lay each of the sausages on a baking tray and join the ends together. Space them out as they will grow in the oven – use two trays if you need to.

5. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, then bake for around 15 minutes until the mince pie swirls are puffed up and golden. Allow them to cool, then sieve the icing sugar over the top.

Day 4: The 1,000 rep challenge – December 24

Switch exercises with as little rest time as possible (Picture: Matt Marsh Photography)

‘This 1,000 rep full body challenge can be done in under 30mins and is designed to get your body moving. Go at your own pace and try to move from each exercise with as little rest as possible (aim for 10/15 seconds) between moves. This is a quick fat-burning session before you indulge tomorrow.’

  • 30 burpees
  • 30 toe taps
  • 100 mountain climbers
  • 30 squat jumps
  • 100 bicycle crunches
  • 30 sit-ups
  • 30 squats (feet together)
  • 30 squat and press (dumbbell optional)
  • 30 push-ups (on knees or off)
  • 30 jump lunges
  • 30 plank commando (hands to elbows)
  • 30 woodchops each side (dumbbells optional)
  • 100 star jumps
  • 200 boxer bounces
  • 30 V sits
  • 30 plank taps
  • 30 bum kicks
  • 30 seesaw overhead press (dumbbells optional)
  • 50 high knees
  • 30 in and out jumps

Day 5: Gingerbread baked oats – December 25

Breakfast or a snack (Picture: Supplied)

‘If you haven’t tried my gingerbread baked oats, you’re in for treat. These are so tasty and make the house smell super-festive while they’re cooking. Enjoy as a healthy breakfast or use as a post-workout snack after tomorrow’s session.’

Ingredients

Serves 1

  • 50g rolled oats
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 70ml milk of choice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup/treacle
  • 1 small egg
  • 20g walnuts
  • Spray low- calorie olive oil

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 190C

2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger.

3. In another bowl, mix the banana, milk, syrup/treacle, egg and olive oil until smooth.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add in 10g of the walnuts.

5. Carefully pour the oat mixture into a baking dish and top with the remaining walnuts. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden.

Day 6: Booty burn – December 26

Sets your glutes on fire (Picture: Matt Marsh Photography)

‘Let’s get back at it today and burn off some of your overindulgence. Quick but effective, wow does this booty workout leave your glutes on fire! If you are feeling brave, you could run it through twice.’

  • 50 seconds on/10 seconds off
  • Squat with alternative leg lifts
  • Crab walk side to side
  • Banded donkey kick 1 min per side
  • Fire hydrant – 1 min per leg
  • Single-leg bridge (30s per side)
  • Squat with a kick back
  • Pulse pulse jump squat
  • Jumping jacks (with a resistance band round ankles)

Day 7: Weighted HIIT – December 27

Courtney Black

Put your fitness to the test (Picture: Matt Marsh Photography)

‘We’re seven days into your Fitmas and you should be starting to notice all the incredible benefits that daily movement can bring. Give this 20-minute weighted HIIT session a try with a pair of dumbbells (or tins, cans, water bottles etc) and put your fitness to the test.’

Warm up with 30 seconds of each of the below:

  • Jog on spot
  • Star jumps
  • High knees
  • Shoulder rotations

45 seconds on/15 seconds off:

  • Overhead dumbbell press
  • Mountain climbers
  • Knee drives – (knee raises to meet elbow, half on each side)
  • Dumbbell swings through your legs
  • Step burpee
  • Suicide drills
  • Walkout mountain climber
  • Weighted star jumps
  • Weighted ski jumps
  • Squat kick back
  • Weighted tricep kick backs
  • Plank jacks
  • Weighted punches
  • Overhead butt kicks (use arms)
  • Bear crawl climber
  • Squat kicks

Day 8: Weighted abs – December 28

Do this all twice if you’re brave enough (Picture: Matt Marsh Photography)

‘It’s been a few days since we challenged the core, so let’s get the spotlight back on the abdominal muscles with a five-minute weighted workout. Do each exercise for 30 seconds and if you’re feeling strong, run it through twice. Isolated ab work is brilliant for toning and sculpting the abdominal muscles and you can do this while watching a Christmas movie.’

  • Scissor legs
  • Sit-up punch punch
  • Single leg star sit-ups (lie in a star position and sit up, bringing opposite leg to hand at the same time – 30 seconds each leg)
  • Weighted V sits (holding weight on your chest)
  • Sit-up bringing opposite arm to leg (30s each leg)
  • Weighted leg raise 30s (press and hold weight above your head)
  • Standing weighted woodchops (30s each side)

Day 9: Toad in the hole with pigs in blankets – December 29

Family classic with a twist (Picture: Supplied)

‘We’re all about balance over the festive period and this is a healthier option of the family classic with my own twist.’

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 8 reduced fat pork sausages
  • 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 4 tsp cranberry sauce
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 150ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Sea salt
  • 4 tsp beef gravy granules
  • 280ml boiling water

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 200. Mix the eggs and milk in a bowl. In another bowl add the flour and slowly whisk in milk and eggs.

2. Wrap each sausage with rasher of bacon and place in a metal roasting tin. Scatter one finely sliced onion around the sausages. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and immediately pour the batter around the sausages – bake for another 30-40 minutes.

Day 10: Pyramid circuits – December 30

‘As we’ve got a stretch day tomorrow, let’s give it all we’ve got today. The idea of this circuit is to really challenge yourself, so don’t quit.’

  • 1 minute plank
  • 2 press-ups
  • 3 sumo squats
  • 4 dumbbell thrusters
  • 5 explosive squat jumps
  • 6 cocoon crunches
  • 7 chest to floor burpees
  • 8 jumping lunges
  • 9 toe-touch crunches
  • 10 star jumps
  • 11 mountain climbers
  • 12 tricep dips
  • 13 jump forward run back
  • 14 suicide drills
  • 15 plank shoulder taps
  • 16 tuck jumps
  • 17 side lunges
  • 18 high knees
  • 19 Russian twists
  • 20 squat jumps turning 360 degrees

Day 11: Active recovery – 31 December

Woman performing cobra stretch on a Yoga Mat

Take time to stretch (Picture: Getty Images)

‘There might be a few sore muscles as we have turned up the heat the last few days so let’s give the body a chance to rest before our full body finisher tomorrow. Rest and recovery are key, not to preventing injury, but also allowing muscles time for growth and repair.’

Complete each stretch for one minute

  • Runners stretch
  • Pigeon pose (30 seconds each side)
  • Seated forward fold
  • Sitting glute stretch (30s each leg)
  • Lying twist (30s each side)
  • Seated arm stretch (30s each side)
  • Standing calf stretch (30s each side)
  • Chest stretch
  • Standing side bend (30s each side)
  • Cobra to downward dog

You didn’t think I was going to go easy on you, did you? This is the final day of your Fitmas challenge and means you’ll start January as you mean to go on. This works the entire body and puts all your hard work to the test. This is a brilliant workout to come back to and see how far you’ve progressed.’

Day 12: AMRAP finisher – 1 January

Repeat this circuit as much as you can without resting (Picture: Matt Marsh Photography)

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)

Set your timer for 10, 15 or 20 minutes and repeat this circuit as many times as possible without resting.

Warm up with one minute of star jumps followed by one minute of static squats.

  • Press ups x 10
  • Dumbbell renegade row x 5 (each side)
  • Weighted goblet squat x 10
  • Deadman burpees x 10
  • Dumbbell thruster x 10
  • Reverse lunges x 5 each side
  • Weighted crunches x 10


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