Last-minute holiday blitz

22 July 2015 by
First published: 30 July 2015

If you’re holiday has crept up on you but you still want to squeeze in some last-min honing and toning we’ve got you covered.

This short and simple high-intensity workout can be done two to three times a week alongside your regular gym or cardio sessions.

When performing this exercise put in your maximum effort; if you want to see results quickly, especially around your middle, team it with a healthy diet.


The “Pyramid” workout is tough, because of the high volume of repetitions, but it gets results. You will complete 20 repetitions of each movement, then, you will complete 19 repetitions of each movement and so on until you get down to 5 reps. This can easily be adapted to allow for time available and levels of fitness by simply starting at a lower number of reps. The aim is to finish this workout in the fastest time possible while maintaining perfect technique on every movement. If you have to go a bit slower to achieve that technique, that’s fine, as it’s important to avoid injury.


Here are the three exercises

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Jump Squats
  • Press Up and Renegade Row


If you’re feeling particularly gnarly add in one of the following:

  • Burpees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Bicycle crunches


How to do them:


Kettlebell Swings

Hold a kettlebell by the handle in front of you with both hands with your arms straight, then squat down slightly while pushing your hips back. Keeping your arms straight throughout, swing the kettlebell back between your thighs, then push your hips forward and swing the kettlebell up until your arms are at approximately 90 degrees. Then let it fall while pushing your hips back, flow continuously into the next swing to continue the exercise making sure you control the swing.

Jump Squats

Stand with legs hip-width apart, then squat down bending at the knees and hips into a ‘seated’ position, then jump up and move fluidly back into the start position and continue until the  time runs out or you complete your chosen amount of reps.

Press Up and Renegade Row

Get into a push up position with your arms straight, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground then return to the arms straight position. Keeping your core engaged, row your open palm to the side of your chest, bending your arm at the elbow as you lift it up, then lower to the floor and repeat with the other hand, that’s one rep. Don’t rotate your torso as you row, keep your core strong throughout.


Stand upright with your arms at your sides, then bend over and squat down. Place your hands on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Using your arms to stabilise your upper body, kick legs back so you end up in a press-up position. While stabilising your upper body bring your legs in with a small jump so you’re in a crouching position, then jump up with your arms in the air to return to the start position. That’s one rep.

Jumping Jacks

Start with your feet together and your hands at your sides then jump while raising your arms and opening your legs. Land with your feet apart and arms overhead. Jump back into the start position to complete one rep then flow straight into the next one to get a continuous movement going.

Bicycle crunches

Lie flat on the floor with the lower back pressed into the ground, then place your hands on either side of your head. Lift your knees to a 45-degree angle taking your feet off the floor, then, slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion with the legs while touching your elbows to the opposite knee twisting back and forth through the core. Keep the elbows back rather than forward to the chest as this could strain the neck.