Born Shaun Thompson, the fitness trainer revealed he has days where he lacks motivation to do a full work out
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has become a popular way of getting fit because of its potential to torch a large number of calories in a short space of time.
It has also been linked to body fat mass reduction and touted as a way to combat high insulin resistance, which causes diabetes.
But having the motivation to keep up such a demanding regime all the time is a challenge.
This is something that even super-ripped fitness icon Shaun T, the man behind the Insanity craze, struggles with from time to time.
Insanity, dubbed ‘the hardest fitness program ever put on DVD’, became a huge hit for its claims to be able to burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour and transform your body in 60 days.
Now the motivational mastermind has revealed that when he has days when he doesn’t feel like doing a full workout, there is one essential move he does to stay in shape.
And it doesn’t require any fancy equipment or stepping foot in a gym. On those days, there’s one simple exercise you should focus on: the push-up and plank.
‘The push-up and plank will change your life,’ said the 39-year-old from New Jersey.
Combining the plank with push-ups takes its effect to a whole new level, according to Shaun (stock image)
Why is it the best?
Most people know the traditional plank move.
You lie flat on the floor, then raise yourself on your tiptoes and elbows — keeping your forearms on the ground and your back flat, so you look like a coffee table. Then you hold that position for as long as you can.
That’s because, unlike moves that work only one muscle or muscle group at a time –such as crunches or sit-ups – planks use muscles from all over your body, Shaun told Business Insider.
‘Holding a plank works your your shoulders, your chest, your core, your butt, your calves,’ he said. ‘It works your whole body.’
Having a strong core also supports proper posture and improves balance.
How is it carried out?
To get the full benefits of the move – and to prevent injury – it’s crucial to perform the move properly, Shaun advises.
He suggests getting used to doing planks and making sure you’ve got your form correct before adding in the push-ups.
Here’s how to do the plank.
1. Lie on the floor and bend your elbows 90° then rest your weight on your forearms.
2. Make sure your feet are hip-width apart and your elbows are shoulder-width. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
3. Hold the position for as long as you can. Your goal should be to hold it for two minutes.
As you get stronger, gradually build up to hold the position for longer periods of time.
Once you feel confident, add in the push-ups, making sure your spine stays straight the whole time.
Eventually, aim to hold the plank for five minutes at a time and do 100 push-ups, Shaun said.
‘If someone hits 100 push-ups before they leave in the morning their entire day will change,’ he said.