ENTERTAINMENT

Meet the woman who will transform your body and it will only take 7 minutes of your time


Lucy Wyndham-Read moved to avoid being tortured by bullies – and has become a YouTube fitness sensation. Now she will help you get super fit in just 7 minutes

Lucy wears a top, intimissimi. Rock, Reiss. Blue ring, rebus. Other rings, Alighieri. Styling: Holly Elgeti. Hair and make-up: Lica Fensome at Stella Creative Artists with Bumble & Bumble and BareMinerals

Personal trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read is a leading fitness influencer with over a million YouTube subscribers who follows her hugely popular series of seven-minute online training videos. Her seventh book, 7-Minute Body Plan: Quick Workouts and Simple Recipes for Real Results in 7 Days, has just been published.

However, her success hides a story of heartbreaking tragedies – when Lucy was 21, her fiancé Mike was killed in a terrible accident. In an instant, the life they had planned together since becoming teenage favorites was destroyed. It was, Lucy says, an exercise that helped her cope with her grief and gave her the determination to build a new future, even though she wasn't naturally athletic. “I used to be afraid of sports in school. I was shy, awkward and the girls who bullied me were usually the most popular, so they would choose the teams. I was always there until the last time and gave a team no choice but to choose me, ”says Lucy, 48, who is single and lives in Surrey.

Lucy didn't just suffer on the sports field. On a school trip to France when I was a teenager, two girls all called into the dormitory where we lived. One held my arms and the other slapped my face. When I got home, I trusted my mother, who took me to the hospital, where I discovered that my nose was broken. "It was a terrible thing to get through, but it sown the seeds of wanting to be strong who can protect themselves."

When she was 18, Lucy decided to join the army. "I'm not from a military family – my mother is an artist, my father a folk singer, so they were shocked," says Lucy, whose only experience in the life of the army was a few cadet camps at school. "However, when I explained that I had an overwhelming need to challenge myself and no longer be a target for bullies, they were very supportive, but there were a lot of people who said I couldn't handle military life." I wanted to prove the opposite to them. "

Lucy admits that at the time she was far from the highest physical condition she is in today. "I was between 12 and 14 years old, not trained and did not have the strength my body has now." I knew I had to pass a fitness test to join the army, so I got up early every day, walked, ran, and slowly increased my endurance. "

In 1990, Lucy's career in the army started with a 12-week boot camp in Aldershot, Hampshire, where she was stationed and trained as a dental assistant. A year earlier, her fiancé Mike had also joined the army. The couple had met when they were 15 and he had proposed on their 18th birthday, not long before they enlisted in the military.

“We were in separate barracks and he was often sent overseas, while my training meant that I stayed in Aldershot. Although we couldn't see each other regularly, we kept writing. "

Lucy admits that her first two years in the army have been challenging. As one of only a few female soldiers in my barracks, I felt like I had to work harder to prove myself. Whatever I did was never good enough for some officers. It was frustrating because I gave everything. "

Lucy's fitness also developed in the life of the army and her body changed. “We ran every day and then did pushups and burpees (a mix of squats and boards). I also trained in my barracks bedroom and developed bodyweight exercises for which I didn't need any equipment. I was not only physically fitter, but also mentally stronger. I would become the woman I had dreamed of as a teenager. "

Then, in August 1992, Lucy's life changed forever. "I was woken up at 3 a.m. by a noncommissioned officer who told me to get up immediately. I followed him in fear – I knew that everything that had happened would not be good news. "

Lucy was told that Mike died in his Belfast barracks. A Russian roulette game with another soldier – one weapon in the other's mouth – had gone wrong and he had been shot at close range. He was 22 and should leave the army only two months later.

"He was the love of my life," says Lucy. "I still have all of his letters, including the last one that he wrote that arrived shortly after his death. To date I have never been able to read it. When our army career ended, Mike would train as a fireman, I would be a dental assistant, and we would get married – we thought we would have worked all our lives. His death shocked me deeply – I couldn't understand that he was gone. "

After two weeks of compassionate vacation, Lucy returned to work. “It was very difficult to be in such a hard, emotionally cold place again. It was one of the loneliest times in my life because I should just keep going, ”she says.

Since her grief was still so great, Lucy became another target for bullies. This time, her tormentors were older colleagues. "On my first day back I received Mike's dental files and said," These belong to a deceased soldier; You have to take care of the administrator. “The officer knew that you were my fiance. It was deliberate cruelty. There was no recognition of what I was going through – it went beyond a stiff upper lip mentality, ”says Lucy.

At that moment, Lucy really threw herself on the move. "I ran miles and before I did HIIT (high-intensity interval training), I created my own routines in my barracks room." Exercise became a relief that helped lift the sadness that surrounded me. I slept better, it gave me focus and it was time alone to deal with what had happened. "

Dress, free people. Jewelry, Alighieri. Styling: Holly Elgeti. Hair and make-up: Lica Fensome at Stella Creative Artists with Bumble & Bumble and BareMinerals

Dress, free people. Jewelry, Alighieri. Styling: Holly Elgeti. Hair and make-up: Lica Fensome at Stella Creative Artists with Bumble & Bumble and BareMinerals

In 1994 Lucy decided to leave the military. "Life in the army was a constant memory of Mike and I had to get out and start over," she says. "After experiencing the healing and motivating power of training, I was in love with fitness and wanted to show others that its benefits go well beyond a six-pack."

After qualifying as a personal fitness trainer and working in gyms to build her customer base, Lucy started sharing training videos – which she herself shot in her apartment – on YouTube. "It seemed like the perfect way to reach people who felt that exercise wasn't for them, either because they couldn't afford the gym, were ashamed of their bodies, or just didn't have time." My videos made exercises accessible, something I've always been passionate about. "

One of Lucy's videos, 7 Minutes of Belly Fat Loss Training, has had over 46 million views, making it the most popular fitness video on YouTube. "The irony I chose last for games is none of my business!" Laughs Lucy, whose online followers use the hashtag #lucyssquad.

"I love the community that has emerged online that does my workouts and connects with each other." There is everyone, from a grandmother in the Australian outback to young mothers in the UK. And I always focus on maximizing your time – everyone can find seven minutes a day. "

Lucy may fly high, but she has never forgotten the tragedy behind her success. "I faced so many hurdles and challenges when I wanted to leave, but I always felt like Mike was with me and pushed me to do it," she says.

“Practice was a bridge for me. Without her, I might never have escaped the dark after his death. I've come to a new chapter and I know Mike would be proud. "

Can you really get fit? in 7 minutes?

Lucy says yes! Here are two of their most effective routines

When my 7-minute Lose Belly Fat training video on YouTube went viral in 2018, the feedback didn't surprise me: "I can't believe this works!" The audience said. You may think the same thing – many people believe that the longer you exercise, the more effective it is. But intensity is key to getting results, not duration.

Traditional workouts focus on isolated movements like planks or squats. Although they work certain muscles, they don't take up a lot – and they don't set the body in full motion to achieve a complete calorie burning effect.

My 7-minute workouts use a special combination of cardio-toning movements and multi-compound and multi-directional exercises, so that hundreds of muscles are used in one movement. Even better, they help induce an effect known as EPOC (Excessive Oxygen Consumption), so you can naturally increase your calorie consumption after hours of exercise. This is because your body is still working hard to rebalance its hormones, replenish its fuel supplies, cool off, and return to its normal state.

Short workouts are also feasible. They are easy to press into your life so that you tend to stick to them. My philosophy is to keep it simple, to make it simple. Everyone can find seven minutes within their day, including you – trust me.

Before you start …

  • March 30 seconds on site to warm up.
  • Each workout has seven different movements.
  • Do each one, if you can, in the order given for a minute.
  • From the 40-second mark, every movement will feel challenging. Go on: The magic has happened in the last 20 seconds.
  • You want to feel a bit out of breath – for example, it would be difficult to have a full conversation. This is the fat burning zone.
  • When you're done, remember to stretch.
Cardio boost and sculpt training while sitting

Cardio boost and sculpt training while sitting

Cardio boost and sculpt training while sitting

Cardio boost and sculpt training while sitting

Calorie burning workout

Calorie burning workout

Calorie burning training

Calorie burning training

Calorie burning workout

Calorie burning workout

Calorie burning workout

Calorie burning workout

This is an edited excerpt from Lucy's new book 7-Minute Body Plan: Quick workouts and simple recipes for real results in 7 days (DK, £ 16.99). To order a copy for £ 13.59 with free shipping by January 5th, call 01603 648155 or go to mailshop.co.uk. © Lucy Wyndham-Read 2019. Images: Lizzy Thomas

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