By Ondela Mlandu
Kim Engelbrecht is loved and known by many around the world for her impeccable acting. Kim has recently returned from the International Emmy Awards in Los Angeles and she’s also our Women’s Health January/February cover star. Writer Ondela Mlandu stepped into Kim’s prolific shoes to find out how the actress stays fit and healthy.
Kim made waves in the acting and entertainment industry as early as the age of 12. Her career has led her down several paths such as television presenting days on the e.tv teen show Craz-e, youth series, Take 5 on SABC, to her acting role as Lolly De Klerk on the popular soapie Isidingo, to television series such as Reyka and Raised by Wolves.
Kim Engelbrecht’s Metcon workouts explained
When it comes to exercising, Kim works out with her trainer Bjorn Bergins from The HIIT Club twice a week. The pair have built a good training relationship over the years. Kim’s training routine includes Metcon/HIIT training twice a week, together with Reformer Pilates.
Metabolic conditioning or Metcon for short is a combination of strength training and cardio exercises, to increase ones overall fitness levels. You can adapt almost any exercise to fit a metabolic exercise program, including weight training, resistance training, cardio exercises, compound movements, and even bodyweight exercises.
READ MORE: 4 Core Moves That’ll Create A Stronger Body All Over
Train like a pro… at home
Here’s how you can train like Kim…
1. Full Dynamic Stretch Routine
The warm-up routine that Bjorn designed for the morning was called the ‘dynamic’ stretch and it included. Try it for yourself:
- a) Warming up the tendons/ligaments in the joints
- b) Lengthening and activating the muscles
- c) Stimulating the blood flow and energy
- d) Connecting the breathing to the movements (mind/body connection).
The movements particularly go through all the planes of movement (up/down, sideways and rotations). Bjorn sees breathing and movement as the foundation of each session.
“Not only does this prepare the body for action and more importantly, it also gives you an opportunity to get your mindset ready. This is the way to avoid any injuries during workouts and also to speed up recovery time,” he says.
READ MORE: Sculpt Your Body With This 15-Minute HIIT Workout
2. Activation/ Mobility Warm-up
We then moved into the activation/mobility warm-up part. The warm-up was a ball game that can be done in pairs. You will need a tennis ball and four cones. You will be required to sprint to the cones to leave a ball, whilst the next person removes the ball to place on another cone. This warm-up is the ultimate test of endurance.
3. Metcon Workout
The workout started with a 10-meter sprint with sets of the below exercises in between.
After each workout, you must sprint 10 meters further than you did before e.g. 10 meters, 20 meters, 30 meters and eventually the 40 meters sprint.
The exercises in between were as follows:
- Jumping jacks/plyo jacks (A plyo jack is done by jumping up, opening your arms and legs mid-air into an “X” shape.)
- Commando roll press ups
- Dumbbell squat and press
- Ab twists
This ab workout consists of sets of 10, 20, 30 and 40 exercises, as each set was increased by 10 reps.
- Leg raises
- Super crunches
- Side slides
- Bicycle kicks
To end the workout, do a cool-down and stretch to recover.
Kim Engelbrecht’s intentional fasting
The beauty of fasting is that Kim has adapted it to suit lifestyle.
“I usually do a fasted workout and break my fast after training at lunch time. I fast 16:8 – 11 am-7 pm. or 12 pm – 8 pm, although I never really eat after 8 pm,” she says. Kim says one of the benefits of fasting for her, is that once in the fasting phase it allows her to increase her water intake. “I always have to remind myself to drink more water. I drink water and herbal tea (calorie free) and coffee,”
Fasting makes Kim more aware of how much protein she consumes. “I have started including protein shakes to increase my protein intake. Fasting allows me to turn meal times into an event because I just look forward to meals more now. I set my table because I’ve been waiting 16 hours for a meal and I am definitely going to enjoy it,” she says.
READ MORE: “Here’s How I Got My Fitness Back After The Pandemic”
Kim never feels the pressure to look a certain way, however, she does advocate for women to feel comfortable in their own skin. “Fitness is a lifelong journey, and you should enjoy the process and experiment as much as you can. A big secret to a healthy lifestyle is that you can always get back on track,” she says.