Summer is here, and for many individuals that means beach and bikini season! That also means it’s time to start shedding the fluff from the winter bulk (if you haven’t already started, that is).
To help you get the look you want for this beach season, here are 5 tricks to jumpstart your summer bod!
#1 Get Your Mind Right
Success in any facet of life requires the appropriate mindset. In other words, in order to get results and achieve success, you have to envision yourself attaining that goal.
With that image firmly imprinted in your mind, you can set about your transformation challenge with determination, grit, and purpose.
We find it helpful to write down your goals and plan a routine that will keep you on the right path towards achieving your goals. Along the way, you will develop certain habits that will become routine so that you’re not having to consciously “force” yourself to do things -- eat right, exercise, etc. -- it’ll be second nature.
#2 Eat Right
We can talk about training, stress management, sleep, supplements, etc. Hardly any of it makes a difference if your nutrition plan isn’t up to snuff.
Quite simply, if you’re not eating in line with your physique goals, then it won’t matter what training split, pre workout, or zen tactics you’re using. At the end of the day, calories matter if you’re trying to lose weight -- calories in must be less than calories out (i.e. calorie deficit).
Furthermore, the only way to know with reasonable certainty that you are in a calorie deficit is to track your food intake. Now, this can be done using good old’ pen & paper, or one of the many fitness apps.
Our preferred option is to use the 1UP Fitness App as it streamlines the food logging process making it easier than ever to keep track of your daily food intake. The 1UP Fitness app (available on Apple & Google Play) also provides customized meals, suggested calorie intakes and training programs based on your gender, age, and goals.
#3 Get Moving
Believe it or not, a fitness tracker/step counter can be a great way to keep yourself in better shape, especially over the summer.
Summer can be a time for relaxing and visiting relatives and friends, but why not also make it a time to get extra steps?
Joining a step challenge has been shown to get people more active than not.
So, when you are sitting with old friends or even watching your favorite series on Netflix, it can also serve as a time to be moving back and forth while waving your arms.
Will you look silly?
Maybe, but who cares?!
All you need to say is “I am part of a step challenge,” and all will be understood.
Plus, the amount of calories you will burn by your constant motion may surprise you. The average person may only take five to seven thousand steps a day, but with the constant motion as well as you being aware of needing to be more active during the day, you could increase that movement to 10,000 or even 15,000 steps per day.
So, watch the steps go up and the scale/inches go down!
If you need assistance with remembering to stay active during the day, set reminders on your phone using the 1UP Fitness app!
#4 Perform Resistance Training
If you’re able to do #3 and move often, you can then focus your actual “workout time” on building muscle.
Who says you have to choose between cardio and resistance training?
Those people must not lift very much.
If you are doing a solid resistance workout session, your heart rate will definitely be going up into the “cardio” range.
So, try to use weights for your squats (rather than body weight) to ensure that you are pushing yourself to the maximum.
And, try using the Arnold Schwarzenegger technique when lifting -- when you think you can’t do anymore reps...do two more.
You will see that after moving all day, and after a solid resistance workout each day, you will feel healthier and more excited about enjoying this summer.
As an added bonus, you will be getting stronger and more toned, which always makes for an exciting time of life.
So often the focus of an exercise plan when it comes to losing weight is on performing long bouts of steady-state cardio. While cardio is an OK option for increasing energy expenditure, it doesn’t do very much to build muscle and strength.
In fact, performing too much cardio can actually hinder your quest for the ultimate summer bod as it can lead to muscle loss and increased feelings of hunger.
And, if you’re new to resistance training and not sure where to start, we provide customized training plans based on your age, gender, training goals, equipment availability, etc. when you download the 1UP Fitness App. You’ll also get access to our comprehensive exercise database to learn the proper way to execute each of the exercises in your training program.
#5 Eat Enough Protein
The good news about building muscle is that your main source of fuel for building muscle is protein.
Think about it: you could eat 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast or a candy bar for about the same amount of calories.
Which will fill you up more?
Right, the chicken.
So, not only will focusing on building muscle allow you to look good for the summer with lean, toned muscles, but it will also curb your hunger with healthier options because you will be trying to reach a goal of eating more protein (which ultimately fills you up for longer).
Make a goal to eat the same number of grams of protein as your body weight: so if you weigh 150 pounds try to eat around 150 grams of protein per day!
If you make a goal of eating more protein, and eating around 6-10 servings of vegetables per day, then honestly you could eat whatever else you want to fill in the rest of your calories (yep, ice cream included).
Eating healthy and getting fit this summer doesn’t need to be restrictive. Instead of having a mentality of “can’t”focus that energy on “getting.”
Get enough protein per day.
Get enough vegetables per day.
Then, get the lean, toned muscles and flat stomach you want this summer.
Eating protein just may be the best “get” you have this summer, because it will get all the other aspects for your fitness in order!