Summer is here! Ok, maybe not just yet… But it will be before you know it and that will mean spending your days catching some rays, hitting the water and showcasing what you achieved through your winter bulk.
So will you be ready in time?
Don’t make the mistake that many people make, trying to fix what they don’t even know is broken!
You see, getting into great shape isn’t just about cardio workouts, eating more veggies or blasting the weights 2 hours a day, 6 days per week.
Training to get in shape first starts with honing your lifestyle towards achieving your goal.
And that is what dropping some weight and getting into awesomely Summer shredded condition ultimately boils down to; understanding the differences between the seasonal lifestyles, and what needs to change.
Before you begin
Get in shape, drop the carbs, up the...WHOA! Wait up, before we do any of that.
Yes, nutrition plays a vital role in getting into shape, but what allows (the consistency of) us to achieve great nutrition is you got it; Lifestyle!
No matter your specific goal and time frame (exactly what you would like to achieve, and by when) I first urge you to spend some time in creating a successful lifestyle plan.
This doesn’t need to be too exotic but matched specifically to your goals, so ask yourself:
- Can I consistently make it to the gym ‘x’ times per week to complete my training?
- Can I consistently eat ‘x’ number of meals per day?
- Can I consistently assess my progress at ‘x’ time per week?
- Have I set aside a specific time(s) each week to do my shopping and food prep so I don’t miss a beat?
You see, without the support of these lifestyle considerations, all of your grandest goals will only end up being dreams instead of realities.
So... now that you have the goal posts set, you can insert the finer details.
As we know, nutrition plays a big role in getting into awesome shape, and the greater the results you are training for the more specific you will need to be with your energy intake.
As far as your habitual programming goes (an extra serving of stew and pudding through winter), determining what needs to change (with your habits) is just as important as your meal items themselves.
But don’t do it blindly! Calculate what an average winter day has been for you (energy wise), determine what your goal requirements will be and make the adjustments as needed.
And most important, set aside times for regular assessments.
Your plan may look golden on paper, but unless you are making measured progress than it is all in vain. If things are not happening fast enough, this will give you the opportunity to take counter-measures to suit.
More importantly, if you are making great progress (as I am sure you will) than you will also know why. Then you can do more of that!
Resistance training will always play a more significant role than cardio when it comes to getting into shape.
That is because resistance training will stimulate new muscle growth, with the potential of an increased metabolic rate (with your new found lean gains).
Plus, resistance training gives us the ability to specifically target areas of our body and ‘shape’ our physique. Though you cannot specially shape an individual muscle (it will either grow larger or smaller), by prioritizing specific areas of your body can change the overall shape of your physique.
As for how many days per week you train and what mode/intensity you choose, I really see no reason to change it too much to how you generally train for muscle growth.
Adding in super sets or drop sets won’t help you to ‘carve in the details’ or any other myths like that.
And adding in more training days will only present the potential for over training and “going backwards” if you are not able to recover from your gym work adequately.
Remember, you cannot successfully do more, with less.
That goes the same for cardio. Many people when deciding to get lean blast themselves with cardio thinking this is the greatest strategy.
But did you know, cardio is a variable?
As we first implement your nutrition and then your resistance training (matched to goals and lifestyle remember), cardio is the last piece of the puzzle.
My recommendation would be to use it sparingly as the specific tool it is.
And yes, I would say that more people would miss the mark because of doing “too much” cardio, rather than by not enough.
For example, if you have a session or 2 in per week, but you are feeling that it is either negatively affecting your resistance sessions or your recovery is being affected, don’t be afraid to reduce it.
But I know what it is like… when the goal is pending and you think you need more. The body will let you know, you just need to be open to listening to it.
…and be ACCOUNTABLE!
Probably the biggest consideration of them all, is accountability and being consistent.
It is easy to get caught up in the “doing” all day, the meals and the workouts, but never to sit back and assess; “is this actually working”?
So that is something I definitely recommend you do. And the best part. As you start to assess, you will start to notice “trends” in your progress, and trends let you forecast.
For example, say you have a goal to lose 10kg in 12 weeks (you had a big Winter) and 4 weeks in, you have lost 3.5kg. It would be fair to say that you are successfully progressing to your goal, and that can be a great motivator to keep going and to know that things are working well.
On the contrary, if you are not happy with your rate of progress you would make the adjustments now whilst you still have time, not 1 day from your goal and thinking to yourself “what went wrong”?
Thanks for reading and don’t wait until tomorrow to get started, get started TODAY!