A quick glance at the calendar and it hits you…summer is almost here. If you’ve been training hard, eating well and hitting your cardio, you’re probably psyched that it’s bathing suit time. If you haven’t, it’s time to get started! We’re going to try to help by giving you some tips on how to slice up that physique, be leaner and meaner, well, maybe not meaner, in the next 6 weeks so you can enjoy the great weather before it’s time to get out the winter clothes you just packed away.
To make an impact on your appearance in the next 6 weeks you’re going to have to focus on four areas. In order of immediate importance, here they are:
- Weight Training
Now notice I said “immediate importance.” If I were talking about a year-round approach, I would definitely put Weight Training as the second most important and Cardio third. But, we are talking about how to make the greatest visual impact in the next six weeks. And there is no question that stripping as much bodyfat as possible over that time will yield the greatest result. That means food intake and cardio rule the day.
HOW TO ACHIEVE SUMMER BODY
- Get at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
- Once you determine your daily protein intake, divide it into at least 5 meals (6 would be even better) and space them evenly throughout the day.
- When it comes to carbs, try eating no more than about 2/3 of the protein you are getting. For example, if you are taking in 150 grams of protein per day, try not to go over 100 grams per day.
- Make up the bulk of your carbs from the low glycemic category. This will include slow-cooking oatmeal, yams, apples, legumes, peaches, apricots, berries, grapes and pears, to name a few. Note that a lot of the summer fruits are low glycemic, so this is an ideal time to start paying attention to the glycemic issue and you’ll have some great options to work with.
- Don’t eat any carbs with the last meal of the day – which is usually going to be within an hour or two of your bedtime. Yes, I said an hour or two before bed. By not eating for many hours before bedtime you do nothing to help your weight loss efforts. In fact, you are hurting your transformation. When you don’t eat for long gaps of time, your metabolism suppresses and slows down. That makes it much harder to lose any weight!
- Don’t be afraid to include some fats in your program, but choose them from the unsaturated category. Things like nuts and nut butters, avocados and olives and sesame and canola oils are all unsaturated.
- It’s hard to tell you how much cardio to do because a lot of that is based on your current level of condition. But, here’s a general guideline for the next 6 weeks—within reason, more is better! I wouldn’t do anything less than 30 minutes in a session unless you absolutely cannot do it. 60 minutes would be optimum. If you can do it every day, go for it. When you can get a second session in, go for it!
- Take advantage of the weather. One reason that people get sick of cardio is the boredom and the idea of being inside all that time when it is gorgeous outside. Easy answer—go outside! Take beach walks in the soft sand, power walks on the street, go run a set of steep steps or bleachers at the local high school or college, rollerblade, bike….you get the idea.
- Get in your target range when you do your cardio. To calculate this, subtract your age from the number 220 and then multiply that number by .65 and .75 to get your range. If your heartrate is higher, you could be burning lean muscle tissue. Under that range and you may as well sit home and watch TV.
- Forget your soap opera or Sportscenter and don’t read a book. What? Yep. Studies show that when people read while they do cardio they often significantly slow down without realizing. Same thing often happens when you watch TV during cardio. If you are going to read or watch, be very conscious of checking your heartrate to make sure you’re working hard enough.
- Use a walkman, but choose the right music! Studies have also shown that listening to music can significantly help with your pace and heartrate, if the music is upbeat. This is probably not the time to load up your latest Napster downloads of love songs. You can do that when you get home. Now is the time for something upbeat and quick, assuming you want to burn fat during your cardio sessions.
- Don’t eat carbs before cardio, make sure to eat them after. When you do cardio full of carbs, that means you have glycogen in your liver that your body has to burn through BEFORE it can get to your fat stores and start burning them for energy. This can take as long as 29 minutes. Let’s see, that means that when you do that 30 minute cardio session after a carb meal you burnt fat for a whopping…MINUTE. By the way, if you eat carbs, weight train and then do cardio you’re fine. You will have burned the carbs for energy during the weight training session
WEIGHT TRAINING TIPS
- Pick up the pace! This it not the time when you are trying to set your personal bests in each lift. So, longer rest periods are not as important than they might have been at other points in your training cycle. 45-60 second rest periods are the ticket here.
- Pick up the reps! When you consider that your calories are going to be down a bit and you are going to be doing more cardio, for safety and common sense, up your reps a bit—12-20—for this period. You don’t want to risk injury and upping the reps means less weight and less risk, but not less intensity.
- Use some higher intensity techniques in your training. Maybe some supersets or drop sets would be in order!
- Be careful when choosing supplements to help with your fat burning. Most weight loss products are jacked with ephedrine, ma huang and caffeine, ingredients that a lot of people have a lot of trouble with. Many users report feeling bursts of energy coupled with the jitters and followed by a crash. While these products speed you up, there is little evidence that they have any real effect on your thyroid and, hence, metabolism. The thyroid is the gland that regulates your metabolic rate. And these products don’t even claim to do anything that would positively impact or balance the thyroid.
- I’d recommend a stimulant-free, homeopathic product that has been formulated to naturally support thyroid function and metabolism as well as addressing energy, appetite and water retention. It’s called Maximum Result Weight Loss Solution and you’ll see an ad for it elsewhere in this publication. I’ve seen people lose large amounts of weight with the product, (one customer has lost over 120 pounds and counting) and no one reports any jitters, crashes or side effects with it—just results! By the way, when you order this product through www.MaximumResult.com you receive a special 7 part email series about nutrition and weight loss absolutely FREE!
By attacking the next 6 weeks with a clear goal in mind and a plan that focuses on the most important variables to help you get there—solid nutrition, a smart approach to your cardiovascular and weight training and a cutting-edge, stimulant free natural product—you’ll look and feel better than you have in a long time, maybe ever! And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Oh, and don’t forget to pick out your favorite bathing suit!