Authored by Andy Chasse’ in Exercise
Published on 07-14-2009
Getting in decent shape for those blistering summer months is certainly no easy task. It requires proper planning and an intense work ethic. However, with some solid preparation and a little dedication, you will be looking good at the beach before you know it.
The following ingredients are key to a rock solid summer body. Keep each and every single one of them in check and that summer shape will be yours!
1) Prepare early. Most people can’t start their quest for summer readiness in May. One single month isn’t going to make a huge difference for the majority of folks out there. However, there are some that are blessed with the genetics of the Gods and possess the ability to drop from 15% to 8% body fat in four short weeks. The rest of us will need to start the process around March to ensure success. Give yourself eight to twelve weeks to get in any kind of decent shape for summer.
2) Diet before exercise. In terms of importance, diet trumps exercise. A great diet and poor exercise program will still allow for a six pack. On the other hand, though, a poor diet and great exercise program won’t get you more than a few steps down this long road. The five basics below will help get you started.
- Don’t limit yourself too much. Starvation will just guarantee a massive loss in muscle. This is one of the most common problems amongst people trying to diet down.
- Three meals just isn’t optimal these days. Plan to eat upwards of six to seven times each day. Since the goal here is to drop a few pounds, keep those meals small but filling. This large number of meals will help to boost your metabolism.
- Run with the 10% rule. Cheat more than 10% of the time and you won’t be in shape for summer anytime soon.
- Drink your water. H2O is a huge factor in aesthetics. The less water you have in your system, the more your body holds onto. You connect the dots.
- Contrary to popular belief, fat is not your worst enemy. In fact, most might actually find that carbohydrates fill the worst enemy role. Embrace all sorts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats while doing your best to avoid trans fat and limit saturated fat
3) Exercise after diet. I don’t mean to downplay the importance of a well-planned and exceptionally executed exercise program, but let’s not kid ourselves here. Gym-time activity is secondary to diet. That’s that. That being said, something has to be done in the gym and that something might as well be organized.
- Focus on the big compounds movements. These include, but are definitely not limited to, the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press. Keep the number of isolation movements down if possible. Your body is already going to struggling to perform the compounds with the caloric deficit; don’t make it struggle more than it needs to.
- Balance upper and lower body work. Tree trunk legs with a twig-looking torso isn’t the prettiest sight on the beach. On the same note, neither is a barrel-chest coupled with skinny little legs. Pay attention to the entire body.
- Keep your abdominal exercise in check. Believe it or not, 20 sets of 100 crunches is not conducive to getting in shape for summer. The abdominals should be trained just as any other muscle in the body is trained. They require rest and are subject to overtraining. Stick with heavy, high-intensity abdominal exercises to really thicken them up.