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With the weather warming up and many already planning their summer vacations, it is time to cut out the junk food, fine tune the diet, and improve your time in the gym. With just a little bit of change and sacrificing some favorite foods, you can sculpt your body to improve confidence at the pool and the beach this summer.
Below are some broad, basic tips that you can incorporate into your current routine to improve your results.
If you haven’t been told before, diet is key. What you feed your body will matter more than how you train.
A few basic ideas include timing and portions. You want to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism working consistently. In addition, you want to keep the portions to a decent size. You don’t want so many calories that you’re full, but you don’t want so few that you’re hungry.
In terms of drinks, make sure that if it’s not water that it’s calorie free and sugar free. Before you pick up a soda, think about how in 12 ounces of liquid you have over 30 grams of sugar.
Try to limit all fast food, junk food, and processed food. Or even better, eliminate it completely. The best way to do this is to not keep it in your home. If snacking on some unhealthy foods means having to go to the store instead of your own kitchen to get it, the increased cost might be enough to convince you to eat healthy.
The first bit of advice might come as a disappointment for some. You need to do cardio. Prior to your workout, you should warm up in the gym with 5-10 minutes of light cardio to get your blood circulating for your workout.
But that’s not it. Once you finish up with the weights, you want to do more cardio. If you don’t want to get fancy and just want to get it done because you hate cardio that much, 30 minutes four times a week will be enough for most people. If you do want to get the biggest bang for your buck, try the High Intensity Interval Training methods that you may have heard about before.
With H.I.I.T. the idea is that you sprint and go all out for a period of time and then you go slower for a period of time and keep switching. For instance, if you’re in the gym on the elliptical, you can go all out for 30 seconds, then bring it down to low intensity for 15 seconds and keep switching. If you’re running on a track, you can sprint the straights and jog the curves.
With this method, you can also go for a shorter period of time. Studies show that you can burn as much as 150% of the calories using H.I.I.T. as you would doing regular cardio due to the constant changing of intensity, which puts your body into overdrive. Thus, you can do H.I.I.T. for 15 minutes and save time for the rest of your day.
For men, the chances are you really want to pack on as much muscle as you can in order to look as big as you can this summer. For women, you may not be looking to gain much muscle, but toning is definitely something you’re looking for.
To lean out for summer, you want to raise the number of reps you do per set and drop the weight as well. You should stick to around 15 reps per set and do 4 sets per exercise.
Split up the routine into 4 or 5 days. For four days, do the below routine. For five days, move biceps and triceps to their own day at the end of the week.
- Day 1 – Chest and triceps
- Day 2 – Back and biceps
- Day 3 – Legs
- Day 4 – Shoulders
A common mistake many make is resting too much between sets. The idea here is to build a bit of lean muscle while also burning fat. So you want to take about 30-45 seconds between sets in order to increase your heart rate and burn more fat.
By incorporating the basic methods we have laid out here, you can lean out and tighten up in time for your big vacation or trip to the beach.