The goal of this blog is to share my opinions on various fitness topics emphasizing methods and tips for leaning out during the summer. Here’s my top 5 to make this your best summer.
1. Capitalize on that New Year’s Resolution!
Usually NYR’s are due within the year. However if it’s a fitness goal, the best time to “show-off” your efforts would be when it’s warmer out. So if your goal is to lose say 30lbs, (and assuming you start right at New Year’s, not after) all you have to do is figure out the slightest caloric deficit to lose weight, do the training and cardio, and estimating you’ll lose about 1lb per week you should achieve your goal before the end of summer! More on that later…
2. Metabolism…Your new best friend!
A lot of people think fast metabolisms belong only to the young and restless. Not so. Being a competitive pro natural bodybuilder, I’ve seen countless 40+ yr olds that walk around at sub 5% body-fat and are ridiculously shredded. How’d they do it? Increasing their metabolic capacities through the trio of diet, resistance training and cardio. You don’t want to simply start doing the most absurd amounts of cardio and high rep weight training all while starving yourself with a few pieces of broccoli. Nope. Slow and steady wins this race. Gradual changes to your diet, constantly shocking your workout routines and lastly adding in ample, not excessive, cardio will do the trick. Also make sure to drink plenty of water especially when it’s warm out, not only will this help to keep you hydrated, but it can also help speed up your metabolism and burn body fat all backed by plenty of research.
3. Tricks to getting that “Beach Body”
No, no, no, noooo! You’re doing it all wrong! Getting that coveted “beach body” that grabs attention from people as you slowly walk by is not as simple as it seems. Most people think there are only a select few muscles they need to train to get “beach ready”. For guys it’s usually the chest, arms and abs and usually just abs and excessive cardio for the ladies. What most guys fail to realize is that by training the width of the back and shoulders, while keeping all other muscle groups proportionately developed, you will create a V-taper and the illusion of a smaller waist and a more pronounced chest and arms aka the Holy Grail of the male “beach body”. For women, I’m not saying don’t do cardio, but don’t neglect resistance training. Add in some squats, lunges, a simple upper body circuit and some abs and you’ll be the envy of all the females under the sun.
4. Diet should be effective but fun!
I’m guilty. Yeah I said it. When I was prepping for my first bodybuilding contest, my diet only consisted of tuna, eggs, chicken, broccoli, brown rice and mustard. Reason being is that I thought that’s what “you had to do” to get lean. I was way wrong! In fact, it was when I allowed myself to eat a bit more freely, all while remaining within my calorie count for the day, was I able to get into killer condition for several bodybuilding contests, photo-shoots and summer vacations. By not stressing out, I lowered cortisol, the hormone that is often a culprit for you to “NOT” lose weight, and was able to liven up my eats with foods such as many other fish, lean cuts of red meat, various nuts, other veggies, certain fruits, pasta, even pancakes and waffles! Now I’m not saying go eat whatever you want whenever you want, rather you need to be more cautious of “HOW MUCH” you are eating, “WHEN” you’re eating and then comes “WHAT” you’re eating. Still bummed on what to eat? Some good carb sources include whole grains in terms of pasta, bread, rice, oats, also potatoes, fruit & vegetables. Some good protein sources include leaner cuts of red meat, poultry as in chicken, turkey, etc. Also eggs, milk, nuts, lentils, and not to forget USPlabs delicious Modern Protein powder…mmmm mmmmmm! Creating a diet requires you to be in a caloric deficit… (and you can do create one like this…)
– Find your BMR (basal metabolic rate) or the calories you burn if all you did was sit on the couch all day. Google for “BMR calculator”
– EX: my BMR is 2000 cals
– Take your BMR and multiply it by a how active you are. Activity multipliers range from low activity at 1.2 to highly active around 1.6.
– EX: I work out 4-5x week for about 1hr each so I’ll say 2000 x 1.5= 3000cals
-The value you get is your daily calories you have to consume to “MAINTAIN” weight.
– To “LOSE” weight you need to cut some calories from that amount. A deficit of about 100 to 300 calories tends to do the trick for most.
– EX: let’s say I cut 200 from my 3000 maintenance calories. That means I need to consume no more than 2800 calories to lose weight. (Add 100 to 300 calories to gain weight).
– You would then break this up into macronutrient ratios of carbs, protein and fats. A good ratio tends to be around 40% carbs, 35% protein, 25% fats but this will vary among individuals. Once you have the amounts, you need to break them up into a certain amount of meals throughout the day and eat accordingly. Boom! Done! You’ve got yourself a cutting diet.
5. Do sweat the Cardio
Have you seen it? I have and plenty of times, so please don’t be that person who is using the cardio machine only to be drifting off into a daydream, madly texting/talking on the phone, watching the TV too intently, suffocating yourself in trash bags or worse yet, not on one. To make the fat-burning process an effective one, you need to really push it. You need to elevate your heart rate to the appropriate levels in order for weight-loss to take place and you need to do it for a given amount of time. Some good routines that I have found effective include: doing interval training for about 10-15min following my weight training. I will warm-up for 2min, then speed up on whatever machine for 1min and slow down for 1min repeating all the way to the end. Then cool-down for 2-3min and stretch of course.
Prepared by Victor Egonu
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The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.