Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Let’s get straight to the point. Extreme diets and intense exercise regimes which last 6-8 weeks - or less in some cases - where you severely restrict calories or sugar and train every day is not a sustainable way of life. In a few cases, it achieves the desired effect, you look a bit better on the beach, but what is the cost? Extreme diets often lead to extreme rebounds and unsustainable exercise regimes can lead to injury or even have the opposite effect as intended! So, what should you do to ensure you have the body you want for summer 2020?
Step 1 - Start NOW!
Think about this. Do you think that you can undo 10 months of bad dietary and exercise habits in 6-8 weeks? It doesn’t work that way. Leaving things until the last minute often leads people to opt for extreme diet and exercise regimes which don’t always work in the short-term, and definitely do not work in the long term. Start changing your eating habits now and plan your years' training schedule to be in top shape at the start of summer next year.
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This leads to the next point:
Step 2 - Planning, Planning and Planning
Generally speaking, in order to achieve a toned physique with x levels of muscular definition and development and a low body fat percentage, one must prioritise muscle gain in the first part of the year and then aim to strip away fat in the second part of the year prior to holidays. This means your training and nutrition plans need to change over the course of the year. Your calorie intake may be higher in the first phase through a slightly higher intake of carbohydrates, whereas your training regime will be focused on gaining muscle. In the second part of the year, you may drop your carbohydrate intake lower and increase the intensity of your workouts.
Sound confusing? This leads us on to step number 3:
Step 3 - Hire a Professional
I have spoken before about the importance of hiring a professional when it comes to health and fitness, and I can’t reiterate the importance enough. The services of a good personal trainer/coach/nutritional therapist could be the difference between success and failure. The good news is that this doesn’t necessarily mean forking out lots of money over the course of a year to achieve your goals, even a few sessions can make a world of difference, and any trainer or coach worth their salt should be happy to provide you with a tailored plan for exercise and nutrition to help you achieve your goals.
Step 4 - Build Good Habits
This is the time to build a foundation of good habits and practices to help you when it comes to putting in more work. Follow these 5 simple healthy eating tips, train outdoors more and diversify the exercises you perform to get into the habit of being more active and mindful of what you eat. Improve your sleep routine and learn how to deal with stress. All of this will help you to easily transform your health and physique in a manageable manner.
Staying fit and healthy year-round is the key to being in shape in the summer. Health shouldn’t be a byproduct of trying to get in shape for a specific event. Being in shape should be the byproduct of living a healthy and active lifestyle. This is the key to achieving that summer body you have always dreamed of.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Maitland is a personal trainer with over 13 years of experience. He has worked alongside a wide range of leading CEO's, entrepreneurs and medical professionals. John is a keen athlete and holds a black belt in Shaolin Kung fu. A fan of the great outdoors, he can often be found exploring the British countryside and mountains...or breaking pine boards with his fingers.