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Sunscreen, yes. Swimsuit, yes. A summer body you can confidently strut down the beach in.... no? Let’s change that.
With a healthy diet and a regular workout routine you can achieve your dream summer body in a matter of a few weeks. One of the biggest struggles of following a strict workout schedule is staying motivated and finding a workout routine that you love. Developing a routine that works for you and is enjoyable will help keep you committed to your training and keep you on track to reaching your summer body. A diverse routine with a range of challenging and enjoyable exercises will help you maintain a positive attitude towards exercise and encourage you to continue your training routine even after you reach your goal.
Shredding those extra calories after winter is the first step in achieving your summer body. Cardio training can consist of machine-based workouts or be equipment free. A big benefit of cardio workouts is that it can be done just about anywhere; you can go for a run around your neighbourhood, follow along to a workout video in your living room, do a short circuit in the backyard or hit the gym.
Cardio and HIIT workouts are a major player in burning losing weight and improving your metabolism. If you wince at the thought of cardio, then there are heaps of low impact options that you may prefer over a treadmill such as an exercise bike or cross trainer. Otherwise, if you want to break a sweat and challenge yourself then a treadmill or spin bike may be up your alley.
30 minutes of cardio at the start of your workout will help get you energised and warm your body up before getting into your strength workout. If you wish to start off your workout with a high intensity cardio workout then you may want to cut back your cardio time or implement interval training to avoid getting burnt out.
Like cardio training, strength workouts can be done at home with free weights or on a gym station. Developing a workout routine that focuses on a different muscle group each day will place emphasis on growing a particular part of your body so you can maximise muscle growth and definition in that area. This may look something like training your legs on Monday then back/ shoulders on the Tuesday. A split routine gives muscles enough time to rest and restore, leaving you feeling less fatigued.
If you are not confident using weights and tend to head straight towards the cardio equipment, then don’t worry there are plenty of beginner friendly workouts with dumbbells, kettlebells and multi-stations to get you started. Start with a low weight and go heavier as you grow confidence and strength. If you are experienced and confident with strength training then a barbell and power rack may be your best challenge. The best way to increase muscle mass will be to lift heavier and complete less sets, whereas lifting lighter weights with more reps will increase muscle endurance. Maintaining good form is also essential in getting the most out of your workout and avoiding injury.
All that hard work exercising won't pay off without a nutritious and healthy diet. A balanced diet counts for 80% of your progress when getting in shape and a summer body cannot be achieved without sacrificing your favourite sugary treat. Having 3 large meals a day is the way to go, you will feel fuller for longer and be less tempted to reach for a snack. Meal planning for the week will also encourage you to eat right and stick to your diet.
Keeping hydrated and drinking enough water is something that can slip the mind when we are out and about. Water is great for boosting your metabolism and keeping you feeling fuller for longer. It will also keep you feeling energised and alert so you can put 100% into your workouts. At least 2 litres of water per day is recommended to maintain a good level of hydration.
Having a workout plan that you enjoy and matches your fitness goals whether that be to slim down or bulk up is the first step in working towards a summer body. The following 7-day plan suggests a variety of different workouts that can be performed at home or at your gym. Depending on your fitness level you can increase or reduce the reps and work at your own pace. Go for a weight that is challenging but still allows you to maintain proper form. Each day should roughly take 1-1.5 hours to complete the circuit, with 2 off days to give your body a chance to rest and recover.
Day 1- Legs/ Glutes
Day 5- On (Abs)
Day 6- Arms/ Back (Pull)
Achieving your dream summer body will take some time but it will be well worth it. Understanding your goals and sticking to a consistent workout schedule that works for you will help get you there. Don’t forget to also follow a healthy meal plan and stay clear of fatty and sugar foods. No matter your environment you can follow a routine around the equipment you have access to or treat yourself to some new equipment to get you motivated.