With Memorial Day right around the corner people are hitting the gym and pounding the pavement in a latch ditch effort to look and feel good on the beach or at the pool. We often see magazines that say you can get “ripped with only 15 minutes of training”. I’m sorry to disappoint you but I think you need to do a little more than that to make the gains that you want. The good news is that you can definitely see some good results by setting aside 3-4 days per week for the next four weeks.
Here are five training tips for you to help you look better at the beach this summer:
Tip No. 1: Hit the weights
If you really want to change the way that your body looks you need to implement some strength training into your program. The good news is that if you are a beginner you only need to do a handful of exercises in order to see a change in your physique. The key to strength training for a beginner is to start with the basics. Pick five to six total body exercises and perform these movements 3x per week for the next four (4) weeks. In order to help shed some extra body fat I would recommend the following movements:
- Lower body: Box Squat
- Lower body: Step ups
- Upper body: One-arm dumbbell row
- Upper body : Dumbbell overhead press
- Abdominals: Plank
Tip No. 2: Implement some speed training
Most people jog when they run. There is nothing wrong with jogging however, a great way to jumpstart your fitness and change your body is to ditch the high volume running for a while and instead implement some speed work into your routine. Why is this good for athletes? For one, you will increase your intensity which is always a good thing if you are looking for changes in your body. Also, speed work can be performed in less than 30 minutes. I don’t know about you but if I can cut my training volume down by 20-30 percent and see some nice gains I am going to do it. Here is a workout that you can do on a track or treadmill (FYI, I always recommend a track over a treadmill). Workout: 10 minute warm-up, 5x200 meter runs (75-80 percent effort) with a full recovery (2-3 minutes) in between each run.
Tip No. 3: Train the muscles you can’t see
People tend to focus on the front side of their body when it comes to training. If you really want to change the way you look, focus on the backside of your body (i.e. glutes, hamstrings, upper back). It’s great if you have a six pack of ABS but what if your butt is as flat as pancake? Trust me when I tell you that when you focus more on the backside of your body the front side will also see some nice gains. Two exercises you need to implement this month are pull ups and deadlifts.
Tip No. 4: Focus on recovery
It’s great if you can train hard but can you recover from the workout? Can you come back and do it again the next day? Remember one workout does not get you in shape. Your muscles and your body need good food in order for it to grow and repair the damage that you have done to it. Here is a good post workout shake: ½ cup of OJ, 1 banana, ½ cup of strawberries, 1 tbsp. of melted coconut oil, 1 scoop of grass fed whey protein (vanilla) and a handful of ice cups. Mix this up and drink after your workout.
Tip No. 5: Get your sleep
One of the best ways to change your body is to get quality sleep each and every night. If you are someone who has a little extra weight around their midsection make sleep a priority for the next 30 days. I guarantee the combination of strength training (3x per week), good nutrition and adequate amounts of sleep will change your body. Strive for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Remember the key to training is consistency and planning. Sit down this week and decide what days you will strength train and what days you will do your “cardio”. Often times less volume and higher intensity is more when it comes to going to the gym. Next week I am planning to provide to you exercise video clips that will show you some of the best exercises for you to implement into your training plan.
Have a great week!
Have a question for Union strength and conditioning coach Kevin Miller? Leave it in the comments below.