The summer body-prepping season is officially upon us, it’s the time of year when we flock to the gym, take up our newfound 5:2 lifestyles, and panic.
However, those worries can be put to rest, as we ask Ryan McMahon, Personal Training Manager at Dolphin Square Fitness Centre for his expertise on how to achieve the desired summer body and be beach ready in 10 simple steps.
1. Start today - Do not put off until tomorrow what can be done today. Each passing day of procrastination makes it harder for you to achieve your beach body in time for Summer.
2. Nutrition - You will make greater progress towards your ideal body in the kitchen rather than the gym. Its an old saying but you really cannot out-train a bad diet.
3. Nutrition - It’s that important that it gets a second mention! Do not make things overly complicated. Eat foods from the land – foods without an ingredients label. If you want to make it even easier then only shop in the outside aisles of your supermarket.
4. Do strength training instead of cardio. Strength training is proven to be more effective at short and long term fat loss than traditional cardio activity such as jogging. Women: lifting weights will not make you bulky!
5. Squat - Squatting and other compound movements like lunges and push ups will promote greater fat loss than exercises such as bicep curls and tricep kickbacks. Squats are the king of exercises for a pert behind.
6. Reduce inflammation - Avoid anything which triggers inflammation in your body. Grains, gluten, eggs and dairy are all common sources of food sensitivities. Inflammation will affect your everyday bodily function, including your metabolism, and can lead to a wide variety of diseases.
7. Support digestion - We are not what we eat – we are what we digest and assimilate. There is no point trying to lose fat if your gut is not functioning effectively. Avoid food intolerances (see previous point), drink 2-3 litres of water per day and eat plenty of fibre. Using a quality probiotic can also be highly effective.
8. Get more sleep - Trying to get in shape while skipping sleep is like trying to fill a bath tub with the plug pulled out. Lack of sleep lowers testosterone, which is necessary for growth and repair, and increases insulin and cortisol which contributes to mid-section fat storage.
9. Reduce stress levels - Stress causes fluctuations in the levels of hormones, affects your sleep and can lead to cravings – particularly sugar! Reduce stress by practicing daily breathing techniques, reading a book, yoga, spending time with family, working out, walking in the park, meditation – whatever makes you feel more relaxed.
10. Hire a professional - If any of the previous points seem daunting or confusing then hiring a skilled personal trainer or strength coach can provide accountability, guidance, motivation and accelerate your results. Always do some research about the trainer you are thinking of hiring and arrange to meet up with them first to discuss your goals and what they can offer.