How glorious would it feel to hit the beach with a lean, sculpted, super-fit body this summer?
There’s still time to make it happen. What you don’t have time left for is dawdling or procrastination. You’ll need to eat right, get a smart training plan and follow it consistently. And start now.
Make this the year you avoid the trap of weeks of denial followed by attempting a last-minute quick-fix—you know that never works. Get on it now and you can absolutely shed that flab and get beach fit in time for swimwear season.
Here’s what it’s going to take:
1. Plan Your Attack
Most people don’t stick with exercise because they don’t have a plan. Doing identical daily workouts or wandering into the gym and doing “whatever” doesn’t get great results. You need a route map to get you to where you want to be. I recommend reassessing your progress and goals every three months (and I outline a 12-week program in The Fat Burn Revolution). If you’re following a well-devised plan, your body can change a lot just a few months. If you’re not, it probably won’t.
2. Go Harder
For maximum fat-burning, body-sculpting results, forget steady types of exercise that you can maintain for long periods. You need varied, intense workouts that leave you totally spent—ideally in less than an hour. My motto is “go harder, no longer,” as everyone in my Facebook fitness group knows.
3. Mix It Up
Vary your training. This helps keep boredom at bay and reduces your risk of injuries which are often caused by too much repetition of the same movements. It also maximizes results by ensuring all your different muscles get fired up and that your body doesn’t get comfortable with one type of exercise.
4. Be Real
We’re all busy and sometimes it’s just not possible to get to the gym. So I recommend a training strategy that accounts for this. You can get a highly affective all-body workout with no equipment at all and even if you do prefer to exercise in the gym normally, it’s good to have a few kit-free training sessions on file for when you need them.
5. Eat Protein
When you train hard, in effect you damage your muscles. That’s how we improve and make progress—the muscle fibers rebuild and become stronger as a result. Your body needs nutrients (especially protein) to make these repairs and improvements which enable you to get fitter and keep torching fat.
6. Do Dumbbells
Free weights—weights you hold in your hands rather than the machines with weights attached—are usually my preferred equipment. Exercising with free weights engages more muscles, which means more fat burning and strengthening benefits.
7. Win ‘em All
As well as an ultimate goal, I recommend setting targets for each session. My clients all keep training journals where they record the weights used and reps for every training session—try it. That way you can see at a glance how you performed previously and use that information to set yourself session targets. No one hits all of their session goals every time, but there’s usually at least one move that you make progress in. You’ll probably find you push yourself that bit more when you do this, plus you get to feel like a winner every time you train! (You can download free Fat Burn Revolution journal sheets from juliabuckley.co.uk.)
8. Bye-Bye, Comfort Zone
Trundling along at a comfortable pace for ever longer durations or distances may suit some people’s goals, but when folks come to me wanting results in fat loss and body shape changes it’s time to say goodbye to their comfort zone. Step it up and work at an intensity that truly challenges you. That’s when changes will happen.
9. Go Heavy
Lifting heavy weights for low (fewer than about 15) repetitions will supercharge your metabolism and make you stronger. Sure, using light weights for lots of repetitions may help build your muscles’ capacity for endurance. But if fat loss is your main aim, go heavy.
10. Know Your Own Strength
You’re stronger than you think. Don’t ever tell yourself you’re weak and you can’t pick up weights. You can and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
You probably don’t want to become a bodybuilder and you won’t get a very muscular-looking physique by accident doing the type of training I’ve described here. The muscle tissue you add to your body will speed up your metabolic rate and make fat loss easier, along with giving you a sexier, sculpted shape to be revealed as you strip back the fat. Strength training helps women and men get leaner, firmer, stronger, and healthier bodies. So pick up those dumbbells, put your plans into practice and start shaping up for summer now.
We both know you don’t want squeeze into your swimwear this summer wishing you’d done more to get into shape weeks ago. Get on it now and be ready to flaunt that body come beach season.
If you’d like to put the advice above into practice with a proven flab-torching fitness programme, get yourself a copy of my book, The Fat Burn Revolution. And come join my Facebook group for inspiration and advice from the hundreds of people who have completed or are currently following the TFBR plan.
Julia Buckley is one of Britain’s top writers on fitness and fat loss, her bestselling book The Fat Loss Revolution is now on sale worldwide. For more tips and advice from Julia, follow her on Twitter or visit www.juliasfitnessblog.com.