One of the funny things about living in Florida, where BPI Sports is headquartered, is that it is summer year-round and we are outside on the beach every month of the year. Us Floridians sometimes forget the rest of the country has winter. Having grown up in New Jersey though, I can recall coming out of the winter months, like a bear out of hibernation, and getting excited for the warmer weather to start. It was always around St. Patrick’s Day or Easter that I would think to myself, “Summer will be here before you know it, so I better drop this winter weight.”
Since, “Getting In Shape For Summer” is one of the most busiest times of the year in the fitness industry, right in line with the “New Year’s Resolution” and “Back to School” seasons, I wanted to share five tricks that I’ve learned over the years which have always helped me transition from an “off-season look” to being ready to hit the Jersey Shore on Memorial Day Weekend.
1. COMMIT TO A REALISTIC & ACHIEVABLE WORKOUT PLAN
Chances are that if you already follow BPI Sports, you are probably already in the gym on the regular, but this tip is one that resonates for people at all levels of fitness. Getting ready for summer should not mean a crash diet, ridiculous amounts of cardio, or drastic measures that disrupt your life. Like any workout or diet plan, the first step is evaluating what you are doing now and adjusting improve the process.
If you have done zero cardio since the end of last summer, you might only need half-an-hour three times a week to see improvements. If you are unsure what to do as a next step, I recommend following along with one of the BPI Sports athletes like Mike O’Hearn, Kamal Elgargni, India Paulino, or Whitney Reid – all of whom pump out content and information you can incorporate into your plan.
As I mentioned earlier, I used to start thinking about getting in shape for summer right around Easter because that gave me all of April and May to workout. Healthy and substantial changes to your physique do not come from tricks or crazy workout trends; they come from hard work and some patience. This may sound a little Bruce Lee of me, but the secret is that there is no secret. When it comes to fitness, training and proper nutrition are the truest routes to your goal physique.
INVEST IN A GOOD SUPPLEMENT STACK
.Since I work for a supplement company, you probably think I am just trying to push product, but this is honestly something I believe in. When you lay out your realistic and achievable plan, supplementation should a part of that plan. The benefit here is really two-fold:
• If getting the motivation to workout is your challenge, add a pre-workout to your supplement stack to give you the energy you need to get to the gym every day and to make each workout count.
• If structuring your diet and eating properly is your challenge, select a protein powder to help you meet and maintain your daily macronutrient levels.
• If you are looking to perform better in the gym, get stronger, and pack on lean muscle, then think about adding some creatine to your supplements.
• If you feel like you have hit a plateau in your weight loss, then kickstart your metabolism and thermogenesis again with a fat burner.
Note: Most fat burners contain caffeine and/or other stimulants. If you are sensitive to caffeine, then you may want to look for caffeine-free weight loss ingredients like CLA or Carnitine. These types of ingredients will help improve body composition by converting fats to energy.
One other thing about purchasing and using supplements (this may sound strange) in my younger years is that it always gave me a sense of self-accountability, which later became a source of motivation for me to stick to the plan and reach my goals. After all, what would be the point of eating bad or skipping workouts if you are investing your time, money and thought power into supplements?
SET SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM GOALS.
Setting short term goals is a good idea because then you can get rewarded along your journey; plus, meeting short term goals usually helps keep you motivated as you strive for the end goal
I know that when I set out to reach any fitness goal, be it a new one rep max or lowering my bodyfat percentage, there are a lot of little steps that I achieve along the way; as you prep for summer, think of it this way: every pound dropped, every percent of bodyfat erased, and every new pound added to your bench press means you are one step closer to your ultimate goal. You will need to stay on track, so you do not lose your gains and you need to let those smaller successes fuel you and motivate you.
REMEMBER TO STAY HEALTH BY BOOSTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
With COVID-19 still a factor in our lives, we need to remain focused on overall health. While in a caloric deficit, your body and immune system can become vulnerable. You do not want to lose a week or two of exercise time heading into the summer, so you need to stay healthy.
Personally, I believe that drinking plenty water and including amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in your diet or in your supplement stack is the way to go. Things like l-glutamine, zinc and vitamin C have really helped me dodge colds over the past few years and I would recommend them to anyone.