As the holidays end and the new year’s resolutions start to come to fruition, throngs of gym-goers begin the journey to banish the holiday fluff. Chunky sweaters, heavy coats, and layers of clothing are excellent at hiding holiday weight gain. In spring, however, more revealing clothes begin to make an appearance.
No one wants to show up to the beach with a less than impressive physique, so getting started with a solid fitness routine immediately after the holidays is essential. Here’s how to get shredded by spring break and enjoy a beach vacation with confidence.
Reign in the Diet
The holidays are generally a wash when it comes to dieting, and they probably should be. Once a year, it’s ok to indulge – just be sure to gain control of the junk food consumption by January.
Including more protein in the diet will lead to increased muscle gains and decreased fat mass. Aim to consume about one to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Along with an increase in dietary protein, a decrease in carbohydrate consumption can drastically improve results. Consuming a moderate amount of carbohydrates before and after training sessions should be sufficient to stimulate muscle growth and allow the body to burn stored fat for energy.
Intermittent fasting is another option that consistently produces stellar results. While skipping one or more meals everyday may not seem appealing, it may help with fat loss efforts. Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase growth hormone levels while decreasing levels of the body’s hunger hormone, ghrelin. Growth hormone is essential for both muscle growth and fat loss, while less ghrelin in the system will help to avoid overeating.
Start Strength Training
To build a fit body, people must exercise. Weightlifting can help both men and women build impressive, toned physiques.
Men should plan for two to three upper body sessions per week and include at least one lower body day per week. Placing a focus on heavy, compound movements will bring the biggest returns for effort, building muscle far faster than accessory movements. Of course, including isolation movements, such as tricep pushdowns and bicep curls, will help round out an impressive base as well. Shoulder press, bench press, rows, squats, and deadlifts should form the basis of the routine, and accessory exercises should be included to finish off each training session.
Women should also focus on compound movements. Building shapely glutes and legs requires a heavy focus on lower body training, with two to three lower body sessions per week. Squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, Romanian deadlifts, and lunges are highly effective for building a shapely lower body and should be the foundation of the routine. Again, accessory movements should be used to round out the workout, but should not be the focus. Women should also include one to two days of upper body training to achieve toned arms, shoulders, and lats. Doing so creates an impressively toned upper half as well as the illusion of a smaller waist.
Don’t Skip Cardio
While it may not be the most exciting form of training, cardio is necessary to lose fat fast. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most effective way to do this and should be performed three to four times per week. Fortunately, HIIT is short – approximately 15 to 20 minutes – so it’s not quite as boring as traditional, steady-state routines.
To perform HIIT effectively, aim for maximum effort for approximately 20 seconds. Follow this all-out effort with 60 to 90 seconds of recovery before repeating another maximum effort interval. Continue repeating work and rest intervals for 15 to 20 minutes and complete the session with four to five minutes of a cool down at a slow and relaxed pace.
Follow these guidelines and be sure to stay consistent – doing so will build an impressive, beach-ready physique in a matter of just a few months!
With the expertise and motivation of a Smyrna personal trainer, you can make sure you will stay dedicated to attaining the physique you seek. Our personal trainers provide specified nutrition plans, a strict training regimen, and the encouragement you need to achieve your goals. Contact us today for a free personal trainer evaluation.