Summer is here, and if you’re like most of us, you are BUSY! You only have a few months out of the year to enjoy the incredible summer weather, and very often, the kids are home from school. Time is always short during the summer months – but that doesn’t have to stop you from getting in, and staying in, your best possible shape, despite the changes in schedule which leave you less time for training & meal planning. Check out these six tips for getting the most out of your time, leaving you in the best possible position to reach your peak in terms of size, strength, and leanness during these summer months.
On The Job Training
Most of us have to go to work each day. We punch the time clock and normally concede the next 8 to 9 hours to our employer, making a lack of fitness a foregone conclusion for the bulk of our day. However, it does not have to be like that! With most jobs, you are given several small 5 to 10 minutes breaks and a 30 to 60 minute lunch each day. Put that time to work! Lunges, burpees, jump squats, crunches, push-ups and squats can all be put to quick use at your convenience during those 5 to 10 minute gaps in your day. Bring in light dumbbells or exercise bands if space permits, and use a few minutes, a few times a day, to pump your body up! The boost in circulation to your muscle groups as well as to your organs will boost your health and your athletic performance as well. Put your breaks to work, while at work, and get into your best shape ever!
Plan your meals just like your workouts
Most of us enter a gym with a pretty good idea what that workout has in store for us. Sure, the available machines may vary. But we know well ahead of time what muscle groups we will be targeting with how many exercises and sets of compound and isolation movements. But when it comes to dinner time, we often just “eat whatever is there”. Your nutrition is – without argument – just as important as your training, and should thus be given the same amount of planning and attention. Eat smart meals you prepare ahead of time, keep fruit handy, and always drink a protein shake BEFORE you want into any place where available junk food might be at your disposal. Likely, you’ll feel so good from the shake that you’ll merely take a small bite or two… or even better, none at all!
Eat out smart
Restaurant owners are a very shrewd bunch. They have to be – most small business eating establishments fail in the first two years. If you have a successful restaurant business, it means you are very very good at what you do – and that is listening to what the customer wants! If you are a regular at a restaurant and they don’t have the healthy options you want – ask for it! Most chefs and managers will bend backwards to accommodate the healthy desires you may have, whether it is poached, broiled, salt-free, grilled, or roasted, and even if it’s not on the menu already. Particularly in this day and age of social media, the customer can speak of a good – or bad – experience at a restaurant very quickly and reach thousands of followers. Ask for it… you just might get it!
Accountability is a very important thing when it comes to completing your fitness goals each day. Wearing a FitBit or other device measuring your steps is a great way to ensure you are meeting your ideal number of steps each day, staying adequately active to keep you both lean and healthy. Set a goal, and try to hit it each day. You’ll likely discover you reach your step goals earlier and earlier each day as you don’t want to be pacing at 11 pm so you don’t miss the mark! Any tool which helps you to stay active is a good one. Many smart phones have a step counter included as well.
It is estimated that 75 percent of the population is operating each day in a perpetually dehydrated state. That means ¾ of the people around you – and possibly you as well – are lacking adequate water in your body to think, perform, and grow adequately. This is one of the most avoidable possible maladies in all of sports nutrition. Drink a bottle of water every hour, all day long, and you’ll never be dehydrated again. If that isn’t working you can try setting your phone’s stopwatch and drinking a few gulps of water every 15 minutes. Before you know it, you’ll have a very hydrating habit!
Train shorter but harder
Most lifters use the clock as their main measurement device as to whether or not they are training adequately. While it is true that you do have to put in the time in the gym if you want to see results, it is also important to focus upon the intensity you will be showing while in the gym. We’ve all seen the casual serial texter spend 90 minutes in the gym and accomplish nothing. We’ve also see the madman on lunch break, benching 4 wheels in jeans then squatting 500 for ten minutes just to be safe… then running back out to the trunk to make it back to work. His intensity will pay off in terms of greater muscle mass and size – the clock doesn’t matter. Make the most of your time by putting the phone down, training with an intensity greater than others, and then getting out of the gym quickly.