Get Into Shape With The Right Foundation
As each year turns through it’s cycle it is always interesting how the warmer summer months coaxes many people into action! Most of the time it can be a bit late to try get into shape, but if you have the right foundation with which to work with, it can be just a matter of time.
The key here is to be in relatively good shape by being active throughout the year, and then making fine adjustments to reveal your hard work!
For many this becomes a daunting task as there can be a great deal of technical work to be done to zero in on exactly what needs to change and by how much.
Know Your Body
Fortunately there are ways to minimize the input required, and here is how:
Knowing your body’s needs is a very valuable place to start, yes calories. Now you don’t need to be counting your calories everyday, but rather you should have an idea of how many you do usually consume.
So every once in a while, measure everything and make a real effort to achieve your personal macro-nutrient goals whilst memorizing portion sizes and meal composition. This will give you visual idea and hard data with which to work with and of course keep your body composition in zone you are able to control.
Check points can be monthly to keep your eye on the ball so to speak.
Whatever the type of exercise you do, just always remember that the body only perceives the magnitude of the workload overtime. So ensure that your workouts achieve a certain level of effort consistently, and if you are in the sweet spot you will get stronger which will allow you to progress. When time and body permit push your boundaries!
Just like your approach to nutrition, try to obtain hard data with regards to your exertion. An easy place to start is perceived exertion and session duration, so rate each session out of 10 for how you applied yourself and time it’s duration. Next is recording energy expended, so keep an eye out for those calories so conveniently presented on typical machines. If you work with some form of resistance, count the reps and sets for total volume (reps x sets x weight). Theses metrics give you a place to work from.
A few important basics about leaning up for Summer would be firstly giving yourself enough time for your bodily composition to change without it being too aggressive on the body. Anything from 8 – 12 weeks will be gentle and gradual enough to be effective.
Aim to eat slightly less, approximately 500 +/- calories less per day, so that’s where your data and measuring comes in handy. Aim to loose 1 – 2 lbs per week, weigh yourself each morning.
Less energy from food means that training can suffer slightly, just try and achieve consistency. So use the perceived exertion, duration, volume, and calories expended to confirm.