With June ahead of us, the month that indicates the end of Spring and the start of summer, we’re pretty confident that the majority of you will be in the midst of your summer body workout – if that’s what you’re hoping to achieve. For those who are yet to ramp up their efforts in the gym in a bid to see a glimpse of those washboard abs, you’re not too late. Although we all know that achieving the best results doesn’t come from 4 weeks of fat-burning exercises and a clean diet. Instead, if you’re wanting to achieve the best possible results, you have to plan your routine months in advance to prepare your body for the onslaught of intense training workouts. However, following these few simple steps will give you a chance to improve your muscle definition in time for the beach.
The first mistake many people make when creating a workout routine in preparation for a summer body is to decrease the weight and up the reps. They believe that this will tone up the muscle and allow it to become more defined. However, as the main aim is to lose fat whilst maintaining your muscle mass, if your body doesn’t feel the need for big muscles no more (as you’ve stopped lifting heavy) then it will stop building muscle entirely. So, still lift as heavy as you can whilst following your chosen routine.
First, and the most important if you want to hold onto that hard-earned muscle mass, we need to discuss your calorie intake. Many gym goers will reduce their calorie intake by a large margin in order to lose weight; which is fine if your aim is to slim down. However, if you’re wanting to keep as much of your muscle mass as possible, the best thing to do is not to eat less than 500 calories below your maintenance level (that’s eating the same amount of calories as your body needs each day to stay the same weight). This should amass to around 1.5 lb of fat loss per week – give or take depending on your body composition.
It’s good to get the majority of your calories from protein-rich, low fat food like turkey breast and fish, with a healthy portion of vegetables. You should also try to keep your carbohydrate intake reasonably low; although don’t eliminate them completely as your body will use your muscle mass as fuel. It’s also important to consume carbs at the right time; consuming complex carbs when you first wake up and before your workout is the best choice.
Combining your diet with supplements that are designed to aid muscle definition and tone will increase your chances of getting in shape quickly. Increasing your protein intake is vital for your muscles, so protein supplements will provide a convenient way of upping your daily intake whilst on the go. You can choose from a number of fast-acting formulas that work great as a post workout shake or slow releasing protein, such as casein, that you can take before bed. Suitable for men and women, supplements should be used alongside a healthy diet; not as a replacement for one.