Knowing what you want to look like while parading around on the sand during the summer is one thing, but knowing exactly how to get what you want is quite another. Even though the beach going weather of the summer is right around the corner, there’s still enough time to plan your attack on the gym to get the beach ready body you’ve been dreaming of all winter long. The plan of how to get the smoking hot beach body you want is going to be crucial for successful results. By following the guidelines laid out below, you’ll be happily shopping for a new bikini looking exactly how you envisioned.
Make Your Goal SMART
Being specific about what you want to look like is going to be one of the most important aspects of planning your attack on the gym. It’s not enough to say that you want to ‘tighten up’ or ‘build more muscle.’ You want to name the particulars. Dive into body parts and detail what you want different, where you want to add mass or where you want to see less fat. For example, I would love to have a tight core, round booty, round shoulders and an hour glass figure to comfortably be able to step on the beach with a tiny bikini on.
Follow the acronym SMART to help you pick out the specific goal you are setting – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. Think of ways you’re able to measure what you want and track your progress – like using a tape measure every other week to make sure the core is getting smaller. Making an attainable and realistic goal is crucial. Nobody is going to look like a Victoria’s Secret model when they’re starting their efforts thirty pounds overweight and it’s a meager eight weeks before a beach party. This isn’t to say you can’t get all that weight off but be realistic about the time it will take to get in the shape you want. Last, but not least, pick goals that are relevant to what you want with a time limit on when to attain them. Even if there’s no big party or event that is kicking off the summer, set a time frame to achieve your goals to create a sense of urgency for yourself. Now is the time to be diligent instead of complacent!
Strategically Plan Your Training Schedule
When planning a training schedule, there are three key elements to consider and determine, which are: the volume, the frequency and the intensity. As much as we’d all love to have our lives dedicated to staying in shape and our workouts, things like work and families tend to distract us from making them the center of our universe. When you are planning these aspects of training, make sure you are keeping them realistic in regard to your everyday life that you still have to live. Your training should be efficient and functional for your specific lifestyle.
If you can fit it into your life, try to train as frequently as possible – that is, as many days per week as you can with proper recovery and even twice a day if you can manage! I can’t say that two-a-days are anyone’s favorite, but more work equals more results. I find that intensity in workout is something that most people lack. Walking into the gym and being present is not enough. Put extra weight on the bar, do more reps than planned if you have it in you, challenge yourself! Understandably, not every day is going to set a new personal lifting record, but you should feel accomplished knowing that you’ve put everything you were able to into the workout.
Volume of workout is a tricky aspect to plan, but to make things simple, it shall be considered the number of reps, sets and exercises you are doing per each training session in the gym. Much like the frequency of workout, this must be tailored to your lifestyle. If you can only spend an hour in the gym, do not try to cram and hour and a half workout in. Focus on quality of workout when determining the workload but use your time efficiently and effectively. Don’t dawdle or socialize! Use a high amount of sets, reps and exercises with a limited amount of rest in the time you have available.
Include Conditioning and Adaptation Plans
Plans are amazing to have, and I really do love a good plan. But, there’s always deviations to plans when your body doesn’t progress as expected or you’ve hit an unexpected plateau. Everyone adapts to training and exercises at different rates. If you do not recognize when you’ve reached adaptation to exercise, the time spent in the gym will accomplish nothing more than expending energy. Making changes in programming, even minute ones, will make all the difference for spurring on more muscle growth. When the laying leg curl stops growing your hamstrings, change to the seated or standing curl. Most of the time it’s not a complete change of programming, but hand placements or different stance that can make all the difference.
While on your quest to get the best summer beach body ever, health should not be ignored either. For a lot of people, body composition is a big component of their summertime look. Cardio should be a major factor in the plan and consider being well conditioned a good thing! The more conditioning you have, the more that can be accomplished in the time available. Let’s not forget, more quality work means more results! The major point of contention is the kind of cardio that needs to be done. There are the diehard steady state cardio fans and then those that swear by interval training. I believe that some circumstances warrant one kind of cardio over another; but, unless you’re stepping on a bodybuilding state or competing in powerlifting this summer, do both! A mix of high intensity interval training as well as steady state throughout the weekly training split will give you plenty of health benefits as well as fat burning effect needed for a body composition change.
Having specific and realistic plans as well as the work ethic to follow through with them will be the best tools you can have to achieve the beach worthy body you’re craving. Choose specific goals with plans that will challenge yourself each week to be the very best you can be on the beach this summer.
Written by: Samantha Meinrod