So, it’s that time of year again. We are quickly approaching Spring, which means summer is right around the corner. And we all know what that means…warm weather, tanning, the beach, drinks, bonfires, etc.. But what are any of these things if you aren’t comfortable in your own skin and aren’t able to fully enjoy yourself? What does any of that mean if you can’t flaunt your body and not give a hoot about who’s looking? Instead, you’re busy covering up and staying in the shade. I’m here to tell you that the excuses can end – you can, and you WILL do it.

How to achieve a summer body

Every year around this time (or ringing into the New Year), most of us have the goals and aspirations to achieve a beach body in order to prance around in bikinis (or for the males, have those jaw dropping abs). When we visualise our dream body, we set a goal and we aim to crush them. The problem here is that if we are uneducated, things can make a turn for the worse. When I mean uneducated, here’s what I mean:

  • Going on a long-term liquid diet
  • Consuming 1200 calories a day and doing 7 days of cardio per week from the beginning
  • Getting on all the supplements you can think of, for quicker fat loss
  • Getting a “bro science” cookie cutter diet online and following that exactly

Here’s the issue with these “diets”. They are all DIETS…not lifestyles. These are all crash diets, which means it isn’t realistic for one to stay on these for too long. Let me get into details on some of these really quick.

  • Consuming 1200 calories a day and doing 7 days of cardio per week from the beginning
    • Depending on your height, your weight, your age and how active you are in your daily life, 1200 calories LIKELY isn’t a healthy choice, especially starting off. Of course you’ll see results right away, and you’ll drop weight really quickly, but let me tell you that you’re setting yourself up for failure. 1200 calories per day, and cardio 7 days a week at the very beginning of your journey, is just simply not attainable.
  • Getting on all the supplements you can think of, for quicker fat loss
    • So you want to lose weight, and you want to do it quickly. What better way than to start taking Hydroxy Cut, Green tea pills, Garcinia Cambogia, Raspberry Keytones (I am just naming a few, but you get the point). Here’s the thing, if you exhaust ALL of your options in the beginning, when you plateau, where do you go from there? There’s nowhere to go because you did everything all at once, when you probably should have started off at a slower pace.
  • Getting a “bro science”  cookie cutter diet online and following that exactly
    • I won’t be calling anyone out, but I want to explain. When you go online and find yourself a training routine, along with a meal plan…these are GENERIC meal plans. Do you ever notice that when you look these things up, most of the time, the website doesn’t factor in your personal information? For women wanting to lose weight, you sometimes end up eating 1200 calories, or sometimes even less; and working out 6 days a week. It’s a crash diet. I remember when I first started off, I went online and found a 90 day challenge. It was great because it provided me with a free workout regimen and a free meal plan. However, what wasn’t factored in, was anyone’s personal information. That means someone who is 20 years old and weighs approximately 110lbs, will have the SAME calories as someone who is 45 and weighs over 350lbs. Do you get my point?

You get the gist of what I am saying here. If you aren’t educated, you may be doing more harm than good – and you certainly don’t want that. There are several ways of getting fit and achieving your goals, you just need to know where to look and who to talk to.

Personal Trainers

In my opinion, if you’re doing this for the first time, maybe seeking some professional help isn’t a bad idea. However, choosing a PT can be quite the task. There are so many variables when it comes to choosing the right PT for you and your needs. For instance, here’s what I look at when it comes to hiring a coach:

  • Someone with experience
  • Someone with a track record and portfolio when it comes to competition
  • Someone who will be available to me 24/7
  • Someone who is well educated and able to answer my questions from a science approach
  • Someone whom I get along with

Those are just SOME of the things I look for in a coach when I am on the lookout. So take the time to shop around and really commit yourself to finding the right fit for you.

When you’ve accomplished this and hired the right person, the best advice I can give you that was given to me, no matter your goals, is ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR COACH and ignore advice given to you by everyone else. Here’s the thing, we all have an opinion and we all like to pitch in our two cents, regardless if it was asked of us or not. At the end of the day, you hired a PT for a reason. So if you’re just going to listen to everyone else, what’s the point of having a PT in the first place? Either commit 100% to them, or ditch them and take the advice given to you from multiple sources. At the end of the day, they are your goals and you need to do what you think is best for you. Remember, knowledge is the key to your success.

BRO SCIENCE vs IIFYM

What is Bro Science? Here’s a quick look at the definition on Urban Dictionary:

A sarcastic term implying that the time tested, muscle building wealth of knowledge developed and utilized by successful, experienced bodybuilders is inferior to the continually shifting hypotheses of articulate, textbook-savvy 155lb. chemists with little or no real world first-person experience to substantiate their conclusions. The term “Broscience” is oft repeated on bodybuilding and fitness oriented internet forums in an attempt to demonstrate online dominance as a substitution for success in the arena of actual bodybuilding.

EXAMPLE:

Professor Shnootgarten: What are you drinking there?

Tommy: Just a protein shake with some carbs; I need to get my 350 grams daily.

Professor Shnootgarten: According to the 30 pubmed studies that I’ve downloaded, any amount greater than 22.341 grams of protein post workout is superfluous for greater protein synthesis. Additionally, insulin spiking, if that’s your intended objective, is neither necessary nor helpful toward replenishing glycogen stores unless, of course, your focus is high rep, time under tension endurance tolerance rather than maximal load, low rep hypertrophy stimulation.

Tommy: Dude, over the last 8 years, I’ve gone from a 148 pound weakling to a 220 pound beast doing the same stuff that worked for my dad, and you’re a buck fifteen and have never actually seen the inside of a gym.

Professor Shnootgarten: Well, according to last year’s in-vitro study of skeletal-muscle glycogen phosphorylase done at the University of Stuttgart School of Bio-Organic Chemistry Deluxe…

Tommy: Spare me the science lesson Mr. Wizard; you’ll change your mind next week when new studies reveal the opposite conclusions. You can take your research and your weak pale self, and I’ll take the 500+lb.deadlift that I got with hard work and a little help from broscience.

I will let you do what you will with this information.

What is IIFYM? Here’s a quick look at the definition on Urban Dictionary:

The phrase If It Fits Your Macros (often abbreviated to IIFYM) refers to meeting the individual macronutrient needs relevant to one’s goals and then filling the remaining calories with foods of personal preference. Meaning, eat whatever you want as long as it fits your macros.

What “eat whatever you want as long as it fits your macros” means is basically, eat right, but don’t get all caught up in the whole ‘clean vs dirty’ food debate that seems to still go on. If you want to eat whole grain bread, oats, brown rice, etc. etc. Then do it. If you want to eat white bread, white rice, and pop tarts, as long as it fits in with your other macronutrients and your goals in terms of caloric intake then it isn’t going to make much of a difference in the long run. It all comes down to personal preference.

IIFYM is achieved by following a structured diet similar to the below:
– 200lb man at 20% body fat wants to lose weight
– Maintenance Calories: 3000
– Calories to cut: 2400 – this is a 20% caloric deficit
– 1.5g protein per lb/LBM: (1.5 * 160) 240g
– 0.45g fat per lb/BW: (200 * 0.45) 90g
– Calories from fats + protein minimums: (240 * 4) + (90 * 9) = 1770
– Calories from reaching minimums taken from calories to cut: (2400 – 1770) 630
– He has 630 kcal left to fill with whatever foods he chooses (pop-tarts, pizza, cake, ice cream) and still lose weight as a result of remaining in a calorie deficit.

Which one is right for you?

Not everyone trains the same. Not everyone likes the IIFYM approach, or the bro science way. Typically, there are two types of reaching your goals. Clean eating (with the exception of a cheat meal); or IIFYM (where all your meals are accounted for – no matter the food).

I honestly can go either way. There are weeks or even months, where I would prefer eating clean 6 days a week, and having that ONE cheat meal on the weekend, where I don’t need to count calories. However, the reason I stopped training this way, was because I never knew when to stop. I would overdo it. If I had a one hour window to eat whatever it is I wanted, I could definitely eat over 3000 calories in ONE hour! That is absolutely insane for my body weight, age and height. I consume a little over half of those calories in one day!

So, I chose to stick with the IIFYM approach. Here’s the thing, if you go on Instagram, and you lookup the hashtag #IIFYM, you’ll see a ton of junk food (poptarts, cake, ice cream, cookies…), you name it, you’ll find it. That gives you such a false image of what IIFYM is all about. This way of training is meant so that if you have a craving, fulfill that craving, but ensure it’s well within your macro’s. It isn’t meant for you to eat like shit 7 days a week. At the end of the day, you still want to nourish your body with micro nutrients and good whole foods.

Consistency

Let’s talk about consistency…this right here, is what’s going to determine whether or not you reach your goals. You need to stay consistent throughout your goals – in the gym, and with your nutrition. Take a look at this article on BodyBuilding.com, I couldn’t have said it better!

Accountability

Let’s talk about accountability. Accountability is going to be a big factor in your success. When we aren’t accountable towards our progress, usually you find yourself at a block. Here are a few ways I like to stay accountable:

  • Weekly check-ins with my coach (pictures and weight)
  • Tracking my macro’s via a calorie tracker
  • Journalize how I am feeling on a daily basis (mood, cravings, workouts)

There are several ways to stay on top of your goals – just find what works for you!

Remember, at the end of the day, no one else is accountable for your progress. It’s YOU vs YOU!

So here’s a summary of things you can do to reach that summer body:

  1. Set a realistic goal, within a realistic timeline
  2. Educate yourself
  3. Hire a professional if need be
  4. Chose what approach you want:
    1. Clean Eating with one cheat meal per week or IIFYM
  5. Stay consistent
  6. Stay accountable

Good luck on your goals! Go out there and crush them. Become a cleaner….(Reference to the book “Relentless”)

Roxanne (instagram: myjourney2fitness89)

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