Updated: Oct 23, 2019
And with the blink of an eye, summer is waning and fall is quickly approaching. Everyone has hopes for summer: having fun, hanging with friends, and looking good in the sun. Hopefully Bodymass was able to help in the last area and that people notice your improved physique, enhanced confidence, and other benefits that come from strength training.
Perhaps summer snuck up on you and you weren’t quite ready to hit the beach as you hoped. Don’t feel bad, almost everyone wishes they could improve something. Maybe you even want to make multiple improvements, build more muscle mass, be a little leaner, and have more stamina to keep up with your friends. These are completely attainable goals, but be mindful not to let the summer sneak up on you again.
Come April 2020 people will be hitting the gym, “getting that beach body ready” for summer. While any reason for people to workout is great, most of these efforts fizzle leaving people without the results they were hoping for. As some wise folks have said, hope deferred makes the heart sick.
How can you plan for your summer 2020 body? Here are three tips to help you succeed:
Have a clear goal with specific metrics
Have a plan
Do the work
HAVE A CLEAR GOAL WITH SPECIFIC METRICS
If you’re aiming to get beach ready for next summer, it’s great that you’re already thinking of it now. But in order to get a specific game plan, we want to answer more questions. Exactly when are you looking to attain your beach ready goal, what what specifically does “beach ready” mean?
When? Summer lasts roughly four months from May-August . If you don’t set a specific date for accomplishment, you will keep pushing it off: “I’ll be ready in... June… July… August…” Set a specific date. “I want to attain (insert XYZ metric) by May 1st,” is a clearly defined timeline.
WHAT -- Being “beach ready” is kind of ambiguous, so get some objective numbers involved. Numbers are kind of tricky when it comes to the human body -- the scale is just WRONG, “measurements” can be easily manipulated, clothes can stretch, heck even photos can lie depending on the lighting.
For determining tangible improvement in looks, I recommend getting some baseline metrics from from Bodymass. First is a DEXA Scan. Second is a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
DEXA will determine your body composition -- your total lean mass and fat mass. The Resting Metabolic Rate test tells you how many calories you’re burning throughout your day and can help pinpoint specific diet changes you would need to reach your goal.
These are tangible numbers that you can work with, instead of just going off the scale or photos. Based on these tests, you can determine exactly how much muscle you want to put on, fat you want to lose, and get regular check ins to check your progress.
HAVE A PLAN
Based on the results of these tests, develop your plan of attack. Say you want to put on 10 pounds of lean mass. That means you’d need to focus on strength training, eat more, sleep better, and avoid cardio-centric workouts. Let’s break these numbers down a bit, specifically the eating and lifting part.
For eating, you’d need an additional 3,500 calories for every pound you want to gain. So if you want to gain 10 pounds and have 40 weeks until next summer, you’d only need to increase your calorie intake by only 125 calories a day! (10 pounds *3,500 calories =35,000 calories; 35,000 calories / 280 days =125). That’s a couple almonds, a few extra brussel sprouts, or an ounce more steak.
For lifting, you will want to consistently breakdown muscle so it can grow. Big compound movements like the back squat, deadlift, bench press, and pendlay row, will pack on a lot more lean mass than bicep curls and sit ups. It’s not that easy, though. Over 40 weeks, you’d want to change your workouts to avoid burning out, avoid plateauing so you can keep your body adapting and growing, and avoiding injury.
Bodymass’s Build Class is a strength program incorporating the compound lifts and physical therapy principles to keep you healthy and moving well. Build runs in four week cycles so you can actually become good at lifts and then we shift the program to make sure you don’t plateau.
You would want to attend Build 3-4 times a week to make sure you are hitting all the major muscle groups at least once.
Now that you know these numbers you can put pen to paper. Get your workouts on your calendar. Set up a nutrition plan. Write out the dates you will check in. With this, you can develop routines to help you more easily achieve your goal.
DO THE WORK
Alright, you’ve got the specific goal and you’ve got a detailed plan. Now, you just need to do the work. Nothing will ever go exactly to plan, but here are some quick tips to help you get the work done.
Make your goal known -- Whether you want to just let a few close friends know or want to put it on social media, if others know your goal, you are more likely to follow through on it.
Get a gym buddy -- You are less likely to ditch a workout if you know your buddy is going to be there at the next lower body day.
Make it fun -- Remember your goal is to have more fun next summer in your swimsuit, so keep your means of getting there fun. In addition to the gym, pick up other healthy, fun activities that align with your goal -- rock climbing, volunteer for a youth organization, or join a co-ed football team.
SUMMER 2020, WE’RE COMING FOR YOU!
...And Bodymass is ready to help! The sooner you start, the less drastic the change has to be. The less drastic the changes, the more likely they will stick.
Written by: Sam Pfister