Getting fit for summer

By Ryan McLaughlin
April 2, 2013

With the weather warming up slowly and summer approaching fast everyone is in a rush to get their bodies ready for the beach. Some people don’t like to maintain themselves year round and find it extremely difficult shedding their winter coats.

When people talk about getting in shape many talk about getting “six-pack abs.” They put all this effort into trying to get a toned core but go about doing it completely wrong. The saying “abs are made in the kitchen not the gym” is almost entirely true.

You can do crunches until you break but if you have a thin layer of fat covering your abdominal region you’ll never see that six-pack.

Year round I do MMA training at a local gym near the King of Prussia mall called Nak Muay Gym. This helps keep me in great cardiovascular shape year-round while doing different strength training exercises and learning self-defense techniques. On my off days I workout at Cabrini’s gym.

Those who try to just get in shape for the summer are simply doing it for looks. If you want to find motivation to continuously be in great shape year round you have to realize the health benefits that come with eating right and working out consistently.

I have always stayed very active so I could eat anything and wouldn’t gain a pound. The problem with that was just because I was skinny doesn’t mean I was healthy.

This past summer a drastic change to the way I eat happened. The word diet usually represents a period of time where a person eats healthier to lose weight. The problem I have with the word diet is, it’s usually a temporary period of time and not a change in lifestyle.

Maintaining is a lot easier than re-gaining everything you lost during the winter. You don’t have to be a “health freak” and not eat anything bad. Almost always those who try to follow a strict way of eating like that fail.

Giving yourself days to cheat and eat things you want are important. If not you will have a huge setback at some point and lose a lot of hard-earned progress.

An exercise routine I would recommend that is fairly common is targeting different muscle groups on different days of the week. Not all of us have a lot of free time so working out muscles the compliment each other is very common.

Some would argue working out muscles the compliment each other doesn’t let one muscle group or the other worked to its full potential. This is accurate but that does not mean working complimentary muscles is bad.

There are always alternate ways to do things in the fitness world and if you’re the kind of person who prefers knocking out two birds with one stone and still getting adequate results, working complementary muscles is probably for you.

If you’re going to be lifting often then you are going to want to purchase a few supplements. Supplements aren’t required by any means but most people prefer taking a scoop or two of protein in a quick drink after a workout instead of cooking up some protein in the stove or on the grill.

A good resource for information on supplementing I use is:

People trying to bulk need to be exceeding the amount of calories their bodies burn everyday. People trying to cut need to be in a deficit in order to lose the weight. This does not mean refusing to eat.

A common misconception people have is if they don’t eat they lose weight. Yes this is obviously true because you aren’t fueling your body so it’s breaking itself down.

What this also does is slows your metabolism down and when you do eat again you might blow up and become heavier than you were previously.

Instead of not eating, eat little meals more frequently and you will speed your metabolism up. This way of eating mixed with exercising consistently will help you get your body toned and ready for the beach this summer.

Ryan McLaughlin

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