summer bod: change it up!

change is good.  trust me.  we may not always like change – but (in my humble opinion) looking back, you can always see the good that you may not have seen amidst the chaos of change.  we’re such creatures of habit – but whether it be your life or workouts and nutrition, a little change does a world of good.  here is one of my favorite quotes that motivates me and reminds me to embrace change:

“if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
~mark twain

which leads me to week #5 of our 12-weeks to a summer bod.  hopefully you’ve been pushing yourself the past four weeks and really got in the routine of working out 5-6 days a week,  eating more healthy and clean (most of the time), and odds are you’re seeing a change in your body.  so leave it to me to pull the rug out from underneath you once you’re just starting to get comfortable!  this week we change it all up and shock your body.  with workouts especially it’s important to switch up your workouts every 4-6 weeks because our bodies adapt.  keeping the body guessing is how we maximize our time in the gym and really reach those goals of a lean 6-pack rockin’ bod by summer.

weekly fitness challenge: shock it and rock it!
say goodbye to 1 muscle group per day and those enjoyable little cardio sessions where you can enjoy american idol.  no mas muchachos/muchachitas!  it’s seriously starting to get warm out which means we must kick it into high gear.  here’s your workout splits for the next 4 weeks although i’ll tweak it a bit and challenge you as we go.  since we’re going to 2 body parts per day in lifting, we’re adding in interval training in (which means more intensity but less time) so you’ll still get in and out in about an hour.  upping the weights – decreasing time on cardio, but increasing the overall intensity!

for strength training do 2-3 different exercises per body part with 4 sets per exercise.  in this phase we’re going to add some muscle (don’t worry ladies – you won’t bulk up!) so the first 2 sets go heavy (6-8 reps) and the last 2 sets drop the weight and do 15-20 reps.  this will build muscle and then lean out by following up with high reps.most importantly – keep moving in between sets to maximize fat loss and keep that heart rate up!  then for cardio we’re going to really mix it up with a focus on high-intensity interval training which is going to torch fat and calories much faster than steady state cardio because of the “afterburn” effect, meaning after intervals your body continues to burn calories!  proof: in my recent muscle & fitness hers mag they referenced a study where athletes who performed 20 weeks of endurance training burned 28,661 calories and an interval group trained for 15 weeks and burned on 13,614 calories,  however, because of the afterburn effect, the interval-training group showed greater fat loss than the endurance group.  ok enough convincing – here’s your program:

monday: back/biceps + 20m stepmill/stairstepper intervals*
tuesday: legs/abs + 12m treadmill tabata sprints** (see below)
wednesday: hour-long class (yoga/spin/kick-boxing) or 30-40m jog/run
thursday: chest/abs + 20m row machine intervals*
friday: shoulders/triceps + 12m treadmill tabata sprints**
saturday: legs/abs + 30m steady state (but keep heart rate at 65-70%)
sunday: active rest - swim, rollerblade, walk your dog – anything!

*intervals: for 20m intervals, do 2 minutes at a tough but manageable pace, then go all out for 30 seconds pushing yourself as hard as possible.  take note of stairs climbed or distance ran – and next week aim to beat that number in the same amount of time.  the goal here: kick your own butt.

**tabata: this high intensity interval training (HIIT) program will kick your butt into next week.  on the treadmill, warm-up at a jogging pace at a low incline.  i’ll use my numbers for example purposes.  so i warm-up at 5.0 at a 3% incline for 4 minutes.  then double everything, so i go to 10.0 at 6% incline and then get ready for 4 minutes of hell. jump on the treadmill (be careful) and sprint all out for 20 seconds…hop off the side and recover for 10 seconds. get back on again and sprint for 20, jump off and rest for 10.  do that 8 times through for a total of 4 minutes.  then go back to your warm-up speeds by going back to 5.0 at 3% incline and cool-down for 4m.  i promise you your chest will be pounding like no other – killer.

weekly nutrition challenge: portion distortion
after doing both competitions, i’m not big on calorie-counting. i despise it actually, but unfortunately leaning out is all about calories-in/calories-out. muscle & fitness had this great little formula for calculating how many calories you should eat. you figure out how many hours per week you work out and add that to 9. so for me, i work out at least 6 hours a week (probably more, but i wanted to be conservative) so i add that to 9 to get 15. then you take that and multiply it by your target body weight (mine is 110)…so that’s how i came up with 1500! not rocket science but it’s a different way of figuring out your target caloric intake needs. your focus this week – even if you’re not wanting to track calories – is to really keep portion size under control. just this week do me a favor and measure things: a 1/2 cup isn’t really as much as you’d think…and pay attention to labels and serving sizes. jot down the portion sizes in your fitbook and after just one week of this you’ll have a better idea of why you may not be seeing the scale budge. you must have a calorie deficit of 3500 through a combination of working out more and eating less to lose one pounds so NOT knowing your portion sizes can sabotage your success.

stay focused and if you’re getting a little antsy, flip back to your 12-week plan in your fitbook to remind yourself of WHY you’re doing this. keeping in touch with that inner-drive will help you stay motivated on tough days. case in point: i went to sport my cute little capri jeans for the first time this year since it’s warm out and the last time i wore them was post-competition last year when i was a little itty bitty thing. regardless of knowing that, it doesn’t exactly leave you feeling stoked when your bum won’t fit in a pair of jeans. so – i could’ve slipped into sweats and headed straight for the freezer to indulge in a pint of ice cream. thankfully, 1) i don’t keep ice cream in the house and 2) i decided to find a pair of jeans that made me feel sexy (why suffer all day?) and made plans to go roller blading a the beach. little choices lead up to long-term success and if i can tell you anything it is that hard work pays off – and it will for you (and me!) too.

embrace change this week and do yourself a favor – and kick your own a**.


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