Now is the time for you to begin building your summer body
Were you in shape last summer, only to start slacking off once cold weather started to roll in? If you’ve lost your training intensity over the past few months, but still wish to be strong for the biking and running of summer — or even if you just want to look a little more toned than you currently are — now is the time to start building your summer body.
You will need two qualities: patience and consistency. It takes a lot of time, and thus a lot of patience, to build an athletic body. But the only way to build fat-eating muscle is to be totally consistent with your workouts. Plan a convenient time and a convenient place. The key word here is ‘plan.’
Don’t ever even consider walking into a gym without a plan. It should be well thought out and designed for gains in strength and athleticism. Four or five months of training won’t remake your body, but you can certainly make small gains in muscle mass during that brief time, as well as lower the fat content of your body. Your family and friends will notice the difference.
Consistency is the one thing that will allow you to accomplish your athletic goal, especially if you’re only going to be training for a relatively short time. Whether you decide to train three days a week or five, don’t ever skip a session. Be punctual for yourself. Take your program with you to the gym, whether on a device or in a paper notebook. There’s just no way to tell you how important consistency is in reaching your goal successfully.
Another factor is a body accustomed to motion will tend to remain in motion. It’s so much easier to pull yourself away from the TV if your body is accustomed to moving.
Think about your workout as you design it. Do you want to train for looks or for performance? If you want your muscles to be functional; that is, strong rather than just bulging, you’ll train differently than a bodybuilder. A pro bodybuilder may be eye candy, but those pretty muscles won’t get him or her up a tough hill in a competitive run or bike ride.
If you haven’t been training according to a planned program, you will have to start off with lighter weights than the poundage you formerly used. Start with a weight that’s only three quarters of what you used to lift.
If that makes your joints or muscle tendons ache during or after the workout, lower the weight even more.
But even if you’re starting with a lighter poundage, you still have to push your muscles to exhaustion. You have to actually break down the muscles so that they will repair themselves. The repair protects the muscle against breaking down again against the same amount of force. That’s why your program must always be changing.
Do a different amount of repetitions, do a different amount of sets. Hold the weight at a slightly different angle. Lift five or 10 more pounds.
However, don’t allow yourself to become over trained. Overtraining is an actual condition that happens when the body isn’t given sufficient recovery time.
The muscles and white tissues (tendons, ligaments) need time to repair themselves thoroughly before they are again put under stress. In the state you’re in now, after a slack-off in training, it’s easy to overwork the tissues so much that they can’t even repair themselves.
This is the important reason you need to schedule days off, to allow for very important recovery time.
Patience, consistency and a thoughtful training plan are key to building an athletic body.