No, it’s not summer yet, but close. Winter retired for another year and has turned over the duties to spring, giving us a sneak peak on the next season to come. Before you know it, days at the beach and hot bikinis will come knockin’.
But by now, you’ve probably fallen off track on your fitness goals (you know you made them as a New Year’s resolution). Hey, it’s human nature–sh*t happens. But don’t fret. If you reclaim that determination to spark up your fitness, you can lose up to twenty pounds around the start of summer. Starting today, if you shoot for two pounds a week until June 21st—and succeed—you will be twenty pounds lighter. Simple as that.
Well…maybe not that simple. Commitment to health can be hard work, but not impossible. Important thing is to view health and wellness as a life choice (a marathon), not as a short-time fling (a sprint). A magic pill and surgery provides a quick fix, but you need to train your body to keep the weight off, otherwise you’ll look at the mirror six months later and be like, “damn. I’m flabby as hell again?”
But how do you attain that magazine cover physique? Well, there’s no magic formula; a proper diet, lots of water, cardio exercises and resistance training will do the trick. Females struggle with weight issues arguably more than men (especially around the belly), but for some reason, weights are scary to a lot of women–not because they think they’ll injure themselves, but most of them believe they’ll lose those feminine curves and look more like men.
Don’t sweat it, ladies. It takes years of training and testosterone injections to look like a beef-cake dude. However, resistance training does build muscle and burn fat, a nice compliment to cardio exercises. If you do only cardio (jogging, elliptical machines, bike riding, etc), you risk losing muscle—and you don’t want that. If you build muscle, you will burn fat even at rest because your body requires energy to maintain muscle. Where does it get the energy? From burning fat!
Of course, before you embark on a new exercise routine, it’s a good idea to consult with a personal trainer (such as myself :)) and/or medical professional (if applicable). Once you get knee-deep into resistance training, I recommend combining isometric and isotonic exercises. Isometric is when you contract a muscle with no movement (where you hold a position, such as planks); isotonic involves your typical up-and-down or back-and-forth repetitive movements (such as using a curl-up bar). Isotonic includes concentric (shortening of muscle fibers) and eccentric movements (lengthening of muscles fibers). Isometric and isotonic exercises build strength and muscle (isometric focuses more on strength while isotonic on building muscle).
In the graphics below (yeah, that’s me), I show two examples on how to combine isometric and isotonic exercises, so let’s get dat a** up and movin’! Summer will be here before you know it!
Note: NEVER hold your breath while doing these exercises. Remember to breathe!
1. Starting Position
2. Do a full curl, then bring the bar down 1/3 of the way and hold it for five seconds.
3. Bring the bar down at the half-way point and hold for another five seconds. Return to starting position. Try to do 8-12 repetitions and 2-3 sets. Increase the weight with each set.
2. Half-way down, hold for five seconds. Do as many as you can.