We all want to look good for the summer when the sun is shining or when you are on holiday at the beach. Most people hop on some sort of short and extreme nutrition/fitness programme in the hope for an easy quick fix. Not only can that be unhealthy for the body, but it’s also unrealistic to make drastic changes in a short period of time. Make it easy for yourself and start now.
In the space of 6 months you can make significant changes to your body. What you do in the next 2-4 months will determine how you will look come the holiday season. In other words, beach bodies are built in the winter. Wait six weeks pre holiday and you have left it too late. 6 weeks isn’t even close. For most people that run an extreme ‘get in shape’ programme, it would take them a minimum of 2-4 weeks just to learn how to do exercises correctly. And that’s being kind. There is also enough evidence to suggest that the more extreme the exercise and nutritional approach, the greater likelihood you will gravitate back to where you started in a matter of weeks after finishing.
For those new or coming back to exercise, it would be far better to have a more long-term sustainable approach. This will engrain good habits and good nutritional and exercise practice. Both the nutrition and exercise will feel less of a chore and you can avoid the feeling of deprivation and claustrophobia that go hand in hand with short-term approaches. Doing it longer-term means you do not need to be extreme in anything, making it a more positive experience.
Committing just 3 days a week until June will rack up a hefty 75 workout sessions. This will give you the time to develop technique, iron out imbalances and improve your performance. Injury is also less likely to occur as a result of this.
With a good nutrition and exercise plan, a male beginner can put on around 1-1.5% of their body weight in muscle a month. That’s about 0.8kg-1.2kg for an 80kg male. A female can put on about half this amount (women need muscle too!). We are talking strictly muscle here, NOT Weight. Bearing in mind that when a new person starts a new weight resistance exercise regime, the first progression they makes is neurological, meaning they are getting used to the motor patterns and your body becomes more efficient at doing an exercise. Its after they have learned the technique that muscles grow to compensate for your weight session.
Bearing all this in mind, lets put this in perspective. Go into your local supermarket and pick up 1kg of chicken breast. That’s what 1kg of muscle looks like spread over your body. So gaining 4-6kg of muscle (for a male) in the space of 6 months is a huge amount that will make a massive change to your body.
You can also expect to lose more lean body mass the faster you diet. People try to lose fat too fast most of the time. The typical diet is 6-8 weeks long. I would recommend 16-32 weeks. The best thing you can do is eat as much as possible while still losing fat. This keeps up you performance stops you feeling lethargic.
Don’t rely on short-term fixes that will only put you back where you started before you know it. If you are looking to be ready for summer then start now. It will be so much more rewarding when the time comes. You will learn skills and engrain good habits into your lifestyle. Don’t rely on short-term fixes that will only put you back to where you started before you know it. Make that change now.