The Summer Fitness Survival Guide

Lift weights fast or lift weights heavy

Either way is a small time commitment. Fast means with power. Rather than traditionally lifting on a 1-2 count and lowering on a 3-4 count, you lift quickly in 1 count, pause slightly and lower the weight under control.

The addition of power increases the energy expenditure of the exercise session, can increase the benefit to bone density, and ultimately burn more fat after the exercise session is over. This is all based on the fact the exercise must be of adequate intensity. Choose a weight that you can lift no more than 12-15 times.


Do interval training selectively

The benefits of interval training for fat burning are based on the intensity. It must be high to be effective. You’re “done” at the end of an interval. You’re not just working a little harder during an interval. Done correctly, interval training does burn more fat that traditional steady state exercise per the same time. However, interval training requires more rest. Intervals shouldn’t be done daily. Once or twice a week is the most an elite athlete does high intensity intervals. A body gets stronger, and therefor leaner, when it is allowed to repair. It gets weaker and has more risk of injury when high intensity intervals are done too frequently or with inadequate rest between. If you increase (after a progression) to two interval days a week, ideally they are Monday and Thursday, for example to allow adequate recovery between.

Sleep optimally

Skinny women sleep. It’s as simple as that. Bedtime matters: 10pm- 6am has been proven to be more beneficial than midnight to 8am. Get up at the same time seven days a week. Unless you’re sick (and you will be less often if you abide by these tips), there is no sleeping in.

Sleep tip: though it may be tempting to push your bedtime routine back with longer days, try to keep things the same. Your body clock and metabolism will thank you.

Feed your goals

If you’re barely eating to lose weight, keep in mind that maintenance requires a stricter diet and more exercise than does losing in the first place. Turn the volume up on good fats, lean-enhancing protein, and antioxidant-rich foods that allow you to eat plenty and enjoy it. You’ll lose weight, gain energy, and love the way you look and feel. There is no such thing as “healthy” eating that applies to all any more. You may not be able to eat certain foods and be at your optimal weight. You must test and not guess to find your forever fit.

Fit Fuel tip: half a banana is a good start if you swear you don’t like to eat before exercise. If you’re in your kitchen before exercise, choose real food as opposed to a bar. Save the labels for an on-the-go emergency.

Drink water like a boss

Water helps the high fiber foods you’re eating work their magic. Water hydrates your skin and body so you’re prepared for exercise. Most mature adults are dehydrated daily. Many exercisers are already dehydrated at the start of their exercise, let alone after. Water needs vary. Not everyone needs 8-8oz glasses. Some need more. Some need less. Watch your energy, your mood, skin, and digestion. You’ll know when you feel good. Can’t poo? Drink. Dry skin? Drink. No endurance? Drink. Do your drinking of water between meals, not during.

Summer sip: infuse your water with watermelon chunks, grapes, or berries.

Slip Up?

Turns out there’s a “morning after pill” for that too. Exercise first thing in a fasted state (before breakfast) with interval training. A 2013 study in Belgium suggests that after a binge, this may help you burn more fat throughout the day and even the scale again. This isn’t true of an “every day” ritual. Unless you’ve indulged, you actually burn more energy because you work harder and longer if you’ve had a little something to eat.

Tip: Intervals can be done with cardio or with weights. It’s based on intensity not mode. Just be cautious not to use speed to the extent you risk injury. Lifting a heavy weight is more effective than lifting a light one fast.


Tell me in the comments: does your summer lend itself to better fitness or throw curves at you that keep you from your optimal routine?

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Circumference outside of both arms, at the armpit

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