Can you believe it?
April is here already!
Easter of over spring is... springing and winter is (allegedly) on the way out.
If you’re like most people you’re probably already picking out your holiday clothes and thinking ahead to when you can finally hit the beach, soak up some sun and get some well earned R and R.
But then it hits you. Sun, sea and sand all equal skimpy clothes and to make the most of those you’ve gotta have a body to go with them!
Baring our all on holiday is often a terrifying prospect for many of us.
If you feel self-conscious about your hip, thighs, stomach or indeed anywhere then it’s likely that your holiday will be spent in a mild (sometimes not-so-mild) state of paranoia that can actually detract from your enjoyment of your time away from work.
Instead of relaxing and enjoying your freedom you’re doing the ‘does my bum look big in this?’ thing.
Does this sound familiar to you? If it does, you’re not alone. But what can you do about it?
Well, there are plenty of things that you can do if you’re willing to put forth a little effort over the coming weeks. No, strike that. You’ll have to put forward A LOT of effort if you’re going to pull this off in time.
[Hey, don’t blame me! It’s not my fault that you’ve overeaten and sat on your bum all winter!]
First of all, I want you to take out your diary.
Starting TODAY I want you to find at least 15 minutes EACH DAY where you’ll be able to carry out your conditioning programme. Actually make the effort to put this time into the diary just like you would for any other appointment. In fact, this is more important than any other appointment because it’s with yourself.
If you have a mobile phone with a reminder on it then programme your appointment there too. In fact, write this appointment down in as many places as you can so that you can’t accidentally-on-purpose forget to exercise.
I think you get the idea by now. We’re placing MASSIVE priority and importance upon these appointments. If we don’t, they simply won’t happen!
I can hear some of you saying ‘but I really don’t have the time to do this everyday!’ To that I say ‘Rubbish’.
If you can’t even find 15 minutes then you’re simply not trying! 15 minutes is the MINIMUM amount that you’ll need. Ideally it’ll be twice this amount.
Next, go to your food cupboard and get rid of all of the processed food that you’ve been storing up. If it’s got an ‘E’ or a number in the ingredients list it’s outta there.
(But you know this already because you're following the elimination diet right?)
From now until your hols you’ll be consuming only ‘real’ food. Any meat, any veg or any fruits as long as they aren’t preserved in any way.
Why? The preserving processes that are used on foods make them ‘anti-nutrients’ with many of them having similar properties to modern plastics. These foods wreak havoc on the digestive and immune systems and can lead to overeating and increased fat storage.
Cleaning up your diet, even without restricting your calorie intake is a fantastic way to change your appearance. After all, we’ve all heard the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ haven’t we?
And now for the actual workout.
I know what you’re thinking.
‘How can I possibly make a difference in just 15 minutes a day?’.
Sounds a bit like one of those dodgy infomercial promises doesn’t it? Well sure, if I were promising results without effort but that’s not the case here. In fact, you’re going to have to put forward LOTS of effort to make this work. We’re talking consistency AND intensity here, which is normally what’s missing in most people’s programmes.
[Note: I’m assuming that there are no orthopaedic or medical problems present. If there are then you should consult your primary healthcare provider or a certified personal trainer before commencing the programme]
Warm up with some brisk walking, stair climbing or skipping for about 3 mins.
Perform the following circuit for 20 seconds of each exercise with 10 seconds rest:
2. Shoulder Presses
3. Abdominal Curls
5. Pushups (or kneeling variation)
6. Towel Rows
Squat Instruction Video
Abdominal Curls Instruction Video
Lunge Instruction Video
Pushup Instruction Video
Row Instruction Video
Repeat the circuit two to three times. (this is less than 10 minutes!)
Now, be sure to build up to this, so don’t go all out for the first couple of workouts. However, intensity is important so as soon as you feel able you should really start putting forward as much effort as you can into each 20 seconds.
At the end of the circuits, stretch out each muscle for about 30 seconds.
This is your CV day.
But it's not your 'typical' cardio training.
Instead of plodding away for 20-30 minutes in long, slow, boring cardio, I want you to choose any two or three activities from the list below and perform 2-3 minute ‘bursts’ of high effort. Rest for a minute or two in between and then move onto the next activity.
Martial arts punch and kick combinations
Or any other CV activity that you may enjoy.
By the end you should be breathing heavily, you should be feeling fatigued and yes, you should be WANTING to stop.
If you feel that you could do it again then you've just not worked hard enough.
Now, I'm not saying that you should go for the old 'no pain, no gain' style of training but I AM saying that you should be breathless and a little uncomfortable in the lungs.
Why? Because this style of training will put a greater post exercise demand on your body than long, slow steady training and , as such, you'll burn more calories both during and after the session.
Simply alternate these two days between now and your holiday. If you feel that you may be overtraining or not recovering then add a third day where you simply stretch out your tight or sore muscles to aid their recovery.
You may be thinking that this approach sounds too simple to yield any significant results but you’d be wrong. In fact, simplicity is the main reason that this approach works. And it really does work!
Give the programme a fair try and dedicate 15 minutes a day to these exercises and I guarantee you’ll be in far better shape for your holiday than you are right now.
The alternative of course, is to do nothing, hope for the best and spend your holiday worried about your wobbly bits.
The choice is yours and only you can make a difference so start now. Today!
See you on the beach!
P.S - My good friend Craig Ballantyne has one of the best online fatloss programs around (I don't say that lightly) and has helped THOUSANDS of men and women get into great shape REALLY fast.
Go check out his side, if for nothing more than to download his amazing 'Dark Side Of Cardio' report on wis Turbulence Training site(it's free!).
I think you'll like it!