So, you don’t want to sign up for a costly gym membership but you want a toned body. Don’t listen to the naysayers, it can be done. Read on for some easy-to-follow guidelines to shape up without splashing out.
When it comes to boasting a svelte body for the summer, you will need to lose that extra chunk of fat and bulk up some lean, mean muscles. Let’s face it, it is counterintuitive, but it is not a myth: initially to lose fat you will have to eat less, but to add muscles you will have to eat more. Focusing on hypertrophy sessions, cardio and managing a proportional intake of calories is the way to go, and the good news is there is no need for fancy gym equipment.
Every day, our body goes through a vigorous routine of renewing cells and healing scarred tissue in a process called protein synthesis. This is important because your body adapts its rejuvenating cycle to heal quicker. It also helps to repair damaged cells at a higher rate than your average Joe – inevitably your muscle fibers tend to become bigger and stronger. This is where your nutrition consumption comes in. In order for you to tighten the belt on your jeans, you should focus on the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and percentage of what you eat.
Your diet should include:
• Omega pills (or Salmon as it’s good alternative)
• Whole-grain (try avoiding simple carbs like sugar)
• Unsaturated Fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) – like Walnuts, Soymilk, Almonds and Avocado
• Decrease eating unprocessed/junk food
So, in order for you to lose fat you will have to deny your body a certain amount of energy (food) that you’re used to having every day. It’s as simple as that. This is called calorie deficit.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) Cardio
The reason why HIIT is preferred to your average cardio session is because you are susceptible to increasing your growth hormone. This has been proven scientifically by the University of Ontario – it improves handling increased lactic acid buildup in the muscles and perseverance overall in the body.
Sprinting is one of the workouts that will test your mental toughness and is extremely beneficial to your body composition. Try the following workout for optimal results:
Step 1: Walk for 10 minutes (warm up)
Step 2: 6 sets of 15 to 30 seconds of explosive intervals (everything you’ve got)
Step 3: 5 minutes rest between the intervals
Step 4: Walk for 10 minutes (cool down)
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy means increasing the cellular fluid that surrounds the tendons and ligaments. Why is this important? You want to concentrate on high repetitions in order to incite tolerance in the long-run for your body. The 3 core exercises are:
Push Ups (inverted hand/Pseudo Planche)
For those who mastered the regular push-ups and think it no longer poses a challenge, pseudo planche are the way to go. They’re a remarkable exercise which will help develop strong front deltoid (shoulders), upper pectoralis (chest), lumborum (lower back) and tricep muscles.
Step 1: Assume the regular pushup position
Step 2: Place your hand close to your hips with your fingers are pointing towards your feet and your index finger pointing outward from your oblique.
Step 3: After finishing each set, bend your elbow and rest all of your weight on your forearms – still while maintaining the push-up position. Count to five and repeat the entire regiment two more times.
Repeat for 3 sets with 15 repetition per set.
This routine also targets the same muscles as the Pseudo push-ups but with a much higher intensity. It would preferably be done in the gym or at a public park where there are parallel bars available. Not only are they superior to push ups, but they help develop your entire arm. The narrower the bars to your waist, the more you’re going to be targeting the triceps.
Step 1: Raise yourself on the support bars with your elbows locked.
Step 2: Elbows tucked close to your waist, lower your body slowly till you reach 90 degree angle
Step 3: Push back up again by firmly gripping on the bars to return to the starting position.
Repeat for 3 sets with 10 repetitions per set.
Leg Raises (pull-up bar)
If you want to strengthen your core muscles, this is the holy grail of abs exercises. Not only will you have abs of steel, but it will increase your endurance and flexibility. It will also help focus on the development of the mid-section of your stomach and your Latissimus Dorsi muscles.
Step 1: Grab the bar and hang on it – pull yourself to a 45 degree angle (quarter way of a pull-up).
Step 2: Curl your hips and knees up to your chest.
Step 3: Drop them back to their original position without oscillation and repeat.
Try to raise your legs whilst dangling and hold that position for 5 seconds then release. Keep your knees bent slightly and not straight. The more you do it, the more tenacious you will get and the firmer your grip will be.
Repeat for 2 sets with 10 repetitions per set
Remember you ought to keep pushing yourself to do more reps than the week before, for 3 consecutive months. Try these tips and you will be well on your way to a fit and healthy body.