Your 4-week guide for a ripped beach body
Summer is slowly approaching. And how does that make you feel? Do you feel prepared for a couple of months wearing a bikini and showing off your body at the beach?
Many of us have gotten lazy during the long winter days and now it's high time we do something about it. You may think that you have decided to work on your body a bit too late and you're starting to panic. No need to get crazy – if you're disciplined enough, you can turn it all around in just 4 weeks. A couple of diet tips and a lot of sweat and effort will get you back in shape just in time for summer days.
Don’t opt for extreme diets
Extreme diets won't do you any good. When you starve your body, it actually goes into shock. You force it into thinking that there's going to be a long period of starvation, so it will stick to the fat cells instead of getting rid of them. So, forget about reducing your calories to 1,000. Stick to around 2,000 calories a day, basing each meal on lean proteins and vegetables. The best source of protein you'll need during this period is chicken or salmon fillets. If you want to think in percentages, then let's say that 40% of your meal should consist of protein, 30% from fat and 30% from carbs.
Mind the time of the day
Another thing regarding your 4-week diet is to understand the effect your hormones have on how you use certain food you eat. So, it isn't just about avoiding processed food and alcohol during this period. You need to pay attention to when you eat certain types of food.
As your insulin levels are lower in the morning, it would be best to avoid carbs. Leave them for dinner, preferably after the workout. The insulin spikes will use that energy to build your muscles and not to store it into fat cells. In other words, you need to sweat in order to be allowed to eat carbs.
Once you decide to get your body in shape in just 4 weeks, there are some things you should keep in mind.
First of all, it's not same for everybody when it comes the speed of losing weight. Nor does it mean that anybody could lose weight in this way. Some people who have been struggling with excess weight for a long time lack the will and confidence to put themselves through this kind of regime. For them, a weight loss surgery is a safer option which will help them achieve their goal and make an effort to change their lifestyle for better. For you, this regime may be hard and strenuous but it will also pay off.
Secondly, think about food as your fuel and not your enemy. If you pay attention to what you eat, you will only speed up the process of losing weight.
Thirdly, have fun in the process. Stress is the real enemy for your body and mind. So, if you notice that some particular exercises really get you down or make you feel stressed, cut them out. The point is to enjoy while losing weight.
Finally, keep an eye on your progress. Don't set unachievable goals for yourself but allow yourself to notice the positive results. If you are satisfied with the way things are going, just stick with the plan. If you're not, change something.
How to properly do HIIT workouts
Before each HIIT workout, it's important to give your body a proper 5-10 minute stretching or even light jogging.
In the beginning of the 4-week regime, start with a 1:3 ratio of workout to rest. This means you should do a 30-second high-intensity activity then rest for 90 seconds. Switch between the two for 20 minutes.
In time, as your body adapts, you will move on to 1:2 ratio, where you will have 60-seconds rest. Every interval should be as intense as you want it to be (or as you are able for). Once you're done, spend another 5-10 minutes to stretch and allow your body to gradually cool down.
Week 1 – The preparation
During the first week, your body will still be adapting to the regime and the exercises. As far as the regular exercises are concerned, make a 30-45 seconds long break between the sets.
HIIT workout should last for 20 minutes and be done three days in the first week. You can choose which type of workout you want it to be – a bike, outdoor sprints or using the treadmill. Choose whichever three days suit you, just make sure there is one day in between the workouts.
Week 2 – Moving on to supersets
In other words, it means you should do two movements without any rest. When you complete both exercises – you have completed a superset. You can rest between 30 and 45 seconds between the supersets during this week.
As far as HIIT workout is concerned, keep the three-day workout but try to increase the intensity. The effects will be greater if you don't stick to the same level.
Week 3 – moving forward to super dropsets
During the third week, you will stick to the same supersets as in the previous week. However, you will add a dropset on both exercises in the superset. A dropset means you continue with the same exercise, only you use a lower weight after you have reached your limit with the higher weight. This time, you are allowed to have 45-60 seconds of rest between the supersets.
You’ll still stick to three-day HIIT, but you should add walking bodyweight lunges (10 minutes) and steady-state cardio (15-30 minutes).
Week 4 – Circuit workout
Do all of the exercises every day with very little (or no) rest. After every round, rest for 60-90 seconds and then repeat it. Overall, you should do 4 rounds.
HIIT workout should look the same, but try to enhance the intensity.
The good news is that it is achievable to get in great shape in only one month. What's important is to start with the new regime as soon as possible. As you can see yourself, every day counts.
Guest Post Contributed By:
Freelance writer & Fitness Expert
From Sydney, Australia