Depending where you live, the signs of summers approach may vary. In Canada however these signs come every year like clockwork: the gym parking lot is once again full, Facebook and Instagram are inundated with posts such as "#healthy #lifestyle", and runners can be seen emerging from their winter nests frolicking up and down the streets.
But just as we que the Summer Symphony by Jack Gould, (real song), women pause with the realization that they do not yet feel "ready for summer".
The good news? It's still 12 weeks to summer, which is the perfect amount of time to make a lifestyle change.
I encourage you to implement these easy steps into your fitness/lifestyle routine; not only will you feel like a rock star, but you'll look it too.
1. Have an Exciting Warm Up
Quite frankly your warm up should be similar to your workout - intense! It should be challenging enough so that your heart rate rises and your body begins to sweat. Ditching the lame warm up and opting for something more demanding gets you ready neurologically, warms your entire body up faster, and burns more calories.
Need some ideas? Try performing calisthenic or dynamic movements. These movements are "gymnastic exercises designed to develop physical health and vigor":
*This style of training usually doesn't require any equipment*
2. Lift Heavy
I understand the fear that will strike most of you at reading this headline; "Lift heavy? My goal isn't to be muscular and bulky!" You're currently debating if your should stop reading and delete this site from your web history.
Let me stop you and clear something up right now: getting
"big" is extremely hard for a woman to do simply because we're not built that way. Between our born genetics and natural DNA, you do not have the ability to become as bulky/muscular as you fear you will. It would take years, tons of food, and a strict workout plan to even get close to this.
Adding to that, putting on muscle mass only works if you're on a high volume rep/set routine.
Encouraging you to lift heavy at least 3x month means you're lifting a large amount of weight for minimal reps... not the same thing.
If you still feel worried, try lifting heavy just 2x a month; it'll increase your neurogenic and myogenic muscle tone. Once you feel more comfortable you can begin lifting heavy 1x each week.
Recommended "Lift Heavy" Exercises:
3 sets/6 reps
*Heavy lifting gives your body a firm, toned, healthy, and sexy look*
3. Sprint, Sprint, Sprint
As women, we naturally carry more weight in our lower bodies than men. This fact pretty much comes back to the beginning of time - hips for childbearing and all.
The solution is simple, get onto a stationary bicycle and perform sprints for 20 to 30 minutes. Not only will you be sweating, but you'll be burning a high amount of fat loss in your lower body
*Interval training is more effective for fat loss than steady state cardio*
4. I'm Your Venus, I'm Your Fire, Your Desire
What's the benefit to having strong shoulders? The more athletic and rounded your shoulder caps are, the smaller your waist appears. Work your shoulders regularly to increase strength in everyday movements and to achieve a nice V figure.
Exercises to implement into your routine:
Barbell Front Raise
5. Make Your Asset More Shapely, Not Smaller
If you're not already, you should be squatting!
Squats make real life movements easier, they burn more fat, work your core and stabilizer muscles, prevent injury, help with waste removal, and tone your backside like no other. If squats are not currently in your routine, add them in now.
However, a few suggestions to help place greater emphasis on targeting your glutes.
Squat wide with your toes out. Due to hip displacement a wide stance will maximize glute activation while providing the same amount of activation to your quads as a narrow stance. Wide squats also create more power. Ankle mobility issues? Not any more. A wide stance promotes a vertical shin position, making the movement easier to perform and getting rid of your ankle issues.
6. Run Forest, Run!
Density training is a style that allows you to "get more done" in "less time". This type of training increases the rate at which your body loses fat, builds aerobic and anaerobic capacity, and maximizes overall workload.
Density training is characterized by:
Shortened rest periods
The routine is set on time, rather than a rep/set scheme. You will perform as many movements/reps in a set period of time, the goal is to continuously try to perform more reps/movements in the same period of time - go as fast as you can!
*Density Training = stronger, leaner, fitter, and more capable of performing various movements*
Be Strong[Her] !