We have all seen the cut/bulk cycle that many people go through adding weight for the winter with the pipe dream of gaining some extra muscle and dieting the whole summer to reveal those abs…..Its not something you want to do you can look and feel great all year round by following a few rules!
- Don’t ever attempt to bulk!
Your body is very self regulating if you start lifting heavy weights and doing intense workouts your appetite will ramp up and so long as you stick to good wholesome food 80% of the time you will gain quality muscle and your strength in the gym will increase….
Take your time with gaining size if your getting stronger it means you are getting bigger, simply having trust in that will keep you progressing in the gym. Find new ways to challenge your body and trigger growth whether thats 100 rep body weight squats or a fully loaded leg press just keep your body guessing! You can’t force feed yourself into growth it will just leave you feeling bloated and chubby….
- Adapt your training to seasons!
This one is pretty straight forward as summer makes it far easier to exercise; its warm outside, daylight hours are longer and its a time when we wear less so you will be inclined to stay in better shape…..
I like to do more training outdoors in summer and I spend far less time in the gym than the current winter months. Summer will normally entail doing a few outdoor workouts a week; Either run’s with pushups/pullups thrown in or some outdoor sprints with jumping squats. I will also get to the gym a few once or twice a week to lift something heavy.
In the winter my training changes, due to the weather I spend more time in the gym doing circuits of free weights or doing some heavy compounds. My outdoor activity is limited to the occasional run, but I try to fit in one sprinting session a week. I also tend to walk a load in the winter so this replaces the cardio that I miss out on during the summer months.
So by adapting your training and lifestlyle according to the weather and your schedule you can always fit in a workout that will keep you lean year round. Remember doing things as simple as 50 pushups before you have breakfast can make a difference on days you dont workout!
- Eat Seasonally!
Pick fruits and vegetables that are meant to be eaten at that time during the year for instance right now I am eating fruits like Clementines, Local Apple’s, Plums and Oranges which are all local and in season. In the summer I tend to eat more tropical fruit like Bananas, Pineapple and Mango.
Drop into your local farmers market, most run on saturday mornings and will only hold the fresh seasonal produce so make it your go to place for fresh food!
The reason this works is that nature produces certain foods at times of the year when you need them. There is no coincidence that Citrus fruit comes into its prime over the winter months when colds and flu’s are rife, luckily citrus fruit is packed with Vitamin C which we all know is a great at preventing illness and curing colds, plus its always better to get it in its natural form!
- Get Involved in Sports.
Try and pick one sport and dedicate a time each week to plaing it whether its squash/tennis with freinds or some frisbee in the park it all counts and so long as you commit yourself to it each and every week you will benefit and have some activity sneaked in all year round.
- Snack Smart!
Its easy to get into comfort eating zone in the winter; many people pile on the pounds simply by picking up bad health habits like snacking on chips and chocolate as a comfort food over the winter months. I have written an article on Smart Snacking which is worth checking out if you want to get more info on what snacks are worth your time……….