Summer form - how to make it efficiently?

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One of you will probably read the title with indulgence - it's not until March! It does not matter, radical changes in the figure require several dozen weeks of hard work - for some it may even turn out that the months remaining until the holiday season are not enough for our summer form to be satisfactory.

Purpose - form for the summer!

The first step before starting work on your body shape is to honestly answer the following questions:

  • What form am I in?

  • What is my goal?

  • Can I consistently stick to the assumptions?

  • Have I exercised regularly before?

Consider questions one and two that are closely related. You have to think about whether you want to build muscle mass or burn fat. Don't fall for ads for miracle techniques and supplements screaming about doing these two difficult things at once - it's physically impossible. It is worth noting, however, that in the case of people who have not been trained for some time, such things can happen - this is the so-called novice effect. Also think about dividing the remaining months to summer into two periods - mass building and fat reduction.

Building the mass - truths and myths

In striving to achieve your dream figure, three elements are the most important - diet, training and regeneration. Let us start discussing the first one - composing a good menu. As a general rule, in order to grow, you need to eat more calories than you need per day. You mustn't look at standardized caloric values ​​on product packages or in colorful magazines - everyone is different, so using standardized numbers is totally pointless. The demand is calculated according to a simple formula:

For men: weight times 24 (number of hours) times the activity coefficient (1.0 - no exercise, 1.1 - sedentary work, etc.). For women, the result must be multiplied by a factor of 0.9.

The caloric surplus, by means of which you can achieve progress in building muscle, is - depending on the metabolism - from 200 kcal upwards. Not only the energy value of the meals is important, but also their composition. There are three basic ingredients - protein, carbohydrates and fat. For physically active people, approximately 1.8-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended. As for the rest of the ingredients - their selection depends on the chosen dietary strategy. There are many of them, but for a beginner who wants to build some muscle, you can safely recommend the classic, i.e. a balanced diet.

We have already determined the protein supply, then the amount of carbohydrates must be determined. If you have a tendency to put on weight, don't put a lot of them in your diet - 150-250 grams should be enough. People with a fast metabolism can and even have to add more of them - up to 500 grams. All the rest of the caloric requirement calculated earlier goes to fats.

Now it is necessary to mention good food, i.e. where to get all these nutrients.

Protein sources:

  • Meat - mainly lean poultry. Then beef and pork.

  • Eggs - they have the best protein composition for humans.

  • Dairy products - mainly lean yoghurts, white cheeses and kefirs. Milk should be avoided.

  • Vegetables - a lot of protein can be found in legumes, but it is not as valuable as animals.

  • Protein supplements.

Carbohydrate sources:

  • Rice - Any type, although brown is usually recommended. Also in the form of wafers.

  • Groats - millet seems the healthiest, buckwheat and others are also recommended.

  • Potatoes - contrary to appearances, they are not so bad.

  • Bread - rather should be avoided, but if anything - preferably rye flour.

  • Carbohydrate supplements.

Fat sources:

  • Extra virgin olive oil.

  • Various types of vegetable oils - definitely not animal ones.

  • Nuts - walnuts, hazelnuts.

  • Oily fish - such as salmon or mackerel.

Mass building training

There are really many training approaches. Before you choose any of them, however, as a beginner, you need to start with the boot exercises. For those who start their adventure with the gym, circuit training is recommended - during one session, the whole body is exercised, moving to other machines or weights. You should practice this way for about 3-4 weeks, then it's time for normal training. These kinds of ready-made plans are easy to find online, so we won't discuss them here, but focus on the most common mistakes. Here they are:

  • No defined plan - before starting any exercises, you should always have a schedule ready, as well as a weight list. Plans need to be changed approximately every 8-10 weeks, and between them it is worth giving yourself at least a week of rest.

  • Throwing yourself into deep water - when you start training, it is not worth lifting the heaviest weights - it's a shot in the knee. The load should be graded so that there is no muscle collapse in each series - that is, a situation in which the strength ends and it is impossible to do another repetition.

  • Fatal Technique - Nothing is more counter-productive than wrong exercise routine. Before you go to the gym, you should spend some time reading exercise atlases available online and watching YouTube video tutorials.

  • Focusing on machines - Do most of your exercises with free weights, such as dumbbells and barbells. Use machines rarely as they are not good for muscle development.

  • Too Much Training Volume - If you have no idea of ​​making plans, you are likely to make them wrong. The most common mistake is to overload, plan too many exercises and repetitions. Remember - you won't gain more muscle if you do 10 more sets than the average person in the gym. Use ready-made plans from good sources.

  • No exercises for the legs - you need to exercise your legs and there is nothing more to discuss here.

  • Over-attachment to results - a strong psyche is very important in the gym. By focusing on continual improvements in strength and weight results, you can burn yourself out like a professional athlete before a competition. Sometimes it's worth it to chill out.

  • Emphasis on isolated exercises - these are exercises during which individual muscle groups are stimulated - e.g. only the biceps. Isolation is good at the end of a training session. The main emphasis should be on compound exercises - deadlifts, squats, barbell presses, etc.

Slimming - how is it?

Now let's deal with what the goal of most beginners and what the summer form is associated with - weight loss. There are many harmful myths around this activity that are worth debunking. We have already said a lot about nutrition - in fact, you only need to add that in the case of weight loss, you should simply subtract something from the caloric requirement. Preferably gradually - in the first week, 100 kcal, then 200, 300 - up to 500 kcal in the minus. It is also worth considering adopting one of the known and commonly used dietary strategies. Many people recommend the so-called low carb diet, i.e. based primarily on carbohydrate reduction, increasing the supply of protein and fats. It is also worth introducing more products containing fiber into the diet.

As for the myths already mentioned, here are the most popular ones:

  • Not eating after 6 PM - it's actually hard to say who and why came up with such a recommendation. Should a person who works the night shift and goes to bed at 5 a.m. not eat at all, then? This principle is simply unreasonable and does not find support in research.

  • Miracle diets and fasts - do not be fooled by advertisements or articles in unambitious colorful magazines. Reaching for a diet in which, for example, half of the daily requirement is consumed, is firstly ineffective, and secondly, it can lead to various health problems - from anemia to diabetes.

  • Monodiet - eating only one product (e.g. potatoes) recommended in the women's press can lead to drastic vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.

Weight reduction - training

Let us now turn to the issue of exercise, which, unfortunately, has also grown up with many false beliefs. You have to point it out once and for all: when losing weight, training may and should look the same as when training muscle mass. Exercising with large, free weights will allow you to maintain strength and muscles, which are very prone to catabolism, i.e. destruction, with a restrictive diet. In addition, many scientific studies have proven that the methods of fat tissue promoted by the fitness industry are not effective at all and can even be harmful. Instead of walking on the treadmill, it's better to choose interval training. It is scheduled for short (5-20 minutes) and intensive sessions - e.g. running - during which a lot of effort is applied alternately. An example of interval training is sprint interspersed with jogging. All stationary bicycles and orbiters should be avoided like fire, because - in the light of many scientific analyzes - it is a waste of time. It is worth taking a look at the training strategies available on the Internet, containing various approaches to fat burning, created by professional bodybuilding trainers.

Another myth worth dealing with is the issue of abdominal training. For many, a nicely muscular stomach is the most important sign that summer fitness is satisfactory. You have to remember that the mere exercise of this part of the body will not achieve the "radiator" effect. You can build strong muscles, but what if they are covered with a thick layer of fat? There is no such thing as local fat burning, so you need to focus on a good diet. We advise against using the popular training known as Aerobic Weider Six - daily abdominal tormenting is counterproductive, and may also result in severe back pain. It is worth exercising these muscles like any other - with a load, once or twice a week.

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