In my opinion your summer workout should be brief and not interfere at all with having a blast outside. When you are young it is easy to forget that your summers are limited in number. Believe me, at some point you will realize that this is not the case. For instance, I have 25 more summers until I am a senior citizen. I am not sure how that happened, but one thing is for certain…I don’t plan on spending most of my summer in a gym. If your workouts are cutting into your time in the sun, then maybe this post will help.
[I am going on a 2 week road trip this year and a large part of it will be exploring Highway 1 and Highway 101 on the California Coast. Some of the coolest spots are located in between major destinations, which is why road trips (just about anywhere) are a blast. This picture was taken off Highway 1 in the central California Coastline.]
Would Love to Hear Readers Tips as Well
I plan on listings some strategies I have implemented over the years to maximize summer, but would love to see reader tips as well. My hope is that this will include dozens of tips to shorten the time doing structured workouts. This will be one of those posts where the comment section will become a better resource than the actual article. I just want to get things rolling, so here goes…
Tip 1: Get Your Workout Done in the Morning
If at all possible get your workout done early in the morning before work. I am not a morning person, but it is easier to get up early when you are waking up to a sunny day. I realize that some lucky people live in areas where it is sunny 365 days out of the year, but most of us live in climates where it is cold during winter and warmer in the summer time. Anyway, get the workout done so you don’t miss out on BBQ’s, picnics, boating, afternoon boating, etc. For some reason, people seem to organize a lot of last-minute activities during summer afternoons…If you are in the gym, you will be unable to join your friends.
Tip 2: Use Non-Competing Supersets In Your Workout
Craig Ballantyne is the master of this technique. This article <--- on his blog gives a full explanation along with what a workout would look like (opens in a new window). Basically a non-competing superset is alternating 2 exercises without rest in between, but these 2 exercises are working different muscle groups. This is why this is called a "Non-Competing" superset. An example would be alternating dips with barbell curls -or- military presses with calf raises. This is a way to do the same amount of work in roughly 1/2 of the time. I don’t think you want to train like this year round, but it is a perfect technique for summer. You can get the lifting portion of your workout done in 15-20 minutes if you structure this properly.
Tip 3: Skip Gym Cardio if You Are Going to Be Active Later
I would never recommend that anyone perform 2 gym workouts per day. That being said, it is actually an extremely effective way to burn body fat. In fact, a lot of actors and actresses in Hollywood do this when they need to drop weight quickly. So why don’t I recommend it? Training twice per day sounds to me like a life obsessed with training. The way to get the benefits of a daily split workout (without becoming a gym rat) is to do a brief intense gym workout in the morning and then simply do a fun outdoor activity in the afternoon.
[I like to use Matthew McConaughey's workout approach when summer hits. Here is his quote about exercising..."I think the body is a beautiful thing, and you should take care of it. Whether it’s going for a run, dancing or loving, my rule is break one sweat a day."]
Tip 4: “Break One Sweat a Day”
Matthew McConaughey’s rule is a great one to follow for summer. Just really try and do some type of activity that works up a good sweat, each and every day during summer. Whether that is playing tennis, jogging, ultimate frisbee, HIIT, basketball, etc…you are on the right track. Try your best to get in some brief resistance training 3-4 times per week (in the morning) and you will be good. If you can do something that makes you break one sweat a day you will be able to maintain low body fat without having to worry as much about structured HIIT. Just throw in the occasional HIIT after lifting on days where you have more time.
Tip 5: Track Weekly Calories NOT Daily Calories
I’ve talked about this in my newsletter (to people who have downloaded my free report). The idea is to not worry about how many calories you eat day to day, just try to insure that your total weekly calories aren’t way too high. So for instance if you eat 3,000-4,000 calories per day on a weekend camping, simply eat quite a bit less the following 2-3 days. When I say “track” calories, I don’t mean calorie count either (I never do that). Just eat quite a bit less early in the week and on days where there aren’t social events happening. It doesn’t hurt to have 2-3 low calorie days right after a couple of high calorie days (in fact it works pretty well in helping you stay lean).
Enjoy Life – Please Don’t Live in the Gym
I like working out, but if I could go back in time I would have trained a little less in my 20′s during the summer. I wasn’t a gym rat or anything, but I think my workouts were close to 90 minutes 4-5 times per week. I think I was worried that I would lose strength or muscle if I didn’t do a certain amount of training. Don’t make this mistake. If it is sunny and you have the day off, you shouldn’t even be allowed to be inside of a gym past 10:00AM. Put on some shorts, flip flops, grab your beach towel, call up some friends and live a little!
Note: Do you guys spend less time in the gym during summer. Please comment and give out any other strategies or suggestions below. I can’t wait for summer. Also…I know this site has a lot of loyal readers in OZ and this post won’t apply to them for another 6 months. Maybe I will put out another summer post for you guys in December