With the weather picking up, birds chirping, and smell of fresh cut grass in the air, we all know summer is just around the corner. As summer picks up, a lot of people have goals of leaning out, and getting rid of that extra “layer” they had on them for the winter. Well, this can be a daunting task and I’m here to help.
Here are 5 ways to get lean, and get the body you have always wanted!
1. 100 grams or less: I have mentioned, and recommended this to a lot of my clients, and follow it personally. It is a simple, yet so effective guideline to follow to lean out quick. There is one rule, and one rule only. You are not allowed to consume more then 100 grams of carbohydrates each day. I first learned of this amazing guideline back a few years ago from Dr. Mike Roussell , founder of Naked Nutrition. You can read more about the 100 gram carb by going to an article he wrote here: One Hundred Gram Carb Cure
2. Ma! Where’s the protein?: As important as low carbohydrate intake is important when trying to lean out, assuring you consume enough protein is just as vital. I always suggest at least a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, each day. Meaning if you weight 200lbs, that is 200 grams of protein each and every day. Now, for someone more active, an advanced athlete, they may want to lean toward that 1.3-1.5 range, every day. Protein is the building block of muscle, aiding in growth, repair, and maintenance. If you are not getting in enough protein your muscles will not recover, nor repair, and you will actuallly see your results decline.
3. Shorten your rest periods: How often do you see people in the gym do a set, then grab a drink? They then will proceed to grab another one, check their biceps in the mirror, hit on the girl at the leg extension machine, and talk to their bro about plans for this weekend. And they wonder why they are not seeing results? In order to see results and stay conditioned proper rest periods must be maintained. How do we determine rest periods? Well, it is a bit more complicated, but here is a general guideline:
12+ Reps: 30 Seconds
8-12 Reps: 45 Seconds
3-6 Reps: 90 Seconds
1-2 Reps: 3-5 Minutes
4. Get outside, move: Awesome, great, you work with a personal trainer twice a week. What do you do with the other 166 hours in the week? I can’t stress the importance of getting outside, and moving. Whether that is taking the dogs for a walk, taking a stroll on the beach, or taking the bike down the Eastern Trail. This activity is only going to help you, and will only benefit your other workouts. It’s all great that you are working out twice a week, but are you busting you butt each and every time? Even if you are, are you just being a coach potato the other five days? What you do the other 166 hours of the week is what will determine your results. Are you getting 6-8 hours of sleep? Do you have proper nutrition (see above)? If those two are on point, exercising is the easiest part. Get off the couch, go for a walk with the kids, head to the mall and do some window shopping. These things you do outside the gym are going to put you over the edge, and get the results you have always been looking for.
5. Rest Up: Yeah, I know I just told you to get up and move. That still holds true, however in today’s society, it has never been so important to get proper sleep at night. I want you to be active, do something, each and every day. However, you should still save some time to rest your head at night. I myself find it hard, but it makes a drastic difference in your results. If you are not getting enough sleep, your body will not repair and recover, thus effecting your daily activities, and of course your workout. As I constantly remind myself, take some time to yourself. Put the phone away, shut off your iPad, and unplug the computer. The world will still go on, your Facebook friends will still be there, and that e-mail can wait until the morning. I can’t stress the importance of getting a solid 6-8 hours of constant sleep, each and every day. Does it burn calories to help you lean out? No, but indirectly it does, because your sleep patterns are going to change how you go about your daily activities.
This isn’t a rocket science blog post. I could go into a lot more detail, go into the scientific approach of how a carbohydrate is broken down, how protein synthesis occurs, calorie expenditure, and REM. However, too many people read into things too much, end up neglecting the basics, and get nowhere. Stick with a solid nutrition plan, low carbohydrates, high protein, get 8 hours of sleep every night, and bust your tail in and out of the gym. The results will happen, and you will be showing off those abs in no time!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please leave a comment below.
Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!
Yours In Health & Fitness,
Doug Spurling, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Spurling Training Systems, LLC
Kennebunk, ME 04043