How To Get Fit Fast For Summer19/05/2022, Sam Jessop, Consulting Personal Trainer, Viavi Health Strategy
Summer is fast approaching; the weather is getting warmer and days longer. The post covid Christmas fluff might still be holding onto your waistline but don’t despair as there is still plenty of time to get in shape for summer!
Below I’ve compiled my 5 tips on how to take control of your fitness and recovery quickly and effectively.
Have A Plan But Keep It Simple
With the world of social media, it’s never been harder to try and pick the right workout to do, with Instagram feeds of HIIT workouts mixed with Marathons there is no wonder why its tough to stick to one.
With my clients I like to take a step back and go back to basics, now seeing as we’re working on a time frame, you’ll want the most bang for your buck in each workout. Compound movements are perfect for this! Exercises that recruit as many muscle fibres as possible are key! These include squats, deadlifts, overhead press, rows, press ups and pull ups. If you have performed these movements before you will know how physically taxing they can be, creating a significant metabolic demand to help maximise muscle synthesis whilst at the same time calorie expenditure.
Creating a workout plan each week with similar exercises allows you to perfect each movement and monitor progression more effectively over time versus randomised and sporadic workouts. I suggest a training block for 8 – 12 weeks so you can reassess at the end of each cycle.
Scientific research has shown a combination of cardiovascular and resistance training as the most effective way to exercise. Using weights to build more lean muscle not only gives your body a great frame and structure, but it forces the body to burn more calories at rest to maintain that muscle tissue. Throwing in a mix of short sharp bouts of conditioning and longer slower paced cardio will help burn extra calories and improve your cardiovascular efficiency.
Train As Early As Possible
The key to getting results is consistency and with motivation ebbing and flowing throughout our day, I’ve found with clients after a long day at work and a commute the last thing they want to be doing is getting down to the gym for a tough session. Getting up early and getting a workout in before you start your day can be one of the most effective ways to make sure you stick to your goals.
You might not have the energy for a full-blown gym session first thing but even going for a fast-paced walk or run around your block will release endorphins keeping you motivated and energised throughout the day.
Getting something in everyday is better than one intense session a week. I advise my clients think of their fitness journey like an ice sculpture, with every little run or workout helping to chip away at the block of ice, and only over time and consistency does the shape of the sculpture really start to show.
Improve Your Sleep
We all know how refreshing a night of good quality sleep feels and how important it is to our recovery and mental wellbeing. Sleep is crucial for our recovery not only of our muscles, but it allows our brain to remove waste products and reset for the next day.
The quality as well as the duration of sleep is critical for optimal cognitive and physical functioning, with shorter high quality sleep periods often providing more energy and alertness than longer ones. The key therefore is to implement sleep hygiene techniques to reduce sleep onset, maximise deep and restorative sleep, and reduce the number of wake periods. Below are the 3 most important strategies to achieve this:
- No technology before bed – Technology screens emit blue light that’s very similar to the sun’s rays we see during the day. Having a cut-off point an hour before you plan to go to sleep prevents the disruption to your circadian rhythm that can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Meditating – there are many mindfulness and meditation apps around now that in the evening after a stressful day can help you unwind and relax guiding you into a deeper sleep.
- Daily Workouts – Siting in an office all day although mentally draining can hinder being able to switch off at night. Getting in a daily workout helps us guarantee that we’ll be physically tired in the evening.
Stretch, Mobilise & Get A Massage
The key to consistent results with our workouts is having an optimal recovery plan. With my clients, I put a massive emphasis on preparing and protecting the body for exercise with static and dynamic stretches in their daily routine. This helps to maintain mobility and movement quality, reducing the risk of niggling neck, shoulder and back injuries, which can bring a grinding halt to even the most avid fitness enthusiastic.
Routine massages are another key essential when it comes to recovery. The very nature of workouts and daily poor working posture result in stiff and immobile bodies that benefit from soft tissue manual therapy. This helps to reduce muscle stiffness, clear waste products and improve joint mobility, all resulting in faster recovery and reduced injury risk.
Get Out & Move More
You might be surprised to hear that only 15-20% of our overall daily calorie expenditure comes from exercise with the remainder coming from non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
To increase our NEAT and burn more calories during the day we need to consciously move more in mundane activities, here are some tips:
- Park further away from the shops – I like to encourage clients to park as far away from the supermarket as possible as this usually helps them get a few extra hundred steps in a day.
- Daily step count – Having a daily step count (not including working out) is a great way to include some low steady state cardio into our day. It doesn’t have to be a large number to begin with, aim for 3000 steps and each week increase by 1000 until you’re at 10k.
- Taking the stairs rather than the elevator – This one may sound simple but in practice can really help burn some extra calories.
Strategy and consistency are key when it comes to quick and effective improvements in physical fitness and body shape. Whilst it may be tempting to follow the latest exercise fads, creating a programme based around the core principles of human physiology and scientific research as detailed above will always provide the most successful fitness results.
If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.
|About The Author|
Sam Jessop is Viavi Health Strategy’s consulting personal trainer, helping their client base optimise all areas of physical performance. Having worked with private clients across the UK of all age ranges, Sam has honed his skills in sporting exercise performance, weight management, strength and conditioning, as well as injury rehabilitation.