Summer is winding down, but the weather shows no sign of cooling. If you're anything like us, you're starting to dream of sweater weather, pumpkin spice, and cozying up in front of a fireplace. It's easy to let yourself go—you start to work out a little less and eat a little bit more, and suddenly it's New Year's and you're resolving to get back in shape. Use these tips to stay swimsuit ready even as the weather calls for sweaters instead and skip the usual weight-gain cycle.
1. Find an accountability buddy. The right training partner is almost as hard to find as the right spouse. You need someone motivated, relentless, ambitious, and with similar goals as you. It might take a while, but when you find them, you can keep each other on track all autumn long. It's more cost-effective to hang out with a cool, fit friend than to book extra sessions with your trainer, but if that's your choice, go for it! You want someone who will push you to do better, but if you're Jiminy Cricket, you don't want Donkey Kong dragging you along and making you frustrated—and vice versa!
2. Set goals with deadlines. It's not enough to simply set goals when faced with the dreary winter days ahead, because then they can be pushed back. A better way is to set specific goals with dates during the year to stay on track. The best ones are concrete and perhaps cost a little money—for extra motivation. We love registering ahead of time for photoshoots, contests, and races as motivation to keep ourselves svelte and shredded all winter long. This fun, healthy competition will give you a reason to keep going to the gym, celebrate your abilities, and keep improving.
3. Fuel your success with the right foods. Eat the right foods that make it easy to hit your macro goals. We love a Promax bar in the morning with a cup of oats, a teaspoon of nut butter, and some cinnamon to fuel a kick-butt cardio routine and bolster concentration throughout the day. You should also accurately keep track of what and how much you're putting in your body. It's easy to get a little sloppy in the colder months, but staying shredded is simple math: calories in minus calories out. If you're just guessing how many pats of butter you put on your wheat toast, it's going to be really easy to underestimate your macros and have too much fat.
4. Lift heavy. In this case, “heavy” means challenging weights in the 5-8 range. When you lift, you should be doing something challenging enough that you couldn't maintain it much longer than you already do. This is one of the easiest ways to bust plateaus, continually improve, and stay motivated in the gym.
5. Identify specific healthy habits. Look at behaviors you do during summer that help you stay in shape. Be specific about these things and find similar ones for the winter. For example, if you spend summer eating mangos instead of ice cream and swim laps every day, try finding seasonal winter fruits and an indoor pool to keep up your momentum. When you don't feel like going to the gym, examine your reasons and stop making excuses. Are you really tired? Or are you being lazy? If you're exhausted, take the day off. If you're bored, find a new routine like joining a sport or downloading a new fitness app. If you're being lazy, get your butt to the gym.
For more information about how to make the most of your workouts and maintain your summer shred, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.