So…did you make it? Was this the year you promised yourself your best body ever and it came true?
What am I talking about? Well, be it January’s New Year’s resolutions or the first crack of nice weather we had in April that made you realize summer was just around the corner…either way you set yourself a goal to look, perform or be a certain way by this time of year (~mid July).
So I ask again: did you make it?
The truth is that it doesn’t matter. You either did or didn’t. If you did, kudos, it must have taken some serious work and sacrifice and I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey thus far! If not, don’t beat yourself up about it. Consistency is key, get to doing that more than anything else. This going hard for 3 weeks and taking the next month schlepping it is bunk; it ain’t working.
But let’s look forward.
Life has a lot of patterns to offer. They are like sign posts that tell you what’s likely to happen if you continue on the path you’re on.
In the gym world, the aesthetic vs. life game I know August is a very important month. And I offer the best piece of advice I can after 6 years of watching this happen:
DON’T GET FLUFFY IN AUGUST!
It’s patio season. Barbeques. Family vacation. The calm before the September storm when kids go back school, your boss at work looks at your mid-third quarter and freaks out their yearend projections are off target, traffic gets extremely mental again and generally speaking life just gets busy. September is EXACTLY like January in the training/gym world. And I know that best intentions of getting right back on the horse come September 1st are just never going to happen. It’s more like the third week in September you’ll get your life in order.
So again: DON’T GET FLUFFY IN AUGUST!
If you gain 5lbs of fat in August it’s going to be the end of October before it comes off. So while I understand your plight during August and its call to live life, I VERY highly suggest you plot out some damage control for the weddings, parties, poolside adventures and trips to Vegas you have written on your calendar.
Let’s talk damage control:
Keep up with your workouts. I say this all the time: we are our own best dumbbell. Any excuse to not workout other than physical illness or serious family situations is quite simply a cop out. Have you not seen the infamous ass-in-the-air YouTube videos of Bodyrock.tv?
Have you not been introduced to a kettlebell? I have a bunch of YouTube videos for zero equipment, pressed for time situations such as being stuck at home or in a hotel or at a campground. Here, Here, And Here
Worst case scenario ask your trainer to step up their game and add in that element of damage control if you know you have dietary stuff coming up that will affect your weight loss/gain. We dig a challenge.
Other methods of damage control:
Fasting – read about that here
Cardio – pick higher intensity methods and perform them 2-4 times a week. I give tons of options here which include as little a time commitment as 4 minutes!
The last one is a trick I use often in times like this (and December): focus on strength training. Break down some serious muscle in the gym. Forget the making-a-smaller carrot/apple/pear shape programs you’ve been doing up to this point.
You either made your July body or you didn’t. Let’s focus on the future. So, why strength training?
Think about this: If I make you do my leg workout which today consisted of 13 sets of 3 reps of front squat followed by 8 sets of 3 reps of sumo deadlift followed by a finisher of 95lb barbell parking lot lunges (194m parking lot which equates to 180-190 lunges) are you going to be sore, broken down and walking funny for a few days? I invited a friend out today to do it so I’ll let him comment on that when he crawls out of bed 4 days from now.
What do you think your body is doing with calories the following days when you’re that broken down?
You’re building. This most likely means that the calories you take in are going towards repair, regeneration and building of new muscle. That’s a costly process. So the calories, even if slightly excess will LESS LIKELY end up as a muffin top. This is not an excuse to eat like shit and get away with it. It’s just a mindful approach to life vs. training/aesthetic goals.
I know I’ve repeated myself a whole bunch in this blog. I intended to do that. Because this needs to be beaten into the mind:
DON’T GET FLUFFY IN AUGUST!