Beach Body

Wait, what? You’re telling me that I need to start working on my summer body now? Yep. That’s exactly what we’re saying. It might seem like we have plenty of time before the beaches open up and the sun comes out, but the beginning of the year is the time when we need to do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work necessary to create that head-turning body we’re all working on.

But why should you start now? We’re all wearing coats to hide the holiday pounds and it’s cold in most of the country so it’s tough to make yourself pause season 6 of that Netflix binge and leave a nice warm house to go train. Just. One. More. Episode. And then let’s get ourselves in gear and go!

We’re about 6 months away from the 4th of July. Now, whether you just want to be comfortable in your own skin or you’re trying to reach your maximum genetic potential, getting in shape works in phases. Right now, we have plenty of time to go through a muscle growth and improvement phase, followed by a nice moderately paced cutting phase to strip away that body fat just in time for the pool parties and sun bathing. If you’re just thinking about getting started on your fitness goals for the year, it’s not too late. You’re actually right on time!

So we’re looking at planning out half of the year. Let’s talk a little about how to plan your diet and training for an event or date and then put it into practice. 


How to create a long-term training strategy:

First, you’ll want to decide on your goal and look at your starting point. These are two critical pieces to the puzzle to make sure the goal can be reasonably achieved in the given timeframe. So let’s say you want to lose 20 lbs of fat so that you have a flat stomach or abs, but you also need to build some muscle to improve your shape and add a little muscle size. You can expect to be able to lose about 3 pounds of fat per week during a cutting phase, so we know we’ll need to allot at least 8 weeks — maybe a little bit more just to be safe because we’re only human and we may not be 100% spot on every day. 

Let’s say we will give the diet down to July 4th 12 weeks, or 3 months. That gives us 3 months to build muscle. Now we can plan out our entire 6 month plan, which we’ll call a Macrocycle, and break it down into mesocycles, which are training blocks within the macrocycle, each lasting about a month.


Walk-through of a Macrocycle for a Improved and Lean July 4th Body


Mesocycle 1

Start by tracking your current food intake for a caloric baseline, and then adjust your macros so that you’re eating 1 gram of protein per lean lb of bodyweight. Then 25% fats, and the rest of your calories from carbohydrates. 

Your training program should start with the lowest possible effective volume. As a rule of thumb, you can start with 8 total sets per bodypart, per week. 


Mesocycle 2

If you aren’t gaining body fat, raise your calories up to 10%. If you are gaining a substantial amount of body fat, make sure you’re following the diet and training hard. 

Your training can increase in volume if your ability to recover is staying within a 48 hour recovery window. Increase the volume by adding a couple sets per week per body part. 


Mesocycle 3

If you aren’t gaining body fat, raise your calories up to 10%. If you are gaining a substantial amount of body fat, make sure you’re following the diet and training hard. 

Your training can increase in volume if your ability to recover is staying within a 48 hour recovery window. Increase the volume by adding a couple sets per week per body part. 


Mesocycle 4

Reduce your total caloric intake by 5% per week. Keep protein matching your lean body weight throughout the dieting phase. 

Keep volume unless recovery begins to suffer, then, reduce as minimally as possible. Complete 3 days of moderately intense cardio per week.


Mesocycle 5

Reduce your total caloric intake by 5% per week. Keep protein matching your lean body weight throughout entire dieting phase.

Keep volume unless recovery begins to suffer, then, reduce as minimally as possible. Complete 5 days of moderately intense cardio per week.


Mesocycle 6

Reduce your total caloric intake by 5% per week. Keep protein matching your lean body weight throughout entire dieting phase. Don’t drop fats below 20% of your total calories. 

Keep volume unless recovery begins to suffer, then reduce as minimally as possible. Complete 6 days of moderately intense cardio per week.


This is a very high-level, generalized guide on setting up a plan to get in shape for summer, but it gives you the basic framework, and if you take some time to figure out how to apply it to yourself, it can take you far!



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