This article has been written for the benefit of anyone who needs a reality check with their current health and fitness goals- especially a summer body. It will be enlightening, entertaining, possibly educational, and most importantly, it will help you discover that no matter how thin, there’s always a silver lining.
Is it too late to get my summer body ready? Well, dear reader, I suppose that mostly depends on where you’re at with your current body composition, and also what your summer body goals are. But yeah…chances are it is too late for a summer body. That being said, if your goal is a happy, healthy, and sustainable body (which is the better option), then I got you covered.
Stick around and I’ll provide you with some excellent tips to attain the summer body 2020 has tried to steal from you.
The Subjective Summer Body
The great thing about fitness goals as ambiguous as attaining your summer body is that the term “summer body” is totally subjective. Whether you have a summer body or not is totally up to you! Try this practice with me. Go to your mirror, look in the reflection, tell that reflection; “It’s summer, and you are my body, and as such I have achieved getting my summer body. I love you summer body, for being where you are at, for all you do for me, and for what we have achieved (and what we will achieve.”
These are called positive affirmations. Give them a try. They mostly work.
Reticular Activation: Reason Behind Mind-Over-Matter
This is due to a particularly interesting neural phenomenon known as reticular activation. The best way to explain reticular activation is via metaphor: unless your childhood was devoid of siblings you have more likely than not played the game Slugbug. It’s where two kids who are sick of sitting in a car and can’t ask their parents “are we there yet” another time or their father will “Turn this damn car around.” So, they find another way to entertain themselves — and release pent up aggression.
The mechanics of the game are really quite simple. Anytime you would see a Volkswagen Beetle you would call out Slugbug! followed by its color. At which point you could slug (haymaker) your sibling.
Now, here’s what’s interesting; prior to initiating the game, neither sibling would have noticed any Beetles, but the moment the game started, suddenly these cars were popping up everywhere. It sounds like magic, right? Like the cosmos have aligned solely to support a sibling rivalry fueled game. But that’s not actually what occurred. The increased appearances of the Bugs is due to, you guessed it, reticular activation.
That’s how positive affirmations work. You tell yourself something is true enough times then you’re able to start seeing those qualities (or flaws) become more readily apparent in your everyday life. Not just in how you view yourself, but in how others view you. It can even work toward shaping your results, both negatively and positively.
Think about it, how many people have you known in your life who constantly tell themselves they can’t gain muscle, can’t burn fat, et cetera? Or who have been told such things from their friends and families during the majority of their life. This sort of internal (or external) feedback works on a loop. We (the self) hear the stories, our subconscious registers them, stores them, and cycles through them. We are literally prisoners of the stories we tell ourselves.
This sounds bad, but good news. You are in control of what you tell yourself, and unless you’re a minority living in America, you’re even in control of what others in society tell you. You can tell yourself that your summer body is well on its way, that everything you do is correct, and that no pandemic will keep you from making sweet, sweet gainz — or shreds. Anyone who disagrees with you, well, you don’t need that negative energy in your life.
Sure, you might not believe yourself right away, but trust me, in time, you will. And the results will follow. I have experienced this firsthand. I used to be the person who always complained about biceps attachment and that his arms wouldn’t grow. Surprise. They didn’t. I have no idea when, but at some point I started telling myself that I have no genetic limitations and I can make any muscle group grow. Here’s where it gets crazy. Without any illegal supplementation, and even without the gem supplement All Bulk No Bloat, I grew my arms an inch. In 12 months. I didn’t do anything different. I simply changed my beliefs about what was possible, and suddenly, the heavens opened up, the god of gainz shined her glorious light, and bestowed upon me the gainz I once had thought impossible.
Turns out the Secret, and the Law of Attraction were (sort of but only to a very small degree) based on actual science.
Okay, so now that you know how reticular activation works and how you can really control your own definition of “summer body,” let’s look at how to attain a happy, sustainable, and (of course) aesthetic physique.
Basics for Success
Trust the process. A phrase that’s undoubtedly popped up in your feed on more than one occasion, especially if you follow fitness competitors. Although there are issues with the phrase, (including but not limited to it’s hackneyed, and beyond ambiguous), it can be useful. Just so long as you personalize it to; “Trust your process, trust your instincts.”
Educate yourself on the foundations of fat loss, health, athleticism, and muscle building, then follow such tips one at a time to find what you feel works best for you and your body. And when you’re in doubt, go back to the basics.
- Hard Work
- Clean living
- The 80:20 Rule
- Proper Supplementation
Knowledge is power, as well as strength, hypertrophy, and fat loss
Set your routine. You can find several on our blog, as well as countless other sites, often for free. Whether your goals are improved athleticism, fat loss, or building lean muscle mass doesn’t really matter. This is the Age of Information (and sometimes misinformation), and as such there’s no shortage of highly effective workout routines out there. I won’t go into too much detail on any single one since each could probably have their own article, but here are a few I’ve found work really well.
- Old School Bodybuilding — Arnold Style
- Monday: Chest/Back
- Tuesday: Legs
- Wednesday: Shoulders/Arms
- Then repeat the three day split, and rest on Sundays
- Old School Bodybuilding — Serge Nubret Style
- Monday: Chest/Quads/Abdominals
- Tuesday: Back/Hamstrings/Abdominals
- Wednesday: Shoulders/Arms/Calves
- Repeat three days split and rest on Sundays
- Upper-Lower Split
- Mondays and Fridays upper body
- Wednesdays and Saturdays lower body
- Cardio or rest on the other days
- High Intensity Workouts
- Check out works from classics like Mike Mentzer and Arthur Jones
- Throw in some HIIT (high intensity interval training cardio) on non-lifting days
- New school routines
- Doggcrapp Training
- FST-7 (Fascia Stretch Training 7)
- HST (Hypertrophy Specific Training)
Diet is not much different. Keto can be efficient. IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is great for many people, especially social butterflies who find themselves going out to eat often. Intermittent Fasting is fantastic. Plant based diets have their merit. Traditional chicken, rice, and broccoli are tried, tested, and true.
Hard Work = GAINZ
Will Smith once said, “I never viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working.”
Now, when it comes to the normal person, especially if your goals are in fitness, then you need to rest as hard as you work, but aside from that, work ethic is of critical importance. It is one of the most common traits among athletes, anyone at the top of their game, or really any person seeking a physique they can be truly proud of. It comes even before workout plans. No matter how perfect your plan is, if you don’t work hard, that plan will fail you.
To put it simply, hard work over, well, pretty much everything.
Clean Living For Fat Loss and Building Muscle:
It’s summer. Even with a pandemic at our doorsteps, curving upward like a soundwave frequencies, we have boundless BBQs, White Claws everywhere, boating trips, and social events — with masks. It’s easy to fall short of the whole “clean living thing.” We’re all human. Unless you’re prepping for a competition, avoiding all fun food and drink is a little too rigid for my liking. Nonetheless, it’s no secret that certain substances will hinder your results, and are best avoided. If you’re anything like me though, totally avoiding anything sounds like a nightmare. Instead, practice being conscientious about your choices.
- Eat less sugar, and if you do intake sugar, try to time it around your workouts
- If taken before a workout, simple carbs can be some quick energy
- Muscle glycogen absorption increases by around 35% post-workout, so this can also be a good time to bend the rules
- As far as alcohol consumption goes…be smart. There’s very few substances that’ll hinder your gainz like alcohol. It’s empty calories, you know that. It can also damage metabolism, decrease protein synthesis, and those are only some of the fitness related adverse effects.
- Weed: It’s legal in enough states that I might as well address it. While it won’t directly affect results and has been shown to have some major health benefits (CBD especially), those “munchies” can really mess up goals. My advice: should you partake, lock up sweets and unhealthy snacks in a time-safe. And uninstall Grubhub.
Consistency: The 80-20 Rule
The problem I’ve found most people experience is staying consistent. This is often caused by being extremely rigid and never letting up on the throttle. Think of it like redlining on a vehicle. It’s harder on the vehicle and not quite as fuel efficient. There are times for “sprints” of course, but there’s value in the statement “fitness is a marathon.”
Consistency is key. It’s okay to take a rest day, or an active recovery day, and it’s fine to give yourself a free day or at least a free meal. The key to building a lean, muscular, and optimally performing physique for the long term as opposed to just for a weekend at the lake is the 80-20 rule.
Eat clean and healthy foods 80% of the time, and allow yourself to indulge 20% of the time. This can be as simple as eating well throughout the day and splurging on a single serving of ice cream at night or having one or two free meals a week. The same goes for working out. Give it your all 80% of the time, but allow yourself some low-productivity workouts (to go back to reticular activation, tell yourself these days and meals will benefit you in the long run).
Summer Body Supplementation
Good news: Due to climate change it’ll probably be summer for quite a while longer. So go out and thank the big gasoline companies, pesticide usage, the aliens, Monsanto, soda companies, murder hornets, your neighbor who drives that truck (which gets an astounding 7mpg), and all the other amazing facilities of the world leading to a future where summer is year round! On the off chance summer does end when it’s supposed to, here are some supplements that’ll help accelerate your progress, and more importantly, improve your overall health.
- RACKED Branched Chain Amino Acids: The pinnacle of muscle recovery and fat loss when combined with exercise,* RACKED delivers instantized branched chain amino acids for delayed muscle fatigue,* increased protein synthesis,* and optimal recovery.* RACKED also boasts clinical doses of Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine. These compounds play several roles in the body, including shuttling fatty acids into the cell to be burned for energy — meaning greater fat loss when combined with exercise.* To finish the formula off, we added electrolytes for hydration as well as GBB (Gamma-butyrobetane HCL), which acts as a sweat amplifier.*
- HEAT Fat Burner: The ultimate fat burners, HEAT is unique for several reasons. To start, it doesn’t rely solely on stimulants to make you feel like you’re burning fat — when in actuality you’re just burning out your adrenal glands.* The stimulants are gentle and help mood and motivation without causing jitters.* HEAT can increase thermogenesis,* promote healthy metabolism,* and help curb cravings.*
- STAG/DOE Multivitamin: Because, well, duh. You do want to remain healthy, right? but seriously, no matter what your goals are, if you don’t take care of your foundation then your building will eventually collapse. STAG (or DOE, for the ladies) is the solid foundation you need to build off of.
- Deer Antler Spray: This esoteric supplement sounds like snake oil, but it’s very different. For one, it’s extracted from deer antler velvet. Also, it works. Rich in a powerful growth [redacted] [redacted] (Legal won’t let me use any of the following words because the Thought Police [i.e. google] gets angry about it), Deer Antler Velvet Extract could help muscles recover as well as maximize athletic performance.*
- Any Bucked Up Pre-Workout: The Goldilocks (just right), Bucked Up, Non-Stimulant Bucked Up, BAMF Nootropic Pre-workout, the stim master WOKE AF, or a detoxification promoting pre-workout from our BLACK Series. You can’t go wrong with any of these epic pre-workouts.
STACK Your GAINZ
Lucky for you, we already put all these epic supplements into our Healthy Weight Loss Stack. It is cheat codes for achieving your goals as well as for your wallet, since our stacks provide all the quality you’ve come to expect from us at a massive discount — to a point of generosity that leans toward insanity.