Summer really isn’t that far away, and whether we get a few heat-waves this year or not, most of us have at least one holiday we’re hoping to look good on the beach for. Here’s seven easy swaps you can make to get the stomach you desire…
Swap your usual 3 or 4 sets of 10-12 reps with this traditional shredding technique; even just for machine/cable exercises (which is markedly easier).
Start on the highest weight that you can lift, even if it’s just one rep. With no rest, immediately drop down to the next weight, and do as many reps as you can manage. With no rest, drop to the next weight and repeat. Repeat until you’re on the lightest/near lightest weight, then you’re done.
Cardio for HIIT Training
We’re gonna keep it real; cardio is bullshit. Does it keep you trim? Sure. But is it the most efficient form of aerobic activity to lose weight? No ma’am. Not now that fitness experts have discovered that just 20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is just as, if not more beneficial – than running on a treadmill for an hour.
HIIT workouts require no equipment and can be done anywhere with the right amount of space – so no excuses! HIIT workouts usually take a Tabatta (on/off) format, which means 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest.
It’s full of all the things you hate such as burpees, squat jumps, wall sits, and planking… But it WORKS. Type HIIT into Google images or YouTube for quick workouts you can perform at home. Depending on how much shredding you’ve got to do, you should be aiming for 1 – 3 HIIT sessions a week.
Rests for Active Rests
Instead of just sitting around inbetween sets, get up and move around; jog on the spot, or boxer shuffle even for half of the rest, with your body that extra push to get a maximum calorie burn.
The Salad Swap
The jury never really agrees on the diet approach to shredding; some suggest ditching the carbs altogether, but if you’re still training 3+ times a week, you’re going to get lethargic. We recommend keeping the content of your bulking diet (which should be mostly protein, carbs and fat) relatively similar, but eating meals with carbs before and after the gym.
In the evening, instead of having a fully-balanced meal, drop the carbs and stock up on a salad/greens to fill you up. This will help ensure a gradual weight loss; dropping the pounds too quickly will also obliterate muscle gain.
Just Eat for Deliveroo
We’re all gonna wind up with junk food in our mouths at some point; that goes without saying. While when it comes to cheat meals, you should let yourself eat whatever you want, there are situations – especially if you’ve been training your palette to eat cleaner – when you’re not dying for a cardiac arrest in a pizza box.
If you afford the upgrade, order your treats from restaurants, not fast food joints; choosing real food over processed is always better for your body, and helps it adapt to dismissing high-sugar/fat cravings. Order Nandos instead of Morley’s. Or Byron instead of Burger King.
Cheat days for cheat meals
It’s very easy to get caught up in the idea of having a day off. But if you really want that definition, you’re gonna have to keep a lid on how much you spoil yourself. Fitness experts suggests that if you’ve been putting in the work at the gym but aren’t seeing the desired results, it could be due to having cheat days, instead of just one meal. And we know how easy that is to do when you wake and bake! Try to maintain a healthy breakfast and lunch before rewarding your hard work.
Milk to Almond/Soy milk
Firstly, cows milk is allowed to have up 17% of puss and blood from the cow’s udders by UK standards. Gross. Not to mention the cows are treated awfully. Anyway, almond milk isn’t as sweet in its taste, but you get used to it! And if the thought of putting that into your body doesn’t change your mind, maybe this is one swap you’ll have to skip.
Bonus Swap: Tea to Green tea
We’re really partial to a warm cuppa – sometimes there’s nothing better. But if you’re consuming five or more cups a day, it can start to creep on to your waistline, especially if you take milk and/or sugar. (And let’s face it, tea is shit without both of them). Don’t get it twisted, green tea is nowhere near as satisfying, but it’s full of antioxidants, and doesn’t add anything to your calorie intake.