Posted by personaltrainersscottsdale.com | Posted in Fitness, Health & Wellness | Posted on 03-06-2010
Tags: beach body, body sculpting, build muscle, burn fat
In the first part of this blog (you can find part 1 HERE) I mentioned a few things that you can do to start to change your body for the better in as little as six days. Six days is probably too little time to build any significant muscle to tone your body if you are a gal or to bulk up or get more definition if you are a guy. Keep in mind though that the goal here is to maintain (if not build a little) muscle mass while burning body fat. Both of these things are equally important when it comes to changing your overall body shape.
You can find Part 1 of How to Get your Body Beach-Ready in Six Days here. Read that post first if you get a chance. The first five tips are just as important if not more so than the next five I’m going to list here. Also remember that while these tips can help you improve your body in as little as six days, the greatest improvements will come from sticking with these habits and maintaining consistency with all of your healthy habits over the long haul.
Without further a dieu here are steps six through ten:
6. Fasted Cardio is the Answer.
I’m sure you knew I was going to say something about cardio in this post. It had to be mentioned, right? Unfortunately for those of you who don’t like working up a sweat and would rather just follow a strict diet to lose weight, you’re out of luck here. When it comes to burning body fat, cardio is key. And while you can definitely lose weight and burn body fat with moderate training and strict dieting, when you have a deadline to meet (six days) you need to get your body to burn fat like a furnace. What’s more is that you want your body to use fat as an energy source when you are doing your cardio here – not muscle. That’s where the fasted cardio comes in. Fasted cardio is basically just what it sounds like. It involves doing any sort of cardiovascular activity while you are in a fasted state. The easiest and most obvious time to do this type of training is in the morning. That’s because while sleeping you have been fasting all night. So when you wake up, that’s when you hit the treadmill, the trail or whatever it is that will get your heart rate up and get you sweating. Again, the idea is to not eat anything before you do this. That way your body will have to use stored fat as an energy source, resulting in you losing weight in the form of body fat. My recommendation would be to do any type of steady state cardio that you would like as long as it is relatively low intensity (low intensity means more body fat burned and more muscle spared) and is 20 to 40 minutes in duration.
7. Add in Almonds.
If you aren’t already eating almonds every day, you should be. Not only are they good for your heart and skin, they can actually help you burn body fat! A lot of people get confused when they hear this since almonds are mostly fat and protein, but it’s true. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats – which help with fat metabolism. There has been plenty of research done lately on this subject. One recent study showed that when comparing two groups of people who were dieting to lose weight, the group that added almonds to their diet – but kept everything else the same – lost more weight.
8. Go easy on the Salt.
Limiting sodium consumption is a big technique used by bodybuilders looking to make their muscles look more defined by depleting water from their bodies. This approach can work, but often times it’s more trouble than it’s worth(especially if you’re not a bodybuilder) The first problem with this technique is that it can be a little complicated for the average person, especially if they’re not particularly motivated to make huge changes to their diet. The second problem is that when you limit or “deplete” sodium to prevent the body from retaining water, it actually undergoes certain hormonal changes to make up for the fact that you are taking all of the sodium out of your diet. The result? You can actually end up retaining more water and look more bloated than you did in the first place. The solution here is to simply try to slightly reduce your sodium intake. In other words, take in fewer sodium rich foods, but don’t actually fully deplete sodium. All this means is for most people is that you should cut down on the processed food and drinks that you consume -this includes eating out. Paying attention to labels when you can find them is the sure way to go.
9. Two-a-days deliver.
When it comes to getting in great shape in a short amount of time, you can’t rest or take it easy. There isn’t time to spare. And since time isn’t on your side in this case, the idea is to squeeze in as many workouts as you can during the short one week period. The reason for this is four fold: The first reason is that every time you are working out (especially when you hit the weights) you are increasing your myogenic tone (refer to part one of this post). That means your muscles look better than if you weren’t working out. Reason number two is that you want to build or at least maintain every ounce of muscle possible over the six week jaunt. Weight training, of course, is essential for that purpose. The third and fourth reasons are that you need to both get the benefit of burning calories while you are working out (and two workouts per day burn more calories than one) and you also need to reap the residual rewards of a workouts: the increase in your metabolic rate that the workout causes throughout the rest of the day. This means the body burns more fat throughout the day even while you aren’t working out than it otherwise would have and it will construct new muscle tissue as well. The best strategy when it comes to implementing two-a-day workouts over this period is simple: do your fasted cardio in the morning before breakfast and hit the weights at night. Do this every day over the week. (refer to the first post for a link to a basic weight workout you can use during the six days)
10. Crunches are crucial.
Despite what many fitness enthusiasts will tell you from time to time, direct abdominal work is important – especially if your goal is to get the most definition possible in the abdominal area. Now, keep in mind that I’m not saying crunches or sit ups will burn all of the body fat off of your mid section and give you great abs overnight. The truth is that crunches and sit ups don’t burn a ton of calories, at least compared to other big muscle movements. Instead, what is important to realize is that even though burning body fat is done through other means -cardio, resistance training, and dieting – you still need to strengthen the abdominals and isolate them a little bit to improve myogenic tone, increase muscular size (at least slightly) of “six-pack” muscles, and just put some emphasis on them in general if you want them to really “shine” when you do burn off the last bit of fat that might be covering your mid section.
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