The summer season is a time when we can peel off the layers we’ve been wearing all throughout the cold weather months and show off what we’ve been building in our training labs. Even though for many of us, we’re still seeing snow on the ground, it’s time to get our butts in gear and start our summer shred. I am a firm believer in a true offseason where consuming lots of calories is the goal and allowing some accumulation of body fat is necessary when it comes to packing on as much muscle as possible. With that in mind, when it does come time to lean down and shed that unwanted body fat, you have to do so in a methodical manner. Far too often people will pull out all of their tricks right of the get go to expedite the process; this, in my opinion, is bad practice. Rather than using everything at your disposal as soon as you start your shred, try this systematic approach to burning fat!
Let Your Diet Work First
The nutritional aspect of a summer shred is priority number one for you. Counting calories, establishing the macronutrient balance for your cut and timing each meal to keep your metabolism burning white hot, should be your first focus. Once you have created a diet, which you believe will initiate the entire process, give it time to work. Don’t change anything else with regards to your training and just see what changes can occur with your new diet. Just by doing this, you should see some fairly significant changes to your physique as well as on the scale. Provided that you’ve given yourself lots of time to lean down and there’s no real date at which you have to be shredded for, stay with this approach until you stop seeing positive progress.
Gradually Add Cardio
Your goal should be to get as lean as possible with the smallest amount of cardio necessary at first. If you begin your cardio program by performing two sessions at 30 minutes each, there’s no way to go from there but up. This is a scenario you don’t want to put yourself in. No one wants to have to do hours and hours of cardio to get lean, but if you do too much early on, your body will adapt and your only recourse will be to do more. Rather than allowing that to occur, intermittent bouts of cardio at a frequency of about three times a week for no more than 20-30 minutes in duration each session, should be a great starting point for you. This way, if more is needed, it won’t seem like such as daunting task and there’s plenty of room left within your day to increase your cardio if need be.
Thermogenic Aids Last
Once you’ve exhausted your dietary and cardio efforts in this process, and if you’re training at an elite level, the last piece of the fat burning puzzle would be to add in a thermogenic aid to help increase metabolism, suppress appetite to a degree and promote and support your fat burning efforts. You should consider this step as your second wind on your way to the finish line. These types of products do work very well in conjunction with the steps mentioned above. Just don’t fall into the trap that many do in thinking that these products are a safeguard against a poor diet because they’re not.
The best advice I can give you here to help you with your summer shred is to give yourself lots of time. Crash diets, incorrect use of fasting, bogus weight loss products and anything else that guarantees you results in a minimal amount of time is not the path you want to head down. So if you’re ready to put in some serious work with a little bit of patience added in (which you’re going to need anyway while waiting for the release of the new Monster Anaconda Super Shifts), use this step-by-step approach to help you get your summer shred underway.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.