THE BIKINI BODY STARTS IN THE BRAIN
It happens every year: spring. It’s around the corner and so is the reality that we will all be sitting scantily clad in bikinis, sundresses, crop tops, maillots, daisy dukes or whatever small articles of clothing we like to wear during the season that follows: summer.
As spring emerges, so do the group boot camps at local parks, the sightings of running clubs and their new recruits splashed about town, and the thought of a juice cleanse becomes a whole lot more commonplace. The scramble is on for tight tushes, lean midsections and toned arms. In the mirror, standing in our skivvies, we decide to put off taking that selfie, as we affirm to ourselves that 10 pounds put on during winter has to go.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
There’s a problem though: the human condition is mainly suited to the path of least resistance and immediate gratification. In the same vain as the get rich quick scheme, we humans are always optimistic that this time that hot, crash celebrity diet or new exercise contraption is gonna get us what we want. This time, there might be a new and innovative way of going about the attainment of the bikini body without the hard f*#@*+* work.
This time though, is just like all the other times and we again realize there is no shortcut to a great body. With hard work comes discomfort. Life; work, money, relationships, all can cause enough discomfort. Do we really need to heap one more challenging thing like training for a hot bikini body onto the plate of life?
The bikini body begins in the head in the same way abs are made in the kitchen (how many of you are going to shoot yourself if you hear that saying one more time?)
Acknowledge and accept the fact that transforming your body is not easy, it’s hard work. Lateral raises and biceps curls with soup cans and water bottles are not going to give you a bikini body. Why would anyone tell people that this is so? (I have seen it!) And neither will walking around the block gripping 2 lb hand weights for 20 minutes a day three times a week. Or for that matter, killing yourself at the gym once a week. Accept the fact that exercise is uncomfortable and requires time. After that, acknowledge what your own defense mechanism(s) against the discomfort that exercise accompanies.
These are the usual suspects that throw a wrench into your fitness plans
1. Rationalization: I really shouldn’t act so vain when there are so more important responsibilities in life. A bikini body is a first world problem.
2. Identification: I bought I have a trainer. I have the fitness apps. I downloaded a ton of great workout music. I know a lot about fitness. Knowledge is comforting, but at the end of the day I only talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
3. Projection: society is telling me what I should look like. I should be accepted for whatever I look like and I’m going to rock that bikini body as myself.
4. Reaction Formation: I’m not going to get a chance to go to the beach this summer.
5. Displacement: I will work out with soup cans and water bottles and do a lot of stretching and core work. In your heart of hearts, you know this does not get you a bikini body. It takes your muscles through their range of motion and is important for staying limber, but it does not transform bodies.
Once you’ve figured out the particulars of getting yourself into the gym, don’t give up. Go four times a week. After 8 weeks, you will be in maintenance mode, and you can drop down to three times if you like. Just get through the eight weeks, be robotic about it.
For eight weeks accept that you are programmed to do the following program
Pick any four exercises from the list: do four sets of maximum reps. If you can go past 12-15 reps, the weight is too light and you will not being a process call hypertrophy which changes your body composition (makes it tight and hard). Afterwards, spend the rest of the hour doing steady state cardio, HIIT or a dynamic form of yoga.
3. Sumo Squat or Power Squat
4. Walking Lunge
5. Split Squat (stationary Lunge)
6. Cable Hip extension
7. Machine Hip Abduction
8. Machine Hip Adduction
Pick any five exercises from the list: do four sets of maximum repetitions. If you can go past 12-15 reps, the weight is too light and you will not begin a process called hypertrophy which changes your body composition. When you are finished spend the rest of the hour doing steady state cardio, HIIY or yoga.
1. Bench Dumbell chest press (you can rotate between incline, decline and flat bench)
2. Overhead Shoulder Press
3. One Arm Dumbell Row
4. Bent over Row
5. Lower Back Extension on the Roman Chair
6. Weight Assisted Chin Ups
7. Push Ups
8. Sit Ups
Pick any four exercises from the list that you did not do on day 1: do four sets of maximum reps. If you can go past 12-15 reps, the weight is too light and you will not being a process call hypertrophy which changes your body composition (makes it tight and hard). Afterwards, spend the rest of the hour doing steady state cardio, HIIT or a dynamic form of yoga.
Pick any four exercises from the list that you did not do on day 2: do four sets of maximum reps. If you can go past 12-15 reps, the weight is too light and you will not being a process call hypertrophy which changes your body composition (makes it tight and hard). Afterwards, spend the rest of the hour doing steady state cardio, HIIT or a dynamic form of yoga.
There. You’ve made it to week 2. Only seven weeks to go.
Your nutrition is not only important for optimal health; it supports your work in the gym. Protein is the macronutrient mandatory for the maintenance of body tissues. The amino acids found in protein help repair the trauma to the muscles from exercise. That muscle development, that hardness to the body will not happen with inadequate protein supply. It’s best to have 25 grams of protein immediately after training.
How much protein per day for a bikini bod?
Females should multiply their body weight by 0.75, ie. A 150 lb exercising female should consume 150 grams of protein a day, with at least 25 grams immediately after training. How much is 25 grams of protein? There are food charts and apps galore. Always refer to one. (25 grams of protein is ¾ of a chicken breast). In comparison to an exercising female, a sedentary individual like say, a patient in hospital is fed, in grams of protein, 40% of their body weight, so that their tissues don’t dissipate. Example: a 100 lb woman is fed 40 g of protein a day.
How much carbohydrate a day?
Take your body weight and multiply it by 0.60. This is just enough to fuel brain function and workouts, and keep a favorable mood while tapping into fat stores, so the process of leaning out takes place. Again, refer to your food charts. How many grams of carbs in a cup of broccoli? 12 grams. How many of carbs in a cup of oatmeal? 25 grams. How many in a slice of bread? Between 25-30 grams. How many in a cup of pasta? 40 grams. You have a decent budget to work with. You will not feel deprived. Unless you believe that you can get that bikini body by eating French fries and brownies and chips and pizza. To state the obvious: that stuff does not have a place in your regular diet. It’s a cheat meal.
Also check out 10 Best and Worst Foods for A Bikini Body
After 8 weeks, continue to work out 3 times a week. Change up the exercises in your repertoire. You will have plateaued on the current selection. The human body is adaptive and will have figured out at this point how to no longer consider these exercises hard work.
It takes approximately 9 weeks for a new routine to become habit. By 9 weeks you will continue to want to work out always because you have come to like the way your body feels when it’s tauter, stronger, and leaner. You will like the increased energy you now have and enjoy your better mood as well. Don’t worry, you won’t bulk up either. That process involves maxing out your set somewhere between 6 and 8 repetitions and eating the double the amount of carbohydrates. And there is more good news. You won’t need this bump start next year. Next year you’re all ready there!