As the saying goes ‘a summer body is built during the winter’ so even though it may be cold and icy out right now, soon the seasons will begin to turn. Whilst summer may still seem like an age away, unless you live in the southern hemisphere of course, the winter will soon be making way to spring, which means that summer will be hot on its heels. During the summer you will want to look your absolute best whilst out in public, and what better way to do so than to show off those awesome shreds. When you strip off during the warm weather, you will undoubtedly want to ensure you are as lean and ripped as possible, which means that you should seriously start thinking about starting your summer cut right now. As you know however, burning fat whilst maintaining lean muscle is notoriously difficult, so it does pay to have as much help at hand as you possibly can. Here’s a look at 6 tips guaranteed to help yield you impressive summer cutting success.
Start your cut early
As mentioned, losing fat and maintaining lean muscle is very difficult, and it is certainly not something that can be rushed. To ensure you’re in the best possible shape for when the warm weather does begin to make an appearance, you are going to need to start early. By early, we mean during what is left of the winter. A lot of people make the mistake of starting their cut at the start of summer, and expect to see noticeable improvements and dramatic changes in their physiques on a daily basis. The problem is that a good cut takes months, as the aim is to lose small amounts of fat, whilst holding onto as much muscle as possible. Sure, by the time summer ends you could very well be lean and ripped, but it will soon be getting colder, you will have to wear more clothing, and your cut will basically have been pointless. Starting in the winter means that you are lean and shredded as soon as summer arrives, so you can work on maintaining the gains, rather than cutting and trying to rush things.
Embrace the BBQ
During the spring and summer months, not only will you notice the air turning decidedly warmer, but you will also notice the smell of BBQ in the air. BBQ season is an exciting season because not only does BBQ food taste great, but it can also be extremely healthy. Rather than living on steamed cod, potatoes, and veggies, why not cook up some tender chicken breasts and salmon fillets on the Barbie? Along with fresh and crunchy vegetables. Barbequing your food is very healthy because there is little, if any, fat involved at all. It also helps veggies to retain more nutrients because they are cooked quickly over a high heat. Oh, and it also tastes great, and as you will find out, whilst cutting, if you can find healthy and tasty food, you should embrace it because cutting foods are generally very boring when compared with bulking staples.
Drink plenty of water
Whilst cutting, people often make the mistake of limiting their water intake, as they think that drinking too much water is going to make them bloated and retain water. In reality, you actually drink water to lose water, so the more you drink, the more you will flush out of your system. It is actually sodium that causes our bodies to hold and retain water, so if bloating is a worry, simply cut back on the amount of sodium you consume. Not drinking enough water will not only make you feel unwell, it could also dehydrate you, which would result in you potentially struggling in the gym, and if your workouts suffer, your cut is going to suffer. Ditch the “diet” drinks and fruit juices, and stick primarily to fresh water. Ideally you will need around 90 – 140 ounces of water per day, depending on how large you are.
Get plenty of cardio
Yes we all know how boring cardio can be, and there aren’t that many people out there that enjoy doing cardio, but unfortunately, if you are serious about losing body fat, cardio is a must. For best results, try to alternate your cardio sources to keep your body guessing. For example, one session you could try an hour of steady state cardio, the next you could perform a HIIT session, and you could alternate like that. You may wish to take things week by week, or you may simply wish to get your cardio from different sources I.E the treadmill, swimming, hiking, cycling, sports, and so on. Ideally you should be performing cardio at least 3 times per week in order to help speed up your fat loss, and that is on top of lifting.
Work just as hard while lifting
When you lift, you should still do all you can to work just as hard as you were doing whilst bulking, no matter how low your calories may be. Due to the slight drop on calories each day, you will see a slight reduction in strength and perhaps experience lapses in energy, but you should still put 100% effort into each session, as the key here is to lose fat whilst retaining lean muscle. Whilst lifting, not only are you helping to build/retain muscle, but as you are using energy, you will still be burning calories in the process.
Choose an effective summer cutting stack
Providing your diet is healthy and you are training regularly, you should next consider using a summer cutting stack to help burn the fat whilst keeping energy levels high to counteract the caloric deficit. Whey protein, or another similar protein, is a must, as are creatine supplements, BCAA supplements, and perhaps even a pre-workout supplement and a fat burner.