College has many famous traditions and one of the best yearly ones is spring break. Spring break is kind of a weird one, isn’t it? It doesn’t necessarily occur along with Easter or any other legit holiday and it’s dab smack in the middle of the semester. Sure, we used to get Fall break as well but that was like three days. Anyways, a part of this yearly tradition is for college students to venture to the beach and escape the horrors of classwork and winter weather. For most colleges around the country, spring break is 4-8 weeks away from the time I am writing this, so, that means if you want to get into shape you’ll have a limited amount of time to do so. Hopefully, you’ve already been working out, so that you only have to lose that last bit of fat to look great on the beach. You did that, right? If you still have significant amounts of fat to lose, there is only so much you can do in a limited time frame, so don’t trip but learn to appreciate the progress you’ll make and be ready to go by summer. 30 to 60 days isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things but with dedication and effort to a program you can see some really good fat loss during this period.
Cut the Nonsense
Look, we’ve established that we have a short period of time to work with in order to get into fantastic shape. So, we don’t have time to waste by screwing around with our diets. If you want results you’ve really got to dial it in and that means getting rid of the crappy diet. While workouts are also important, what you eat will ultimately determine how your body looks. Normally, you could gradually eliminate junk food from your diet but that’s when you have more time available to do so. Now, is the time to get rid of the obvious offenders and replace them with better choices. That means cutting soda, beer, sugary drinks, processed snacks, sweets, etc. You and I both know what these bad foods are so don’t play dumb, just get rid of them.
Other helpful posts:
Exercising but not losing weight?
30 Days to a Successful Life Change
Sleep is a highly underrated factor in transforming your body and it’s a shame because it really does help a lot. A lack of sleep clouds your mind, makes you more irritable, and probably less likely to stick with the plan to achieve your goals. Who wants to be working out, cutting, and not sleeping well? That would be awful. More importantly, sleep is when a majority of growth, recovery, and hormone release occurs….so yeah, it’s really important. Recovery is absolutely necessary to make it through tough workouts and avoid injury. If you don’t sleep like you need to, you’re not going to see the optimal results, period. Here are two posts related to sleep:
How to Wake Up Early for Night Owls
How to Quit Coffee and Energy Drinks
When I’m in fat loss mode, I ramp up the cardio workouts to 4-5 days per week. 7 days per week, even for a month, is probably overkill, as you’ll be losing muscle mass a well and not recovering like you need to be. I usually rotate between the treadmill, elliptical, and exercise bike so that I don’t get bored or have extreme soreness due to too much running. The program that I currently follow is Rusty Moore’s Visual Impact Cardio, which I reviewed here. Visual Impact Cardio is designed to maximize fat loss and help you achieve a beach body. I love the fact that there are three separate workouts within this program and can all be modified to meet my individual needs and progress.
Diet is the difference between some results and major results. As I wrote above, you should immediately cut out all junk food and beverages, but what do you replace those foods with? To keep things simple for myself, I generally break down most of my meals into, protein (chicken, fish), good carb (rice and potato NOT FRIED), and a green veggie. Those are the staples of my diet which I supplement with protein shakes and natural peanut butter sandwiches, just to up my fat intake. Getting enough fat is also important because it supports healthy hormone production, such as testosterone which will help build muscle.
Here is a brief layout of foods I like to eat during a cutting cycle:
Good sources of protein– eggs, turkey, chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef, lentils, beans, whey protein powder.
Good sources of carbohydrates– brown rice, oats, vegetables, whole wheat bread.
Good sources of fats– nuts, olive oil, fish oil, flax seed oil, natural peanut butter.
I also like to carb cycle when losing fat. Going completely low carb sucks, though you can see lots of fat loss by following it. However, many people tend to feel extremely low energy on a low carb diet and find it difficult to complete workouts. I wrote about that process, here, and laid out a sample diet that I followed. Carb cycling helps to feed my body carbs when it needs it the most (workout days) and drop the carbs low on rest days. This can help to fat loss process to accelerate.
Also, read this article, which is among the best I’ve ever read on nutrition and fat loss to help explain nutrient timing, the function of macronutrients, and planning.
Since you’ve eliminated other liquids from your diet (except maybe protein shakes), water is what you should be drinking exclusively. It is extremely important for all aspects of your health to stay hydrated and recovering from workouts is one of the biggies for our purposes. There is going to be plenty of cellular waste that needs to be transported out due to workouts and water is going to help immensely with that.
Cardio isn’t enough by itself, as it doesn’t shape the body like lifting weights does. Doing a bunch of cardio will probably have you end up looking skinny and flat, which isn’t a desirable outcome. Building muscle also helps to burn excess calories which means carrying around less fat. If you don’t already lift, it’s probably best to start out with something like 3 days per week, so that you can recover from the muscle soreness that you’ll experience. 30 days isn’t going to make you gain insane amounts of muscle (especially while doing that much cardio and following a fat loss diet), however, it will definitely help to shape and tone what’s already there.
I generally bump up my lifting to 5 days per week with the 5 days of cardio, during the last month of preparation. I do this because of the short time frame which won’t be long enough to over train and because I already lift on a regular basis, I won’t be completely sore and unable to move by adding a few extra workouts for a month or so.
If you need a weight lifting program laid out for you step by step:
“So on 7/26 I sent my brother a picture of myself from the 15th and one from the 26th. Only 11 days of Phase 1. His reply was “holy crap”.”
“Over the course of the next 6 months…I was able to get into the BEST shape of my life, and that is no joke or exaggeration. I dropped down to 173 at my lowest, with I’d measured to be roughly 9-10% BF. My abs were visible, I felt amazing.”
“After following Visual Impact for 6 months I had taken my body fat percentage from 15% all the way down to a chiseled 6.5%. I had traded droopy pecs, chaffing legs and a chubby face for a drop dead sexy physique.”
“The book is PERFECT! The program will give you the look of Abercrombie Models which is hot! The information AWESOME! It’s all you need to know to achieve whatever kind of physique you want…”
Watch Rusty’s free videos and more customer reviews here: Visual Impact
As far as supplements go, I really stick with the basics. I have tried fat burners before but found them to not be very effective plus they really can screw up your sleeping patterns due to all the stimulants. If you have your diet in order they aren’t really necessary. Pretty much, all I use right now is whey protein powder and BCAA’s. The protein powder helps get extra protein in my diet to feed the muscles so they can grow. While the branch-chain amino acids, help enormously with recovery and soreness, which is highly desirable during such a short amount of time filled with intense exercise.
I personally like to use:
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein
Optimum Nutrition BCAA 5000 Powder
Getting into shape for spring break can be a great goal to have but it might be more prudent to change your lifestyle so that you don’t have to put so much effort into a short period of time. Keeping your eating and exercise habits in order, can help you stay in good shape all year, so when these events pop up on the schedule all you have to do is dial things in to achieve an insane physique. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, enjoy the workouts, set goals for yourself, and have fun on your trip but don’t get bent out of shape if you’re not as ripped as you want to be. Remember that the body may help draw girls in but confidence in yourself is what will help keep them around.
Fight Club Diet
Zac Efron Workout