Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Wish List - gettin' ready for the pool

It's getting hot out there, or for those of us south of the Mason Dixon, it's been hot already for about a month. Are you ready for bathing suit weather?

I'm starting to get a lot of those bathing suit body related questions. Someone will approach me after class and ask, "How do I get rid of THIS?" as they pinch whatever excess skin and fat they want to burn. I don't want to dishearten them by telling them the hard truth - that you can't choose where you gain or how you lose - but I can give them what I feel to be the best formula to reveal the fit body that is inside all of us.

#1 Lift. Now, even today I hear women (and even some guys) complain that they don't want to hit the weights because they don't want or need to "bulk up." Well if you're one of those people who has that fear of turning into the jacked-up meathead with protruding veins, try to shake that image from your minds. The people in the gym that look like they stepped out of a bodybuilding magazine have been doing a very specialized routine that will not apply to us average Joes and Janes. If you haven't started doing this already, you need to be working "The Big 10": Up top, that's the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Down low, that's your abs, back, quads, hamstrings, and calves. If you've never picked up a dumbbell before, check out the terms and descriptions here and hop on YouTube to see some demonstrations. Already have a gym membership? Go to the trainer's desk and ask someone to show you around the machines. At most good gyms, they should be happy to do this. If they try to sell you a personal training package, don't give them the cold shoulder, either. It might be something worth considering at least for a  month or two to get started until you are comfortable taking over your own routine.

#2 Move. Muscles have a high metabolic rate, but that won't show if you have layers of fat over top. You need to incorporate 30-60 minutes of some cardiovascular activity into your routine to help those muscles keep the burn going.

#3 Move faster. The old thinking used to be that there was a specific "fat burning" cardiovascular zone that was the ideal range to remain in for optimal results. This range does not typically require intense efforts, the idea being that if you work at a lower rate your body will only mobilize its fat stores for energy. The problem with this is that while a higher percentage of calories burned come from fat at lower intensities, you will still burn more calories overall if you can incorporate some bursts of higher levels of activity. And ultimately, if you burn more calories than you put in, you WILL lose weight! So once you get a grasp on simply moving a little bit each day, push your self to move a little bit more.

#4 Rethink how you eat. Now, I'm not going to tell you to try this diet or that... but just think for a second before you eat. The tricky thing about hot weather foods is that they are ALL the wrong things for a summer body! Sure, it's Bud Light, but how light is it when you drink five of them? Hot dogs, potato salad, chips, some goopy "blueberry" pie covered in whipped cream? About the healthiest thing I see on most picnic tables or baskets is watermelon. The rest is just.... blech. Clean up your act a little and pass up those mystery meats for something a little better.

Alright, already done steps one through four? Let's do a little shopping...

I need an athletic-style swimsuit that's got a little bit of sex AND flex appeal, if you know what I mean. But it's hard to find the middle ground between this:

    And this:

I want to look sporty and somewhat modest when I'm at the pool with my toddler. No need for the pre-teen boys in the neighborhood to gawk. But I work hard for this body and I do want to rock it, just a little. Maybe this:

Or this:

I really like the TYR suits (and their prices). Plus, they look like they'd stay put if I dive in or go all-out with a cannonball :)

Are you ready to bare it all at the pool?

What do you do to get your birthday suit ready for your bathing suit?


PavementRunner said...

I just started thinking about my "beach body." I wouldn't consider myself over-weight, but at the same time I wouldn't consider myself with a great body. I sit somewhere in the middle. Enough to not really stand out... just be.

Great post. And why do we like to pinch our fat? hahaha.

Brendan Townsend said...

I try to convince more and more people (especially women) that lifting really is essential to any program.

While I do feel that you should have a program designed for you that is specific to your goals, even women that lift strength programs with barbells and high-weight aren't going to become she-hulk.

Women that look like that are taking drugs that increase their testosterone levels and steroids, among other things.

...I also continually try to explain that spot reduction is a myth, but it seems most people do not want to believe that.

hiker mom said...

Great tips! I love the bottom 2 suits. So cute. I am going to have to check them out online. I need a new bathing suit for an upcoming trip and these would be perfect:)