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Summertime Strategies

The IronOnline airspace is increasingly frequented by overweight, under-muscled, mid-age men and women looking for relief from the out-of-shape predicament. A thief in the night has stolen their time, energy and attention, leaving them the barren accruements of a life spent hurrying, gobbling, earning, spending, wasting, climbing ladders and chasing dreams -- surviving in the modern, accelerating world. Everything is there, more or less, and their body and health show signs of long winters, long nights and misplaced plans to care for one's physical self.

Today, while the sun is shining, they want to restore the tired body that houses them; they have the desire, the spirit, the need and the willingness, and realize the time is now, not tomorrow, whatever the price.

Getting to the point before belaboring it, I've listed nine elementary tips that will make a mighty healthy difference during this springtime of hope, enthusiasm and reconciliation:

1. Don't starve yourself, don't stuff yourself and don't yield to cravings. Rather, eat smaller nutritious meals consisting of high protein, medium carbs and medium fat, more frequently (every three or four hours) throughout the day to stave appetite and assure ongoing, more complete nutrient absorption.

2. Avoid fast foods and junk foods loaded with hydrogenated fat, sugar, salt, weird chemicals and non-nutritious calories. No soda pop, chips, dip, hotdogs, candy, cake, silly sugary cereals, luncheon meats, beerskies… you know the drill.

3. Weight train three to four days a week combining aerobics with the weight equipment throughout the week. Weight training is superior to aerobics for seeking your goal and for good health in general. Apply the superset technique to your exercise routines for more effective conditioning, fat burning and muscle building.

4. Drink buckets of water; take a good dose of vitamins and minerals each day and fuel yourself before and after your training sessions with a protein drink or similar easily digested meal.

5. Super-quality, fortified whey concentrate and casein (milk derivatives) protein powder shakes make smart and efficacious meal replacements (breakfast, pre-workout or post-workout), especially for the overweight.

6. Allow plenty of sleep and relaxation for muscle repair and body recovery.

7. Adapt to and perform your aerobic exercise daily and in the morning on an empty stomach for superior fat burning. Add a second aerobic session daily throughout the week (additional three to four 15-minute sessions) for aggressive fat loss. Note: excessive aerobics can compromise muscle density and muscle growth, and care must be taken to gauge this fat-loss, muscle-building balance.

8. Practice High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) when performing aerobic activity for aggressive conditioning, fat loss and muscularity (muscle tone).

9. Try the tuna and water diet for three days to draw a line in the sand, make a clean and decisive break in undesirable eating habits and reshape new ones, test your resolve, withdraw your attention from food and more food, rewire your metabolism, empty the digestive system, detoxify and drop the water retention while supplying your body with its main muscle-building ingredient, protein. Just three or four or five cans of tuna and oceans of water throughout the day resembles a fast in its action, yet you're getting lots of muscle-friendly protein to keep you alive and kicking.

Everyone is different and we all respond differently to different adjustments of the outlined recommendations. They will work wonders for you if you are hard working, devoted and in possession of common sense and a hint of creativity. Tweaking is necessary.

Men and women beware. If you lose weight by eating less and not exercising, you lose some fat and you lose it slowly. And you can be sure you will lose precious muscle that provides health, strength, shape, tone, energy, endurance and fat-burning mechanics. Thou must exercise.

Another thing, exercise does not mean aerobics (walk, jog, cycle) only. Weight resistance exercise practiced smartly provides greater health benefits, muscle toning and fat loss than aerobic exercise by itself. The combination of the two is ideal; add good eating habits to the pair and you're incredible.

Make the summertime shape-up endeavor a commitment or it's not going anywhere. You are in charge. You're going to apply the rules; they're simple, they work and there's no time to lose. Begin to picture and anticipate yourself as you want to be and can be: 10 or 20 pounds less fat with a smaller, flatter and more toned midsection; less bottom and more top, strong arms that effectively flex rather than joggle as they work for you, and a carriage that suggests a natural and humble inner brawn. Hold that image clearly in place. There's freedom in being physically fit.

The most productive way to exercise, especially when time is short and leanness is the goal, is to employ the superset technique; that is, one exercise followed immediately by another that compliments it. With this method moderate weight is used, higher repetitions are applied (8 to 12), little rest is permitted between sets and good form is underscored. Three or four supersets are completed in less time (accent on intensity, not rushing) putting a greater demand on the heart and lungs, thus providing healthful cardiovascular benefits not achieved in standard single-set exercise. The trainee is busier, upbeat, involved and accomplishes more in a shorter period of time. Downtime between sets of single-set training can be boring, frustrating, anxious and, thus, counter-productive.

Since muscle building is a slow process that cannot be accelerated by trick training, we must rely on maintaining muscle and building it as body fat is reduced. This is the best any of us can do, yet it can be quite sufficient. It is basically what a tuned natural bodybuilder will do in his last stages of contest preparation. He ups the reps, supersets, assumes a working aerobic scheme and adjusts his menu according to his needs (usually lowering carbs, maintaining high protein, reducing excess, non-essential fat intake and finessing meal time and meal volume). You're encouraged to do the same thing, yet on a comfortable and appropriate level.

Wisely, one would be instructed to start off slowly, warm up and train the whole body every workout for symmetry and healthy function. Simple and easy. Enlarging the routine and splitting it in half and performing each half alternately allows more time to devote to each muscle region per workout. Popular and more effective. However, for the guy or gal who has some gym miles and is a bit nutty, there are priority techniques that haul (to the extent that the performer hauls). They are offered with the understanding that the recipient is RTG (ready to go). I call them the dirty, rotten, mean and miserable Colossal 10 x 10 supersets.

Listed below is an assortment of captivating supersets. Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise back and forth in superset fashion without stopping until 10 supersets are completed. Choose light and manageable weights to start, planning to remain with the starting weights till the mighty and grueling end. 10 times 10 is the challenge; it's exciting and you'll shock -- electrocute -- your physiological system and the muscles will behave.

Standing barbell curl and close grip bench press
Dumbbell incline press and seated lat row
Bench press and bent over barbell row
Dumbbell clean-and-press and stiff-arm pullover
Squat and light weight lunge
Squat and stiff-arm pullove

Providing your courage or honor is not in question, you may modify the system to 8 x 8 or 6 x 6. They are as effective as you are. Pick and place these screamers where you please throughout your regular weekly schedule or create your workouts around them. The top four are all around upper body combinations designed to satisfy the beach body needs for boys and girls, men and women.

Mission not fully accomplished, but my fuel gauge is in the red. Heading back to home base 'till next week. Meanwhile, enjoy the altitude... over and out... Draper

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Here's more on the tuna and water diet

This link will further explain HIIT cardio training

Grab yourself some high quality Bomber Blend protein here

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