Summer is here! But my beach body stomach isn’t… Why?

by Paul Young, BS, CPT

So I am always designing my programs around getting my core ripped up for summer! And the last two summers I have been pleased with the results. Here are some reasons I have come up short in the past. Once I know what is expected, it is much easier for me to get the desired result.

Add more rectus abdominis (ab) workouts to your routine.

In the military, everything was always for the mission, not for the look. My training philosophy was a belief that the core would get all the strength it needs from dead lifts and squats. While I still believe this is true, those exercises do not isolate the ab muscles, thus they will not grow as you want them to. Add in a couple more exercises to your regular strength routine that focus only on the abs.

Need to lose more body fat.

“I have worked out so very hard for weeks, and I know I am getting stronger, but it’s not showing in the midsection”! I have said this and heard it too many times. It doesn’t matter what your muscles look like or how strong your core is if you can’t see it right? The body burns fat at rest. This means all the other times of the day when you’re not working out… It is predicted that you need to be at around %10 body fat for the abs to show. To help with this, drink green tea after a meal pretty frequently (has been shown to process fat up to a 3rd more than without). Also try not to eat anything 2-3 hours before bed. This will keep the body burning fat throughout your sleep.

Change up the exercises.

Your body is very smart and will adapt to any repeated stimulus. Even small changes in exercises will make different muscles engage, or the same muscles engage in different ways. This intensifies the results. Shock the system to shed the pounds.

Make sure to get some sleep!

Summer nights are great, but keep your goals in mind. The first 4 hours of sleep is for your brain, the second 4 is for your muscles to repair! Growth hormone is released in our sleep when we put these stresses on the body. Getting plenty of rest will increase strength, muscle density (results in more fat burning at rest), as well as repair any micro-tears in the muscles.

Try adding these components to your daily routine. You should see results immediately. Enjoy your summer, and remember, a dream is a goal with steps to get there!