For many people, getting fit in time for summer so you can go shirtless at the beach is a huge motivating factor. But maintaining those visible results while also enjoying those barbecues and pool parties can be tricky. In a new video on his YouTube channel, CrossFit Games competitor and functional bodybuilding coach Marcus Filly explains his tactics for staying shredded without denying himself.
While he advocates for eating the highest quality whole foods whenever possible, Filly acknowledges that this can be a hassle if you’re at a barbecue or eating out. So relax for a little while. “Summer shouldn’t be the time to stress about your macros, so ditch the scale,” he says. “Taking a few weeks off or even a couple months off from tracking your food closely can be a great reset. It can open a lot more flexibility in your social life.”
However, at the end of the summer you don’t want to notice any major changes to your body composition; the goal is to be able to decrease food stress and indulge, without sacrificing the results of all the hard work you’ve put in so far. One way to do this, Filly explains, is to prioritize your protein intake, especially at breakfast and lunch. He recommends consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
And if you’re putting the food scale away for the summer, an easy way to calculate this is to use two palm-sized portions (20 to 30 grams each), then supplement that with other protein sources like vegetables. If you’ve been tracking calories for some time, it’s likely you’ll be able to eyeball what your plate should look like.
Filly’s second piece of advice is all about how to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts without spending all summer stuck in the gym. He follows the “2×2” training rule: take 2 exercises per workout, and perform 2 sets each at a very high effort level. Filly recommends trying to hit 90 percent of your max.
“I’m not saying you only need to go to the gym and do 4 to 6 sets and then leave,” he says. “If we’re talking about giving 9 out of 10 effort, that means a lot more than 2 sets… The most impactful lifting you do in the gym happens when you hit these higher effort sets that get you close but not all the way to failure. In order to give that level of effort, you need to do sufficient warmup and sub-maximal sets beforehand. There’s going to be at least 3 to 5 sets before you even get close to those 9 out of 10 effort level sets at the end.”
“During summer, don’t make 9 out of 10 effort the goal for everything,” he adds. “You’re going to come in and still hit 6 to 8 exercises… Simply pick 2 of them on that day to get after. For the rest of your training, just make it 6 or 7 out of 10. When approach training like this, you can dedicate 20 to 25 minutes to preparing for and executing your priority lifts. Then you can spend the other 15 to 20 minutes knocking out the rest of your accessory work or conditioning work.”
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