Although I started this blog with the sole purpose of providing information on improving athletic performance, every now and then I stray from my target audience and help the “masses”. It’s summertime and let’s be honest; everyone wants to look good on the beach, in the club, at the barbecue, etc. Even my NFL football clients ask me for tips on “lookin’ good” during this time of year! So I figured Memorial Day Weekend would be the perfect time to provide some invaluable summer training information!
Since this website is full of training tips and nutrition advice on becoming muscular and athletic, I decided to put a different spin on this blog post. Since I’ve spent the past 8 years telling you what you should do; this blog post is dedicated to giving you my TOP 5 List of what not to do this summer! These are things I see and hear people doing every single summer in an attempt to look better with their shirt off; but the reality is that the common mistakes I’ve listed below are surefire ways to RUIN the hard-earned gains you made all year! After reading this blog post, please send it to as many friends as you can so we can finally put an end to people blowing their physiques every summer! So here we go…
DON’T DO THE FOLLOWING!!!
#5 – Stop training lower body
Many guys will stop training legs (if they even trained them in the first place) during the summer to “focus” on their upper body and “beach muscles”. After all, no matter how jacked you are, speedos just aren’t tasteful! Since most guys’ legs are covered in their bathing suits, they figure they’ll hold off on training legs during the summer months. There are many reasons why this is wrong (especially if you’re an athlete), but this is the worst thing you can do, even if you want to “focus” on your upper body. Anyone who has touched a weight knows that lower body training makes your upper body grow and look better! Exercises like squats and deadlifts trigger your body to secrete more anabolic hormones than almost any upper body movement, while burning a boatload of calories in the process! Want your upper body to be muscular and lean, as well as in proportion with your lower body? KEEP SQUATTIN’ & DEADLIFTIN’! Period.
#4 – Go on a low-calorie diet
Unless you are a complete genetic freak, a low-calorie diet will not get you shredded! A low-calorie diet will make you “a smaller version of yourself” by burning muscle along with the fat you lose! Proportionally speaking, you will look the same as you did before your diet, but you will be a smaller version of yourself (which really sucks). Basically, you will be the “skinny-fat” guy at the beach, much like the picture of David Spade above. (And before you try and make yourself feel better by saying, “Yeah, but David Spade still gets tons of hot chicks!” Don’t kid yourself; David Spade is rich & famous, your not. Looking like David Spade, without the money & fame, doesn’t get you Heather Locklear…it gets you sand kicked in your face at the beach!
#3 – Perform long, steady-state cardio
DO NOT replace your sprints, prowler pushes, barbell complexes, etc., with long distance running or hours on the elliptical to “get shredded” for the summer. Like “#4”, these activities will break down muscle tissue. Once again, this is a great recipe if you want to be the “skinny-fat” guy at the club!
#2 – Focus on high-rep (pump) training, especially right before going out
The ALL-TIME biggest summer myth is doing “tons of curls and push-ups” right before you go out so you have a pump. You may look great during the drive to the club, but once you get there you will be smaller!! Think about it; even the greatest pumps only last for about 20-30 minutes after your workout is completed. What happens to the pump after this? The blood temporarily pools out of the muscles, making you temporarily smaller than before you even worked out! Your body obviously goes back to “normal”, but your “small period” is actually 1-3 hours after the workout…(the exact time you’re tryin’ to pick up chicks at the club!)
Wanna have a real pump – all day, everyday?! Lift heavy ass weights! That’s right; lifting maximal weights creates myofibrillar hypertrophy, aka, REAL MUSCLE! (I refer to this type of muscle as “real” because it’s actually made of dense, contractile tissue. High-rep training does not develop this type of tissue.)
Although performing heavy, 1-3 rep sets doesn’t give you the immediate “pump” of a 20-rep set of cable flyes; it’s residual effects are far superior! Those that train heavy probably know the feeling of getting a “pump” hours, or even a day or two, after performing a max-effort exercise. This is due to an “active” nervous system…and eventually this “pump” will just be due to the fact that you’re jacked from liftin’ all those heavy ass weights!
#1 – Drink beer or sugar-filled cocktails
Even if you “only” drink on weekends, beer and “fruity cocktails” can add thousands of calories to your diet, which will turn you into a bloated mess all summer! Obviously, the best thing to do is not drink at all, but I’m not naive. It’s summertime and even the most dedicated athletes may have a few drinks here and there. If you are going to drink, the “best of the worst” is clear alcohol…and stay away from mixing them with soda, fruit juices, etc. The universal meathead drink of choice is Vodka with club soda (and a lemon/lime if you wish). If you switch to this drink, you’ll notice a huge difference the next morning when you wake up — you’ll be much less bloated, along with less of a headache (if any), due to a fraction of the calories and sugar contained in fruity cocktails and/or beer!
Hope everyone had a fun, safe Memorial Day! I’ll be back soon with some BIG announcements, new products and no-holds-barred information on becoming a better athlete!
Keep checkin’ back!