It’s spring even though it barely feels like it where I live. 42 degrees and 60% chance of rain isn’t too impressive when your primary objective is opening your sunroof and “suns out, guns out”. The point here is if you want to look and feel good in the summer, you should probably start doing something progressive in the spring. You may want to even start before that depending on your goals and level of dedication.

This fall/winter, I did little to no cardio. I’m feeling the lack of gainz. Exercise is only a portion of the equation for fitness, but it does help a lot for toning and reduction of consumed calories. The aim of this blog is to instill a few strategies I recommend for looking better on the beach this summer or maybe not looking so much like that weird little lord of the rings character when you wear a wife beater.

Fasted Cardio

If you’re hungry in the morning (or maybe you just hate cardio), its one of the most miserable things you can do to yourself. The reality is that no matter how awful it feels, it works really well. The reason why it works is way more scientific than I care to explain. Jim Stoppani says

Fasted cardio in the morning is effective because as you sleep and fast overnight your body conserves its precious carb stores and leans toward mobilizing fat for fuel. The story doesn’t end here, however. Your body also breaks down amino acids into glucose overnight, so fasted morning cardio mobilizes more fat and potentially more amino acids for fuel, which isn’t ideal if building muscle is your primary goal. This isn’t a huge problem as long as you consume a fast-digesting protein like whey, along with some slow-digesting casein, after your cardio.

Yea so there…

Personally, I like to get out of bed then brew a cup of coffee before hand. I drink it, do some warm up stuff, get my gps watch to find a satellite, and by then the caffeine should be working. Caffeine is shown to raise your energy level and pain tolerance if you weren’t aware.

If you don’t like running, I recommend getting a rowing machine, air bike, or checking out this guy I found on YouTube the other day. I’m gonna post his video below. It makes indoor cardio a bit more enjoyable and its great for poor weather conditions.

Eat the majority of your carbs in the AM

You body is in its most prime condition for burning calories , specifically carby ones, earlier in the day (especially if you just did some fasted cardio). So .. you may as make some make some protein pancakes, according to my recipe, and cover them with some Vermont maple syrup. You could substitute the maple syrup for some honey if you’d like to be more healthy.

Meal Prep

And when I say meal prep, I mean fire up your grill and cook a lot of chicken breast. Chicken breast is so good for you that it barely matters how you prepare it. Marinade, basted, or dry rub are all good options. Its high in protein, low in fat, and low in carbs.img_4284

The second part of the equation is large amounts of salad. I usually buy a big bag of salad every week and keep in the correct part of the fridge so that it stays fresh for longer. The type of salad isn’t that important, but some types of salads do have more health nutrients than others. I usually just eat the normal serving size, but salad is so low in calories/carbs that its hard to eat too much of it.

The majority of your fat for your day will come from the salad dressing of your choosing. I’m not a huge fan of fat free salad dressings because they contain high levels of sodium and fillers. Oil and vinegar is one of the purest salad dressings. A lot of olive oils contain good fats. Apple cider vinegar has a taste that takes a little bit to get used to, but has tons of health benefits.

Cottage cheese before bed. Enough said about that for now.

-FFB

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