Do you know what any competing athlete has in common, any successful history of physical transformation, and any achievement of a stated goal of losing weight? All of these people have had a long and challenging road to getting in top physical shape. But after they achieved their goal and received a sincere recognition of what seemed impossible until recently, one important question remained: “What to do now?”
Until recently, when bodybuilding competitions were the only competitive events available, athletes spent 12-16 weeks getting their bodies in perfect condition before the competition, and then gained 15-20 kilograms just a few days after the performance. This weight swing has led us to separate competitive form and form in the offseason, and for many bodybuilders, even at the highest level, the number of weeks spent in better shape can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Today’s athletes have no less interest in reaching peak form for a competition, but showing off-season shape by swimming fat without distinct muscle outlines, they are also not eager. Maintaining body shape all year round, of course, requires a completely different approach to nutrition and training than just reaching peak shape for a certain event – this is where help can come in handy.
Staying lean with just one body fat is an incredibly difficult task, and for most people, it just sounds unrealistic. But this does not mean that it is not feasible. But you will have to forget about the strategy “work hard until you achieve a result, and then you can relax”, otherwise your body will certainly return to its original state. For those who intend not only to achieve a result but also to maintain it, we have 10 tips on how to stay in shape all year round. Incorporate as many of them into your lifestyle as possible, and you will always be ready to surprise those around you with your sculpted torso.
Forget about your diet
To stay in shape 365 days a year, you can’t just rely on short-term diets that are based on reducing your calorie intake. You need to develop a nutritional system that is supported by correct and healthy eating habits. This is the approach that can help you maintain the shape you have worked so hard for.
To be successful, you can’t just diet. Find a balanced lifestyle with a fitness bias that will not weigh you down: it should be a joy to follow. That being said, you shouldn’t eat as if staying fit is your only goal in life, and if you want to stay lean on a consistent basis, it is better to choose those foods that you really like.
Previously, you probably followed a drying diet, but what we offer you now is food without a strict calorie restriction. It is simply unrealistic to stick to a diet with a large calorie deficit indefinitely. You can keep the carbohydrate alternation if you like, but don’t cut it down too much on “tough” days.
The best choice is simple, natural food, in which the method of preparation is not the last: sauces, butter and sweets should be put on the list of foods that you should avoid as often as possible, otherwise all your work will go to waste.
And you also need to enjoy all of this fitness routine without the grandiose competitive goal looming in the distance. If you find healthy substitutes for your favorite treats and adopt the right eating habits on a consistent basis, success is guaranteed.
Count the nutrients
Nutritional success doesn’t just happen. Surely tracking calories and PJU has given you top shape. It will also help you stay in it. Do not underestimate the importance of nutrient counting, because it can prevent exceeding the indicators and, as a result, gaining fat mass.
Competitive athletes tend to weigh all of their food, and for good reason. Perhaps you even know how to determine the approximate volumes by eye. In general, it does not matter how you will keep counting: even approximate tracking of BJU applications like MyFitnessPal can organize the counting quite well.
Remember that overeating as little as 200 calories may not have a big effect on the body in the short term, but if this excess occurs on an ongoing basis, the chance of gaining fat mass over time is very, very high.
Eat carbs before and after exercise
If you want the abs to be embossed regardless of the time of year, you will have to track your carbohydrate intake first. Unfortunately, overeating carbohydrates at every meal will not work, and to maintain muscle definition, you need to concentrate most of the carbohydrates around your workout for energy before and after recovery. The rest can be distributed in small portions over other meals.
Faster, simpler carbohydrates are best eaten immediately after exercise, along with the protein you need for growth. Complex carbohydrates from cereals, on the other hand, are digested more slowly and do not cause an insulin spike, making them ideal for pre-workout meals and other snacks throughout the day.
Find the right sports nutrition
It doesn’t have to be that the kit you used to achieve your goal in strength or muscle volume is going to be good for keeping in shape. Now, if you want to stay in shape and slowly gain muscle in the long term, consider a basic combination of protein, creatine and caffeine. These supplements promote muscle growth, fight fatigue, help you burn more fat and maintain your energy.
Arrange cheat meals
You’ve probably noticed that the uncontrollable desire to eat something harmful occurs precisely during the period of strict adherence to the diet. Instead of whittling down your accomplishments by taking the entire weekend off to load, occasionally allow yourself a small amount of junk food as a reward for eating right about once a week, but it depends on your metabolism. Cheat meal is not about stuffing as much fast food into you as possible. It should be a discreet treat that you can indulge in without being sucked into the malnutrition funnel. And remember, you still need to earn cheat meals!
6 rely on complex movements in your workout
Complex or multi-joint movements that involve more than one pair of joints involve more muscles than isolated exercises. So, the bench press will force more muscles to work than a butterfly. Complicated movements also trigger a greater hormonal and energy response than isolation, which allows you to build more muscle and burn more fat. So make sure your workouts are based on squats, deadlifts, and presses, not biceps curls or machine leg straightens.
Burn Calories With High Intensity Interval Cardio
If there is a secret on how to get the most out of your cardio workout, this is it. High-intensity interval training involves alternating between short periods of full out and longer periods of relative rest. This cardio not only increases the number of calories burned, but also speeds up the metabolism for 24 hours after training. It also takes less time than traditional cardio.
After a short warm-up, do a 30-second maximum effort interval followed by 60 seconds of more relaxed movement. In general, this cardio shouldn’t take more than 15-30 minutes. Over time, you can lengthen the hard interval and shorten the easy one, as well as increase the overall cardio workout time. This cardio can be done outdoors, and it will be jogging, or in the gym on a treadmill, stepper or ellipse with a frequency of 2-3 times a week.
Change your training strategy
Performing the same movements with the same weight and number of repetitions is a direct way to quickly adapt the muscles to the load and reduce progress. As the body gets used to the program, you need to change the load by manipulating weights, volume, intensity, rest periods and work to failure so that the body does not have time to adapt to a specific program that you repeat from week to week. It will also reduce the risk of overtraining and refresh your vision of your training strategy.
One of the most effective methods of making changes is to change the training goal: one week for strength, another for hypertrophy, and another for fat loss. So the body will definitely have to adapt to the new load every time.
Realistically estimate your body fat percentage
We understand that your goal is to reduce your body fat percentage as much as possible, but there is a point at which to stop, and it must be realistic and safe for your health. If you’re torturing yourself around the clock to keep your fat levels unrealistically low, it might be worth reevaluating your goals a bit.
How embossed do you want to be? Try to find a position in which you can enjoy exercise and proper nutrition at the same time, while leading a completely normal life. This is where you should stay. Perhaps it will be 6% or 10% – no need to get hung up on numbers. Just find the most comfortable combination that works for you. You do not need to choose a strategy that will mean daily struggle and violence against yourself, otherwise you will not see long-term success.
Make the right choice
All of the tips you read above involve making an informed decision on a daily basis. What will you put on your plate? What will you do in the gym? What supplements do you decide to take? The right lifestyle that can keep you in shape is made up of a lot of right decisions. It is enough to make a wise choice now, and it is likely that you will not have to choose any more: very soon you will develop persistent correct habits that will automatically allow you to remain in peak shape all year round.