Everyone wants to be in their best shape for the summer, but they usually forget to plan ahead. Especially when you consider that summer technically begins on June 20, yet most people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of summer, so that cuts nearly a full month off your preparation time if you want to be ready for that first long weekend of “summer.” If you want to make jaws drop when the weather warms up, the time to start is now. This is the first part of your three-stage Summer Shape Up.
Each stage of the Summer Shape Up will be six weeks – three six-week stages are much easier to follow (and more productive) than doing the same thing for a full 18 weeks. Monotony is a motivation killer, and variation is a progress producer, so this approach has many advantages. Plus, we’re assuming you want to be ultra-lean when it’s time to head out to the beach or pool, so a slow-and-steady approach works better than a mad rush. And this will help you build bit of muscle on the journey since that will not only make your summer physique look better, it will also add to your ability to burn more calories – even at rest.
You don’t need a lot of “stuff” to get in shape, but there are a few things that can help make it a bit more enjoyable. This is assuming you either belong to a commercial gym, have a home gym, or have other arrangements for using training equipment. A few personal gear items you may want to pick up are listed below, but none of these are required, so don’t let not having this stuff be an excuse to hold off on starting:
- Gym bag to carry your workout gear
- Workout gloves if you want to avoid calluses
- Towel to soak up your sweat
- Comfortable and supportive training shoes
- Shaker bottle for protein and pre- and/or post-workout drinks
Summer Shape Up: Stage 1 – Top 5 Supplements
Much like the workout gear listed above, supplements aren’t required and not having these shouldn’t be an excuse not to start. Of course, the right supplements can make your progress much quicker, easier, and more productive, so these are a few that we highly recommend while going through Stage 1 of your Summer Shape Up.
- Protein – Pure Titanium Whey
If you’re going to use supplements to your advantage, a quality protein should be number one on your list. Whether at home or on the go, getting enough quality protein can be tough, but it’s crucial to building and preserving muscle whether your goal is gaining muscle or losing weight. For this stage, a delicious, easy-mixing, fast-release whey protein is your best bet. Pure Titanium Whey is the most popular choice, or 100% Natural Whey Supreme is ideal for those who prefer an all-natural protein choice with no artificial sweeteners.
- Pre-Workout Formula – Fierce Domination
If you find yourself feeling a bit sluggish at the beginning of a workout, or if you have trouble making the mind-muscle connection (where you struggle to “tune-in” and truly feel each target muscle working), then the new Fierce Domination formula is the pinnacle of pre-workouts. If you’re not a fan of stimulants or you already get enough caffeine in your diet from coffee, etc., then MegaTron is the most potent stimulant-free pre-workout available, and it will still help you tap into major muscle focus.
- Post-Workout/Recovery – BCAA Pro Reloaded
If you have a shaker bottle, taking a serving of your Pure Titanium Whey or 100% Natural Whey Supreme immediately after training is the perfect post-workout/recovery drink. If you prefer the convenience of keeping a bottle of tablets in your gym bag or want to amplify the effects of your post-workout protein shake, BCAA Pro Reloaded tablets deliver the highest BCAA-per-tablet ratio available in the supplement industry, and they’re hydrosoluble for fast absorption when you need it most.
- Meal Replacement – RawFusion Complete
Keeping up with your nutrient needs during the day is difficult and time-consuming, but RawFusion Complete makes it easy and delivers full-spectrum nutrition, so it’s a genuine meal replacement shake that’s actually healthy. Yes, it’s a vegan formula, but don’t let that scare you away if you fear the “V” word. The 100% plant-based protein matrix rivals that of milk protein, and it’s packed with 21 grams of protein, organic superfoods, natural vitamins and minerals, probiotics and fiber, and EFAs (essential fatty acids). It’s a full, nutritious meal that’s also delicious and filling so you won’t be left feeling hungry.
- On-the-Go Nutrition – RawFusion Bars
When you know you’re going to be on the road or away from your own kitchen or other healthy meal sources, you can always pack a shaker bottle pre-filled with RawFusion Complete or Pure Titanium Whey protein and then just add water or your favorite cold beverage. But there’s nothing worse than finding yourself on the go without having been able to prepare something. That’s why it’s a great idea to keep RawFusion Bars in your car or gym bag, or just grab one every time you head out the door – just in case. They’ve got a good amount of RawFusion protein (15 grams per bar) and enough fiber (8 grams!) to fulfill your hunger, plus they’re delicious, naturally sweetened (no refined sugar), and completely nutritious.
Bonus supplement: If you opt for mostly lean foods and find yourself stuck in the low-fat mindset, you really need to be sure you’re getting the proper amount of healthy fats in your diet one way or another. Omega Flax Oil has the perfect blend of EFAs to ensure proper vitamin/mineral uptake, hormone production, and heart health among other crucial health benefits.
Those are just a few of the recommended basics to get you through Stage 1 of your Summer Shape-Up program. Don’t hold off on your diet or training program just because you don’t have the supplements listed above. They’ll make life a bit easier and your full program will be more productive, but they’re not required, so no excuses!
It should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. Your diet and nutrition program for getting in shape is specific to you and your own needs. Every individual has different requirements based on genetics, overall activity levels, and any pre-existing dietary needs or tastes. Therefore, this is just a very general guideline for a dietary schedule with very few recommendations for particular foods and no macronutrient ratios listed. This basic food and supplement timing guide is for those who simply need a starting point. It’s also set up for someone who would be training early in the morning, so adjust as needed to suit your own schedule.
Before training – 5 a.m. (30 minutes prior to training)
Supplements: MegaTron, 1 scoop
Immediately after training – 6:30 a.m.
Supplements: Titanium Whey, 1-2 scoops; BCAA Pro Reloaded, 1-2 tablets
Meal 1 – 8 a.m.
Eggs, 2-3 whole eggs or 1-2 whole eggs plus 2-3 egg whites
Oatmeal or cream of rice, 1 serving
Fruit, 1 serving
Supplements: Titanium Whey, 1 scoop (if more protein is needed)
Meal 2 – 10:30 a.m.
Supplements: RawFusion Complete, 2 scoops
Meal 3 – 1 p.m.
Favorite lean protein source
Mixed vegetables, 1 cup
Rice, 1 cup cooked
Supplements: Omega Flax Oil, 1-2 softgels
Meal 4 – 3:30 p.m.
Supplements: RawFusion Bar
Meal 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Favorite lean protein source
Mixed vegetables, 1 cup (or salad)
Almonds, 1 handful
Supplements: Titanium Whey, 1 scoop (if more protein is needed)
Before bed – 9 p.m.
Apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered) and water
As stated above, this is just a basic guideline for those needing somewhere to start. It may look like several “meals” throughout the day, but notice that Meal 2 and 4 are meal replacements. The RawFusion Complete and Bars provide balanced nutrition, help curb appetite because of the fiber, and they also make it much more convenient to get solid nutrition throughout the day.
Also, note that your lean protein for each meal can be poultry, fish, beef, or whatever healthy source you prefer. A scoop of protein powder can be used to add protein to your meals if needed. Be sure to avoid processed and fast foods, keep alcohol consumption at a minimum, and avoid sweets and fried foods at all costs. At this point in Stage 1, it’s about setting up the good habits to get you through to the final stage.
Get into the habit of trying to “stack” your carbohydrates around your training time. As listed above, you can see that the bulk of carbohydrates are consumed within the two meals eaten after training, and the amount tapers off through the day. Change your carbohydrate intake as needed depending on how your body reacts and how high your overall activity level is through the day. Someone with a desk job may want to decrease while someone on their feet all day may need to increase. Pay attention to your body, and prepare to make changes when Stages 2 and 3 come up.
The organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) at the end of the day isn’t required, but it can be helpful when consumed about an hour before bed. ACV has a reputation for preventing fat storage, and it’s also known to help reduce appetite because of the pectin levels (if unfiltered), which can help with late-night cravings. Just don’t drink it straight – mix with enough water to dilute the acidity.
If you’ve got a personal trainer, then you’re already one step ahead. If not, there are plenty of routines online you can use, or you can follow the recommended routine below to go along with our other Stage 1 recommendations. If you’re getting back into working out just to get in shape for the summer, or if you’ve had a long layoff, you’ll likely want to use this as a three-day routine to start. For the more seasoned trainee, a three-on, one-off schedule may be ideal or any of the alternates listed below. Remember that there is no single routine that’s right for everyone, but the best routine is the one you’ll actually do.
Chest, Shoulders, Biceps
|Incline presses||3 x 10-12|
|Dumbbell flyes||2 x 12|
|Bench presses||3 x 10-12|
|Cable flyes||2 x 12|
|Dumbbell presses||3 x 10-12|
|Incline one-arm laterals||2 x 12|
|Lateral raises||2 x 12|
|Barbell curls||3 x 10-12|
|Incline curls||2 x 12|
|Concentration curls||2 x 12|
Quads, Hamstrings, Calves
|Squats||3 x 10-12|
|Sissy squats||2 x 10|
|Leg extensions||2 x 12|
Hamstrings (or hyperextensions)
|Stiff-legged deadlifts||3 x 10-12|
|Leg curls||2 x 12|
Calves (or leg press calf raises)
|Donkey calf raises||3 x 10-12|
|One-legged calf raises||2 x 12|
|Seated calf raises||2 x 12|
Back, Triceps, Abs
|Pulldowns||3 x 10-12|
|Pullovers||2 x 10|
|Bent-over under-grip rows||2 x 10|
|Parallel close-grip cable rows||2 x 10-12|
|Bent-arm bent-over laterals||2 x 12|
|Shrugs||1 x 15|
|Lying extensions||3 x 10-12|
|Overhead extensions||2 x 12|
|Rope pushdowns||2 x 12|
|Knee ups||3 x 12-15|
|Full-range crunches||2 x 12-15|
|Plank||1 x 60 seconds+|
This is a straightforward three-day training split. As mentioned above, you can use it to train three to six days per week. Here are some sample breakdowns you can use to fit your own schedule and training needs:
|M-W-F||Every Other Day||Three-On/One-Off||Weekdays Only|
|Sunday||Workout 1||Workout 1|
|Monday||Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 1|
|Tuesday||Workout 2||Workout 3||Workout 2|
|Wednesday||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Thursday||Workout 3||Workout 1||Workout 1|
|Friday||Workout 3||Workout 2||Workout 2|
|Saturday||Workout 1||Workout 3|
|Monday||Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 1||Workout|
|Wednesday||Workout 2||Workout 3||Workout 3||Workout|
|Friday||Workout 3||Workout 1||Workout 1||Workout|
Yes, you can make more adjustments beyond the samples listed above, but the key is to find the schedule that works best for you and to stick with it. Don’t let excuses get in your way, and remember that this stage is just six weeks before moving on to Stage 2.
Note: The Stage 2 routine will be more intense with HIIT-type training, but if you feel the need to add some cardio in now, feel free to do so on non-training days — just try to give yourself at least one full day off per week (if not more). Recovery is a big key to making progress, and this is just the first of three stages, so don’t forget to pace yourself.
Summer Shape Up: Stage 1 – Summary
You’ve now got a good, basic training routine to get you through the first six weeks of your summer shape-up, plus a basic guideline to build your nutritional plan from and a solid list of supplements that will get you through Stage 1 successfully. This will all help build the foundation for Stage 2 where you’ll start to dig deeper into your stored body fat as your fuel, and you’ll already have the habits needed to keep you focused on you desired end result. Now you just need to stay motivated and disciplined – and keep a mental picture of your ultimate summer body in mind every day.