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[WOTM, 04/2013] The Accelerated Shape-Up For Summer Beach Body Plan

wotmaprilsummer

We’re officially 12 weeks out from summer; 8 if you follow a Memorial Day kick-off. Cue terrifying epiphany.

Like it or not, your 2013 beach body — or lack thereof — is officially on the clock. Whether you’re trying to drop pounds, fill out your physique with lean muscle mass, or simply need a quick tune-up to evaporate the fat plastering your lower two abs, three months is an abundance of time to make BIG aesthetic changes.

April’s WOTM — The Accelerated Shape-Up For Summer Beach Body Planstrategically blends muscle-building full-body movements, intense abs training, endurance cardio, and fat-incinerating HIIT cardio to drive MAJOR progress in an accelerated time window. Follow along and you’ll sculpt a svelte, muscular beach-body as quickly, efficiently, and painlessly as possible. The plan breaks down into two major components, plus an optional supplements section to flip the turboboosters on:.

1. Diet & Nutrition: a set of simple, practical dietary tips, tactics, and guidelines to amplify your results. These strategies are designed to elevate metabolism and calorie burn (via thermogenesis), keep hunger levels under control, and cultivate an environment that’s perpetually burning fat — not storing it — and generating new muscle.
2. 6-Day Summer Shape-Up Workout Split: a hyperintense hybrid workout routine designed to torch body fat, install lean muscle mass, and flood the body with hormones (hGH and testosterone) that enhance both.

Remember: alignment of both diet and exercise is the secret sauce to reaching beach body nirvana; results won’t come without one or the other.

Buckle down, set a goal, and go after it hard. If you work your ass off, minimize slip-ups, and follow the plan over the next 12 weeks, you’ll come out on the other side with a flat, chiseled core, radiant confidence, and a physique that’s ready to storm the beaches full force.



 

Part 1. Diet & Nutrition


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1. Cycle Calories.

One of, if not THE most powerful strategies to quickly drop pounds and strip body fat is calorie cycling. Long-term diets inadvertently program the body to burn FEWER calories, triggering it to slow its natural metabolism as a way of adapting to a less-energized environment. That metabolic drop leads to plateaus, further calorie cuts, and lackluster results.

It’s a nasty, vicious cycle — ain’t nobody got time for that!

Cycling proactively throws the body off balance, prevents a metabolic downshift, and guarantees that fat loss follows a fluid upward trajectory. Once you know your body’s maintenance calorie count (easily compute it with our calorie calculator) it’s as simple as following one of the three paths below, depending on your goals and current state:

Maximal weight loss: If you’re aiming to drop major poundage and completely overhaul your body, eat in a deficit of 700 calories for 5 straight days and then spike your calories back up to maintenance for 1 day. Repeat down 700 for 5 days, up for 1 day, and so on. The additional calories on up days are reserved for healthy, clean foods; not junk.

Moderate weight loss: If your body is already in decent shape but you’re looking to shrink your stomach and unleash a new set of abs, eat down 500 calories for 4 straight days and then spike back up for 1 day. Repeat.

Last few pounds/body fat shred: If you’re already lean, but want to melt the last layer of body fat and/or get absolutely ripped, eat down 300 calories for 3 straight days and then spike back up for 1 day. Repeat. This isolates pure body fat without burning any lean muscle mass.

For this to work effectively, you need to track calories and actively adjust how much you eat every 4th day (you’re programmed to eat more, that should be the exciting part). Don’t get neurotic or hyperdetailed, ballpark estimates work. With such an accelerated time frame there’s no way around it — cycling only works if you accurately control your food intake.

Calorie tracking apps like MyNetDiary, MyFitnessPal, and Lose It! can simplify the process.

 

2. Eat Clean & Lean.

Read, digest, and print out the Six Pack Abs Shopping List. Treat it as your beach body bible. 99% of what you eat over the next few months should sit on this list — don’t stray far from the path.

 

3. Make Protein a Staple.

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For speed-shreds like this, protein is your #1 nutritional secret weapon. It’s essential to new muscle growth, enhances recovery, and prevents the breakdown of existing muscle tissue during cardio and long-term dieting.

To add fuel to the fat furnace, high protein diets can reduce hunger levels and mitigate the impact of carbs on fat gain, increase satiety, burn extra calories thermogenically, and potentially help decrease overall daily caloric intake123456.

Consume .75 – 1g of protein per pound of body weight, split evenly throughout the day (that’s 150 grams/day if you weigh 150 pounds). Eggs and egg whites, Greek yogurt, chicken and turkey, fresh fish, canned tuna, lean beef, cottage cheese, whey protein, and milk are all ideal protein sources.

 

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4. Focus On Critical Meals: Breakfast and Post-Workout.

A nutritious breakfast, especially one rich in protein, sets the tone for successful weight-loss. It jump starts metabolism, cuts off overnight muscle breakdown (catabolism), and provides a much-needed source of sustainable energy. Research shows that eating breakfast reduces overall calorie consumption throughout the day789.

Protein is a must — Greek yogurt, eggs, nut butter, and whey protein are all great in the AM — combined with healthy carbs like oatmeal and/or fresh fruit.

Post-workout nutrition drives home optimal growth and recovery. To effectively refuel, eat a blend of protein and carbs within an hour of your workout. Fruit and heavy carb sources like pasta, oatmeal, cereal, rice, bread and sweet potatoes stimulate growth and recovery after an intense sweat session; whey protein powder is your most effective protein choice. Minimize all fats during this window10.

During the rest of the day eat small, frequent meals — it works to limit massive blood sugar spikes, reducing the body’s propensity to store body fat.

 

5. Overdose on Water, Green Tea, Seltzer, and Coffee.

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Water, green tea, seltzer, and coffee are zero-calorie options that reduce hunger and overclock calorie burn. Green tea and coffee are thermogenic, stimulate metabolism, and increase the body’s utilization of fat for fuel11121314.

Hydration is absolutely key to almost every major bodily function; digestion, metabolism, and muscle growth aren’t an exception to that.

 

6. Maximize Fiber Intake With Veggies & Whole Grains.

Fiber is the best way to increase satiety, reduce hunger, and prevent yourself from overeating. It also keeps blood sugar flatlined. Go crazy with colorful, leafy vegetables — they’re insanely nutritious and filling, yet feather-light on the calorie scale.

Beans, whole grains, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, muesli and other unprocessed grains are fantastic sources of fiber-heavy, lean carbs.

 

7. Integrate Healthy Fats.

Healthy fats found in avocado, flax, fish and fish oil, nuts and nut butter, olives and olive oil, coconut, etc. control hunger levels and produce a sustained feeling of fullness. They’re also a powerful regulator of blood sugar, limiting fat build-up.

20-25% of your daily calories should come from healthy fats; that’s about 2-3 servings per day.

 

8. Use Condiments, Spices, Hot Sauce, and Salsa Generously.

They’re the best way to flavor-up food without adding significant calories. Spices like cinnamon, ginger, chili, garlic, and basil can help control blood sugar and pack major anti-inflammatory benefits15.

Ginger, black pepper, and hot pepper (capsaicin) have been linked to decreased hunger, accelerated metabolism, and enhanced thermogenesis1617.

bowls of spices

 

9. Supplements.

Supplements are purely optional, but given the short window of opportunity, they can accelerate results in a healthy, powerful way. We recommend the following proven supplements to enhance muscle growth, weight loss, and fat burn:

  • Whey Protein Powder — muscle growth and recovery, hunger control.181920
  • BCAAs — recovery, reduced soreness, muscle preservation during dieting and cardio. Full guide here.212223.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) — non-stimulant fatty acid that can improve body composition, block fat storage, and ramp up the body’s rate of fat metabolism. It may also promote lean muscle growth24252627.
  • Green Tea Extract — boosts metabolism, calorie burn, and fat oxidation. It packs the same benefits as green tea in concentrated form.
  • Fish Oil — all-around health, hunger control, reduced inflammation & soreness, and may enhance muscle protein synthesis. View our full guide here.282930.
  • Fiber — hunger control and appetite reduction.

 

10. No Cheating.

Remove the concept of cheating from your dietary paradigm. Every time you eat a cheat meal, sneak junk food, binge drink, or skip a planned workout you’re pushing yourself one step back against time you don’t have. Dedicate to work hard and focus now; celebrate come summer.




Page 2 | The 6-Day Summer Shape-Up Workout Split

 

 
 

References, Notes, Links

  1. Skov AR, Toubro S, Rønn B, Holm L, Astrup A. Randomized trial on protein vs carbohydrate in ad libitum fat reduced diet for the treatment of obesity. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity [1999, 23(5):528-536. []
  2. Layman D, Boileau R. A Reduced Ratio of Dietary Carbohydrate to Protein Improves Body Composition and Blood Lipid Profiles during Weight Loss in Adult Women. J. Nutr. February 1, 2003vol. 133 no. 2 411-417 []
  3. Halton T. The Effects of High Protein Diets on Thermogenesis, Satiety and Weight Loss: A Critical Review. J Am Coll Nutr October 2004 vol. 23 no. 5 373-385 []
  4. Belko A, Barbieri T. Effect of energy and protein intake and exercise intensity on the thermic effect of food. Am J Clin Nutr June 1986vol. 43 no. 6 863-869 []
  5. Martens E, Lemmens S. Protein leverage affects energy intake of high-protein diets in humans. Am J Clin Nutr January 2013 vol. 97 no. 1 86-93 []
  6. Welle S, Lilavivit U. Thermic effect of feeding in man: Increased plasma norepinephrine levels following glucose but not protein or fat consumption. Metabolism. 1981 Oct;30(10):953-8. []
  7. Leidy H, Ortinau L. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. Am J Clin Nutr April 2013vol. 97 no. 4 677-688 []
  8. Blom W, Lluch A. Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response. Am J Clin Nutr February 2006 vol. 83 no. 2 211-220 []
  9. Jakubowicz D, Barnea M, Wainstein J, Froy O. High caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Mar 20. []
  10. Stark M, Lukaszuk J, Prawitz A, Salacinski A. Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):54-2783-9-54. []
  11. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97. []
  12. Hursel R, Viechtbauer W, Dulloo AG, Tremblay A, Tappy L, Rumpler W, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2011 Jul;12(7):e573-81. []
  13. Westerterp M, Diepvins K. Metabolic effects of spices, teas, and caffeine. Physiology & Behavior 89 (2006) 85–91 []
  14. Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiol Behav. 2010 Apr 26;100(1):42-6. []
  15. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html []
  16. Mansour MS, Ni YM, Roberts AL, Kelleman M, Roychoudhury A, St-Onge MP. Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: a pilot study. Metabolism. 2012 Oct;61(10):1347-52. []
  17. Westerterp M, Diepvins K. Metabolic effects of spices, teas, and caffeine. Physiology & Behavior 89 (2006) 85–91 []
  18. Stark M, Lukaszuk J, Prawitz A, Salacinski A. Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):54-2783-9-54. []
  19. Stark M, Lukaszuk J, Prawitz A, Salacinski A. Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):54-2783-9-54. []
  20. Hulmi JJ, Lockwood CM, Stout JR. Review effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2010; 7:51. []
  21. Howatson G, Hoad M, Goodall S, Tallent J, Bell PG, French DN. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):20. []
  22. Jackman SR, Witard OC, Jeukendrup AE, Tipton KD. Branched-chain amino acid ingestion can ameliorate soreness from eccentric exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(5):962-970. []
  23. Matsumoto K, Koba T, Hamada K, Sakurai M, Higuchi T, Miyata H. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation attenuates muscle soreness, muscle damage and inflammation during an intensive training program. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2009;49(4):424-431. []
  24. Chen SC, Lin YH, Huang HP, Hsu WL, Houng JY, Huang CK. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation on weight loss and body fat composition in a Chinese population. Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):559-65. []
  25. Whigham LD, Watras AC, Schoeller DA. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1203-11. []
  26. Kamphuis MM, Lejeune MP, Saris WH, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. The effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation after weight loss on body weight regain, body composition, and resting metabolic rate in overweight subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Jul;27(7):840-7. []
  27. Egras A. An Evidence-Based Review of Fat Modifying Supplemental Weight Loss Products. J Obes. 2011; 2011: 297315. []
  28. Smith GI, Atherton P, Reeds DN, Mohammed BS, Rankin D, Rennie MJ, Mittendorfer B. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 February; 93(2): 402–412. []
  29. Simopoulos AP. Omega-3 fatty acids and athletics. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2007;6(4):230-236. []
  30. Maroon JC, Bost JW. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: An alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surg Neurol. 2006;65(4):326-331. []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto

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